Commerce Connection

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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. 

Submit your comments by Monday, April 27 for full consideration by the task force.

Send your suggestions here

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PPP Applications to Resume Monday

Today President Trump signed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act into law. For small business owners this means that the Paycheck Protection Program will resume.

The SBA will begin accepting PPP applications on Monday, April 27 at 8:30 a.m. Mountain Time.

For more information, visit the SBA's website.

Governor Bullock

Governor Bullock Announces Plan to Begin Phased Reopening of Montana

Governor Steve Bullock this week announced a gradual and phased reopening of the state beginning Sunday for individuals, and extending to businesses on Monday.

“There are very few states in the country that can say they have seen the number of positive cases decline over these past weeks. Montana can say that because, together, we have made that decline in cases possible,” Governor Bullock said. “While there is reason for optimism this is not a time for celebration. I am going to ask Montanans to continue to go to great lengths to protect one another, to continue looking out for our neighbors who need it the most, and to continue being vigilant in every step we take.”

The plan to reopen gradually was is based on the latest scientific evidence and data, and in consultation with public health experts, health care providers, business leaders, and emergency management professionals. The Governor’s plan is detailed in a Directive and accompanying Appendix with guidelines for certain industries.


  • The Governor’s phased reopening plan leaves in place Montana’s 14-day quarantine for out-of-state travelers. That quarantine requirement will be in place for the duration of the declared emergency. This means someone who has traveled to Montana for non-work related purposes must quarantine for 14 days or the duration of the trip – whichever is shorter.
  • Effective Sunday, April 26:
    • Places of worship can become operational with reduced capacity and where strict physical distancing protocols can be maintained between non-household members. Places of worship should avoid gathering in groups of more than 10 people in circumstances that do not readily allow for appropriate physical distancing.
  • Effective Monday, April 27:
    • Main Street and retail businesses can become operational with reduced capacity and where strict physical distancing protocols can be maintained.
    • Outdoor recreation can become operational if sites adhere to strict physical distancing between groups and exercise frequent sanitation protocols if public facilities are open.
  • Effective Monday, May 4:
    • Restaurants, bars, breweries, distilleries, and casinos can become operational on or after May 4, 2020 under strict physical distancing and reduced capacity.
  • Effective immediately through the end of the emergency:
    • Gyms, pools, and hot tubs remain closed.
    • Other places of assembly remain closed (e.g., movie and performance theaters, concert halls, bowling alleys, bingo halls, and music halls).



  • Montana COVID-19 Hotline: 1-888-333-0461 or 
  • Montana Coronavirus task force: COVID19@MT.GOV
  • If you are a business owner and have questions related to the April 22 announcement detailing the phased approach to reopening and how the plan applies to you directly, please call 1-800-755-6672.

  • If your question relates to unemployment insurance/benefits, please contact the Department of Labor and Industry at 406-444-2545. If you think you are eligible for unemployment benefits accessible to workers laid off due to COVID-19, you can apply for benefits online at: or contact the Unemployment Insurance Division over the phone at 406-444-2545.

  • CDC:
  • Visit Montana: VISITMT.COM or 1-800-847-4868


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. 



Emergency Housing Assistance Now Available for Families Hardest Hit by COVID-19

Families who have suffered substantial financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 may now apply for rental assistance through the Emergency Housing Assistance program.

“As we ask Montanans to stay home to slow the spread of COVID-19, it’s important that all Montana families have a home to stay in,” Montana Department of Commerce Director Tara Rice said. “The new Emergency Housing Assistance program takes a big step forward to help make sure more Montanans retain their homes.”

In accordance with Governor Bullock’s April 13 Directive, Emergency Housing Assistance will help residents stay in their current home or help obtain housing by providing rental assistance and security deposit assistance to Montanans who are eligible for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

Eligible families must include at least one child under 18 and suffer from a substantial loss of income due to COVID-19. A family of four must have a monthly income of $4,367 or less and less than $3,000 in readily available assets such as cash or savings. 

Applicants can expect to have their applications reviewed within 5-10 days. Once approved, a monthly rental payment or security deposit will be mailed or directly deposited from Montana Housing at the Department of Commerce to the applicant’s landlord. 

Approximately $430,000 in TANF funds allocated to the Department will be used to launch the relief program. Additional state or federal funds may be added to the program. 

For complete eligibility requirements and application information visit HOUSING.MT.GOV.


Montana Housing Guidance, FAQ on COVID-19

UPDATE: The March 30 and April 13 Directives to limit foreclosures, evictions, and disconnections from service and all of their terms are extended through May 24, 

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.

REMINDER: 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.