Montana Public Radio

economy

Many economists say the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has helped prevent broad economic collapse in the U.S. But they say transparency will be key in understanding how well the program actually worked. Yellowstone Public Radio News’s Nicky Ouellet spoke with Rachel Cramer who’s been reporting on the PPP in Montana and new rules to make it easier for borrowers to qualify for loan forgiveness.

Gov. Steve Bullock annonces his Coronavirus Task Force on March 3, 2020 in response to the growing number of cases reported in the United States. Bullock says the task force is a multi-agency group that will coordinate public health response.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

Montana is expanding state grant programs developed from federal COVID-19 relief money aimed at easing the economic impacts of the pandemic.

Montana's April 2020 unemployment by county (accessed May 28)
Courtesy Montana Department of Labor and Industry

Applications for unemployment benefits in Montana have declined — but are still much higher than normal — as the state continued to lift closures designed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, officials said Thursday.

Montana's April 2020 unemployment by county (accessed May 28)
Courtesy Montana Department of Labor and Industry

The number of Montanans filing new claims for unemployment help continues to decline, according to the latest numbers released Thursday by the Montana Department of Labor and Industry. However, unemployment still remains well above normal amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Restaurant window in Missoula, MT with a sign saying 'open for distant dining or delivery.'
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

Starting June 1 Montana will no longer require out-of-state travelers to quarantine for 14 days. Gov. Steve Bullock also announced Phase 2 of the state’s economic reopening plan during a press conference Tuesday.

Montana takes another step toward reopening, with the lowest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in the country.

Estimated FY 2020 Montana budget balances.
Montana Legislative Fiscal Division

A letter drafted by the Montana speaker of the House asks Gov. Steve Bullock to consider reducing government spending over concerns about declining state revenue.

The draft will be discussed by the legislative Revenue Interim Committee next week as state leaders continue to crunch the numbers of the economic fallout of the novel coronavirus pandemic in Montana.

Survey results from an MSU study on stay at home orders.
Montana State University

A poll released May 5 shows most Montanans supported Governor Steve Bullock’s decision to issue a stay at home order in the early days of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

A council of city, county and business leaders appointed by Montana Gov. Steve Bullock is recommending the state allocate its $1.25 billion in federal relief money into three categories of state and local governments, economic assistance and unforeseen impacts.


Financial leaders in Montana say the majority of loan applications for the federal Paycheck Protection Program have been processed after some major roadblocks earlier in the week.

Montanans who are self-employed, independent contractors or gig workers impacted by COVID-19 are now receiving unemployment payments.

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