SBA issues $1.7B in loans to Montana businesses; state pays $75M in uninsurance

More than 20,000 small businesses across Montana have received funding from the Paycheck Protection Program passed by Congress in March, Sen. Steve Daines said Monday.

The funding was part of a $2 trillion package that included $350 billion earmarked for the stimulus program. Daines said 20,683 loans have been approved for Montana businesses totaling more than $1.74 billion in relief.

Also on Monday, as restaurants across Montana began a phased reopening, the Montana Department of Labor and Industry said it issued more than 57,000 uninsurance payments last week, totaling more than $75 million.

“We understand that this is an uncertain time for many Montanans and know that these benefits are providing economic relief for families and in our communities,” Acting Commissioner Brenda Nordlund said in a statement. “Resolving initial and continuing UI claims will remain the department’s top priority to ensure prompt payment of benefits to those who are eligible and in need.”

Nordlund said the figure includes regular uninsurance benefits, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits and the additional $600 in weekly Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation benefits.

She added that the 57,000 payments do not represent the number of individuals who have received payment. Individual claimants could have two payments in that total, or one payment representing two weeks’ worth of benefits.