MONTANA – Nearly 13,000 small Montana businesses in every corner of the state have now received support through Governor Steve Bullock’s Business Stabilization and Business Adaptation grant programs, he announced Thursday. These two targeted relief programs are among more than 30 that were created in response to the pandemic.
“You kept me in business,” said Scott Buchholz who owns and operates Buchholz Custom Sawmilling in Dillon, Mont. “The Stabilization Grant filled in all the blanks – I didn’t have to worry about where I’d get the money to repair tools or buy inventory. It gave me a lot of peace of mind, and we are going to make it.”
Buchholz said of the relief program that it’s a good example of government working for Montanans. In fact, out of the 35 states for which complete data is available, Montana ranks 8th when it comes to spending its share of Coronavirus Relief Funds.
“Montana has been a leader in quickly and effectively deploying targeted support to the businesses that need it most,” said Governor Steve Bullock. “Businesses in every Montana county and in virtually every industry have accessed grant dollars to help weather the economic impacts created by the pandemic and emerge from it in a position that will allow them to continue serving their communities across the state.”
The Business Stabilization and Adaptability programs have now awarded almost $200 million to 12,944 small Montana businesses. The average grant awarded through the Business Stabilization program is $16,500, the average Adaptability reimbursement is $7,500. These dollars helped support professional service businesses, restaurants, coffee shops, outfitters and guides, sole proprietors, hotels, retail stores, manufacturers and more by providing working capital allowing businesses to buy inventory, cover rent and pay for adaptations needed to promote best public health practices.
“Receiving these funds assisted our small business in making necessary environmental changes in order to keep our clients and practitioners safer during these uncertain times,” said Jonathan Baum of the Business Adaptability Grant received by the Red Barn Wellness Collective in Kalispell, Mont. “On a larger scale these funds have allowed our doors to remain open to our local Flathead Valley community.”
“It helped smooth things out,” said Rock Creek Coffee Roasters owner Joel Gargaro. “Our business is in the middle of downtown Billings and COVID canceled everything this summer. [These dollars] helped cover the impact of losing the summer. Now, I think we’ll be fine.”
The deadline to apply for the Business Adaptability Program is Nov. 15. Applications are no longer being accepted for the Business Stabilization Program.
To date, more than $835 million has been awarded to businesses, nonprofits, homeowners, renters, schools, local governments and child-care providers across 32 relief programs created by the governor. Find a complete list of relief programs here: https://commerce.mt.gov/Montana-Coronavirus-Relief/Resources.