Alpine Named Family-owned Business of Year

Alpine Plumbing and HeatingAlpine Plumbing Heating & Cooling of Billings has been named SBA’s 2009 Family Owned Business of the Year. The owners, the Tehle family, along with a cast of other outstanding award winners, will be honored at a award luncheon on June 5, 2009, in Missoula.

Alpine Plumbing Heating & Cooling specializes in residential remodel and repair service and is owned by Robert & Diane Tehle, as majority owners, along with Mike & Cheryl Tehle as minority owners.

Read more: Alpine Named Family-owned Business of Year

Aspen Air Here for the Long Haul

Onkar DhaliwalIt's a tough time for anyone to be starting a business – especially one with a $20 million investment, but Onkar Dhaliwal, owner of Aspen Air is optimistic. Part of their business plan was always the expectation of having to wait two to five years to get the contracts needed to start earning a return on such a staggering investment. In the meantime every dollar counts, which is one of the reasons why Yellowstone County offers a tax incentive for new and expanding businesses, and why Aspen Air has made application for the benefit.


 “It’s the only incentive we have gotten,” said Dhaliwal, and it’s one they have been counting on from the very beginning. The Big Sky Economic Development Authority, (BSEDA) provided  information about the incentive to Dhaliwal, when he came inquiring from Canada to find a home for his business two years ago. His business is that of separating elements from air, condensing them and distributing the industrial gases to other businesses — gaseous and liquid nitrogen, oxygen and argon etc. which are used by refineries, hospitals, welders, oil fields, etc.

Read more: Aspen Air Here for the Long Haul

Poll: People in Montana and Wyoming say Energy, Environment Can Exist Side by Si

Large majorities in Montana and Wyoming believe energy co-exists favorably with the environment, agricultural operations and wildlife, according to a poll sponsored by the Coalbed Natural Gas Alliance (CBNGA).

The poll was conducted November 7-10 by Moore Information, a nationally recognized research firm and included a variety of questions to determine residents’ knowledge and opinions of coalbed natural gas development in their state. A total of 800 registered voters – 400 in each state – were questioned. The poll has a 95 percent confidence interval, with a plus or minus 5 percent confidence ratio.

Read more: Poll: People in Montana and Wyoming say Energy, Environment Can Exist Side by Si

Colocation Service Planned for Montana

Technologent, a nationwide Solutions Integrator and Sun Microsystems Executive Partner based in California, announced the introduction of a new colocation service in Montana. The service will be offered in conjunction with iConnect, an authorized Sun Microsystems Certified Data Center. Technologent is owned by co-founders by Tom and Lezlie Gallaway

The new “state of the art” 47,000 sq. ft. colocation facility in Montana gives the company the ability to offer customers a competitively priced colocation service, as well as broader services. The service is located at 1030 central Avenue, Billings.

Read more: Colocation Service Planned for Montana

New GE Building Completed

GE Building

The GE Commercial Finance building in Trans Tech Center is completed and the company is in the process, this week, of moving in from their temporary downtown Billings location at the former MDU building.

The announcement of the building’s completion came during the joint executive committee meeting of the Big Sky Economic Development Authority (BSEDA) and the Big Sky Economic Development Corporation (EDC), both entities of county government.

Read more: New GE Building Completed

Yellowstone Valley Electric Cooperative Files Suit Against Partners in Energy Company

Yellowstone Valley Electric Cooperative (YVEC) filed suit this week against the company, Southern Montana Electric Generation and Transmission Cooperative, it helped form with four other cooperatives and the City of Great Falls.

YVEC hopes to extract itself from Southern Montana and its sister company, SME Electric Generation and Transmission, after attempting for more than a year to remove itself from the company which is in the process of building the Highwood Generating Station, for the purpose of future energy supply.

Read more: Yellowstone Valley Electric Cooperative Files Suit Against Partners in Energy Company

Hospitality Keeps Them Coming Back


Full to the rafters, Billings felt the economic impact of hosting the State Class C Basketball tournament last week.

To keep the teams and fans coming back, MetraPark and the Chamber of Commerce, make every effort to make them feel welcome – part of that includes the hosting of a hospitality room for coaches and trainers, which was sponsored this year by the Chamber through revenues that come from the Business Improvement District (TBID).

Busy serving up lasagna and coleslaw during lunch at Metra’s "café", Joan Kronebusch of the Chamber, explained that the only event that’s bigger for Billings, than Class C basketball, is the all-class state wrestling tournament. But, that’s not to say that the basketball tournament isn’t big. Crowds were so huge that they may have had to turn people away in a facility smaller than Rimrock Auto Arena.

Read more: Hospitality Keeps Them Coming Back

Remove Energy Drainers

According to a recent Brookings Institute study, 85 percent of American companies’ assets are human talent.. Therefore, leaders must meet the needs of their employees by creating more effective employee relations, with a less stressful work environment. Energy drainers like cubicle walls, harsh wall colors and even certain textures can make it harder to be as productive and creative as possible.

Pat Heydlauff in an article, “Remove Energy Drainers from Your Workplace: Keep Your Employees Happy and Productive,” learn how to utilize the principles of color and design to create a more employee-friendly atmosphere.

NorthWestern Energy Files for Rate Reduction Resulting From Tax Adjustments

NorthWestern Energy plans to reduce its electric and natural gas transmission and distribution rates beginning January 1 due to the combined effect of a lower 2008 Montana property tax bill and an estimated refund of property taxes protested in prior years, based on the company’s recent property tax settlement with the Montana Department of Revenue.

Read more: NorthWestern Energy Files for Rate Reduction Resulting From Tax Adjustments

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