SHERIDAN — A Montana and Idaho-based nonprofit opened lines for potential tax breaks for large enterprise projects in the future.
The Montana and Idaho Community Development Corporation received a $65 million award to invest in businesses and jobs. The company, with its recent expansion to Wyoming, chose to dedicate a portion of that specifically to its Wyoming market.
The $65 million award comes through the U.S. Treasury’s New Markets Tax Credit Program, which goes directly to businesses that create jobs, stimulate growth and deliver critical community services in areas of high poverty, low wages and high unemployment, according to a press release.
The nonprofit’s president and CEO Dave Glaser said it received a few calls regarding the funds but could not reveal the names just yet.
“Any time we’re working with companies that are thinking about working with us, it’s confidential,” Glaser said. “Once we close financing on projects, we will let (the community) know.”
Glaser said nonprofit staff members spoke with a few manufacturing companies that are interested in expanding or locating to Sheridan and other places in Wyoming. He said manufacturing businesses would be perfect to receive these funds, as Sheridan doesn’t have any low -income-specific areas.
“Manufacturing companies tend to avoid large numbers of low-income people,” Glaser said.
Any project costing $8 million or more is the best candidate for these program’s funds.
“It’s exciting to see a company like MICDC expanding into Wyoming,” said Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead in the release. “As the state moves forward in diversifying our economy, access to capital for business, especially small business, becomes increasingly important.”
Another opportunity available to Sheridan and other communities in Wyoming is the small business loan product, which runs separately from the new market tax credits. MICDC approves loans for those businesses barely missing an opportunity to receive lending from a bank due to minimal collateral or small equity.
“If you’ve been to a bank and they say, ‘We can’t help you right now,’ they should give us a call,” Glaser said.
With the Sheridan High-Tech Business Park ramping up thanks to expansion by Vacutech and relocation of Weatherby, Inc. headquarters, Glaser said the new funding source comes at the perfect time. The Sheridan Economic and Educational Development Authority Joint Powers Board received an update Monday from city of Sheridan public works director Lane Thompson, who spoke of Vacutech’s continued plan for expansion. In addition, the board approved contracts to Dick Anderson Construction to serve as construction manager at risk, and ratified the contract with Arete Design for its schematic designs and design developments for Weatherby.
While Glaser did not say if Weatherby, Inc. reached out to MICDC, projects similar to Weatherby’s relocation — a $12 million venture by a manufacturing company — are ideal candidates for the new funding source by MICDC.