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Action Plumbing Plus, Inc., Great Falls

2020 Census is Live!

It's never been easier to self-respond to the Census


Montanans can now begin filling out their Census forms online or by phone at or 1-844-330-2020. In conjunction with the beginning of the 2020 Census, Montana’s Complete Count Committee is releasing its final public service announcement encouraging Montanans to respond.

“In Montana we count everything,” a Montana rancher says as he counts cattle running out of his gate. “Fill Out Your Form” features Montana elementary school kids, a rancher, and military personnel as they explain why an accurate count matters to Montana. This Census 2020 public service announcement will be airing on broadcast television and radio stations statewide and will run through mid-May when the Census self-response phase ends. This spot is available for download in :30 second radio and TV ads and :15 and :06 second digital ads.

It has never been easier to respond to the Census on your own, all without having a census taker come to your door.

Distributed by the Montana Broadcasters Association, this public service announcement will also be available for individual download and distribution on CENSUS.MT.GOVFacebook, YouTube, and Vimeo. Individuals, businesses, and organizations are encouraged to download the videos and share them on their websites, social media platforms, newsletters, or other digital communication channels along with the Census self-response website, and phone number to encourage every Montanan to fill out their form.

Counting everyone in Montana is critical because it determines the state’s share of federal funding over the next decade, it shapes local voting districts, and it determines whether Montana will get another representative in Congress.

Montana receives an estimated $2 billion in federal funds each year based on Census data. For every Montana resident counted, a Census study estimates the state will receive $20,000 over the decade for things like schools, healthcare and highways.

Find additional resources and to learn more about how Montana is preparing for the Census at CENSUS.MT.GOV.

Download “Fill Out Your Form” here:

Responding to COVID-19

Governor Bullock Announces Closure of Dine-In Food Service and Alcoholic Beverage Businesses, and Other Activities that Pose Enhanced Risks to Curtail Spread of COVID-19

To curtail the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Montana, Governor Steve Bullock today announced measures to close dine-in food service and alcoholic beverage businesses and other activities that pose enhanced health risks, effective at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 20, 2020. This Directive expires at 11:59 p.m. on March 27, 2020, the same day that school closures are set to expire, though the date will likely be extended. 

“Both young and older Montanans, in urban and rural communities, have tested positive for coronavirus, making it even more clear that this virus impacts us all and that these actions are imperative to protecting our friends and neighbors,” said Governor Bullock. “We face extraordinary health risks – and with it even further risks to our economic and social well-being – if we do not act now. I do not take this decision lightly and it was done so in consultation with public health professionals. Montanans, too, need to take this seriously. It’s up to all of us to stop the spread of this virus.”

Under the Directive, the following places are closed to ingress, egress, use, and occupancy by members of the public:

  • Restaurants, food courts, cafes, coffeehouses, and other similar establishments offering food or beverage for on-premises consumption.
  • Alcoholic beverage service businesses, including bars, taverns, brew pubs, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, tasting rooms, special licensees, clubs, and other establishments offering alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption.
  • Cigar bars.
  • Health clubs, health spas, gyms, aquatic centers, pools and hot springs, indoor facilities at ski areas, climbing gyms, fitness studios, and indoor recreational facilities.
  • Movie and performance theaters, nightclubs, concert halls, bowling alleys, bingo halls, and music halls. 
  • Casinos.

The places subject to this Directive are permitted and encouraged to offer food and beverage using delivery service, window service, walk-up service, drive-through service, or drive-up service, and to use precautions in doing so to mitigate the potential transmission of COVID-19, including social distancing.

Read Governor Bullock's full Directive here

Downtown Kalispell

Governor Bullock Announces Emergency Loans Now Available for Small Businesses in Montana

Governor Steve Bullock announced Tuesday that small businesses across Montana impacted by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) are now eligible to apply for emergency loans through the Small Business Administration.

Note: Businesses in every Montana county are eligible to apply for these loans, but as of this email just 30 counties had access to the application. The SBA is working to get the remaining 26 counties added to the online application system.

Businesses may now apply directly to the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program here.

Governor Bullock with workers

Governor Bullock Announces Emergency Rules to Streamline Unemployment Benefits for Workers Impacted by COVID-19

The United States Department of Labor approved a request from the Montana Department of Labor & Industry to support workers financially impacted by COVID-19. 

The rules allow a claimant directed by their employer to leave work or not report to work due to COVID-19 to qualify as being temporarily laid off by the employer and eligible for benefits. Workers who must quarantine or who need to take care of a family member due to COVID-19 are also considered temporarily laid off and eligible for benefits.

Additionally, the emergency rules allow DLI to waive the one week waiting period before typically receiving benefits to ensure Montanans don’t experience a long gap without a paycheck.

People who think they are eligible for these benefits can apply for benefits online at: or contact the Unemployment Insurance Division over the phone at for UI benefits online or over the phone at: (406) 444-2545.


Montana Department of Labor Launches Workplace, Employer Resource for COVID-19 Questions

The Montana Department of Labor is posting frequently asked questions and resources for businesses and employees at its new webpage dedicated to providing novel coronavirus-related information. 


Montana Department of Commerce Updating Travel Industry Guidance 

Commerce is updating this webpost daily with new information and guidance for the tourism industry amid COVID-19. The State Department has advised that U.S. citizens abroad should return home unless staying for an indefinite period and that international travel should be avoided. Governor Bullock is advising that Montana citizens who have traveled internationally self-quarantine for 14 days and contact their local health department. 


This is a rapidly changing public health situation and it’s important to stay informed by following reputable sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.

The best way to prevent infection from COVID-19 and any respiratory virus is to avoid being exposed to the virus. The same preventative measures that are recommended during cold and flu season will also help to protect against coronavirus:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and often for at least 20 seconds using soap and water
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Cover your cough/sneeze with a tissue (or your elbow)
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

We urge the traveling public to stay informed, seek information from reputable sources, and take preventative measures like washing your hands to protect against COVID-19.



Montana COVID-19 Hotline: 1-888-333-0461 or 

Montana Coronavirus task forceCOVID19@MT.GOV

Montana Disaster and Emergency Services on: FacebookTwitterInstagram


Visit MontanaVISITMT.COM or 1-800-847-4868


Governor’s Conference on Tourism & Recreation Moved to April 18-20, 2021 in Billings

The annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism & Recreation will be moved to April 18 - 20, 2021 in Billings, Montana to protect against the possibility of spreading novel coronavirus or COVID-19. 

This change is in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control’s recommendation that public gatherings should be limited to fewer than 50 people for the next eight weeks. 

The Department of Commerce is monitoring the economic impacts of this public health situation in real time.

If you have already registered for the conference, you may choose to receive a full conference refund, or transfer your registration to 2021 here.

We are eager to gather next year in Billings, Montana to bring together tourism and recreation leaders from every corner of the state, and continue to elevate these industries by inspiring innovation, educating through on-the-ground insights, connecting partners across the state and experiencing all that Billings has to offer.


Virtual Public Hearings

To protect against the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Department of Commerce is shifting the following in-person meetings to virtual webinars: 

  • March 20 @ 10:00 a.m. | Public hearing for the Treasure State Endowment Program Construction Application Guidelines and Project Administration Manual | Join the public hearing via conference call:
    Call in Number: 1-877-273-4202, Access Code: 7865396
  • March 23 @ 11:00 a.m. | Public Hearing for the state of Montana 2020-2024 Consolidated Plan for Housing and Community Development and Analysis of Impediments | To participate in the public hearing via webinar, register here.
Covid19 Info

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Eastern Montana Business Named Retailer of the Year

Prairie Unique

A family owned business in Terry, Montana has been named the 2020 Made in Montana Retailer of the Year. Prairie Unique was honored by Lieutenant Governor Mike Cooney and Department of Commerce Director Tara Rice during Friday’s wholesale buyer day.

“Montana’s storefronts and small businesses fuel our state’s economy,” Director Rice said. “Prairie Unique helps to power the town of Terry and draws visitors from the region who are looking for authentic Made in Montana products. Small business owners like Dale and Kathy Galland showcase the best of what it means to be Made in Montana”

Prairie Unique sells authentic Made in Montana products at its store which is located along the Yellowstone River and near the Terry Badlands. Owner Dale Galland says every product that carries the Made in Montana logo is exceptional.

“We carry Made in Montana items, because it means dealing with professionals,” Galland said. “These are not craft or hobby items. Made in Montana members have chosen to make a living this way, and if they believe in the product – so do I, and we are proud to support them.”

Made in Montana members and local businesses nominated and voted for Prairie Unique to receive this distinct honor.

The annual Made in Montana Tradeshow for Food & Gifts connects wholesale buyers with 150 Made in Montana artists, food producers, craftspeople and entrepreneurs as buyers find authentic Montana-made products to fill their store shelves. This year, the event was limited to Friday’s wholesale buyer day to protect against the possibility of spreading novel coronavirus or COVID-19.

Other businesses honored include: