The Job Retention Financial Report(s) Ellie Boldman (no longer) Smith Will Have To Fill Out For Her Covid Cash

by Travis Mateer

The small business job retention fund that Missoula County dispersed in December has reporting that will be due next month. I obtained the documents that businesses will have to fill out and turn in to Missoula County. Let’s take a look.

First, as someone who has worked in the non-profit world, I can say the one-page document to report how the money was used is nothing like the often strenuous, time-consuming reporting non-profits go through with their various grant sources. Some grant reporting is so time-consuming that additional staff are required just to manage the reporting.

That won’t be a problem with this document. Here is the first half of the one page:

After the time period for use of funds is over, the recipient of the money has until April 20th to turn in the report. Here is the lower half of the document:

After looking over this document I am left wondering how Ellie Boldman (no longer) Smith will be filling out this paperwork. Will she have to fill out this document twice, one for Ellie Hill Smith Law office and one for Willow Branch Science? How many jobs did her $50,000 dollars retain?

Another document that goes along with this emergency funding is the duplication of benefits report. I’ll include a screenshot of the masthead, since it uses the new logo Missoula County spent $10,000 dollars designing:

This document raises some questions in my mind that no local media has broached yet, like how exactly does Missoula County define “duplication of benefits”? I’m assuming “duplication” doesn’t include double-dipping retention money for two separate businesses. Here is the text from the document (my emphasis)

Missoula County must ensure that businesses do not receive duplicative assistance during the term of their COVID-19 Small Business Job Retention Grant. A duplication of benefits occurs when a person, household, business, government, or other entity receives financial assistance from multiple sources for the same purpose, and the total assistance received for that purpose is more than the total need for assistance. 

I guess that answers my question. A State Senator like Ellie Boldman (no longer) Smith must be legally allowed to receive financial assistance TWICE from the SAME source for DIFFERENT purposes, otherwise the funding gatekeepers wouldn’t have dispersed $50,000 dollars to our struggling State Senator.

While other local media outlets continue IGNORING the double-dipping of emergency Covid money for a politically connected Democratic State Senator, I will continue reminding readers of how politically connected people like Ellie Boldman (no longer) Smith benefit monetarily from their knowledge and proximity to the funding spigot.

If you find value in my reporting, check out my about page for ways to support my work. Since I’m not rolling in Covid cash, any amount of help is GREATLY appreciated.

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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