Until the coronavirus caused a sudden shutdown of the economy, the downtown business community was planning a spring fundraiser for new Christmas decorations. Those plans have been put on hold as the Missoula Downtown Foundation is now raising money to make grants to smalls businesses.
“It’s gonna be a new campaign which basically takes the place of our planned spring campaign” said MDF President Jared Kuehn who explained explained the pivot to Mountain Broadcasting News. “We were just looking at our membership and seeing that you’ve got small business owners that have no way of creating revenue and no way of keeping employees on the job.”
The group hopes to raise $100,000 and as of Monday afternoon, $73,000 has already been pledged. The group is working on an application form and will award money to small downtown businesses hurt most by the COVID-19 shutdown. Kuehn also said that people who wish to donate to a specific business can do so through the Missoula Gives website at www,missoulagives.org.