Stillwater sees $3.9 million in CARES Act funds in 2020

Thursday, January 7, 2021
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Map courtesy of the state of Montana

Nearly $4 million in federal CARES Act money flowed into Stillwater County last year to help government, businesses, schools and non-profit groups survive the economic fallout of COVID-19.

Grants were awarded under 18 categories — Agricultural Adaptability, Business Adaptation, Business Innovation, Business Stabilization, Child Care Supplemental Payments to Providers, Emergency Housing, Food Bank, Local Government Reimbursements, Montana Arts Council, Montana Board of Investments, Montana Meat Processors, Public Health Care, Public Schools Funding for Pandemic Related Impacts, Public Schools Technology Grant, Social Services Non-Profit, Special Circumstances, and Stay Connected.

Of the $3,917,644 total awarded to Stillwater, approximately $1,937,034 went to the following:

•Stillwater County (emergency housing, local government reimbursements and special circumstances): $811,140

•City of Columbus (local government reimbursements): $4,238

•Public Health/Stillwater Billings Clinic: $55,116

•Special Services & Non-Profits (included but was not limited to Special K Ranch, Project Hope, Columbus Senior Center, Kruizin’ 4 Seniors, Stillwater Youth Center, Stillwater County Chamber of Commerce): $$361,455

•Food Bank (Project Hope): $5,000

•Public Schools (funding for pandemic related impacts and technology needs): $696,085

•Assisted Living/Nursing Homes: $4,000

The remaining $1,980,610 was awarded to Absarokee, Columbus, Park City, Nye, Rapelje and Reed Point businesses. For a complete listing, go to

When the funding was made available last year through Congress, every business listed on the Stillwater County Chamber of Commerce was contacted by county Community/Economic Development Director Stephanie Ray’s office.


As would logically make sense, largest counties drew the most CARES Act money, with the top five being Missoula at $102.9 million, Yellowstone at $101.7 million, Gallatin at $100.6 million and Flathead at $63.7 million.

Nearby, Carbon County received $7.2 million, Sweet Grass County received $2.8 million, Big Horn County received $7.8 million and Golden Valley received $305,392.


With capacity limits at restaurants and in every kind of retail store, continued financial help is a foreseeable occurrence for Stillwater and other Montana businesses.

The county is in early stage talks about developing a small business grant program that would be funded locally, but details are still very much in the making.