Montana, which now has more than 68,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, continues to struggle to control the virus. As a result, small town businesses have relied on federal and state government programs for financial assistance to keep their doors open.
Many businesses have taken advantage of Montana’s Coronavirus relief grant programs.
Business Adaptability Grants
The Business Adaptability Pro-gram provides reimbursement for COVID-19 expenses related to keeping staff and customers safe – from the purchase of personal protective equipment to resources needed for staff to work remotely.
Glacier County businesses applied and received $110,141 in grant funds. Toole County businesses received $43,686 in funding. Pondera County businesses were reimbursed $31,929 in grant funds.
Business Stabilization Grants
The Montana Business Stabilization Grant program provides working capital for small businesses to support payroll, rent, accounts payable, debt service and expenses related to shifts in operations in order to retain existing businesses, retain current employees or retain business viability for future re-employment.
Glacier County businesses applied for and received $4,585,622 in grant funds. Toole County businesses applied and received $630,963 in grant funding Pondera County businesses received $1,256,039 to keep their doors open.
East Edge of Glacier Park Tourism Business Grant
Tourism-reliant businesses in the Babb, St. Mary, East Glacier corridor were eligible to apply for a grant of up to 25 percent of their 2019 gross revenue based on a 2019 tax return. The maximum award available was $40,000.
Businesses in western Glacier County received $836,792 through the East Edge of Glacier Park Tourism Business Grant program.
According to Brenda Schilling, Executive Director of the Glacier County Regional Port Authority, the influx of grant money was definitely needed but now it is vital that area consumers continue to support these businesses.
“We are a rural community and I don’t know where we would be without our small businesses,” Schilling said. “This can’t be more important than it is now and if we don’t frequent these small businesses we are going to lose them.”
At times like this, it is more important than ever to support the businesses that fuel the local economies and that bring a sense of culture and community to the area. The recent Shop Small Saturday promotion encourages shoppers to support those same small businesses all year long. With no foreseeable end to the pandemic, Golden Triangle businesses are counting on their communities to support them now more than ever.