Billings is well positioned when it comes to enticing companies to locate here – at least some businesses.
Identifying just exactly who those businesses are was the point of a $74,000 analysis commissioned by the Big Sky Economic Development Authority, (EDA) an agency of Yellowstone County with the mission of assisting the growth of existing businesses and recruiting new business to the community.
What exactly is meant when the media reports that construction of new housing is recovering?
While the decline in new housing starts may have bottomed, talk of recovery might be strong language when one considers where the market is in relation to what was happening at its peak, according to one Billings broker, Howard Sumner. Sumner provides charts to make comparisons to where the market once was compared to its current status and to compare what is happening nationally with what is happening locally.
A Wyoming judge rejected efforts by environmental groups to open up confidential oil company records that detail information about hydraulic fracturing chemicals. In a ruling issued March 25, Dist. Judge Catherine Wilking in Casper backed up the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commissioner, whose supervisor has refused to release chemical formulas because they are considered trade secrets.
West Coast refinery markets offer better pricing for Bakken crude oil shipped by rail, compared to East Coast markets, which are almost double the per-barrel pricetag, according to a report in the Oil Patch Hotline.
"The most profitable market is going west," said Steve Magness, managing director of Bakken Oil Express, which ships by rail from its Dickinson, ND terminal.
Continental Resources increased to 900 billion barrels the potential oil "in play" in Williston Basin.
Encouraged by the success of a new second bench Three Forks well, Continental Resources is reaching out to tap into more new potential seen in these additional layers of rock in the Bakken play in an area 60 miles wide and 75 miles long.
Yellowstone County has weathered the troubled years of recession and rebuilding rather well, thanks largely to economic growth in Eastern Montana, which has been generated by the energy industry. The strength of agriculture also buoys the economy of Yellowstone County.
Yellowstone County is projected to grow 3.5 percent in 2013 in earnings, a growth rate that is projected at 3.3 percent for each year through 2016. In 2012 the county's rate of growth was 2.5 percent, compared to 2.8 percent in 2011.
Health Care Reform and the New "49ers" and "29ers"
Many already know that with the new Health Care Reform laws, the benefits world is a hard one to navigate for businesses - especially in the coming year. Small businesses hiring under the new health law are entering a whole new world.
Montana's economy experienced a better year than anticipated in 2012. It will be a tough performance to beat this year.
The growth is "tilted" to Eastern Montana because of the impact of oil and gas production. "Evidence of the energy industry is everywhere," said Pat Barkey, Director of the Bureau of Business and Economic Research, University of Montana.
"For the first time since the beginning of the recession we are starting to see a glimmer of growth in most areas of the state. . . even the slower growing counties are at least growing," said Barkey.
The Big Sky Business Journal
P.O. Box 3262
Billings, MT 59103