Optimism Up After Election


Small business optimism remained flat leading up to Election Day and then rocketed higher as business owners expected much better conditions under new leadership in Washington, according to a special edition of the monthly NFIB Index of Small Business Optimism.

Read more: Optimism Up After Election

Judicial Nominee, No Friend of Business


President Obama nominated Merrick Garland, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, to replace Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court. If confirmed he could serve on the Court for at least a decade and tip the balance in favor of the liberal block of justices who routinely side with government over employers.

Read more: Judicial Nominee, No Friend of Business

Federal Power will Harm Montana Farmers


By Riley Johnson, State Director of the National Federation of Independent Business
The White House just approved an Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers’ rule that could give the agencies vast new power over water. The impact of this will be felt by every farmer and rancher in Montana.
The new rule defines the waters of the United States so expansively that the federal government could apply the decades-old Clean Water Act to creeks, small ponds and even streambeds that are dry much of the year. The Clean Water Act was supposed to govern navigable waterways, not every place where water could possibly flow or pool.

Read more: Federal Power will Harm Montana Farmers

Entrepreneur Scholarships


A month remains for business-minded high school seniors to apply for a nationally prominent Young Entrepreneur Foundation scholarship from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).

Read more: Entrepreneur Scholarships

Budget Deal Brings Some Certainty



Montana State Director, National Federation of Independent Business
At 2009 pages, the political world has a lot to say on the federal budget deal posted online in the wee hours of the morning, and one provision in particular has Montana small-business owners hoping Congress seals the deal on Friday and President Obama signs it.

Read more: Budget Deal Brings Some Certainty

Blunt Advice to First-Time Job Seekers


At a recent gathering of small-business representatives from around the nation, William Dunkelberg, chief economist for the National Federation of Independent Business, opined on what one result from an NFIB poll meant: Clean up your act.
Dunkelberg was aiming his remarks at the young looking for their first job. In short, he recommended improving your attitude, ditching the nose ring and looking clean. “Does it take a high school or college degree to know you should be clean?” he wondered rhetorically.

Read more: Blunt Advice to First-Time Job Seekers

Rules for Holiday Parties


The holiday party season is here, and the Small Business Legal Center at the National Federation of Independent Business is advising its members to keep celebrations safe by watching out for two problem areas – drunk driving and harassment.
An increasing number of states require employers to exercise reasonable care to prevent injuries by intoxicated employees. To minimize the risk of liability:
* Use professional bartenders, and instruct them not to serve anyone who appears intoxicated.

Read more: Rules for Holiday Parties

The Best Black Friday Advice of All

Is a spike in your blood pressure any way to start the holiday season?

That is almost certain to occur on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, when lemming-like, many people will rise and rush to their automobiles, sit in traffic for hours, and arrive just in time to jostle for a prime parking spot at the mall.

Already pulsating, your anxiety level reaches cruising altitude, as you think the most uncharitable thoughts of the people in line in front of you: The ones who couldn't have a rough estimate of cash, or their credit card, ready in their hands, but had to wait until they approached the cashier before fumbling through their purses and wallets. The ones with a lot of questions for answers clearly printed on the box.

Read more: The Best Black Friday Advice of All

Market Update

1 DOW 20,821.76
+11.44 (0.05%)    
2 S&P 2,367.34
+3.53 (0.15%)    
3 NASDAQ 5,845.31
+9.80 (0.17%)    
4 MDU 27.13
+0.08 (0.30%)    
5 SWC 17.06
+0.01 (0.06%)    
6 EBMT 20.05
-0.20 (-0.99%)    
7 FIBK 44.20
+0.05 (0.11%)    
8 GBCI 36.95
-0.21 (-0.57%)