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6 Montana companies to produce 25,000 ‘Montana Aware’ masks

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The Montana Department of Commerce announced Wednesday that six Made in Montana program members will produce 25,000 masks as part of the state’s “Montana Aware” initiative to promote safe and responsible fall travel.

The six companies to produce the masks at their Montana-based facilities are: Montana Robe Company in Belgrade, Glacier Clothing Company in Columbia Falls, Rebekah Jarvey in Havre, 406 Creative Vibe in Missoula, REcreate Designs in Polson, and Red Ants Pants in White Sulphur Springs.

“I was a little bit worried at first,” 406 Creative Vibe Owner Vida Anderson said, “I thought ‘oh my gosh 5,000 masks,’ we’ve been making masks since march and have made about 8,000 total.”

This partnership is an opportunity to support local small businesses, promote the important Montana Aware message to visitors, and continue to encourage responsible public health practices.

“I’ve already bought a bunch of bolts from the local fabric store downtown then I just started cutting fabric and prepping,” Anderson said.

The Department of Commerce wants the masks by the end of October. They will use a portion of their tourism safety allocation of Coronavirus Relief Fund dollars to make the masks available to Montana’s 19 Convention and Visitors Bureaus and six tourism regions. The free masks can then be distributed to travelers during the fall season.

“I don’t know exactly who is getting my masks but I want to make something they will be excited to have and they will wear it,” Anderson said.

There are more than 2,300 members of the Made in Montana program, which promotes Montana-made products and small businesses. According to the Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research, visitors to Montana spent an estimated $81 million on Made in Montana products in 2019.

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