The Montana Department of Labor & Industry (DLI) today is highlighting state resources available for Montana businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19.
“We know many Montana businesses are still impacted by COVID-19, which is why we’re here to provide resources and information,” Acting Commissioner Brenda Nordlund said. “A healthy and vital business community is essential to Montana’s economic growth and prosperity. These programs are here to strengthen and support our businesses.”
DLI is hosting town hall sessions to provide information and answer questions from Montana business owners and employers. A recording of the most recent Employer Town Hall, featuring DLI Deputy Commissioner Kathleen O’Leary, Department of Commerce Director Tara Rice, Governor’s Office of Economic Development Chief Business Development Officer Ken Fichtler, and Small Business Administration Regional Director Brent Donnelly, can be found here.
“Montana’s statewide network of business support services are ready to assist companies as they adapt to a changing economy, scale up to meet consumer demands, or simply need a sounding board for new ideas,” Montana Department of Commerce Director Tara Rice said. “Now more than ever, we’re here to make sure Montana businesses can succeed.”
Resources DLI can offer to Montana businesses include:
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
DLI launched a new web portal at mtpua.mt.gov to process Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims filed by self-employed, gig-workers, independent contractors, and others impacted by COVID-19, including some business owners. A phone line is available for individuals without internet access to file their PUA claim, or for those with claim-specific questions at (406) 444-3382. An email address is also available to those with questions at [email protected]. A resource guide with answers to frequently asked questions, details on the PUA filing process and other resources is available at dli.mt.gov/self-employed-contractors.
Job Service Montana
Job Service Montana offices are part of a statewide network of workforce development centers that collaborate with community partners to provide customer-focused employment and training opportunities, and services to businesses seeking employees and other assistance. For a list of all Job Service offices across the state and their contact information, visit montanaworks.gov/job-service-montana.
State Information Data Exchange System (SIDES)
SIDES is a free, convenient, and secure way for employers to electronically receive and respond to requests for information regarding UI benefits claims. Employers can sign up at uieservices.mt.gov. While the platform is not required for Montana employers to use, it is strongly encouraged, as it ensures the accuracy and security of exchanged information. For more information on how the SIDES system works in Montana, visithttp://uid.dli.mt.gov/Portals/55/Documents/eServices/dli-uid-es026.pdf, or email [email protected].
Montana Registered Apprenticeship Program
Keeping a business strong requires a skilled workforce. Being a Montana Registered Apprenticeship sponsor can help your firm recruit quality employees and invest in your company’s future. Businesses build committed workers, training them to meet your specific needs. Learn more about how to become an employer sponsor at apprenticeship.mt.gov.
Incumbent Worker Training Program (IWT)
This program provides grant funding to assist eligible Montana small businesses with the cost of training for their existing, or incumbent workers. IWT creates a more robust workforce by providing professional development for employees and strengthening small businesses across Montana. For more information, visit http://wsd.dli.mt.gov/employers/incumbent-worker-training-program.
DLI Safety and Health Bureau
The Montana Department of Labor & Industry’s Safety and Health Bureau is dedicated to improving safety and health in the workplace and for Montana’s small businesses. The Bureau has four sections: Compliance, Consultation, Mine, & Outreach. To learn more about how DLI can help you maintain a safe workplace during COVID-19, visit erd.dli.mt.gov/safety-health.
In addition to resources offered by DLI, other programs are available to help Montana businesses. A comprehensive information resource and application portal for emergency grants funded through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is available at covidrelief.mt.gov.
Other state resources include business assistance offered by the Montana Department of Commerce:
- Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund Program, which promotes long-term stable economic growth in Montana by providing financial assistance for business planning and job creation.
- Small Business Development Center Network, which operates in 10 regions across the state and offers no-cost support for entrepreneurs and small businesses at every stage of business development.
- Workforce Training Grant Program, which provides funding to primary sector businesses to train employees in new jobs that allow a business to expand in Montana without leaving the state.
- Montana Manufacturing Extension Center at MSU Bozeman, which is a statewide manufacturing outreach and assistance center that provides solutions to help Montana manufacturers grow, innovate and enhance their businesses.
- Montana Business Stabilization Program, which was created through the federal CARES Act to provide working capital for small businesses to support payroll, rent, accounts payable, debt service and expenses from COVID-19-related shifts in operations.
- Certified Regional Development Corporations, which operate 11 regional offices supporting a regional approach to economic development across the state.
- Office of Indian Country Economic Development, which provides all of the business resources available to Native American-owned businesses and tribal governments in Montana under one office.
- Other types of financial and technical assistance to support innovative industries and grow businesses across the state.
Learn more about the business assistance programs offered by the Montana Department of Commerce by visiting MARKETMT.COM.