U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines introduced bipartisan legislation to create a Small Business Local Relief Fund to provide economic relief for very small businesses with fewer than 20 workers during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“This bipartisan legislation is about taking the decision making powers out of the hands of Washington D.C. and putting it in the hands of our local communities who know their own needs best,” Daines said. “We need more targeted action that strengthens local response and empowers our local economic development leaders to provide relief for our most vulnerable small and rural businesses in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.”
Daines’ bipartisan proposal would provide $50 billion in targeted economic relief to seed and scale small business relief funds at the city or county level. The assistance is directed towards businesses with fewer than 20 workers or fewer than 50 workers in low income areas, and may take the form of grants, loans, or professional support to respond to the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Daines introduced his bipartisan bill after working with Montana communities as they came together to start economic relief funds for businesses struggling during the pandemic.
Daines’ bill has received strong support from stakeholders across Montana including Toole County Forward, Montana Chamber of Commerce, Montana Association of Counties, MoFi, MEDA, City of Kalispell, Kalispell Chamber of Commerce, Big Sky Economic Development, Snowy Mountain Development Corporation, EspressWay, Montana West Economic Development and Flathead County Economic Development Authority. To read statements of support, click HERE.
Bozeman Mayor Chris Mehl joined a bipartisan letter with other mayors across the country in support of Daines’ bill. Additionally, Kalispell Mayor Mark Johnson issued his support of Daines’ bill as well.
90% of MT small businesses have fewer than 20 employees and make up about 50% of employment in the state.
Daines worked with Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) to introduce the bipartisan bill. To read the full bill, click HERE. For more information on the bill, click HERE.
Daines has been leading the efforts in Congress to respond to the coronavirus outbreak impacting the country. To read about Daines’ COVID-19 related efforts, click HERE.