Big Sky Economic Development News

OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR STATE OF MONTANA: Latest COVID-19 Update 11.17.2020

Nov 17, 2020

Read the full directive HERE.


The Governor announced today that the state will be providing a third round of business stabilization grants. If you have received them in the past, you will received an email prompting you to accept a third grant payment.

The State will also be providing additional dollars to those who are filing unemployment. This news comes as the Governor provided the following change in restrictions in an effort to slow the rate of COVID-19 infections.

$75 million for Business Stabilization
$25 million for Interim Pandemic Assistance ($200/week for 4 weeks)
$3 million for additional Food Bank/Food Pantry Assistance


The spread of COVID-19 endangers vulnerable Montanans, businesses, and hospitals who need the capacity to treat both COVID-19 patients and all others needing medical care. To curtail the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Montana, and to protect the health and economic wellbeing of all Montanans, it is necessary to implement additional measures to reduce spread of the disease. 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 provide certain restrictions and recommendations to limit public gatherings and close contact with others.
Therefore, in accordance with the authority vested in me under the Constitution, Article VI, Sections 4 and 13, and the laws of the State of Montana, Title 10, Chapter 3 and Title 50, Chapter 1, MCA, and other applicable provisions of the Constitution and Montana law, I hereby direct the following measures be in place in the State of Montana, effective at 5 a.m. on Friday, November 20, 2020:
1. Restaurants, Bars, Breweries, Distilleries, and Casinos to Operate at 50 percent Capacity and Close No Later Than 10:00 PM
  • Capacity in all restaurants, bars, breweries, distilleries, and casinos must be limited to 50 percent of normal operating capacity to allow for adequate group spacing.
  • Tables must be limited to six people per table.
  • Establishments must provide for 6 feet of physical distancing between groups and or tables by:
  • Increasing table spacing, removing tables, or marking tables as closed.
  • Providing for a physical barrier between tables.
  • Note: back-to-back booth seating provides adequate separation.
  • These businesses will be required to close their doors and have all patrons out by 10:00 p.m. Businesses may reopen after 4:00 a.m.
  • Breweries and distilleries shall follow existing laws on closing time.

2. Public Gatherings and Events Limited to 25 Individuals Where Social Distancing Is Not Possible or Observed 

  • Any public gatherings or events where it is not possible to practice social distancing or where social distancing is not being practiced must be strictly limited to 25 people or fewer.
  • Anyone planning an event with more than 25 people should consult with their local public health office on a plan to implement adequate social distancing.
  • This Directive does not alter existing requirements for houses of worship. Faith leaders are urged to continue to ensure that social distancing is possible and practiced for all inperson services, and to encourage the use of virtual services where possible.
  • This Directive does not alter existing requirements for public and private K-12 schools.
  • The 25-person limit does not apply to bars, restaurants, breweries, distilleries, and casinos operating under the requirements set forth in Part I of this Directive.
  • Though the group size limit applies only to public gatherings and events involving more than 25 people where social distancing is not possible or observed, Montanans are urged in the strongest terms to limit their involvement in any in-person gatherings of 15 or more people— including private gatherings inside a home. Such gatherings are a significant contributor to the spread of the virus. o
  • Montanans are urged to practice social distancing in any gathering of any size outside their own household.

3.Face Coverings Required in All Counties Regardless of Case Count  

  • The requirements described in the July 15 Directive providing for the mandatory use of face coverings in certain settings and the August 12 Directive providing for the mandatory use of face coverings in all K-12 schools are modified to apply in all counties statewide, whether or not a county has identified four active cases. The narrow allowance permitting students to remove face coverings while seated and observing proper social distancing of six feet, set forth in the August 27 Directive, remains in effect according to the terms of that Directive.