State receives more than 9,600 COVID-19 relief grant applications

Posted at 12:08 PM, May 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-13 20:17:43-04

More than 9,600 COVID-19 relief grant applications have been submitted to the State of Montana since applications opened last Thursday.

Last week, Governor Bullock announced $123 million in CARES Act funding for nine new grant programs that are designed to address key COVID-19 issues Montanans are facing.

As of the beginning of the business day May 13, the Montana Department of Commerce has received 9,677 grant applications.

The majority of grant applications, 7,045, are for the Montana Business Stabilization Grant program. According to the state, around 5,000 of those applications were submitted whthin the first 24 hours of applications being accepted.

“The demand has been very clear and quick, said Director Tara Rice, Montana Department of Commerce. “One thing that was clear during [the Coronavirus Relief Fund Task Force process, is that businesses needed swift support in the form of a grant. There were some businesses in which a loan just wasn’t the right tool to get them through.”

The Montana Business Stabilization Grant program provides working capital for Montana-owned small businesses with 50 or fewer employees that have sustained a loss of revenue due to COVID-19.

Here is the breakdown of grant applications to other programs:

  • Social Services/non-profit grants: 825
  • Innovation grant program: 650
  • Emergency Housing grants: 597
  • Agriculture Adaptability grants: 297
  • Stay Connected grants: 105
  • Food Bank grants: 96
  • Public Health program grants: 62

The first group of grant award letters went out Tuesday May 12, and money will be sent to those approved grant applications as soon as banking information is confirmed.

Rice strongly encourages businesses that have been affected by COVID-19 submit an application .

The state will use this first round of grants to see where the highest demands are, and adapt later rounds of funding to meet the needs of Montanans at those times.