After Pressure from Tester, All Montana Taverns, Casinos & Bars are Now Eligible for Paycheck Protection Program

PPP now includes Tribal gaming enterprises, all taverns and casinos with fewer than 500 employees

After pressure from U.S. Senator Jon Tester, the U.S. Treasury Department today expanded eligibility for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to include Tribal gaming enterprises and all taverns, casinos, and bars with fewer than 500 employees.

Tester pushed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Small Business Administrator Jovita Carranza to amend the rule to include business that are essential to Montana’s economy, and fought to ensure the CARES Act included the Paycheck Protection Program—a critical lifeline intended to help small businesses keep the lights on.

“Employers and workers alike need access to critical programs like the Paycheck Protection Program to stay afloat,” Tester said. “I’m glad that today, Secretary Mnuchin agreed—and these Montana and Tribal businesses are now eligible for the relief that will help them retain their employees as we confront this crisis together.”

Previously the rule excluded taverns, casinos, and Tribal gaming enterprises that earn more than 50 percent of their total revenue or $1 million from gaming – after Tester’s push, those businesses are now eligible for the PPP as well. Tester had repeatedly urged Secretary Mnuchin and the Small Business Administration to make these changes, and called on Senate leadership to include gaming enterprises and additional access for tribal businesses in future coronavirus relief efforts.

After 72 hours negotiating substantial, bipartisan improvements to COVID-19 stimulus legislation that had previously fallen far short for Montana, Tester voted to deliver critical, urgent relief to Montana workers, families, small businesses, hospitals and others hardest hit by the outbreak. This funding included $1.25 billion for the state of Montana, which was delivered to the state earlier this week.

You can read Tester’s letter to Secretary Mnuchin HERE

Visit for a list of resources for Montanans during the COVID-19 outbreak