Montana Distressed Wood Products Industry Recovery and Stabilization (WPIRS) Program
The Montana Distressed Wood Products Industry Recovery and Stabilization (WPIRS) Program is a federally and state-funded, statewide loan program designed to help businesses in the wood products industry retain or create jobs. The program is a top priority of Governor Brian Schweitzer and was established in 2009 to respond to the sudden and severe economic downturn of the national economy, and the lowered demand for wood products. The WPIRS program will target areas of the state where timber jobs are most threatened, particularly in counties with lumber mills and similar facilities.
The Montana Department of Commerce (MDOC), Business Resources Division administers the WPIRS program which is comprised of three funding sources:
- Economic Development Administration (EDA), U.S. Department of Commerce,
- The Community Development Block Grant – Economic Development (CDBG-ED) Program, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and
- The State of Montana General Fund (State WPIRS).
The total amount available for loans to Montana's wood products industry was $11.3 million.
Potential applicants are encouraged to contact the MDOC to discuss their proposed project with WPIRS Staff.
For State and EDA WPIRS funding, the maximum funding amount is $20,000 per created or retained job. No proposal(s) for an assisted business in any calendar year may exceed $2 million in funding requests from any WPIRS program, or combination of WPIRS programs.
State WPIRS funding may be loaned to individuals, including private contractors related to the wood products industry; or businesses defined as small businesses pursuant to the regulations promulgated by the United States small business administration pursuant to 13 CFR 121, et seq. Loans must be made to individuals or small businesses that are part of the critical, primary wood processing infrastructure and have suffered economic hardships.
State WPIRS loans may be used for: working capital, purchase or lease of land or equipment, updating infrastructure, debt service, etc. Businesses must provide at least one non-WPIRS dollar for each dollar of State WPIRS funds requested (a 1:1 leveraged ratio). State WPIRS recipients must comply with a variety of Montana Reinvestment Act (HB 645) requirements. Please see the State WPIRS Application Guidelines for more detailed information - http://recovery.mt.gov/Commerce/WPIRS/statewpirs.mcpx
Currently the State WPIRS loan fund has $1,339,600 available for lending.
EDA WPIRS funding may be loaned to individuals, including private contractors related to the wood products industry, and wood product businesses.
EDA WPIRS loans may be used for assistance to businesses to primarily provide working capital, equipment loans, and other activities that do not include contracted labor and construction. Businesses must provide at least two non-WPIRS dollars for each dollar of EDA WPIRS funds requested (a 2:1 leveraged ratio). EDA WPIRS recipients must comply with a variety of EDA and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) requirements. Please see the EDA WPIRS Application Guidelines for more detailed information - http://recovery.mt.gov/Commerce/WPIRS/edawpirs.mcpx
Currently the EDA WPIRS loan fund has $493,000 available for lending.
There are no funds available for the CDBG WPIRS program at this time.
WPIRS PROJECT SUMMARIES
State and EDA WPIRS Project Summary FY 2009
State and EDA WPIRS Project Summary FY 2010
CDBG WPIRS Project Summary CY 2009 (pg 9-13)
WOOD PRODUCTS REVOLVING LOAN FUND
REPORT ON OUTCOME MEASURES AS REQUIRED BY MCA 90-1-503
The 2009 Legislature approved HB669 which created the Montana "Distressed Wood Products Industry Recovery Loan Program" - now referred to as the Wood Products Revolving Loan Fund.
The program was codified at Montana Code Annotated (MCA) 90-1-501 through 504. Pursuant to MCA 90-1-503, the Department is required to provide a status report of the distressed wood products industry loan account to the economic affairs interim committee. In accordance with MCA 90-1-503, the following report was presented to this committee on September 11, 2012.
Wood Products Revolving Loan Fund Status Report