Winter 2016
Paw Prints
A quarterly newsletter to keep you informed.
In This Issue

Egberts Open 241 Bar and Grill in Turner                 Brownfields Funding Request

Christmas Comes Early to the Hi-LineStory1
Five Hi-Line Businesses Receive Growth Through Agriculture Funding
Bear Paw's Food and Agriculture Development Center (FADC) is pleased to announce five northcentral Montana-based clients received funding from the Montana Department of Agriculture's Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) Program to grow their food or ag businesses. The awardee summaries are below:

1. Cut Bank is getting its first ever brewery! Kim and Louie Stoltz of Cut Bank were awarded $40,000 to assist with the start-up costs of opening a brewery. Funds will primarily be used to purchase brewing equipment. We look forward to stopping in for a cold, frothy glass of Penguin Piss (Louie's flagship amber) in the near future. Cheers!


2. Pardue Grain continues to clean grain and support jobs in Glacier County. 2016 is the International Year of Pulses and no one knows this more than Roger and Lisa Sammons of Cut Bank. GTA awarded Pardue Grain $48,000 to purchase a mobile grain cleaner in order to clean regionally grown pulse crops for export. The result of this funding will add value to Montana pulses and allow for job creation in Glacier County.


3. Stricks Ag of Chester received $49,488 in GTA funds and $100,000 in low-interest loan funding to assist with the completion of their state-of-the-art pulse processing facility. Upon completion, this facility will be able to clean, sort, and bag a variety of pulse crops for export and domestic markets, thus adding much-needed value for the region's pulse growers. Stricks Ag continues to be a leader in Montana's fledgling pulse processing industry.


4. The local food movement is gaining traction in northern Montana, with Bear Paw Meats blazing the trail. Congratulations to Bear Paw Meats for their grant award of $50,000. Funds will go towards the purchase of a state-of-the-art meat smoker. As Bear Paw Meats' retail business expands, the smoker will allow them to tap into deli-meat and jerky markets. Go Montana beef!


5. Ben and Connie Boreson received $39,250 in grant funding to expand and update the Busted Knuckle Brewery in Glasgow. Known for its eclectic d├ęcor, community atmosphere and monster cans of beer, the Boresons' will now be able to ride their momentum of success and distribute Busted Knuckle beer to a wider audience. Don't forget to fill your growlers with some Dull Sickle Hefeweizen or Rusted Nut Amber at a location near you!


6. Although not located in our region, Bear Paw was also fortunate enough to assist County Rail Farm of Huson, MT with their farm relocation and expansion. County Rail was awarded $40,000 for various farm equipment. This relocation/expansion will position County Rail to capitalize on the booming western Montana local food movement. Eat your veggies!

The Food and Ag Development Center at Bear Paw would like to thank each and every business for their hard work and diligence throughout the grant application process. It was truly a rewarding experience and we wish you the very best success in the New Year.
To contact the Bear Paw FADC, call 265-9226 or e-mail Taylor Lyon at

Egberts Open 241 Grill and Tavern in Turners2
Early in 2016, Amy Egbert and her husband Dallas (who has some mean barbecuing skills), started exploring the idea of purchasing Kimber's Border Bar & Grill in Turner. With tremendous backing from the Turner community, the  Egberts decided to   move forward with the purchase and opened the 241 Grill & Tavern in April 2016. "With such a great 
community that shows strong support for the local economy, I knew I had to keep this business in Turner," said Amy of starting 241 Grill & Tavern.
Bear Paw helped the Egberts purchase and open the Tavern with assistance from Loan Department and the Small Business Development Center. The SBDC helped Amy set up her LLC and financing was obtained through Bear Paw's Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) Program. "Bear Paw Development helped me put all of the pieces together for my business, from planning to financing," said Amy.
241 Grill & Tavern serves up a great atmosphere, traditional American food with all of the favorites, and a few signature dishes like barbecue brisket, ribs, and pulled pork. They also
boast local Montana beers, homemade barbecue sauce, house blended seasonings, local Montana beef, and their special fried cheesecake. To find out more about 241 Grill & Tavern, such as the daily menu, specials, and upcoming events, visit their Facebook page at: .
To discover how you can develop your business idea, contact Bear Paw at 265-9226.

Growing Our Region Through Collaborations3
Bear Paw Development, MSU-Northern, and leadership from the Chippewa Cree Tribe met in early December to discuss several issues of importance to each of the entities, including how best to work together in northern Monta na to create opportunities for the people of this region.  Key topics of discussion included higher education, economic development and community vitality.

"The Chippewa Cree Tribe is a founding member of Bear Paw Development, and it is very likely that there is not an older, more long-standing relationship between a tribal entity and an Economic Development District anyplace in the nation," said Paul Tuss, Executive Director of Bear Paw.  "Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity to discuss how tribal and non-tribal communities and organizations can work together in a spirit of cooperation and mutual respect, it comes from a long history of trying to make this special part of Montana an even better place to live and raise a family." 
The participants in this conversation agreed to continue to meet to determine those areas where working together will be of mutual benefit both on and off the Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation. 
"We all look forward to continuing this important dialogue, and to keeping our focus on collaborating for a better, brighter future for everyone in northern Montana," Tuss noted.  
Over a three week course in November, the Small Business Development Center held an Introduction to QuickBooks training in Malta. This course was designed to help individuals enhance their accounting skills and take full advantage of what the QuickBooks software has to offer. In order for students to have a hands-on learning experience, the SBDC partnered with Triangle Communications to bring their mobile computer lab to Malta.  With the mobile lab, participants were able to walk through the basics of QuickBooks by completing mock sales entries, payments, bill pay, and payroll cycles. Participants also discovered valuable time saving tricks and powerful report generation tools. At the end of the course, the 16 attendees were provided with a reference guide for future questions and trouble shooting.
These training courses were sponsored by the Malta Area Chamber of Commerce, PhillCo Economic Growth Council and Bear Paw's Small Business Development Center.  Each session included dinner, courtesy of a grant received by PhillCo from Triangle Communications.
Due to the overwhelming attendance and support for this class, another training session will be offered in spring 2017.  To learn more about the trainings offered by the Small Business Development Center, contact Joe LaPlante at 265-9226 or email him at  

Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the US Small Business Administration.  All opinions, conclusions, or recommendations addressed are those of the author and not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA. 
In 2009, 2011, and 2014, Bear Paw Development received funding from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to coordinate a regional Brownfields Assessment Program. The program was established to assist landowners in completing environmental assessments for their properties. This program has served as a valuable resource for landowners who are looking to sell, purchase, or redevelop properties that have contamination, or are perceived to have contamination. Since 2009, Bear Paw has completed thirty-six Phase I and forty-two Phase II environmental assessments with the funding from the EPA.
During a Phase I assessment, research is conducted to determine the history of the site, what it was used for in the past, and any adjacent properties that may have affected its environmental conditions. If, due to age or past use, a site is found to have an environmental concern, it enters a Phase II assessment in which samples are taken of soil, groundwater, and/or building materials. The samples are tested for a variety of contaminants, such as petroleum, asbestos, or lead.  Knowing if contamination exists, or to what extent, is instrumental for landowners looking to redevelop a property.
For the past seven years, Bear Paw has been able to successfully utilize this program and is now applying for additional funds through the EPA. These funds will help Bear Paw to support landowners in navigating environmental concerns on their properties and help spur redevelopment in local communities. To find out more about Bear Paw's Brownfields Program, including assessment or cleanup, contact Samantha Chagnon at
Chouteau County Nears Completion on Shepherd Crossing BridgeEvents
In just a few short months, Chouteau County will be wrapping up their second bridge replacement project.  The first bridge replacement, the Upper Highwood Creek Bridge, was completed May 2015 and the Shepherd Crossing bridge replacement will be complete early in 2017. 
Bob Pasha, Chouteau County Commissioner said, "Both of these bridges were in really rough shape and Bear Paw Development played a fundamental role in helping the County secure planning and construction dollars to replace these important structures."
The Upper Highwood Creek project received a $15,000 infrastructure planning grant from the Treasure State Endowment Program (TSEP) to complete a Preliminary Engineering Report and $178,920 from TSEP to complete the bridge replacement. The Shepherd Crossing bridge project was also awarded TSEP planning and implementation grants of 
$15,000 and $207,184, respectively.

Each bridge now has a solid foundation with driven H-Piles and cast-in-place caps, steel guard rail with flared approach, and new end markers and p osts. Paul Tuss, Executive Director of Bear Paw Development, said "These types of projects are at the core of what Bear Paw Development does and it really showcases the importance of solid infrastructure for our region."