To our Polson Chamber Community:
The Polson Chamber of Commerce is working hard to keep you updated on COVID-19 (the coronavirus) developments. Below is an overview of national, state and local websites that we hope will help address any questions you may have.
An important update regarding COVID-19:
Governor Steve Bullock today issued a Directive requiring Montanans to stay home and temporarily closes all nonessential businesses and operations to curtail the spread of COVID-19. The order, which goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. on March 28 and is currently slated to end April 10, will buy time for health care workers on the frontlines and seeks to limit long term impacts to the state’s economy.
“In consultation with public health experts, health care providers, and emergency management professionals, I have determined that to protect public health and human safety, it is essential, to the maximum extent possible, individuals stay at home or at their place of residence,” said Governor Bullock. “There’s no doubt that COVID-19 is causing a lot of hardship. It’s also causing incredible hardships for our frontline doctors, nurses and other hospital staff across the country.”
Additionally, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes ordered everyone within their jurisdiction to stay at their place of residence except as needed to maintain critical necessities.
The order was given by the CSKT’s Tribal Council to further protect the health and well-being of all residents in the community. The order goes into effect immediately until further notice. The order includes a list of exceptions allowing people to continue their work and to maintain health and well-being on the reservation.
The Polson Chamber is honoring the directives of the Governor and CSKT Tribal Leadership in support of the healthcare workers, other critical and essential businesses, and the public health and safety of our greater Polson community. This means that we will have to take a step back with many of our Chamber members and limit our community presence to essential business only. For now, this will include the promotion of restaurants offering take-out and delivery services, which are still allowed under the Governor’s new directive.
From the bottom of our hearts, we’d like to thank everyone out there for all your hard work, resilience and support thus far. You have all been truly inspirational, and it’s been an absolute honor serving as your Chamber of Commerce. For our part, we will formulate plans as we receive more information, and will continue to promote and support this amazing town and business community any way that we can. Stay positive, Polson. We’ll get through this, and be all the stronger once we reach the other side.
*NEW: Governor Bullock issues guidance on childcare facilities to ensure access for Montana’s essential workers: https://dphhs.mt.gov/aboutus/news/2020/additionalguidancechildcarefacilitiesensureaccessforessentialworkers
*NEW: Montana directive temporarily stops evictions, foreclosures and cancellations of utilities: https://news.mt.gov/governor-bullock-announces-consumer-protections-to-lessen-financial-hardships-on-montanans-during-covid-19-pandemic
*NEW: Governor Bullock directs 14-day quarantine for all travelers arriving to Montana from another state or country: https://news.mt.gov/governor-bullock-directs-14-day-quarantine-for-travelers-arriving-in-montana-from-another-state-or-country
*NEW: U.S. Chamber of Commerce Resources: https://www.uschamber.com/co/small-business-coronavirus
- Emergency Loan Information: https://www.uschamber.com/report/covid-19-emergency-loans-small-business-guide
- Guide to SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans: https://www.uschamber.com/report/guide-sbas-economic-injury-disaster-loans
- Guide to Employee Retention Tax Credit: https://www.uschamber.com/report/guide-the-employee-retention-tax-credit
*NEW: Small Business Association provides Small Business Guidance and Loan Resources: https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources
*NEW: Funding Programs and Business Support for Small Businesses impacted by COVID-19:
- Facebook Grant Program: https://www.facebook.com/business/grants?content_id=KKf6RWdyo87L7QO
- JPMorgan Chase Philanthropic Investment Program: https://www.jpmorganchase.com/corporate/news/pr/jpmc-makes-50mm-philanthropic-investment-to-address-impacts-of-covid-19.htm
- Kabbage Small Business Gift Certificate Program: https://www.kabbage.com/helpsmallbusiness
- James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund: https://www.jamesbeard.org/blog/relief-fund?utm_source=social&utm_medium=instagram&utm_campaign=2020-03-19
- Mainvest Main Street Initiative: https://mainvest.com/main-street-initiative
- Opportunity Fund Small Business Response: https://www.opportunityfund.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Opportunity-Fund-_Covid-19-response_3.11.20.pdf
- NOTE: The Polson Chamber does not specifically endorse any of the programs above, and is only providing the list to inform businesses of some opportunities that may be available. The Chamber encourages business owners and employees to investigate any third-party lending or grant program fully before making an informed decision to partake in an application process
The Lake County CDC has created a new COVID-19 Resources page on their website to provide guidance, information and resources to aid businesses and the greater Lake County community: https://lakecountycdc.org/covid-19-resources/
Additionally, the CDC has created a website with resources and information for business owners and employers, which you can find here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/businesses-employers.html
Here in Polson, we have several important developments that we’d like to point out:
- The Polson Chamber General Luncheon Meeting on April 1 and the Polson SPLASH on April 16 are both CANCELLED
- From this point forward, any visitor from out-of-state is directed by the state to undergo a minimum two-week quarantine
- Governor Bullock has announced the closures of dine-in food services, alcoholic beverage service businesses, health clubs and facilities, movie and performance theaters, and casinos. (Take-out, Curb-side service, and delivery services are all still allowed at this time)
- Businesses licensed to sell alcoholic beverages in the state of Montana may use delivery or curb-side services to distribute alcoholic beverages that they are licensed to sell, as long as delivery is conducted by licensee’s employees over the age of 21 and the age of the purchaser must be verified at the time of delivery
- Polson Schools remain closed
- Boys and Girls Club of the Flathead Reservation remains closed but is providing meals to children ages 0-18 in the greater Polson area
- The Polson School District has cancelled spring extracurricular activities at this time
- The North County Public Library remains closed, but continues to offer digital services online
- All CSKT Fitness Centers and Community Centers are currently closed to the public
If you are hosting an upcoming event and are unsure whether or not to cancel, know that the CDC currently recommends that organizers cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more for the next 8 weeks. Additional information regarding events and gatherings can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/large-events/mass-gatherings-ready-for-covid-19.html
Also, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) website is offering guidance for businesses and employers to plan and respond to COVID-19: https://www.sba.gov/page/guidance-businesses-employers-plan-respond-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19
Thank you, Polson! The immediate future may prove to be a strange and concerning time, so let’s all remember to stay careful, calm, and kind throughout. We at the Chamber will continue to do our best to update links and pass along information as we receive it, and we are already developing ways through which we can best support our local businesses in the days, weeks, and months ahead.
In the meantime, many of our Chamber members are clean, sanitized, and open for business! Until we hear otherwise, let’s continue to support our amazing Polson business community and enjoy what our wonderful small town stores have to offer!
The Polson Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors
RESOURCES AND LINKS
Montana State Resources:
The COVID-19 situation is evolving rapidly, and some of the links below may change over time. To stay up-to-date, visit Montana’s COVID-19 Information Website at: https://covid19.mt.gov
Latest Updates for COVID-19 Confirmed Cases in Montana
Commissioner of Securities and Insurance
Department of Administration
Department of Commerce
Department of Health and Human Services
Department of Labor
Department of Revenue
Montana Judicial Branch
Montana State Libraries
- CDC Overview: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/
- Protecting Yourself and Your Family: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.html
- If You Think You Are Sick: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html
- Lake County Public Health: https://lakecountypublichealth.org/
- Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes: http://www.csktribes.org/coronavirus-update
- Polson School District: https://www.polson.k12.mt.us/updates
- Boys and Girls Club: https://www.flatheadbgc.org/
- North Lake County Public Library: https://northlakecountylibrary.org/
- Kalispell Regional Healthcare: https://www.krh.org/krhc/patients-and-visitors/covid-19-preparedness-and-updates
- St. Joseph Medical Center: https://www.providence.org/patients-and-visitors/coronavirus-advisory
- St. Luke Community Healthcare: https://stlukehealthcare.org/covid-19/