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small brandBusiness Support and Resources Montana

 
SBA Disaster Assistance to Small Businesses Economically Impacted by the COVID-19

The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Montana small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Small businesses, private non-profit organizations of any size, small agricultural cooperatives and small aquaculture enterprises that have been financially impacted as a direct result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) since Jan. 31, 2020, may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred. These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. Eligibility for Economic Injury Disaster Loans is based on the financial impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses. The interest rate for private non-profit organizations is 2.75 percent.

Applicants may apply online, and receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/ or contact SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

Emergency Rules to Streamline Unemployment Benefits for Workers Impacted by COVID-19

Emergency rules were implemented in Montana to make unemployment benefits accessible to workers laid off due to COVID-19 and to waive the typical one week waiting period before receiving benefits. The rules allow a claimant directed by their employer to leave work or not report to work due to COVID-19 to qualify as being temporarily laid off by the employer and eligible for benefits. Workers who must quarantine or who need to take care of a family member due to COVID-19 are also considered temporarily laid off and eligible for benefits.

Unpaid, temporary closure of business operations is recognized as a lay-off from work, even if the employer intends to have their employees come back to work once operations resume.

Montana employers will also receive help through these rules. Individual claims will not be chargeable to a specific employer’s account. The rules also include a provision that could extend the time employers have to file wage reports and pay unemployment insurance contributions if the delay is related to COVID-19.

People who think they are eligible for these benefits can apply online at montanaworks.gov or contact the Unemployment Insurance Division at (406) 444-2545.

State Resources

State public health officials will respond to phone inquiries from 8-5 Monday through Friday, and can also visit covid19.mt.gov to receive regularly updated information on COVID-19.

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