Summer 2016
Paw Prints
A quarterly newsletter to keep you informed.
In This Issue
BPDC Lends $1.1M                                        New Havre Taxi Service Up and Running 

Taylor Lyon Joins BPDC Staff                          Focus on Infrastructure Needs

 BPDC Lends $1.1M in First Half of 2016Story1
Lewis Heating and A/C of Havre Expands Through Bear Paw Loan Fund Investment
Bear Paw Development's Loan Department has approved over $1.1 million in loans since the beginning of 2016, which is equivalent to the amount of business lending that occurred in all of 2015. Bear Paw has been able to fund several business expansion efforts this y ear, including Havre-based Lewis Heating and A/C.

Lewis Heating and A/C recently completed the purchase of  a large shop and storefront on Second Street in Havre. After a couple of years of operating from their home and growing their clientele, Tom and Shaylee knew it was time to take the next step in the development of their business. In addition to the new store, they now employ 5 new, full-time technicians and they created a fireplace showroom at their new location. Lewis Heating and A/C provides both residential and commercial heating and cooling system repair and installation, and their service area includes Havre and the surrounding Hi-Line communities.  Bear Paw Development's goal is to lend an additional $500,000 before the year's end to businesses looking to start or expand their operations. To learn more about BPDC's business lending program, contact Tiffany or Sammie at 265-9226.
Hi-Line Taxi Up and 'Running' 
Bear Paw's SBDC Plays Key RoleStory2
Before starting her own taxi business, Aneta Jones was giving free rides t o her family and friends. But she was getting lots of other ride requests from other people, which was the main motivation behind her starting her own taxi service, where she would finally get paid to give rides. 

Jones first consulted with Bear Paw's Small Business Development Director in the spring of 2015. With assistance from Joe LaPlante, Bear  Paw's SBDC Director, Jones completed a  business plan for her taxi service, as well as defined a market area. She also completed financial projections for five years. 

Once those documents were complete and she
finished other required work for the Montana 
Public Service Commission, Jones was ready to operate. 

Jones obtained funding to purchase taxi signs, business cards and other marketing materials. 

She said she anticipates most of her business will be in Havre, but she is open to transporting customers to nearby communities if requested. 

Jones provides rides from 7:30 AM until 6:00 PM. 

Congratulations on your new business, Aneta! If you find yourself in need of a ride, look for Hi-Line Taxi!

Interested in starting or expanding a business, contact Joe at 265-9226.

Bear Paw Has a New Value-Added Ag DirectorStory3
Bear Paw Development Corporation recently added to its staff of economic and community development practitioners by selecting Taylor Lyon of Chester to serve as the organization's Food and Agriculture Center Director. 

Lyon previously worked as the Plant Manager for Earl Fisher Biofuels in Chester and is the founder of the Montana Biofuel Exchange LLC, which collects used cooking oil from restaurants and processes it into biodiesel and animal feed. 

"While new to our organization, Taylor has been involved in the area of  value-added agriculture and alternative energy for the better part of a decade. He fund amentally understands the importance to our regional economy of adding value to our agricultural products, investing in alternative forms of energy and helping go od ideas become a reality," said Paul Tuss, Executive Director of Bear Paw Development.  Lyon has a bachelor's degree from Carroll College in biology and a master's degree from the University of Montana in environmental studies and has also worked for the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and MSU-Northern's Bio-Energy Center. 

"I really believe that a cornerstone to the economic growth of northern Montana, and our entire state, lies in working with agricultural entrepreneurs who have a vision for something bigger and better than the status quo and who believe that our best days are still ahead of us," Lyon said. "A strong and robust agricultural sector is what helped to build a good portion of our state for more than a century. I believe that trend will continue, only with a greater emphasis on doing more with our crops and other ag products to create added value for our producers and for rural Montana." 

The Bear Paw Food and Agriculture Development Center is part of a statewide network of centers focused on providing training, technical assistance, product development, market research and access to financing for Montana-made products and renewable energy projects. Other centers are located in Butte, Ronan and Joliet. 

Bear Paw's FADC primarily covers an area of northern Montana that includes Cascade, Pondera, Teton, Glacier, Toole, Liberty, Hill, Blaine, Phillips and Chouteau Counties and the Rocky Boy's, Blackfeet and Fort Belknap Indian Reservations. 

To contact the Bear Paw FADC, call 406-265-9226 or e-mail Lyon at

Bear Paw Submits Applications for Infrastructure GrantsStory4
Bridges, Capital Improvement Plans and Preliminary Architectural Reports, oh my!
Bear Paw's Community Development Department had a busy spring, assisting local governments with infrastructure and community facility needs. Blaine Cou nty submitted an application to the Treasure State Endowment Program (TSEP) for assistance in replacing the Ekegren Road Bridge and the Highland Road Bridge.  This effort is a continuation of Blaine County's proactive approach to b ridge rep lacement.  

The City of Fort Benton also submitted an application to TSEP, as well as to the Renewable Resource Grant and Loan Program (RRGL) for assistance with the demolition of three old drinking water storage tanks, which will be replaced by one larger tank. 

The City of Chinook submitted an application to TSEP and RRGL for assistance with Phase II of their Water System Improvement Project, which focuses on the replacement of undersized water lines, several fire hydrants and the construction of a new bulk water fill station. 

Funding for all three of these projects will ultimately be decid ed during the 2017 Legislature. Respective program staff from both the Department of Commerce and Department of Natural Resources and Conservation ar e currently in the process of ranking each project and will submit a report to the Legislature with funding recommendations. It is our hope, as it is with every session, that the Legislature will approve funding for all of the projects in the Bear Paw District, which will enable us to continue to address our region's aging infrastructure problems. Once the session begins in January of 2017, we will be actively engaged in promoting these good projects in the halls of the Legislature. 

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Planning Grant applications have been submitted for the following projects:  
  • Blaine County Capital Improvements Plan (CIP) 
  • Missouri River Medical Center Financial Feasibility Plan (Chouteau County) 
  • Rudyard Senior Center Preliminary Architectural Report (PAR) 
In addition to planning grant applications, Bear Paw is submitting a construction grant application to the Montana Department of Commerce's CDBG-ED (Economic Development) Program for the Missouri River Medical Center in Fort Benton for HVAC upgrades and replacement. A construction grant application will also be submitted on behalf of the Boys and Girls Club of the Hi-Line in Havre to the CDBG-PF (Public Facilities) Program for roof replacement, fire alarm system replacement and improvements to their gym facilities. 

Funding decisions from the CDBG Program for these projects should be received in the next few months. 

We look forward to working on these important projects for the communities we serve in the Bear Paw District!

Upcoming EventsStory5
Free Small Business Workshop

Topic: Understanding Financial Statements and Improving Cash Flow
Date: September 15, 2016
Time: 2:30-3:30 p.m.
Place: Bear Paw Development's Conference Room

Register by calling Joe at 265-9226