SBA Names Winners of Business Awards


Montana Small Business Person of the Year is Greg Thayer, CEO of Great Falls-based Montana Milling, Inc. Two Billings businesses were also among the honorees announced by the Montana US Small Business Administration.
Lena Wharton of Wharton Asphalt LLC in Billings has been recognized with the Montana Woman-Owned Small Business award; and Jim Markel and Perry Jones of Red Oxx Manufacturing, Inc. in Billings have been recognized with the Montana Veteran-Owned Small Business Award.

Read more: SBA Names Winners of Business Awards

O’Donnell to Provide Consumer Protection on PSC

Conservative Republican activist, Tony O’Donnell, Billings, announced his candidacy for District 2 Public Service Commission proclaiming that the PSC’s mission is not only to consider requested utility rate increases but to protect the public from misguided federal mandates.

O’Donnell stated that the list of examples is long and seems to be growing: Clean air act, haze regulations, coal leasing moratorium, Clean Power Plan, and the Clean Water Act to name a few.

Read more: O’Donnell to Provide Consumer Protection on PSC

HUD Funds Montana Pubic Housing

Montana’s public housing authorities received $2,654,272 in federal funds from the federal US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The Housing Authority in Billings is getting $368,994. Other communities receiving grants include Dawson County, Helena, Great Falls, Butte, Glasgow, Anaconda, Missoula, Whitefish and Richland County.

Read more: HUD Funds Montana Pubic Housing

SBA Names Top Performing Lenders


The SBA Montana District Office has announced the top performing lenders based on total number of 7(a) loan approvals for Fiscal Year 2014-15. In Montana, the top three lenders based on loan volume were Glacier Bancorp, Inc. - 46 loans for almost $4.1 million; Wells Fargo Bank, 46 loans for $10.7 million, and Live Oak Banking Company, 7 loans for $10.3 million.
Rocky Mountain, 2615 King Ave W. in Billings, was selected as Montana’s Emerging Lender of the Year.

Read more: SBA Names Top Performing Lenders

Without Levy Increase Petroleum County Could Fold

Unless voters of Petroleum County approve a 100 mill levy increase during the primary election this spring, the county may have to merge with a neighboring county, according to its county commissioners. The measure asks for the increase each year for the next ten years.
With declining business, property values and population, the county has been functioning at a deficit since 2009. In 2016 the budget shows a deficit of $61,913.

Read more: Without Levy Increase Petroleum County Could Fold

Export Council Seeks Leaders Interest in Strengthening Exports

The Montana District Export Council is seeking business leaders interested in helping strengthen export opportunities for Montana companies.
Closely affiliated with the U.S. Commerce Department’s Export Assistance Centers and the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service, the Montana District Export Council is one of 59 nationally working to strengthen American exports.

Read more: Export Council Seeks Leaders Interest in Strengthening Exports

Montana Court Earns 60% Grade


The Montana Supreme Court received a 60 percent rating in the sixth biennial review conducted by the Montana Chamber of Commerce. Focusing on its decisions on crucial business cases, the review saw “ just a slight drop from its 63% rating on the 2014 review but much higher than its 41% rating in 2012,” reported the Chamber.

Read more: Montana Court Earns 60% Grade

Oil & Gas Board Pushes Forward on Regulations


Despite continued objections from the oil and gas industry, the Montana Board of Oil and Gas Conservation is pushing forward on rulemaking that would require public hearings on all wells drilled within 1,320 feet of an occupied dwelling.
The draft proposal considered by the board at its Feb. 10 meeting would require formal notice to homeowners living within that distance.

Read more: Oil & Gas Board Pushes Forward on Regulations

Seeking Nominations


The Montana Manufacturing Association is seeking applications for its 2015 Manufacturer of the Year award. The awards focus on product, process, performance, philosophy, and community during the past year. Applications are due February 29, 2016 and the winner will be recognized at the Manufacturing & International Trade Day May 2 in Missoula. For application: MontanaChamber.com/2015MOTY.pdf and for more information go to: MontanaChamber.com/about-us/montana-manufacturer-of-the-year.

Market Update

1 DOW 20,656.58
-4.72 (-0.02%)    
2 S&P 2,345.96
-2.49 (-0.11%)    
3 NASDAQ 5,817.69
-3.95 (-0.07%)    
4 MDU 27.10
-0.08 (-0.29%)    
5 SWC 17.41
+0.08 (0.46%)    
6 EBMT 20.15
+0.25 (1.26%)    
7 FIBK 38.85
+0.30 (0.78%)    
8 GBCI 32.71
+0.12 (0.37%)