Small businesses make up over 99 percent of all businesses in Montana - and many are facing their toughest times ever, with strict COVID guidelines and adjustments.
Some have not survived, but some have thrived.
Q2 caught up with a group on a tour across of state of the latter in the latest Rebound story.
The Montana district of the U.S. Small Business Administration is on the road, for the Peaks to Plains Business Resiliency Tour.
The 7 day journey aims to discover, and highlight the ingenuity and collaboration developing around the state.
"COVID was anticipated to I think, be fairly short, and hey here we are like 9 months later, right, and we're still at it, this effort was launched to advocate for small business and try to end 2020 doing something really awesome," SBA District Director Brent Donnelly said.
The tour included a stop at a small business in each of Montana's 56 counties.
They marked off number 51 at the Produce Depot, owned by Casey Anderson, in downtown Billings.
District Director Brent Donnelly spoke about how businesses have responded to the challenges of COVID.
We've heard story, after story after story about businesses that have done different things to respond to COVID either by changing some format of their physical locations, for some it was operational changes, some delivery changes.
The SBA did discover one statewide consistency.
"The straight up grit and resolve and tenacity of small businesses in MT as they figured out how to face the challenges of COVID,"Donnelly said,"So this tour is about trying to thank small businesses for that grit and tenacity, figuring out how to fight through COVID, figuring out how they can stay open to make sales and generate the revenue they need to stay viable to provide products and services to community."
So how can people help to ensure their continued success, and survival?
"Shop local, eat local, if you're going to buy anything try to buy it in your hometown or as close to your hometown as you can, because it really matters. It matters to our businesses, our small businesses, they're 99.3 % of the businesses in Montana. So our small businesses are our communities," Donnelly said.
Donnelly also commented how grateful businesses had been for continued and loyal patronage.