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Bob Hanson, a rancher from White Sulphur Springs, has been re-elected president of the Montana Farm Bureau Federation. Bruce Wright, a farmer from Bozeman, was re-elected as vice president of the state's largest agricultural organization.
Harris Wheat, a cattle rancher from Dillon, was re-elected as District 2 Director; Ronda Johnston, a rancher from Melville, was re-elected as District 4 Director; Bill Rehbein, a rancher from Lambert was re-elected District 6 Director; Ed Bandel, a farmer from Floweree, was re-elected District 8 Director, and Sky Anderson, a rancher from Livingston, was re-elected District 10 Director.
Americans are facing a drought of rainy day funds to handle unexpected emergencies. Twenty-three percent of Americans have less than $100 in savings to cover an emergency expense if it happened today while forty-six percent report having less than $800, according to a new national survey conducted by online lender CashNetUSA.com. The findings reflect the growing percentage of individuals with varying socio-economic backgrounds living paycheck to paycheck.
Google's infrastructure investment in Iowa rises to $1.1 billion with the mid-November announcement to expand its existing data center there (built in 2009).
There are nine other major data centers in Iowa, including a Microsoft operation. And Altoona, Iowa, officials will announce any day the secret identity of a company planning to build yet another data center, a $1.5 billion beast — my guess, Facebook.
Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas, Iowa.
"A lot of eyes are watching," as Bay Limited in Billings begins moving large modular components across Montana roadways toward Canada.
President of Bay Limited's parent company, Berry Y & V, Ken Luhan, was in Billings last week to observe "what is almost a test case," to demonstrate the feasibility of manufacturing in Montana for the oil sand producers in northern Alberta. A lot of prospective clients are watching, said Luhan, about a project which has taken almost three years to implement.
Lodging taxes in Billings are up dramatically, according to The Billings Chamber of Commerce/Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) and Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID). Year over year, collections are up 21% through the second quarter of 2012, with a 24% increase in first quarter and an 18% increase in the second. Increased lodging collections are an excellent indicator of the health of the local economy in general, so numbers like these are positive to report.
Besides energy development, North Dakota is also driving technology development according to North Dakota's Senator, John Hoeven, at a recent business conference, "The State of Technology: The Next Generation of Jobs in North Dakota."
Of the 16,000 job openings in North Dakota, about 60 percent of them are in high-paying, high-tech positions in the Red River Valley, rather the oil field counties. "These jobs are leading the country forward," he said.
North Dakota banks have a problem in having too much money in deposits, reported the Daily Yonder. In "reaping the rewards of the oil boom," in western North Dakota, "Lease payments, royalties, and money from property sales are pouring in to the small independent banks of the many small towns in the region."
That' a problem because "banks make money from loans, not from deposits."
According to the Daily Yonder deposits for some banks are over 20 percent annually, an "unheard of" rate.
Polson is Montana's most business-friendly town, topping the list in a study that ranks the economic vitality, business tax burden and community allure of the state's 25 largest cities, according to a report released by two think tanks.
Officials with the Bozeman-based Montana Policy Institute and Alabama-based American Indicators say the study — "How business friendly are Montana's 25 largest cities?" by John Hill of American Indicators — provides a ranking of measures most sought by businesses.
The Big Sky Business Journal
P.O. Box 3262
Billings, MT 59103