BILLINGS — Few have felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic more than small businesses. In Montana, those account for over 99% of all businesses and 65% of all employees. So the Montana district of the U.S. Small Business Administration is hitting the road to highlight success stories across the state.
District director Brent Donnelly will kick off the Peaks to Plains Business Resiliency Tour Thursday, and he'll visit a small business in every one of Montana's 56 counties.
Donnelly will begin his tour in Helena, with three goals in mind at each stop.
"This tour is all about being able to continue to encourage those small businesses that have the grit and resolve to face the COVID challenges that they have for the last nine months, No. 1," Donnelly said. "No. 2, raise and highlight some awareness of all these things these businesses have done to respond to that. And then finally, and probably most importantly on this, urge Montanans to, through the holiday shopping season, shop local, eat local, spend your money in your hometown to the best of the your ability, because it really does matter."
Donnelly and staff will visit a wide variety of small businesses on the tour. They're scheduled to be in Yellowstone County next Thursday, Dec. 17, to meet with the Produce Depot.