Commerce Connection

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Join the Montana Equal Pay for Equal Work Task Force and Zero to Five Montana Tuesday, July 14 at 12 p.m. for an engaging and interactive lunch-hour webinar about child care solutions for your workforce. The impacts of COVID-19 continue to be a new and challenging time for employees with young children who are balancing work and child care, and we hope this webinar will provide helpful resources to employers. This instructional webinar will focus on teleworking and flexible scheduling best practices. Speakers include leaders from Submittable, Anderson ZurMuehlen & Co., Meetings Northwest and a Q&A segment will help us all learn from each other about what's working well for you and your employees.

Register Here

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Now Accepting Applications

The Montana Business Adaptation Program provides reimbursement for COVID-19 expenses related to keeping staff and customers safe – from the purchase of personal protective equipment to resources needed for staff to work remotely. Eligible small business must be Montana-based, employ 50 or less, have incurred eligible adaptation expenses since March 1 due to COVID-19, and be in good standing with the Secretary of State or local tribal government. Nonprofit entities are eligible. Eligible expenses include costs related to communication, remote work equipment, cleaning supplies, tools to enhance social distancing and sanitation, travel and hotel costs related to quarantining workers. Total funding available is $20 million, the maximum reimbursement amount per business is $5,000.

The Montana Business Stabilization Grant program will provide working capital for small businesses to support payroll, rent, accounts payable, debt service and expenses related to shifts in operations in order to retain existing businesses, retain current employees or retain business viability for future re-employment. Eligible small business must be Montana-based, employ 50 or less, have sustained a loss of revenue since Feb. 15 due to COVID 19, and be in good standing with the Secretary of State or local tribal government. Nonprofit entities are not eligible. Total funding available is $75 million, the maximum award amount per business is $10,000. 

The Social Service Nonprofit Grant program provides grants of up to $10,000 per applicant are available for nonprofit organizations impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency to retain existing programs and services, employees, or organizational viability for provision of future services and operations. Eligible applicants are registered, Montana-based social service nonprofits that were operating prior to February 15, 2020. This includes senior services, housing services, transportation, public safety, energy assistance, economic development, job training, recreational services and tourism-related activities. Current funding available is $10 million. Deadline removed.

Apply Here 

Apply at Your Bank: Montana Loan Deferment Program

Governor Steve Bullock has created the Montana Loan Deferment Program to assist businesses impacted by COVID-19. The governor is directing $125 million to the program with $25 million specifically dedicated to hotels and restaurants and the remaining $100 million dedicated to other eligible borrowers.

The Montana Loan Deferment Program is facilitated by Montana banks, credit unions, and lending institutions in partnership with the State of Montana. Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) will be used to provide payments to participating lenders to convert existing commercial loans to interest only status, with the result being an existing borrower will be able to defer principal and interest payments on existing loans for a period of 6 to 12 months, thereby freeing up a significant amount of otherwise-dedicated capital for the borrower on a monthly basis. Upon approval, the State of Montana will provide a lump sum CRF payment to the lender in an amount equal to the following:

  • For borrower obligations with interest rates less than 6%, an amount equal to the full interest payments for the eligible term; or
  • For borrower obligations with interest rates of 6% or higher, an amount equal to 6% interest.
  • For the duration of the eligible term, the lender will lower the interest rate to 6% for the modified deferral period.
  • For variable rate loans, the interest rate used in the calculation will be the interest rate applicable to the loan at the time the application is submitted.
  • The maximum amount of CRF participation per loan note is $150,000.
  • Entities and individuals with multiple loans for one or several businesses will be allowed to apply for each individual loan


The be eligible, the borrower must certify to the following:

  • Borrower is current on all debt obligations, as of December 31, 2019
  • Borrower has experienced a 25% reduction in gross revenue – attributable to the direct or indirect impacts from COVID-19 – during a comparable YOY period
  • Borrower does not currently have access to 12 months of working capital from any other source, including owners, guarantors, affiliates, capital markets, etc.
  • The loan does not have an SBA 7A or 504 guarantee
  • Borrower is not a publicly traded company
  • Borrower is not engaged in any activity that is illegal under federal, state, or local law
  • Borrower can demonstrate business is located in Montana and registered with Secretary of State to do business in Montana
  • Borrower certifies accuracy of information provided and agrees certification is subject to all applicable laws – and punishable by law - pertaining to fraud and other false statements

Montana businesses should contact their lender to access the program.


Mortgage, Rental Assistance Available

Montana Housing’s Emergency Housing Assistance program provides rent, security deposit, mortgage payment, and/ or hazard insurance assistance for Montanans who have lost a job or substantial income loss as a result of COVID-19. 

Montana Housing will pay the difference between 30 percent of the household’s current gross monthly income and their eligible housing assistance costs, up to $2,000 a month. Household income limits range from $75,000-$125,000 based on family size. Montanans receiving other forms of housing assistance are not eligible.

Renters and homeowners can estimate their assistance payment using this calculator. 

Apply here

Transparency Dashboard Updated Weekly

The state of Montana has launched a dynamic dashboard that shows the Coronavirus Relief Fund grants that have been awarded to businesses and nonprofits. This dashboard will be updated weekly until all grant dollars have been expended. 



  • 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 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
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Montana’s Community Snapshot Testing Initiative:
An Invitation to Businesses to Partner in an Early Warning System for Tourism and Gateway Communities

Building from surveillance testing efforts at long term care facilities, with Tribal Nations and with front-line health care workers, the State is pursuing more frequent and widespread COVID-19 testing in order to support businesses and the tourism sector as they reopen in Montana.  The State, in concert with local public health officials, is actively recruiting partnerships with businesses in tourism destination areas to begin voluntary testing of employees who may have frequent interactions with nonresident travelers through the course of their work. The effort, known as Community Snapshot Testing, aims to develop an early warning system for a COVID-19 outbreak through one of the major risk factors facing the state—travel. This increase in testing will not only augment efforts to identify cases early and support COVID-19 response and mitigation measures, it will build a foundation that will better prepare businesses for possible increased exposure that may occur in the future.  

Governor Bullock’s Reopening the Big Sky plan has relied on individuals and businesses to provide leadership in adopting measures to mitigate COVID-19 risks. As a result, Montana enjoys one of the lowest rates of COVID-19 cases in the nation, allowing for the state to proceed with reopening and welcoming back visitors who are critical to our economy. Just as the Governor has asked residents to support local businesses by offering them more than their patronage – he is also asking our state’s visitors to do all they can to respect the decisions Montana businesses make to protect themselves, their employees, and the public.


  • Snapshot Testing Toolkit for Businesses 
    • Montana’s Community Snapshot Testing Initiative Brochure
    • Facility plan for cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting
    • Information about asymptomatic testing 
    • Calendar of upcoming testing events 

Request a Testing Event 

Montana Department of Emergency Services
Statewide Emergency Coordination Center


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. 


HUD Resource: A Webinar Series for Local Governments Serving Small Communities

The Responding to COVID-19 webinar series presents resources for small units of general local government (UGLGs) related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, the webinars provide digestible information on how small UGLGs may access public funding, data, and other resources made available due to the pandemic.

This webinar series will consist of a total of six sessions spread across three topic areas. The topic areas are: housing, health, and economic development. Each topic area will consist of two webinar sessions:

  • Session 1: Presenters will provide a broad range of resources relevant for small, distressed UGLGs. During the webinar, presenters will poll participants to determine the topic for the second session.
  • Session 2: Presenters will dive into more detail on one or two subtopics as defined by the participants' needs from the first session.

Schedule of Deliveries


Date and Time


Responding to the Housing Challenges Posed by the PandemicSession 1

July 13, 20202:00-3:30 PM EDT

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Responding to the Housing Challenges Posed by the PandemicSession 2



Addressing Challenges to the Health and Childcare SystemsSession 1

July 20, 20202:00-3:30 PM EDT

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Addressing Challenges to the Health and Childcare SystemsSession 2



COVID-19 Recovery Strategies for Small Business DistrictsSession 1

July 28, 20202:00-3:30 PM EDT

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COVID-19 Recovery Strategies for Small Business DistrictsSession 2



After registering for Session 1, the Registrar will contact you via email to gather information to help focus the discussion on topics of interest to registered participants.

Registration Information

You must have a HUD Exchange account to register. Follow these instructions for registering [].


Upcoming Application Deadlines