Columbia Falls Receives Department of Commerce Grant

The economic development grant is expected to create 70 jobs and generate nearly $6 million in investment for Columbia Falls

By Micah Drew
Nucleus Avenue in downtown Columbia Falls. Beacon File Photo

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) at the U.S. Department of Commerce announced Columbia Falls as the recipient of a $633,146 grant.

The grant, which will be matched by a local investment, is expected to create 70 jobs and generate $5.8 million in private investment.

“The Economic Development Administration plays an important role in helping communities implement their plans to provide the vital infrastructure that businesses need to be successful,” Acting Assistant Secretary for Economic Development Dennis Alvord said in a press release. “This EDA investment will accommodate the expansion of an innovative manufacturing firm and the Cedar Palace Medical Center and will help attract new businesses to the region.”

Money from the grant will be used to build and upgrade infrastructure in Columbia Falls. The project will reconstruct part of the roadway on 12th Avenue West, improve sewer systems and connect the business park to city sewer and water services.

“The coronavirus pandemic has hit Montana’s economy hard, and as our businesses work hard to turn things around, this funding will be a valuable support,” U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Montana, said. “These funds will help Columbia Falls build out critically needed infrastructure that will attract new businesses, create jobs, and put Montana’s economy back on the right track.”

Flathead County Economic Development (FCEC) led the planning efforts for the project. The combined efforts of FCEC and the ECA work together to stimulate the regional economy through job creation, infrastructure investment and public and private investment.

“Montana small businesses have faced incredible challenges throughout this pandemic and stepped up to continue providing essential services to our communities,” said U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Montana. “I am pleased to announce they are receiving needed support with these grants, so they can continue to thrive.”

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