Gov. Gianforte Dedicates $5 Million To Support Tourism Reliant Businesses Impacted by Flooding
HELENA, Mont. – Governor Greg Gianforte today announced the state is accepting applications for $5 million in grant funding to assist tourism reliant businesses impacted by flooding in Carbon, Park, and Stillwater Counties.
“Last week in Gardiner, I met with the owner of a hotel who showed me an inch-thick stack of cancelations she’d received in the four days since flooding began,” Gov. Gianforte said. “Folks who rely on visitors for business are hurting, and these funds will help get them back on their feet as their communities recover and rebuild.”
Gov. Gianforte with Colin Davis, owner of Chico Hot Springs, discussing the hotel's 25% drop in reservations since flooding began
The Montana Department of Commerce’s Tourism Reliant Business Flood Assistance Grant will provide working capital for tourism reliant businesses and can be used to support payroll, rent, accounts payable, debt services, and expenses related to shifts in operations to retain and restore existing businesses, current employees, or business viability for future re-employment.
“Tourism is one of Montana’s most important industries, and many of our tourism reliant businesses in Yellowstone Country were hit hard,” Montana Department of Commerce Director Scott Osterman said. “The Tourism Reliant Business Flood Assistance grant will give businesses in this area 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.”
Businesses must meet these eligibility requirements:
- Montana-based company located in Carbon, Park, or Stillwater Counties per Disaster Declaration Number 4-2022.
- Registered and in good standing with the Secretary of State or local Tribal government.
Applicants must be a tourism reliant business and will be asked to describe how tourism impacts their business, and how a lack of visitors due to the flood disaster has adversely affected their operations.
Tourism-reliant businesses may include, but are not limited, to:
- Gasoline stations
- Retail sales
- Grocery stores/snack vendors
- Auto rentals
- Private campgrounds/RV parks
- Visitor support services
Farms that do not generate significant revenue from agritourism activities, as well as online-only businesses and non-profits, are not considered tourism-reliant.
The maximum award available per applicant is up to two months of working capital or $25,000, whichever is less. Applications will be accepted and awarded until funds are expended. Owners of multiple businesses must have a separate tax identification number, separate tax filing, separate Secretary of State filing, and employees unique to each business.
To apply, applicants should have their 2021 tax return, Secretary of State certificate of good standing, driver’s license, Tribal or State-issued ID card, a brief description of how tourism impacts their business, how the flood disaster has impacted operations, and how grant monies will be spent. For questions, please contact the Montana Department of Commerce at (406) 841-2792 or (406) 431-1013.
The source of the grant funding comes from lodging tax collections, commonly known as the “Bed Tax.” Enacted by the 1987 legislature, the Bed Tax is collected from guests of hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, guest ranches, resorts, and campgrounds.
Businesses can apply today by visiting commerce.mt.gov.