• Montana is a state rich in natural energy resources. The eastern part of the state has greatly benefitted from the American energy revolution reports the US Chamber of Commerce’s Energy Institute on its new webpage. The webpage — http://www.energyxxi.org/states/ — measures how states compare on energy, showing where each state ranks in energy production (Montana ranks 21st) and facts about how the
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  • By M.D. Kittle, Watchdog.org While the domestic spying National Security Agency has been under the red-hot political spot light, another quasi-governmental agency has quietly gone about the business of collecting nearly 1 billion U.S. credit card records without consumer consent. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, CFPB, unlike the NSA, operates with no congressional oversight and with little public transparency, even
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  • Oil producer Hess Corp has turned to a manufacturing process developed by automaker Toyota Motor Corp to cut costs and boost production as crude oil prices lag, according to a Reuters report. Deploying a process called Lean manufacturing, and used by only a handful of other oil producers, the move has shaved roughly $400,000 off the cost of each North
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  • A company called Enell, Inc. has quietly been doing business in Havre, Montana, serving an international market for the past 22 years. Like so many successful companies, ENELL serves a niche market – one ignored by the big companies catering to the mainstream. ENELL makes sports bras for well-endowed women. Perhaps, not surprisingly, the company’s evolution has paralleled the entrance of
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  • Caterpillar Oil & Gas announced that Caterpillar has made an equity investment in Billings-based company, GTUIT, a manufacturer of mobile gas treatment systems. The companies plan to collaborate to deliver equipment to reduce flaring and emissions from flaring gas in the process of oil production. Brian Cebull, President and CEO of GTUIT stated, “As a result of the Caterpillar investment,
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  • Billings business owner Rich Naylor has been named Small Business Person of the Year in the small business category by the US Small Business Administration in Montana. He owns My Handyman Service & Construction, Inc., Billings. Two other Billings businesspeople are in the list of award winners announced by the SBA. They include Haley Vannatta, owner of Yellowstone Valley Women’s
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  • Electric generation companies, such as Yellowstone Valley Electric Cooperative (YVEC) are “under attack,” according to Anita Decker, CEO of the Northwest Public power Association, of which YVEC is a member. At risk is the YVEC mission of providing customers with “the lowest cost, highest value investment,” said Decker, who spoke before the annual meeting of the YVEC on last week
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  • In the coming year local employers say they expect to hire 1000 new employees. That reflects a $42 million increase in wages for Yellowstone County. Will they be able to find the workers? Unlike many areas of the country, Billings and Yellowstone County face a labor shortage, a problem which if not addressed could negatively impact local business growth and
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  • If you want to reduce employee turnover in your business, fire mangers who are jerks. That’s the advice of Dick Finnegan, who was keynote speaker at the BillingsWorks Workforce Council luncheon. Finnegan is a nationally-recognized consultant on workforce retention and author of “Rethinking Retention in Good Times and Bad,” and of a forth coming book, “The Power of Stay Interviews
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  • It looks like the vision for a new restaurant in downtown for the Howard Shen and Tina Wu is becoming a reality. They plan to open Wild Ginger Steak House by late June on the ground floor of the new Empire Parking Garage on Montana Avenue between North 28th and North 27th Streets. The husband and wife entrepreneurial team are
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  • Building a convention center in Billings would cost in the neighborhood of $60 million, and require almost $700,000 annual subsidy. But, such a facility could turn Billings’ prospects around from possibly losing 25 percent of its convention business by 2020, to more than tripling it. A convention center would increase the economic impact of conventions held in Billings by about
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  • The goal for Jefferson Bus Lines is to open a new bus station in downtown Billings by July, according to company President Steve Woelfel. Woelfel announced last week that the Minneapolis-based company has purchased the former Underriner building at Fourth Avenue North and 18th Street North, to serve as their future headquarters in Billings. The new location allows the company
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