COVID-19 Help

COVID-19 Business Checklist to Help You Manage Your Expenses and Gain Sales

Updated 6/30/2020

Click to view video of training

Implementing the Families First Coronavirus Response Act with Kari Gras

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Updated 6/24/2020

PPP Loan Forgiveness Application Step-by-Step Tutorial: https://mtsbdc.ecenterdirect.com/events/4651


City of Bozeman’s Strategic Services and Economic Development Departments Unveil Recovery Dashboard

Updated 6/24/20

The Strategic Services Department in collaboration with the Economic Development Department announces the availability of a “Recovery Dashboard” to help measure progress as we recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. Data will be updated weekly to ensure timely decisions are made based on credible sources as we monitor trends. We will be adding information over time as we receive feedback on what is most relevant to the community. We are proud to support resiliency in our local economy.

http://www.bozeman.net/recovery



Federal Resources for Small Businesses

Updated 5/27/2020

Small businesses affected by COVID-19 can find resources from funding programs to cyber security.

https://covid-sb.org/

Governor Bullock Announces Montana to Enter Phase Two of Reopening Plan on June 1

Updated 5/19/20

Governor Steve Bullock today announced the state will move to Phase Two of the Reopening the Big Sky plan and will lift the 14-day out-of-state travel quarantine beginning June 1 as Montana continues to have the lowest number of positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations per capita.

“Montana has been an example for the rest of the nation in our response to this global pandemic. I have no doubt that we can continue to be that example, but only if Montanans, businesses, and visitors alike continue to take seriously the responsibility we all have in protecting others,” Governor Bullock said. “As we continue with the next phase in our reopening, our goal together as Montanans for the foreseeable future is to mitigate the spread of the virus.”

In consultation with public health and emergency response officials, Governor Bullock outlined the following indicators which allow Montana to move into Phase Two beginning on June 1:

  • A downward trajectory of positive tests as a percent of total tests within a 14-day period.
  • The current ability to contact and trace, along with plans to add additional contact tracers to the existing workforce.
  • Ensuring that health care workers have the supplies they need to treat COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients.
  • Ramping up testing capacity to eventually meet a target of 60,000 tests a month and prioritizing testing for vulnerable Montanans and tribal communities. A total of 5,600 tests were conducted last week. Increased testing continues with sentinel testing efforts in nursing homes and assisting living facilities, testing events in tribal areas, and drive through testing being conducted at a few sites.

Under Phase Two, effective June 1, avoid gatherings in groups of more than 50 people in circumstances that do not readily allow for appropriate physical distancing. Groups larger than 50 people should be cancelled unless physical distancing can be maintained. It is recommended to continue to social distance in gatherings of any size.

Under Phase Two, effective June 1, restaurants, bars, breweries, distilleries and casinos remains in the same operations status as Phase One, but with an increase to 75% capacity. Gyms, indoor group fitness classes, pool, and hot tubs can operate at 75% capacity and only if they can adhere to strict physical distancing and they exercise frequent sanitation protocols. Concert halls, bowling alleys, and other places of assembly may operate with reduced capacity and if they adhere to strict physical distancing guidelines.

All businesses are required to follow the social distancing and sanitation guidelines established in Phase One, and Montanans are strongly encouraged to continue sanitation practices, including hand washing and wearing masks in public places like grocery stores.

“Social distancing, wearing a cloth mask, washing your hands, and sanitizing are all part of our new normal. If not for you, do it for others, especially for the most vulnerable among us,” Governor Bullock said. “Not following these guidelines could put us in a position where we have to go backward, instead of being able to continue to move forward.”

Vulnerable Montanans should still continue to stay home when possible during Phase Two. Visitation at nursing home and assisted living facilities remains suspended except for certain compassionate care situations.

Effective June 1, the 14-day travel quarantine for out-of-state travelers and residents arriving from another state or country to Montana for non-work-related purposes will be lifted. The Montana National Guard will continue to conduct screenings in airports and train depots and refer anyone with COVID-19-related symptoms to local public health officials.

To support Montana’s destination communities, the state will assist with establishing the following protocols:

  • Surveillance testing of employees.
  • Enhanced contact tracing resources deployed to these areas as requested by local authorities.
  • Ability to surge personal protective equipment to impacted health care systems.
  • Guidelines for operation for business that see high-tourist activity.

Montana’s gradual and phased plan to reopen began on April 26 with Phase One which allowed schools, places of worship, main street and retail businesses, and restaurants, breweries, and bars to reopen under social distancing guidelines. Governor Bullock also provided additional guidance to allow gyms, movie theaters, and museums to reopen under the first phase on May 15.

Governor Bullock and his Coronavirus Task Force will continue to monitor cases closely and carefully to analyze Montana’s work to contain the virus.

The Directive and its Appendix with reopening guidelines are attached and are posted online at https://covid19.mt.gov.


Coronavirus Relief Fund Grant Programs Still Accepting Applications

Governor Steve Bullock launched nine new programs on May 7 for Montanans out of work, families with limited resources, small businesses, non-profits and others impacted by COVID-19.

Applications are still being accepted for financial relief for things like rental and mortgage assistance, business and non-profit grants, grants to serve seniors and those living with a disability, food banks and local food producers.

Learn more and apply at COVIDRELIEF.MT.GOV.

COVID-19 RESOURCES

  • Montana COVID-19 Hotline: 1-888-333-0461 or COVID19info@mt.gov
  • 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: www.montanaworks.gov or contact the Unemployment Insurance Division over the phone at 406-444-2545.
  • CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html
  • Visit Montana: VISITMT.COM or 1-800-847-4868

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.

Bookmark http://dli.mt.gov/employer-covid-19

Mortgage, Rental Assistance Available

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

Initial payments may include up to three months assistance where the eligible household can demonstrate arrears for April and May, with continual inability to make their June payment. 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.

Apply here: https://commerce.mt.gov/Coronavirus-Relief


New Emergency Grants 5/7/20

Beginning Thursday, May 7, Montanans out of work, families with limited resources, small businesses, non-profits and others can apply for financial relief for things like rental and mortgage assistance, business and non-profit grants, grants to serve seniors and those living with a disability, food banks and local food producers.

Montana Department of Commerce/Coronavirus Relief


Guidelines from the Gallatin County Health Department 4/29/20

Retail Food And Bar Establishments Guidelines


Emergency Loans for Businesses in Livingston and Park County 4/22/2020

Livingston Business Improvement District has updated our Covid-19 resource page and we're excited to share a NEW loan program for Livingston and Park County businesses available as of today! https://www.downtownlivingston.org/covid

The Park Local Development Corporation announced today that the Emergency and Disaster Microloans are now available. The new microloans are $10,000 and available to businesses in Livingston and Park County impacted by COVID-19. To qualify for consideration, the business must demonstrate economic injury due to the COVID-19 declared disaster. Businesses must submit a completed loan application and upload a copy of the businesses’ most recent Federal income tax return. Additional information may be necessary to process loan applications.

Applications can be submitted online at https://apply.parklocal.org/. The PLDC Loan Committee, comprised of local financial and business leaders, will evaluate applications. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis beginning April 23.

For more information on the Emergency and Disaster Microloan Program, eligibility requirements, and application process, visit parklocal.org or call (406) 222-4156.


EIDL & PPP BREAKING NEWS 4/16/2020

Statement by Secretary Mnuchin and Administrator Carranza on the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin and U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Jovita Carranza issued the following statement regarding the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program:

“The SBA has processed more than 14 years’ worth of loans in less than 14 days. The Paycheck Protection Program is saving millions of jobs and helping America’s small businesses make it through this challenging time. The EIDL program is also providing much-needed relief to people and businesses.

“By law, the SBA will not be able to issue new loan approvals once the programs experience a lapse in appropriations.

“We urge Congress to appropriate additional funds for the Paycheck Protection Program—a critical and overwhelmingly bipartisan program—at which point we will once again be able to process loan applications, issue loan numbers, and protect millions more paychecks.

“The high demand we have seen underscores the need for hardworking Americans to have access to relief as soon as possible. We want every eligible small business to participate and get the resources they need.”


Economic Injury Disaster Loan

Application: https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/

4/16/2020 EIDL UPDATE-

Due to limited appropriations funding, the application portal for the EIDL–COVID-19 assistance program (EIDL loans and EIDL Advances) is temporarily closed.

• Applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

• SBA is processing EIDL applications as quickly as possible. SBA will provide those whose applications are approved with loans that will cover the business’s short-term working capital needs.

• EIDL loan is in addition to the EIDL Advance (up to $10,000) that small businesses and non-profits are eligible to receive as a result of the CARES Act.


Paycheck Protection Program

Program Overview: https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/PPP%20--%20Overview.pdf

Borrower Information: https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/PPP%20Borrower%20Information%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf

Application: https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/2020-03/Borrower%20Paycheck%20Protection%20Program%20Application_0.pdf

Lender Information: https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/PPP%20Lender%20Information%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf

Paycheck Protection Program Information: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/paycheck-protection-program-ppp

Small Business Information & Resources

Updated March 31, 2020

FEMA Update- Donations, Private Sector, Volunteer

https://www.fema.gov/coronavirus/how-to-help


Montana Governor's Coronavirus Task Force- Joint Information Center https://covid19.mt.gov/joint-information-center

Montana Employers and Employees
http://dli.mt.gov/employer-covid-19

Federal Government Response
https://www.usa.gov/coronavirus#item-214586

Grants
https://grantstation.com/covid19fundingsopps

SBA Disaster Relief Loans Announcement
https://www.sba.gov/offices/disaster/dfocw/resources/1658307

SBA Small Business Guidance – COVID-19 Preparedness
https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources

CDC Guidance for Businesses
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/businesses-employers.html

Small Business Roundtable Resource Guide
https://drive.google.com/file/...

The Better Business Bureau
https://bbb-businesses.org/covid-19/

Spectrum Business Announcement - March 16, 2020

  • We won't terminate service for small business customers who face difficult economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic. Similarly, we won't charge late fees for those customers facing difficult economic circumstances related to the pandemic. Contact Spectrum directly with questions.

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Top 4 Tips to Help Employers and Employees Due to COVID-19 Closures and Changes

Updated March 19, 2020

1. Unemployment Insurance Updates

  • An employee who is directed to leave work, not to report, quarantined, is taking care of a family member with due to COVID-19 or who experiences reduced hours due to COVID-19 will qualify for unemployment benefits.
  • The one week waiting period to receive unemployment benefits is waived.
  • Employees should file claims here: http://uid.dli.mt.gov/ or by calling 406-444-2545 (between 9am-4pm).
  • Employers should communicate with their staff on their plans for their company. To help your employees file, please send them basic information for filing smoothly:
    • Date of hire, name of company, Business owner’s contact name, phone number, address
  • It generally takes two to three weeks after they file their claim to receive their first benefit check so it is important that they file quickly and correctly. You may want to include this guide when sharing information with your employees: http://uid.dli.mt.gov/Portals/55/Documents/Claims-Processing/dli-uid-cl001.pdf. Please remind your staff that this information is changing daily.
  • COVID-19 Montana Employer Frequently Asked Questions: http://dli.mt.gov/Portals/57/Documents/covid-19/FAQ.pdf?ver=2020-03-18-113453-137

2. SBA Disaster Relief Loans

  • SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
  • These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact.
  • The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
  • SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.

Slide Show with all of your questions answered: https://files.constantcontact....

Ways to Apply:

  • THE FASTEST way to apply is online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Tip: Keep your password. It cannot be reset.
  • OR Call 1-800-659-2955 or by sending an email to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.


3. We are here for you! Our Business Counselors are Available!

We are here to help! Our business counselors are working remotely and scheduling Zoom and telephone calls. Reach out to Lexi Preszler at LPreszler@ProsperaMT.org to schedule a time today!

Additional COVID Resources: Covid19.mt.gov and 1-888-333-0461


The Montana Women's Business Center is funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.