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Governor Bullock Announces $123 Million Available In Emergency Grants

Governor Steve Bullock today announced that families, small businesses, non-profits, health services centers and individuals across Montana hardest-hit by impacts of COVID-19 will be eligible to apply for grants through nine new programs created in response to the emergency.

Guided by more than 1,400 public comments and his Coronavirus Relief Fund Advisory Council, Gov. Bullock is making $123,550,000 available in the first round of emergency grants funded through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

“Montanans have made it clear it’s imperative that we step in and do everything possible to ensure small businesses can responsibly reopen, non-profits continue to serve our vibrant communities, homeowners can stay in their homes, and Montanans most in-need have access to services,” Governor Bullock said. “We’re all in this together and I know Montana will emerge from this challenge even stronger than before.”

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.

The following new programs join the state’s suite of existing support services and direct federal appropriations: The Montana Business Stabilization Grant program will provide working capital for Montana-owned small businesses with 50 or fewer employees that have sustained a loss of revenue due to COVID 19. Current funding available is $50 million, the maximum award amount per business is $10,000.

The Montana Innovation Grant program is intended to help companies scale up, improve capabilities, or drive expanded distribution of products or services developed in response to COVID-19. Non-profit and for-profit businesses of less than 150 employees with primary operations in Montana that have created an innovative product or service intended to directly confront the COVID-19 emergency can apply for grants of up to $25,000. Current funding available is $5 million.

Montana Food and Agriculture Adaptability Program grants are available to food and agriculture businesses to help increase community resilience amid the COVID-19 pandemic and other economic disruptions. Examples of eligible projects include those focused on accessing new markets, projects which strengthen and expand local food systems, and other business adaptations that decrease food and agricultural waste. Current funding available is $500,000, with a maximum grant award of $10,000.

Emergency Housing Assistance Program will provide 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 continuable 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. Total funding available is $50 million.

Public Health Grants are available to local and tribal health departments and urban tribal clinics to help in the response to COVID-19 and to meet the needs of their communities. Each organization is eligible to apply for funding. Current funding available is $5 million.

Stay Connected Grants

ranging from $500-$2,000 per applicant are available to reduce social isolation among Montana’s seniors. Eligible applicants include area agencies on aging, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and tribal elder services. Grant funds can be used to fund technologies and other efforts to encourage physically distant forms of social interaction for elderly Montanans during the COVID-19 public rate continues to hover just below 50 percent at 48 percent as of Monday, May 4. The absence of update leave operations, originally slated to begin in late March through early April, has kept many Montanans from receiving their formal invitation to respond or a paper census form.

The Census is easy, safe and important. Montanans can fill out their form online , by phone at 844-330-2020, or by sending their paper forms back to the bureau.

For more information on the 2020 Census, visit www. 2020census.gov.

A full list of the offices that will first re-open and update leave estimates is here: https://2020census.gov/content/ dam/2020census/news/ acos-reopen.pdf.

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