Tester, Daines announce emergency economic assistance declaration for all 56 Montana counties

Jon Tester
Posted at 1:32 PM, Mar 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-21 20:53:02-04

U.S. Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines announced that the Small Business Administration (SBA) on Saturday declared an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration for all 56 Montana counties in response to the outbreak of the 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19), which will provide much-needed economic support for Montana's main street businesses.

Earlier this week, both announced that the SBA declared a disaster in only 30 Montana counties.

“I’m glad the SBA expanded their declaration to include our entire state, because we need to provide relief to Main Street businesses in every corner of Montana as soon as possible,” said Tester in a press release. “Small businesses are the backbone of our rural communities and the lifeblood of our state, so we’ve got to make sure they have the resources they need to keep the wolf away from the door. I’m going to keep fighting to make sure Washington doesn’t leave rural America behind in the face of this outbreak.”

Daines also released a statement on Saturday saying, "This is about giving our counties and working Montanans additional tools for relief they need during the Coronavirus outbreak. I’m glad to have voted to secure this critical funding to help protect Montana small businesses from the economic impacts of the coronavirus outbreak. I will continue fighting for more relief and certainty for all Montanans.”

Under the Phase I COVID-19 legislative package signed into law in early March, the SBA can issue an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration, which makes loans available to small businesses and private, non-profit organizations in designated areas to provide relief from the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance per small business and can provide vital economic support to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.