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Here's a look at some business news in western Montana.

Green Ridge Biosolutions US Inc. is relocating its headquarters to Ronan to facilitate the expansion of its hemp processing and manufacturing. The company aims to create a more collaborative workspace and grow its manufacturing operations office as demand for products increase.

Green Ridge Biosolutions is a manufacturer of full-spectrum hemp extracts and topical products infused with hemp-derived CBD. Its Ronan facility will grow to more than 30 employees over the coming months. Located at 63298 U.S. Highway 93, the company in the 16,000-square-foot facility expects to be in operation in the new space by Oct. 15.

"Green Ridge Biosolutions is one of only a few hemp CBD product manufactures capable producing high-quality hemp extract from its own farms in volumes that can meet significantly increasing market demand," said Sam Belanger, chief operating officer of Green Ridge, in a statement.

The high-quality 100% Montana-grown hemp will be processed through proprietary extraction methods to create full-spectrum hemp extract that will be used in Green Ridge Biosolutions products for sale in 2019 and 2020, the company said.

“Through our farms and farmer partnerships, we are able to produce high-quality products without being subject to constantly fluctuating market prices ... ,” said Belanger in a statement.  “This allows us to have better control and predictability over our cost of goods sold and thereby our gross margins.” 

The Montana Community Development Corporation, MoFi, has received a $187,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration to help emerging micro-entrepreneurs gain access to capital.

The PRIME grant will help low-income entrepreneurs gain access to capital to establish and expand their small businesses through the Program for Investment in Micro-Entrepreneurs. The 2019 PRIME Grant will help MoFi offer training and technical assistance to strengthen economically disadvantaged businesses.

“Montana has achieved a great amount of national attention for its innovative outreach efforts to rural communities and high-tech businesses,” said SBA Montana District Director Wayne Gardella in a statement. “This PRIME grant to MoFi will allow the organization to focus its lending outreach energies on mostly rural areas across Big Sky Country.”

“Entrepreneurs in rural areas face a unique set of obstacles when it comes to starting or growing a business,” said MoFi President and CEO David Glaser in a statement. “The SBA PRIME award will enable MoFi to help even more of its borrowers overcome these challenges. ... We're grateful for our longstanding partnership with the SBA, and look forward to our continuing collaboration to help rural businesses thrive.”

The Montana Manufacturing Extension Center, MMEC, invites people to take a free facility tour of KettleHouse Brewing Co. and enjoy a keynote presentation from Robert Gibson and Matt Dietrich with SIMMS Fishing Products — named the 2018 Montana Manufacturer of the Year by the Montana Manufacturing Association. Find out more about how manufacturing benefits the local economy, offers higher paying careers, and is a great contributor to local communities.

Pants and closed-toed shoes are required to attend this event.

The program starts on Thursday, Oct. 3, and will be held at the KettleHouse in Bonner. Learn more and register your team at the event website, or contact Shane Cantrell with MMEC by email or by phone at 406-595-0679 shane.cantrell@montana.edu.

AmeriCorps is celebrating its 25th anniversary of national service with 10,000 Montana residents serving since 1994.

President Bill Clinton swore-in the first class of 20,000 members on September 12, 1994. Twenty-five years later, more than one million Americans have served across the country, providing more than 1.5 billion hours of service and earning more than $3.6 billion in Eli Segal Education Awards.

“On the 25th anniversary of AmeriCorps, we celebrate the tens of thousands of members in Montana who have dedicated millions of hours of service over the years to unite and support our local communities,” Gov. Steve Bullock said in a statement from AmeriCorps. “There’s no doubt that AmeriCorps members have made and will continue to make a lasting difference to those in need while strengthening our tradition of giving back in Montana.”

Since the program’s inception, Montanans have served 9.9 million hours and received more than $23.8 million in Eli Segal Education Awards. Montana was recently recognized as 6th in the nation for producing AmeriCorps members by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that supports AmeriCorps and other national service programs.

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