Big Sky Finance is now an official entity with the successful merger of the business finance program of Big Sky Economic Development Corporation in Billings and the Montana Community Finance Corporation, based in Helena.

Both organizations were Certified Development Companies regulated by the SBA (US Small Business Administration), which approved the merger. The proposal to merge the two companies was launched, almost a year ago, with the concept of Billings serving as the main Big Sky Finance office, and the office in Helena serving as a satellite location.

Big Sky Finance will function with a staff of four under the direction of Brandon Berger, who has long served as EDC’s director of business finance.

Big Sky Finance, continuing as a Certified Development Company, will serve businesses throughout the state in packaging processing, closing and servicing SBA 504 loans.

With the two loan portfolios merged as one, the move helps EDC meet a goal of increasing its volume of loans and increasing investment in other areas of the state, said Berger.

Big Sky EDC was approved as a CDC for the state in 2005 and has obtained over $100 million in loan approval to assist over 150 small businesses. The EDC has a three person staff that manages a loan portfolio of 113 loans totaling over $43 million.

Since its formation in 1984, MCFC has obtained over $161 million in loan approvals involving over 430 businesses. MCFC currently has a three-person staff managing a loan portfolio of 113 loans totaling over $43 million.

Merging the two agencies results in cost savings and processing efficiencies.

“With the combined history and experienced staff, Big Sky Finance will be a strong partnership,” said Berger.

Berger projects goals for 2018 through 2020 of $13.5 million, $15 million and $17 million.