Martin Kidston

(Missoula Current) Two companies based in Missoula were awarded grants from the Montana Department of Commerce to create a combined 47 jobs that pay $22.83 an hour.

TOMIS Holdings Inc., founded by Evan Tipton in 2016 and the winner of the Montana Shark Tank pitch competition the following year, endured the pandemic and saw revenue grow 115% over 2019 figures.

On Tuesday, Missoula County approved a Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund grant in the amount of $125,000 to help the company create 25 jobs. Under the agreement, the jobs must be new and be positions the company has not filled before July.

“They provide marketing software and marketing service for outdoor recreation tour companies,” said Leidy Wagener with the Missoula Economic Partnership. “They'll be creating 25 jobs in Missoula County with a minimum wage of $22.83 an hour.”

TOMIS provides proprietary software and digital marketing assistance for tour operators, ranging from fishing guides to wine tasting. The software integrates and analyzes marketing and sales data – something that had been missing from the tourism industry.

The resulting data can boost the operator's bottom line and ensure the business is prominent in web-based searches.

“We've been hiring at a good pace over the last six months,” Tipton said earlier this year. “Given the position we're in with revenue growth, I'm in the middle of an investment round to expedite that growth and hire the 25 positions we're applying for.”

Missoula County on Tuesday also approved an agreement with DJ&A for $110,000. The architecture and engineering firm plans to create 22 new jobs with a minimum wage of $22.83 an hour.

The funding is provided by the Department of Commerce and contracted by Missoula County, which has designated the Missoula Economic Partnership as the project administrator.

Missoula County commissioners welcomed the job creation and the businesses' economic growth.

“It's good to see this coming to fruition,” said Commissioner Dave Strohmaier.

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