Montana Public Radio

economics

The Republican candidate for Montana’s sole U.S. House seat recently released a plan that he says will revitalize an economy impacted by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Current state Auditor Matt Rosendale says his proposals can create the jobs necessary to get people back to work as soon as possible.

“I’d say the bulk of this is about reducing unnecessary burdensome regulation and making sure that we have a reasonable tax and predictable tax policy in place,” Rosendale said.

The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated poverty and economic inequality in Montana. Several Bozeman residents recently shared their struggles in trying to meet basic needs and navigate complicated safety nets.

During a virtual event hosted by Montana No Kid Hungry and the Human Resource Development Council, panelist Lori Lindgren says living in poverty feels like trying to catch a run away train.

“When you’re poor, you’re always behind and you’re trying to catch up,” Lindgren said.

Residents in Kalispell asked for more affordable housing as well as programs for kdis and seniors November 2 at the annual community needs assessment meeting.
(PD)

Montana set aside $50 million in federal coronavirus relief funding to help people make their rent or mortgage payments during the economic upheaval caused by coronavirus. But through the end of July the program has paid out just over $1.2 million, about 2.4% of the available funds, state figures show.

A barber, a restaurant owner and a hot tub store president: Those were among the small business owners in Bozeman who shared stories with state and federal officials this week as Congress debates the next round of economic aid during the pandemic.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) met with nearly a dozen business owners across the state to get feedback on how past relief packages worked out.

In downtown Bozeman, masked servers take orders at Backcountry Burger Bar for carrot quinoa salads and burgers with sriracha aioli.

Canoe paddles
PD

For the first time in the 75-year history of Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp, the paddles that propel canoes, kayaks and paddleboards around the lake are clean. After every outing, used paddles are placed in the oar equivalent of a laundry hamper, wiped down and sanitized.


This week, Montana’s Republican candidate for governor unveiled what he’s billing a comeback plan for the state.


It’s the start of the month, which means housing payments are due for many Montanans. Amid the economic fallout of the novel coronavirus pandemic, there doesn’t yet appear to be large spikes in evictions and foreclosures. But state officials are still having trouble distributing federal housing relief dollars to the people who need them.

Black Coffee Roasters in Missoula was empty on March 16, 2020 after moving to takeout orders only in an attempt to slow the spread of coronavirus.
William Marcus

More than 23,000 businesses and nonprofit organizations in Montana received loans from a federal rescue package meant to keep small businesses afloat during the coronavirus pandemic, totaling over $1.7 billion, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Treasury.

Hospitality Industry May Suffer From Foreign Visa Suspension

Jul 6, 2020
Downtown Whitefish, MT.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

After hosting exchange students from all over the world for the last 15 years, Whitefish resident Sue Moll will have a much quieter house this ski season.

Every year, Moll hosts foreign J-1 visa workers who travel to the U.S. to work at Whitefish Mountain Resort (WMR) as part of a cultural exchange, but the resort won’t be able to hire those employees for the 2020-2021 season.

After the Trump administration suspended some foreign worker visas until at least the end of the year, including the J-1 visa, a number of businesses in the Flathead Valley’s hospitality industry will not be able to utilize foreign workers that they typically hire seasonally.

Glacier National Park sign at the park's St. Mary entrance.
Glacier National Park (PD)

The Blackfeet Nation will close off road access to Glacier National Park’s east entrances for the remainder of the tourism season, according to a resolution written Thursday. The tribal leaders’ decision was based on the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the state.

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