Governor Bullock Announces Montana to Enter Phase Two of Reopening Plan on June 1
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
Guidelines from the Gallatin County Health Department 4/29/20
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
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
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
Montana Governor's Coronavirus Task Force- Joint Information Center https://covid19.mt.gov/joint-information-center
Montana Employers and Employees
Federal Government Response
SBA Disaster Relief Loans Announcement
SBA Small Business Guidance – COVID-19 Preparedness
CDC Guidance for Businesses
Small Business Roundtable Resource Guide
The Better Business Bureau
Spectrum Business Announcement - March 16, 2020
Top 4 Tips to Help Employers and Employees Due to COVID-19 Closures and Changes
Updated March 19, 2020
1. Unemployment Insurance Updates
2. SBA Disaster Relief Loans
Slide Show with all of your questions answered: https://files.constantcontact....
Ways to Apply:
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.