At the beginning of April, Claire Kemp of the Hamilton Downtown Association and City Planner Matthew Rohrbach saw the need for helping small local businesses during the statewide "Stay At Home" directive, which shut down most of the "brick-and-mortar" establishments. Working with the popular "Go Fund Me" internet service, they started the "hamiltonbrf.com" Business Relief Fund website. Their goal was to raise $20,000 to help small businesses pay for rent, utilities and more. By April 20th, they had raised $30,000. But the requests have reached the $75,000 level.

Any business with a street zip code of 59840 can fill out a one-page application at the hamiltonbrf.com site. Then, the application is reviewed by a committee with representatives from the Hamilton Downtown Association, the Ravalli County Economic Development Authority and the City of Hamilton. Kemp told KLYQ that often only portions of the request can be granted, ranging from 20 percent to 100 percent. Donations for the fund have come through the GoFundMe site and from an account at the Ravalli County Economic Development Authority, 274 Old Corvallis Road, Hamilton. And, with the rising amount of requests, more donations are appreciated.