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Application period open for Chamber’s Save Small Business Relief Fund

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BIG SKY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

BIG SKY – The Big Sky Chamber of Commerce and Visit Big Sky, in partnership with the Big Sky Resort Area District (BSRAD), are launching the Big Sky Save Small Business Relief Fund to provide a lifeline to many failing small businesses.

Federal economic relief programs like the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and the Paycheck Protection Program Loan (PPPL) intended to help small businesses survive in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic have left many behind. In response, the two organizations, with the BSRAD’s approval, have reallocated $210,000 from their FY20 allocations to provide for micro grants of $2,500 for businesses with 1-5 employees and $5,000 to businesses with 6-20 employees, physically located within the BSRAD boundary, or operating as a tax collecting business within the boundary.

“83 percent of Big Sky Chamber member businesses are sole proprietors and small businesses,” said Scott Johnson, Chair of the Big Sky Chamber Board of Directors. “We are committed to ensuring that they remain in business and are able to continue to operate through the phased re-opening of Montana.”

Eligibility is extended to all for-profit businesses including sole proprietors up to 20 employees that are registered with the BSRAD and operating within its district boundary that can show a demonstrated hardship as a result of COVID-19. In anticipation of the need exceeding the amount of funds available, businesses to receive grants will be selected at random by lottery.

The BSSSBRF Fund is modeled after the U.S. Chamber Foundation’s Save Small Business Fund launched on Monday, April 20. Unfortunately, Big Sky businesses with a 59716-zip code are ineligible to apply.

“Big Sky’s visitor economy is the lifeblood of the Big Sky community, and what affords our residents the quality of life they have here,” said Candace Carr Strauss, CEO Big Sky Chamber and Visit Big Sky. “Travel has come to a screeching halt, but resiliency is part of our destination’s DNA. Big Sky has proven time and time again that it can rise up to meet what appear to be insurmountable challenges, and we will do it again.”

Applications will be accepted beginning Friday, May 1 at 9 a.m. through May 6 and grant awards will be announced on Thursday, May 7 at 1:30 p.m. 

Any business owner in need of additional information or assistance in applying should contact Candace Carr Strauss, CEO at candace@bigskychamber.com or (406) 640-1331.  Visit www.bigskychamber.com/savesmallbusinessfundor www.visitbigsky.com/about-us/covid-19-resources to apply.

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