April 3, 2020
As we move into the month of April, everyone is working to better understand and interpret all the components of the CARES Act, signed into law on March 27. In an effort to streamline communications to Missoula-area businesses and organizations, we are partnered with the other economic development organizations in town and collectively sharing with you all the same information. To that end, the Missoula Economic Partnership is leading our Missoula County Economic Recovery Task Force Committee, comprised of representatives from these organizations:
- Destination Missoula
- Downtown Missoula Partnership
- Invest Health
- Missoula Chamber of Commerce
- Missoula College
- Missoula County
- Missoula Job Service
- Missoula Organization of Realtors
- Montana Governor’s Office of Economic Development
- Montana High Tech Business Alliance
- Montana Manufacturing Extension Center
- Procurement Technical Assistance Center
- Small Business Administration: Montana
- Small Business Development Center: Montana
- United Way of Missoula County
- University of Montana & Accelerate Montana: Blackstone Launchpad, MonTEC, Montana World Trade Center, and the UM College of Business
Here is a link to the information we have collectively assembled to help our Missoula-area businesses right now: https://www.missouladowntown.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/COVID-Navigation-Summary-4-3-20.pdf
Many of our Downtown businesses and MDA members are plugging in online and sharing information and inspiring stories. We’re learning more about how our local entrepreneurs are pivoting their businesses, serving the needs of our community, and supporting each other. You can learn more and be inspired by following these two:
- Justin Angle, UM Business Professor, hosts A New Angle every week. This week’s podcast featured economist Bryce Ward, Grant Kier from MEP, and Susan Hay Patrick from United Way of Missoula.
- The Blackstone LaunchPad at UM is hosting a weekly COVID-19 Interview Series Live on Facebook with Missoula-area business owners. This week’s interview was with Paisley Taylor of Create Art Bar, and she talked about how her business plan phase 2 had to be implemented a few months earlier than planned. She also shared that the most awesome thing that’s happening for her right now is how our business community has been so overwhelmingly supportive of each other.
The Downtown Missoula Partnership will continue to post relevant information online here: https://www.missouladowntown.com/downtown-covid-19-updates/. If you have updated information to share about your business, please email Kalina Wickham ([email protected]).
We will also continue with our weekly ZOOM Meetings with Retail and Restaurant owners every Thursday morning at 8:30 am. We are sharing information and ideas, learning from each other and generally connecting our service-industry businesses in ways that enforce we are all in this together! If you are interested in participating, please reach out to Chelsee Kucera ([email protected]).
Information from the City of Missoula and Missoula County are being collected on this website: https://www.ci.missoula.mt.us/2650/COVID-19
United Way of Missoula continues to accept and distribute financial resources through the COVID-19 Emergency Fund. You can donate or apply for assistance here.
Other Valuable Notices
Boys & Girls Club Provides Emergency Child Care Services
The Boys & Girls Club of Missoula is providing Emergency Childcare for families who work in essential function industries, as defined by Governor Bullock’s shelter-in-place directive. Located at City Life, the program provides a safe, positive, and healthy place for children ages 5-12 related to essential function employees in Missoula. Breakfast, lunch, and daily snacks are provided by Missoula County Public Schools and the Missoula Food Bank. More information and registration is available online at https://www.bgcmissoula.org/ or by phone at 406-214-0140.
NorthWestern Energy Assistance for Small Business
NorthWestern Energy announced this week that it will provide resources to small businesses in the form of $250 bill credits to a limited number of locally-owned, stand-along small business customers. Grant recipients must be customers impacted by the state and local closure directives related to COVID-19 and must have contacted NorthWestern to discuss management of their utility bill. More information can be found online here.
North Higgins Avenue Maintenance Starts Monday
On Monday, April 6 the City of Missoula Public Works Department will commence asphalt mill and overlay work on North Higgins Avenue, north of Broadway. Due to reduced traffic and parked vehicles in Downtown, the maintenance division will use this time for street improvements while businesses are generally closed during this time. The project involves curb-to-curb milling out of the deteriorated asphalt and placement of new asphalt. Depending on the weather, the asphalt work is expected to be finished in about a week. The public can expect temporary detours and delays during this time, but at least one lane of traffic will be open at all times. More information can be found online here.
If you have questions, need assistance, or need to connect to additional resources, please don’t hesitate to contact us via email. You can email me directly ([email protected]) or send a note to our general inbox ([email protected]). Bram Moore is monitoring that email daily.
As we navigate into the month of April, we anticipate there will be more detailed information to share with you all. We will continue to keep you apprised and connected to the best of our ability. In the meantime, might we encourage you to enjoy this inward-focused time with your families; to focus on your physical and mental health and well-being; to use this time for personal or professional development; to explore your interests in art, music, reading, and learning; to eat well and find gratitude for all we do have during this time of uncertainty. We are Missoula!
Stay Strong! Stay Healthy!
Linda K. McCarthy