$5 million in grants earmarked for flood-impacted businesses
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte is making up to $5 million in grant funding from Montana’s bed tax fund available to businesses that have been impacted by destructive flooding in southern Montana.
Gianforte’s office announced the grant funding on Friday, and said more than $3 million in federal COVID relief funds will also be made available for responding to flood impacts, the Independent Record reported.
Tourism-dependent businesses like restaurants, bars, hotels, guides and private campgrounds can get up to $25,000 in grant funding under the program. Applicants must describe how they will be negatively impacted by a lack of visitors after severe floods closed two of Montana’s three entrances to Yellowstone National Park.
The program will give businesses “much-needed support to get them up and running so they can give in-state and out-of-state guests their best possible Montana experience,” Department of Commerce Director Scott Osterman said in a press release.
Thousands of visitors to Yellowstone National Park were ordered out of the park on June 13 after rivers across northern Wyoming and southern Montana surged over their banks following a heavy rainfall that accelerated the spring snowmelt. The flooding damaged several hundred homes and businesses in Montana communities near Yellowstone, threatening their tourism-dependent economies.