In the absence of any federal stimulus money for local businesses, Missoula County will be awarding funds to help with job retention.

Project Manager Melissa Gordon describes the program.

“The County Commissioners in recognition of the fiscal impact of COVID-19, on small businesses and on the Missoula county workforce has made funding available for job retention for low and moderate income folks,” said Gordon. “This is all in an effort to stabilize businesses as COVID continues to have an impact on their business model and they're heading into the traditionally slower winter months.”

Gordon provided some financial details for local businesses.

“The Commission is making up to $625,000 in grant funding available,” she said. “The grants will range in size from $10,000 to $25,000, and businesses will be able to apply for funding to help with the cost of mortgage payments, utilities insurance, payroll inventory, and the term of the grants will be January 1 of 2021 through March 31 of 2021.”

Gordon said the funds are part of a federal program.

“The source of funding is the Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant Economic Development Fund,” she said. “The intent of that fund is job creation or retention for low to moderate income folks, so every business that receives grant funding will need to demonstrate that they are retaining at least one full time position for a low to moderate income person as a result of the funds.”

Gordon said there will be a great deal of competition for the local funds, so it’s important to register as soon as possible.

“The applications will be available online this Thursday, December 10, at nine o'clock,” she said. “That application portal will close when we receive requests that exceed the amount of funding available. So folks will really have to pay attention to the website and make sure that funding is still available.”

Interested for-profit businesses can review eligibility requirements and apply online here.

 

How can I stay safe while grocery shopping? And answers to 24 other coronavirus questions