In Helena, Tester Talks Direct Impact of American Rescue Plan with Small Business Owners & Community Leaders

Senator: “We have to make sure workers, schools, small businesses, and local communities are coming out of this crisis strong as the economy rebounds.”

In Helena today, U.S. Senator Jon Tester visited the Oddfellow Inn & Farm to discuss the direct impact of the American Rescue Plan—the most recent COVID relief bill—on the Helena community and the tangible ways it is helping get the region’s economy back on track.

Tester was joined by Oddfellow Farms co-owner Paul Mabie, Montana Business Assistance Connection Executive Director Brian Obert, and Helena Mayor Wilmot Collins to highlight how the American Rescue Plan is providing critical relief to Lewis & Clark County and the City of Helena by directing targeted support to small businesses and other critical services, increasing available vaccines, and helping schools stay open safely.

“In order to fully recover from this crisis, we need to continue getting vaccines in the arms of Montanans as quickly and safely as possible,” said Tester. “50 percent of eligible folks in Lewis and Clark County are fully vaccinated, which is enormous progress from where we were just months ago. But reopening is just a piece of the puzzle — we have to make sure workers, schools, small businesses, and local communities are coming out of this crisis strong as the economy rebounds, which is why I fought to make sure the American Rescue Plan provides targeted, urgently needed resources that’ll get Montana’s economy back on track as quickly as possible, and we’re already seeing the benefits.”

Tester was the only member of the Montana delegation to support the American Rescue Plan. He worked tirelessly to ensure the COVID relief bill provided targeted resources that will have a tangible impact on Montana’s economy and ensure that anyone who wants a vaccine can get one—especially those who bravely served our country. The bill ensures local mayors have the resources to keep cops and firefighters on the beat, every Montanan who wants a vaccine can get one, schools can fully re-open safely, and it provides badly-needed relief for hard-hit Montana workers and small businesses, along with fulfilling former President Trump’s promise of $2,000 in direct payments for every American earning less than $75,000.

The American Rescue Plan includes:

  • $8 million in funding projected for the City of Helena and $13.4 million in projected funding for Lewis and Clark County
  • $20 billion for vaccines
  • $1,400 checks for Montanans who make less than $75,000 a year—a bipartisan policy endorsed by former President Trump.
  • Tester’s legislation to restore full, long-distance Amtrak service on routes like the Empire Builder and reinstate furloughed employees
  • $60 billion for existing and new COVID relief programs to aid a wider range of small businesses, particularly in the hospitality, travel, and entertainment industries, including $25 billion for a new grant program tailored to local restaurants
  • $382 million for K-12 schools in Montana
  • $94.4 million for Montana higher education institutions
  • $8.5 billion for rural hospitals
  • $31.2 billion for Tribal COVID response, vaccine distribution, and emergency housing and social services in Indian Country
  • Millions for Montana airports and transit agencies
  • $750 million in dedicated funding for the hardest hit travel, tourism, or outdoor recreation businesses