Montana Ranks Third In Interstate Fatalities


Montana’s Interstate system has one of the highest fatality rates in the country, one of the largest share of large trucks and one of the greatest increases in traffic volumes as the U.S. Interstate marks its 60th anniversary. According to a new report by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation organization, Montana’s Interstate experienced the seventh fastest increase in vehicle travel in the nation from 2000-2014. The state ranks third in the fatality rate on Interstate routes and seventh in the share of Interstate travel by large trucks.

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SBA 504 Refinance Program Made Permanent, Designed to Help Small Businesses Grow


Eligible small business owners now have more options to refinance eligible fixed assets and business expenses through the Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 Refinance Program. SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet made the program permanent through an Interim Final Rule in The Federal Register. This change will help small business owners ease their financial burdens and create incentives for potential expansion and further job creation.

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Montana Chamber Applauds State Fund Dividend - $35 Million Refund for Policyholders

The Montana Chamber of Commerce applauds the Montana State Fund (MSF) Board of Directors for approving a dividend declaration of $35 million at its meeting in Helena last week. The MSF Board reviews annually the fund management’s recommendation regarding the potential for a dividend. The basis of the dividend recommendation encompasses many factors, including level of surplus, accident year financial results, and the potential impact on future dividend declarations. MSF writes 60% of the work comp insurance market in Montana.

Read more: Montana Chamber Applauds State Fund Dividend - $35 Million Refund for Policyholders

Innovate Montana Symposium, July 13 & 14


New start-up companies and entrepreneurs will find “Innovate Montana” a unique opportunity to learn the ropes of starting a business, make connections with important support groups and training programs, and a chance to meet successful entrepreneurs who are anxious to tell their stories and share their experiences.
Governor Steve Bullock and the Office of Economic Development will be hosting “Innovate Montana,” in Billings on July 13 & 14. The event will be at the Crown Plaza Hotel with registration beginning at 11 a.m on Wednesday.

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NorthWestern Energy Files Gas Supply-Cost


NorthWestern Energy has submitted its annual natural gas supply cost tracker to the Montana Public Service Commission for review and approval.
The annual tracking period begins July 1 and ends on the following June 30 of each calendar year. The supply cost rate that appears on customer bills fluctuates on a monthly basis depending on market supply costs and other factors. The annual filing serves to true-up actual vs. estimated costs over the previous period and set the new benchmark for coming tracker year. The rate, when multiplied by the customer’s usage, is included in the total bill along with transportation and delivery costs.

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Johnson Named SBDC “State Star”


Dena Johnson, Regional Director of the Small Business Development Center(SBDC) in Billings, has been named the 2015 Montana “State Star”, a national award recognizing outstanding Business Advisors from American’s Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC). Johnson will be honored in September at the national ASBDC conference in Orlando. Award nomination criteria names exemplary performance, significant contributions to the program, and a strong commitment to small business as top qualifiers to win.

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Innovate Montana Symposium Set for July 13, 14 in Billings


Innovate Montana Symposium will be held in Billings on July 13 and 14, at the Crowne Plaza. The event is a gathering of some of Montana’s small business and entrepreneurial people to network, and showcase what small businesses in Montana are doing. It is a Main Street Montana Project event.
Shortly after becoming Governor, Steve Bullock created the Main Street Montana Project to facilitate discussion between the public entities and the private sector in Montana. The Project hopes to identify opportunities for growth across a variety of industries in Montana.

Read more: Innovate Montana Symposium Set for July 13, 14 in Billings

Preparing a Disaster Recovery Plan Makes Sense

One of this region’s most expensive disasters unfolded the night of Sept. 9, 2013 when over 10 inches of rain fell in a 24-hour period, devastating Boulder, Colo. and several other communities with flash floods, inflicting damage on nearly 20,000 homes and hundreds of small businesses. Unfortunately, our region is prone to a variety of natural disasters such as flooding in North Dakota, tornadoes in South Dakota, and the 2012 Montana wildfires that scorched more than 1.1 million acres of land.

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Gianforte Donates $8 million For Computing School


Montana State University has received a pledge of $8 million from Greg and Susan Gianforte, funding that will support MSU’s newly renamed Gianforte School of Computing and its South Campus initiative.
The Gianforte Family Foundation is pledging, over the next five years, $5 million to create an endowment to support the Gianforte School of Computing within MSU’s College of Engineering, $2 million will support the South Campus initiative, which includes the building of Norm Asbjornson Hall, and $1 million will provide current use funds to support the computing school.

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