INDIAN COUNTRY PROGRAMS

The Office of Indian Country Economic Development at the Montana Department of Commerce offers a variety of technical assistance and grant programs targeted towards economic development projects that strengthen the economy and languages of tribal nations in Montana through the development and enhancement of business opportunities and tribal languages on reservations, in tribal communities, and for Native American businesses. 

Current grant applications, reporting forms, or opportunities will be listed below.  Scroll down to find the appropriate submission link and click on 'Submit' to begin the online process.  First time users of the Submittable™ platform will be prompted to create a required profile for application submission.  For additional information on each announcement, click on the 'More' down arrow button next to each announcement.

If you are currently managing a Tribal Business Planning Grant contract, please complete this online Tribal Business Planning Grant Final Report Form.  This report will cover activities and expenditures for the entire grant contract period (from application to contract expiration date).

After reviewing your contact information, select the 'Save Address and Continue' button.

When completing the report, you can select 'Submit' if you are ready to submit, or 'Save As Draft' if you need additional sessions to complete the report.

Remember to submit a final payment request with this report if the project is ready to close out.

You will upload all of your TRIBAL TOURISM DIGITAL BUSINSS DEVELOPMET GRANT payment/reimbursement requests through this form.  Please review the following instructions prior to submission:

Please 'batch' your payment request(s) so that when you submit, you are submitting the least number of possible requests to utilize the funding.   

You will only have until March 2022 to expend your grant.  By batching your payment requests, it will help expedite our payment review and spend down process.  Please do the following in the payment batching process:

1) Include your name, contract number, and business name on documents:  For any documentation you submit, your name, the business name, and contract number need to be included on the documents.

2) W-9 needed for payment to grantee and for vendors we pay on your behalf:  For payments that you would like us to pay directly to you as the grantee, we will need a W-9 form.
For payments that you would like us to pay directly to the vendor on your behalf, we will need a W-9 form and Electronic Transfer Form from the vendor and contact information to complete the transaction on your behalf.

3) Quotes or purchase orders (POs) must be followed up with actual purchase receipts:  If you submit a purchase order, or quote to initiate us making the purchase on your behalf, you will need to submit a follow up document with a final invoice or receipt.  Any unverified purchases will need to be repaid back to the State of Montana.

4) Payment preferences:

  • The Program's preferred payment method to you as the grantee and/or the vendor is by Electronic Funds Transfer for documented expenditures.  
  • The second preference is to make a credit card purchase on your behalf.  
  • The least preferred option (as it takes many more steps, takes more time, and can be complicated and problematic) is to make a warrant (check) payment to you or a vendor on your behalf.  

5) Align payment requests with your application and contract:  Make sure that either the reimbursement or payment on your behalf are for items that directly relate to your contract (Section 7. Budget) and your application.
Please Note Problematic Vendors: Vendors that we have found to be problematic to make payments on behalf of grantees are:

  • Apple Store
  • Amazon
  • Out of state Vendors/Corporations

6) Contact  If you have questions on the payment process, please email doctribal@mt.gov. 

Please retain a copy of this form for your records.

If needed, our address is:

Office of Indian Country Economic Development 

Montana Department of Commerce

PO Box 200505 

Helena MT 59620-0505

If you are currently managing a Tribal Business Planning Grant contract, please complete this online Tribal Business Planning Grant Final Midterm Form.  
This report will cover activities and expenditures to-date from either:

  •  the date of application to the midterm of the contract, or
  • the most recently submitted midterm report dates covered to the nearest previous month ending date. 

 After reviewing your contact information, select the 'Save Address and Continue' button.

When completing the report, you can select 'Submit' if you are ready to submit, or 'Save As Draft' if you need additional sessions to complete the report.

To begin an application, scroll to the bottom and click on the 'Submit' button.  1st time users of the Submittable™ platform will be prompted to create a required profile for application submission.  Returning users will be prompted to update their privacy settings.

For more information, click on the TBPG GUIDELINES:

PURPOSE:  The Tribal Business Planning Grants (TBPG) of the Indian Country Economic Development Program funding is intended to assist tribal governments in deploying comprehensive business planning strategies and activities.

ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS:    The governing bodies of each of Montana’s eight tribal governments are the only eligible applicants for this portion of the Program.  Note: If a tribal government fails to make application by the deadline, other Native American tribal organizations (other than the recognized tribal governments) may make application for the funding.  The tribal organization must be a legal entity in the State of Montana with the ability to enter into agreements or contracts.

GRANT AMOUNT: A maximum of $30,000 per fiscal year is available.  The Department retains sole and broad discretion over the use of any funds not applied for by an eligible governing body by September 30, 2021.

FORMS TO COMPLETE AND UPLOAD FOR APPLICATION: Download, complete, save to a local drive, and then upload with the application.

Information to gather before starting the application:

  • Tribal resolution authorizing application and specifying activity.

ELIGIBLE USES OF GRANT FUNDS:  Eligible activities include the following activities evidenced by tangible deliverables (i.e. ordinances, codes, business planning, study, and analysis documents, etc.):

  • Business plan development
  • Market analysis
  • Feasibility study
  • Physical business infrastructure planning, such as zoning
  • Legal and financial codification or ordinances benefiting business(es)

TBPG funds can be used to match other funding sources in the above areas as long as the funding is not duplicative.  The following activities will not be funded: 

  • Operation and maintenance costs or expenses;
  • Financial expenses, included but not limited to interest expense, bond issuance costs, or any other debt-related costs or expenses;
  • Reimbursement for activities completed prior to application;
  • Reimbursement for activities not related to business planning; 
  • Duplicative reimbursement for activities receiving funding for the same services, equipment, or improvements through any other local, state, or federal grant or funding program, except as necessary to fully fund the project; or
  • Projects whose primary development will be a casino or other gambling establishment, aquarium, zoo, golf course, or swimming pool.

REVIEW CRITERIA FOR APPLICATIONS:  The Program will first review the application for completeness and sufficiency.  During the review, the Program may contact the applicant to discuss any concerns or questions or to request additional information or documentation.  The Program may require additional information from the applicant to clarify information presented in the application.  Site visits by the Program may be made to the proposed project area for the purpose of verifying or further evaluating information contained in the application.
After the application is deemed complete and sufficient information is available to evaluate the proposed project(s), the application will be evaluated on the extent to which the project proposal meets the goals and objectives of the Program, using the following criteria:

  • Potential for the project to help applicants make more strategic decisions about the start-up, expansion, or diversification of a tribal enterprise or venture.
  • Likelihood that a specified feasibility study is of sufficient magnitude to have a significant economic impact on the future economic development of the reservation;
  • Likelihood that the specified planning activity will provide important or relevant guidance for decision making in the development of land, resources, business, financial or legal infrastructure.
  • Overall quality of the application, including measurable project goals, tasks, and activities, a well-developed work plan and budget, and easily identifiable deliverables.
  • Capability of the applicant to undertake and satisfactorily complete the project and ensure proper management and reporting of Program funds (i.e. use of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles- GAAP).

The Program will present the evaluation of each application to an internal Grant Review Committee.   The applicant can notify the Program if he/she would like to make a 10-minute presentation to the Grant Review Committee.  The Committee will review the application and make a preliminary funding recommendation to the Director of the Department, who makes the final funding decision.

RECEIPT OF APPLICATION AND GRANT NOTIFICATION:  Once a project has been approved by the Director, The Tribe will be notified of award.  A contract will be executed between the Department and the tribal government by a digital routing and signature process requiring a valid email for the digital execution of the contract by the tribal signatory.  If an application has not been approved, program staff will notify the authorized application preparer and will work with staff to modify or improve the application.

Montana Dept. of Commerce - Indian Country Programs