Montana Public Radio

economics

A Fair to Remember: County Fairs Weigh Risk of Outbreak Against Financial Ruin

Sep 25, 2020

Laura Stutzman had no doubts that this year’s Twin Falls County Fair should go on despite the pandemic still raging across the U.S. — and several outbreaks tied to such community fairs.

House for sale.
(PD)

Missoula’s residential real estate market remains red-hot with home sales up more than 20% from last year. A mid-year report released by local realtors Friday shows historic lows in available housing.

Relief For Montana Meat Packers, Nonprofits Expanded

Sep 11, 2020

Montana’s governor Thursday said he will direct more coronavirus aid to nonprofits and meat packing businesses in the state.

Governor Steve Bullock’s office announced it would add more than $32 million in coronavirus relief funds to the Social Services Nonprofit Grant Program and Montana Meat Processing Infrastructure Grant Program.

While the state has redistributed some of its grant money from other programs because of lack of demand, Bullock said this week that applications from meat processors flowed in.

Montana is allocating new economic assistance for businesses in the live entertainment industry.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock Aug. 12 announced the state will expand grants using federal coronavirus relief dollars to prop up businesses hurting from the economic downturn sparked by the pandemic.

"Without additional support for our live entertainment venues we risk losing those cultural assets, permanently," Bullock said.

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.

During a press conference July 15 in Missoula, current U.S. Congressman Greg Gianforte said the novel coronavirus has created a “economic pandemic” that must also be cured.

Pages