Data released this week by the U.S. Small Business Administration provides the first detailed accounting of the businesses aided by the Paycheck Protection Program, indicating that Montana’s loan recipients span nearly the full width of the state’s economic landscape.
Exploring Montana’s economic future
Montana, as the saying goes, is one big small town with really long streets. The Long Streets Project aims to cover it like that, focusing on the economic trends and issues that shape the opportunity Montanans have — or don’t have — to make a decent living.
The project, spearheaded by data reporter Eric Dietrich and project editor Brad Tyer, is supported by the Greater Montana Foundation.
As with MTFP’s other work, these stories and visuals are available for republication by outlets across the state under a Creative Commons license.
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LONG STREETS REPORTS
State labor department figures released in late September estimate 62,300 job openings in Montana each year through 2028. What they pay, and whether you can get them, has a lot to do with education.
Industry leaders are skeptical that the program puts ag producers back in the black.
For districts in agricultural towns on the state’s eastern plains, a decades-long trend toward larger farms and fewer ag families means there are fewer students to go around.
COVID-19 pandemic disrupted get-out-the-count efforts
As of April 1, every large daily publication in the state is facing newsroom furloughs intended to help their companies survive the crisis.
In some sparsely populated Montana counties, official population counts could be skewed by 10%.