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“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”Margaret Mead

That’s how it works in Toole County! Through the efforts of city and county officials, local businesses and organizations, local residents and friends who love Shelby and Toole County, nearly $145,000 has been contributed to assist local businesses in re-opening and re-investing in their businesses!  

To date, Toole County Forward has distributed over $87,000 to assist 16 businesses in Shelby and North Toole County with payroll, rent, utilities, inventory and other costs of re-opening with applications continuing to be received daily. 

We are forever grateful to those who, through their generosity and care for our community, stepped up to create an incredible fund that, for some, has saved their business. The following businesses, organizations and individuals made Toole County Forward possible:

Travis and Sanna Clark, Simon’s Petroleum, Ben Taylor Inc., Dick Irvin Inc., Iverson Accounting, Gene and Mary Lou Mallette, Garrett and Holly Hovland, Kathy Turner, Robin Turner and Daniel Bowling, Guy and Shirley Dubois, Chrissy Bauman, Quinn and Angie (Hasquet) McCarthy, Nancy Irvin, Steve Swoboda, Leavitt Group Insurance, Margaret Maddock, Northern Telephone Cooperative, Duane and Jan Irvin, anonymous donor, City of Shelby and our most recent contributor, the Sunburst Community Foundation of Montana Community Foundation.

These incredible organizations, businesses and individuals, some of whom don’t even live in Shelby or Toole County, have created a legacy for future generations in the kindness and generosity shown during these very difficult times.

As a second phase of moving Toole County Forward, some of the donor funds have been earmarked to create and distribute Toole County Coins. In August, five thousand dollars of $20 wooden coins will be distributed to participating merchants throughout Toole County who will be paying them forward to customers. Businesses will display a poster identifying them as a Toole County Coins participating business. Businesses will then offer promotions or programs to distribute their coins, which shoppers can then use to shop local at any Toole County Forward Coins participating businesses. 

Businesses are prohibited from exchanging the “coin” for cash or giving back more than .99 in change. The excess change will be paid forward to the next customer.  Toole County Forward Coins will be circulating in August and September to support our local businesses.

Toole County Forward is making a difference in our business community. Please remember to shop local and support our local business owners who are our family, friends and neighbors trying to provide services and products that keep our community moving forward. Money is not the only help our merchants need, they need us all to support their businesses.

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