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Park County businesses report layoffs and loss of revenue in survey of flood impacts

Three-quarters of Park County businesses surveyed reported a loss of revenue because of last month's floods.

A recent survey of Park County businesses found many sustained significant losses as a result of the Yellowstone floods last month.

In late June and early July the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis surveyed businesses, mostly in Park County; 146 responded.

Three-quarters of Park County businesses reported June revenues were less than half of what they were the same month last year. With less money coming in, 57% of businesses say they had to cut staff.

Lodging and restaurants were especially hard hit: Survey comments from hotel owners reported widespread cancellations stretching into the fall and winter months.

Gardiner Chamber of Commerce executive director Terese Petcoff says most businesses in Gardiner are family owned or a sole proprietorship.

“You also have to look further down the line when it’s December and January when these families don’t have the income that they typically would have from having a busy season,” she said.

In the Federal Reserve Bank’s survey businesses were asked to identify the biggest obstacle to recovery: 80% said loss of customers.

Petcoff says, anecdotally, visitors to Gardiner this summer have been mostly local Montanans. She says the town is grateful that some visitors have still come, and businesses are hopeful it will continue.

Olivia Weitz covers Bozeman and surrounding communities in Southwest Montana for Yellowstone Public Radio. She has reported for Northwest News Network and Boise State Public Radio and previously worked at a daily print newspaper. She is a graduate of the University of Puget Sound and the Transom Story Workshop.