Featured Articles in Montana Business News

U.S. Department of Labor cites Montana highway contractor after hot asphalt burns three workers in Laurel

BILLINGS, MT – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Nelcon Inc. – a highway contractor based in Kalispell, Montana – for exposing workers to burns and falls at a mobile asphalt-mixing plant in Laurel, Montana. The company faces $261,418 in penalties for 23 serious violations. Three workers suffered burns Read More…

All in: Montana Business News

U.S. Department of Labor cites Montana highway contractor after hot asphalt burns three workers in Laurel

BILLINGS, MT – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Nelcon Inc. – a highway contractor based in Kalispell, Montana – for exposing workers to burns and falls at a mobile asphalt-mixing plant in Laurel, Montana. The company faces $261,418 in penalties for 23 serious violations. Three workers suffered burns Read More…

Montana unemployment rate dips to 3.7%

MISSOULA – Montana’s unemployment rate decreased by 0.1 percentage points to 3.7% for the month of March. Total employment estimates indicate a gain of 326 jobs, while payroll employment posted no change over the month, suggesting that tight labor markets are constraining job growth, according to figures from the Department of Labor & Industry. Montana’s labor force Read More…

Montana judge rules PSC intentionally set PURPA rates to kill solar projects

Dive Brief: A Montana district court judge last week issued an order in favor of solar developers, ruling that the state’s Public Service Commission intentionally disadvantaged small solar projects in violation of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA). The ruling comes after a June 2017 audio recording captured Commissioner Bob Lake acknowledging that cuts Read More…

Early Stage Montana seeks tech startups to apply for mentorship, grant program

A Montana-based organization is helping jump start high-tech startups through a business pitch competition held in Missoula, Billings and Bozeman to encourage tech industry development and job opportunities. Early Stage Montana, a nonprofit coalition, is looking for entrepreneurs who need help planning and growing their businesses. Participants will pitch their business plans and products to Read More…

KOA’s new Montana-based CEO ready to blaze new trails

BILLINGS –  Pitching a tent, enjoying the great outdoors, and gathering around a campfire: all things many people associate with Kampgrounds of America (KOA). Now, customers can also associate Toby O’Rourke as chief executive officer of the Billings-based company. Based in Billings, KOA just named Toby O’Rourke as the new CEO. O’Rourke has been the KOA president since March 2018 and Read More…

Big Reasons to Invest in Kalispell

Development in Kalispell has gathered momentum in recent years, as many businesses and organizations anticipate the arrival of a new walking path cutting through downtown, replacing the existing train tracks. Since that ball got rolling, officials said, it has only picked up speed. Earlier this month, at the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce’s luncheon, it became Read More…

Report shows nearly all Montana businesses considered “small”

MISSOULA, Mont. — According to the U.S. Small Business Administration ninety-nine percent of businesses in Montana were considered small businesses in 2018. The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) helped open fifty-eight businesses across the country last year. Montana ranked number one in the country for the number of workers employed by small businesses in 2018 Read More…

Esquire: Glacier Distilling Co. makes the best whiskey in Montana

CORAM – A small-town distillery in Montana is being nationally recognized for their whiskey. A February article in Esquire magazine dubbed Wheatfish, a whiskey distilled by Glacier Distilling Company, the best in the state. The article, written by Aaron Goldfarb, recounts different distilleries across the country and features one whiskey in every state. Nicholas Lee has Read More…

Entrepreneur and inventor searches for breakthrough

One product would arm a school principal with a weapon that would provide less-than-lethal or lethal options when confronting a school shooter. One barrel of the “Protector’s Choice” would fire bean-bag rounds. One would fire live ammunition. A separate product would recycle Styrofoam to manufacture 4-foot-long Lego-style construction blocks that could enhance efforts far and Read More…

Montana State Fund Partners with Rising Medical Solutions for Medical Bill Review Services

Helena, MT and Chicago, IL (WorkersCompensation.com) – Montana’s largest provider of workers’ compensation insurance, Montana State Fund (MSF), is partnering with Rising Medical Solutions (Rising), a national managed care company, to administer its medical bill repricing and provider payment program. After awarding its program to Rising, the partnership became operational in January of 2019. “Our Read More…

Real Estate Market Trends

Which home styles are sold in greatest (and least) quantities, across the Flathead? Does it vary by city? How many acres (or fractions thereof) come with which home styles, and does that vary by city? I was recently asked about the acreage which comes with home sales. This week, I’ve analyzed the 2018 single-family home Read More…

Montana airports see flight increases

Over the last decade, some of Montana’s larger airports have added new flights or extended certain flight services. The increased traffic is even causing some airports to expand. Since Glacier Park International Airport director Rob Ratkowski started in 2004, the number of direct flights has gone from just four to 11. He thinks the area Read More…

Yellowstone Area Chamber Releases Business Growth and Economic Prosperity Guide

Billings, MONT-The Yellowstone Area Chamber of Commerce released their comprehensive Public Policy Guide that will direct lobbying efforts at the Legislature. The group recently hired a lobbyist, EJ Redding, to advocate on behalf of area business in Helena. According to Redding, “I believe in the Chambers mission and look forward to fighting alongside businesses for Read More…

Mining, Taxes and Jobs in Montana

What would the economy of the state of Montana look like if the eight largest hard rock mines – producing copper, palladium, gold, talc, cement and other products and materials – did not exist? That was a question posed in a recent study produced by the Bureau of Business and Economic Research. It addressed – Read More…

The Rise of Short-Term Rentals

In a recent study conducted in Gardiner, Montana, by the Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research at the University of Montana, unsolicited comments from nearly 50 percent of residents exemplified issues in Montana’s affordable housing crisis. Those comments ranged from complaints about high rent to unreasonable housing prices. And while the state battles an affordable Read More…

New business group launches in Billings

Billings, MONT.-Today, local business owners announced the formation of the Yellowstone Area Chamber of Commerce. The group was formed in response to a growing belief among business owners that common-sense, pro-business solutions have become secondary policy goals. The group will educate and advocate for proven and business-centric policy prescriptions that create a positive environment for Read More…

Eagle Bancorp Montana Completes Purchase of The State Bank of Townsend, Townsend, Montana

HELENA, Mont., Jan. 02, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Eagle Bancorp Montana, Inc. (NASDAQ: EBMT), (the “Company,” “Eagle”), the holding company of Opportunity Bank of Montana, today announced that it completed, effective January 1, 2019, its previously announced acquisition of Big Muddy Bancorp, Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary, The State Bank of Townsend, Townsend, Montana Read More…

Trade, railroads keep Montana competitive in global economy

It’s good news that the administration has reached an agreement on an updated North American Free Trade Agreement. It means certainty for U.S. industry and agriculture, as well as the prosperity that comes from free trade. After all, international trade’s been an asset for farmers, businesses and consumers in Montana. The state’s exports have surged Read More…

New building planned in downtown Whitefish

A new mixed-use building plan has emerged for a prime spot on Whitefish’s Central Avenue where the former Lakestream Fly Shop operated. That building, an older home that was converted to commercial use decades ago, will be moved off the premises, according to an application filed with the Whitefish Planning Department. Earlier this year Fresh Read More…

Montana Chamber Foundation receives second Gianforte Family Foundation grant

Helena – The Montana Chamber Foundation announces its second grant from the Gianforte Family Foundation to achieve its 10-year strategic plan, Envision 2026. The goals of that plan are to increase jobs, per capita income, and gross state product, through focusing on workforce, entrepreneurship, business basics and infrastructure. “We are grateful for the continued support Read More…

Montana Beef Council Board of Directors set tentative marketing plan for fiscal year

BILLINGS, MONTANA – The Montana Beef Council would like to invest up to $825,000 into programs of beef promotion, education, and producer communications in fiscal year 2019, which began Oct. 1. Programs approved could be funded through Montana’s 50 cent in-state portion of the $1 per head beef checkoff, after Montana producers provide affirmative consent Read More…