Eligibility Expanded for Montana Main Street Taverns for Coronavirus Small Business Relief After Pressure from Tester

Decision comes after Tester demanded Small Business Administration include critical frontier community employers

After pressure from U.S. Senator Jon Tester, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced today that Montana’s main street taverns will be eligible for coronavirus relief programs.

The decision follows Tester’s demand that SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza include main street taverns in relief programs like the Paycheck Protection Program, after several tavern owners were deemed ineligible because of the amount they bring in revenue from gaming machines. Taverns that make one third of their income from gaming will now qualify as long as the profit from gaming is less than 50 percent of their total revenue and does not exceed $1 million.

“Montana’s main street taverns are important small businesses that provide jobs and food, especially in frontier communities,” Tester said. “I’m glad the Administration heard us loud and clear and reversed course, giving these employers much-needed relief as we deal with the effects of COVID-19.”

Tester fought to ensure the CARES Act included the Paycheck Protection Program – a critical lifeline intended to help small businesses keep the lights on.

Tester has been working tirelessly to ensure that Montana is prepared to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. After 72 hours negotiating substantial, bipartisan improvements to COVID-19 stimulus legislation that had previously fallen far short, Tester voted to deliver critical, urgent relief to Montana workers, families, small businesses, hospitals and others hardest hit by the outbreak. This funding includes $1.25 billion for the state of Montana.

The letter Tester wrote to SBA Administrator Carranza is available HERE

Visit tester.senate.gov/coronavirusresources for a list of resources for Montanans during the COVID-19 outbreak