Commerce Connection

montana department of commerce

How Montana Manufacturers Can Help With COVID-19 Critical Supplies

The Montana Manufacturing Extension Center has developed a resource page [] for Montana manufacturers to assist with the development and production of supplies that are needed to slow the spread of and respond to the novel coronavirus or COVID-19.

MMEC will provide assistance to your company at no charge for services to assist in making critical items and/or to help keep your company afloat during this difficult time.  Please contact us [] for more information.

If you are a health provider, emergency responder, or other organization on the frontline of the fight against the spread of Coronavirus and are in need of manufactured products to safeguard your employees and/or the public, please contact us [] and we will help connect you with manufacturers in the state.

Manufacturers across the country have pulled together an open-source list of specs on how to make things like hand sanitizer, face masks and ventilators. That open-source guide is here: []

Governor Bullock Announces Extension of Closures, Mandates Social Distancing


Governor Steve Bullock Tuesday issued a directive to extend closures of public schools and dine-in food service and alcoholic beverage businesses through April 10 and mandate social distancing measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Montana.

“Montanans have an obligation to slow the spread of this virus. Our fellow Montanans can all continue to set a good example for each other in adhering to social distancing directives – and know that it will save lives,” Governor Bullock said. “For every person who stays at home and avoids non-essential gatherings, the better our chances to fight this virus and protect our frontline health care workers and emergency responders.”

Governor Bullock announced that effective immediately, non-essential social and recreational gatherings of individuals outside of a home or place of residence of greater than ten people are prohibited, if a distance of at least six feet between individuals cannot be maintained. This measure is consistent with actions taken in other states to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Retail businesses are also required to establish, implement, and enforce social distancing policies to ensure a minimum of six feet between customers, effective March 28, 2020. This requirement does not apply to grocery, health care, medical, or pharmacy services, although they are also encouraged to comply with social distancing protocols if possible.

School districts should follow the planning guidance provided in the March 19, 2020 Directive to seek waivers of pupil instruction time and obtain continued state funding during this period.

The Directive, like its predecessor orders, is a public health order enforceable by county attorneys. It preempts all county health ordinances if they are less restrictive.

Montana is also preparing for a potential surge of patients needing hospital care. On Monday, Governor Bullock announced a Directive that temporarily waives the bidding process to quickly procure or distribute emergency supplies or contract for additional space to care for patients. Additionally, the directive streamlines the process for releasing patients and discharging them back to their home communities without delay as they recover, which will free up beds and equipment for new patients.

The full Directive is here. 


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. 




Business Impact Survey: Montana Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research 

ITRR at the University of Montana is surveying tourism-related business owners and managers to understand what impacts COVID-19 is having on businesses. This is a follow-up survey to one they did in mid-March prior to any confirmed cases of the virus in Montana.

Respond to the follow-up survey within the next 48 hours

COVID-19 & Main Street Webinar Series

The National Main Street Center will be hosting two webinars specifically for Main Street programs on the short-term and long-term effects of COVID-19:

Thu, Mar 26, 2020 12:00 PM - 1:15 PM EDT | COVID-19 & Main Street: Supporting Local Safely Join us for this webinar program for updates from the National Federation of Independent Businesses on the impact to the business community and current resources and guidance, followed by a panel discussion of local program directors and the work they are doing to #SupportLocalSafely. Learn more and register here. []

Tue, Mar 31, 2020 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM EDT | COVID-19 & Main Street: Organizational Health Check-Up Join this "check-up" with Kathy LaPlante of NMSC and Donna Ann Harris of Heritage Consulting to learn about how your organization should prepare to weather this crisis, think through long-term needs, and focus on your most important work. Learn more and register here. [] 


Montana Housing Guidance, FAQ on COVID-19

Montana Housing at the Department of Commerce is updating guidance and frequently asked questions as it relates to coronavirus. 

One of the most common questions we are getting is over foreclosure or late mortgage payment concerns. On March 18,  FHA announced a foreclosure and eviction moratorium for all FHA-insured Single Family mortgages for a period of 60 days, and USDA insured loans are also subject to a 60 day foreclosure moratorium. 

Learn more and find answers to more frequently asked questions here.

TSEP Consideration 

Due to the repercussions of COVID-19, the Montana Department of Commerce has received many public comments expressing concern over the May 1, 2020 TSEP Construction application deadline. Commerce is taking these comments under consideration.  Based on this ongoing public comment: we anticipate: (1) extending the application deadline to June 12, 2020, or later; and (2) allowing TSEP Construction Application public meeting documentation to be submitted any time up until August 3, 2020.  These extended dates will be confirmed at the end of the public comment period on March 27. Public comment on this matter is ongoing, as detailed above.

Covid19 Info

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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. Responding to the census is easy, and your official Census ID number is not needed to fill out the form online or by phone. 

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.