Commerce Connection

montana department of commerce
Governor Bullock with workers

Governor Bullock wants to hear from you

Governor Steve Bullock has launched the Coronavirus Relief Fund Task Force to provide guidance and advice on how to best use $1.25 billion appropriated to Montana through the Federal CARES Act to assist workers, businesses, and sectors of the economy impacted by COVID-19.

In addition to the 26-member task force, the Governor is seeking public input on how to best put the $1.25 billion to use. 

Send your suggestions here

Logo PNG

3 Montana Health Care Centers to Receive $1.4 Million in Emergency Loans

Three Montana health care centers will receive emergency loan dollars made available by the Montana Facility Finance Authority through a governor’s directive issued late last month. Two additional facilities have financing in process.

On March 31, Governor Steve Bullock issued a Directive to support small, rural hospitals and facilities in need of operating expenses because of the strain COVID-19 has put on healthcare organizations. As hospitals have pushed back non-critical procedures and patient appointments to slow the spread of novel Coronavirus and to prepare for caring for virus patients, some Montana hospitals report having no available cash on hand, or only days’ worth of operating funding available. 

“In a matter of 16 days we’ve been able to fund three emergency loans and are in the process of funding two more that will keep the doors open and essential healthcare workers paid at facilities across Montana,” MFFA Executive Director Adam Gill said. “We continue to work with health care centers daily to ensure rural and small facilities remain open and able to provide access to quality health care for Montanans.” 

Loans have been made to or are in process for:

  • McCone County Health in Circle, $400,000 Emergency Loan and Emergency Forbearance was approved on its three existing MFFA Direct Loans  
  • Roosevelt Medical Center in Culbertson, in process 
  • Glendive Medical Center in Glendive, $500,000 Emergency Loan  
  • Alluvion Health in Great Falls, $500,000 Emergency Loan 
  • Granite County Medical Center in Philipsburg, in process 

The short-term, low-interest rate emergency loans are available for up to $500,000. Learn more at

Details: Healthcare Facility Assistance Programs Now Available 

The Emergency Loan Program

The purpose of the Emergency Loan Program is for the MFFA to make short-term loans to eligible institutions at competitive interest rates during periods of declared emergency. Eligible projects include construction and renovation, facility acquisition, refinancing of qualified outstanding debt, the purchase of equipment, operations expenses, and financing costs. This is the first time in MFFA history that it has been able to fund operational expenses. The Maximum loan amount is $500,000 with an interest rate of 2.00%.

For more information and for the application click here:

The Emergency Forbearance Program

The Emergency Forbearance Program is limited to current Direct and Trust Fund Loan clients of the MFFA. The program allows for interest and payments to be deferred for an initial three month period and up to six months if required. Unpaid principal and interest accrued will be added to the loan’s final payment. 

For more information and for the application click here:


Governor Bullock Announces Successful Infrastructure Bond Sale to Help Boost Economy Following COVID-19

Governor Steve Bullock has announced the state successfully sold bonds at a historically low interest rate and can move forward with infrastructure projects across Montana. The sale of $33 million in bonds will allow the state to begin construction projects that will create jobs and stimulate the economy as soon the projects are ready and it is safe to do so.

“I’m pleased that Montana has upheld its strong ratings and was able to sell bonds at a historically low rate to move forward with planning and designing critical infrastructure projects across the state,” Governor Bullock said. “By selling bonds today, we are ensuring that when the time comes, we can immediately boost our economy by putting shovels to dirt and creating good-paying jobs.”

Montana’s sale of $33 million in infrastructure bonds results in an estimated $55.3 million investment in our communities. This investment in critical infrastructure will support an estimated 412 jobs and more than $20.5 million in wages.  

Read more 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. 


Rental home

Governor Bullock to Provide Emergency Rental Assistance to Families Hardest Hit by COVID-19

In accordance with Governor Bullock’s April 13, 2020 Directive, Montana Housing will provide rent and security deposit assistance to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or TANF eligible Montanans who have suffered substantial financial hardship as a result of the novel Coronavirus or COVID-19.

This new emergency program uses TANF funds allocated to Montana Housing for emergency housing assistance, including rent and security deposit assistance, to support TANF eligible households to stay in their homes or obtain housing.

Details on how to apply will be made available Friday, April 17 at HOUSING.MT.GOV. 


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. 

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



Covid19 Info


Commerce Awards Planning Grants to 9 Montana Communities

The Montana Department of Commerce announced Wednesday that nine Montana communities will share more than $132,000 in planning grants through the Treasure State Endowment Program (TSEP). The grants will be used to initiate the development of infrastructure projects in Montana communities.

“With the uncertainty we are facing at this time, it is important that we continue with an eye to the future to support engineering planning work for critical infrastructure to improve the health and safety of Montana communities,” Montana Department of Commerce Director Tara Rice said. “These TSEP grants will help towns plan infrastructure projects that provide clean and safe water and improve a community’s resiliency for the next generation.” 

See the full list of awardees here.

TSEP Construction Application Deadline Extended

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 has: (1) extended the application deadline to June 12, 2020; and (2) will allow TSEP Construction Application public meeting documentation to be submitted any time up until August 3, 2020. 


4 Montana Communities to Receive Coal Trust Funding to Develop Affordable Rental Homes

The Montana Department of Commerce has announced that four Montana communities will receive funding to support the rehabilitation of existing affordable rental homes through the Multifamily Coal Trust Homes program. 

“Now more than ever it is crucial we provide support for communities, infrastructure and the development of affordable homes,” Montana Department of Commerce Director Tara Rice said. “Montanans need an affordable place to live, it is foundational for families, individuals and a community’s ability to grow and thrive.”

The program makes available dollars to develop affordable rental homes by providing housing developers with low-interest rate loans. The loans can be used for projects such as new construction, acquisition and/or rehabilitation of existing multifamily rental homes, acquisition of land for multifamily rental homes and land trusts for mobile or manufactured homes. When the loans are paid off, the money returned will be redistributed and used to fund the development of additional homes. 

The Montana Board of Housing has approved the following projects for funding contingent on receiving additional required information to close the loans. 

  • Havre | Affiliated Developers, Inc: $3,600,000 to acquire and preserve 60 affordable homes for individuals and families at Oakwood Village. 
  • Helena | Wishcamper Development Partners: $2,674,631 to acquire and preserve 44 affordable homes for seniors and tenants with special needs at Fire Tower Apartments.
  • Joliet and Laurel | GL Development: $5,173,486 to acquire and preserve 62 affordable homes for seniors at Pleasant View Apartments (Joliet) and Spruce Grove Apartments (Laurel).

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.

  • Did you know that $1 billion each year are allocated for Montana healthcare programs alone. Montana hospitals, clinics, Medicare, the Children’s Health Insurance Program and more receive funding that depends on an accurate count. 
  • The Census also provides the critical population data needed to prevent the transmission of communicable and infectious diseases. An undercount means states don’t have the right demographic information when trying to establish rates around disease tracking, outbreaks, and distribute the correct amount of public health resources to impacted areas in Montana. The government and health care providers are currently using census population data at every level to direct efforts and funding during the COVID-19 pandemic.