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"Think big and bold. If not, you are selling yourself short."
Such is the advice for would-be entrepreneurs in the Bakken, from Steve Slocum of First National Bank and Trust of Williston, ND. Slocum was one of several business people comprising a panel discussion about how Billings area businesses can get a foothold in the fast-paced, booming oil business of the Sidney, Montana and Williston, North Dakota areas. The panel was moderated by Steve Arveschoug, Billings, Director of Big Sky Economic Development, the agency which recently hosted two tours of the area.
The movement of western Montana businesses and laborers eastward is the beginning of a new era in the state. It's a watershed moment in the history of both Montana and North Dakota – nothing will ever be quite the same.
Manufacturing nationally enjoyed a robust year as growth in many sectors accelerated from the already strong manufacturing recovery of 2010-11. But the impact varies from state to state, depending on several factors, says a report from Ball State University.
Montana received a grade of "D," in the 2012 Manufacturing and Logistics Report Card, an in-depth analysis from Ball State's Center for Business and Economic Research, grades all 50 states, on how they handled those factors.
Glacier Bancorp, Inc.'s Board of Directors, at a meeting held on June 27, 2012, declared a quarterly dividend of $.13 per share. The dividend is payable on July 19, 2012, to owners of record on July 10, 2012. The Company has paid a dividend for 109 consecutive quarters.
U.S. median household net worth declined 35 percent between 2005 and 2010, from $102,844 to $66,740 (in 2010 constant dollars), according to the U.S. Census Bureau. However, excluding home equity, median household net worth increased by 8 percent between 2009 and 2010, from $13,859 to $15,000.
"The more fracking the more traffic" Leslie Messer, Economic Development Director for the City of Sidney, told members of the Big Sky Economic Development tour group. Sidney is just a few miles from the North Dakota border, but still very much in the heart of the oil field action. Confronted with impossible demands on their infrastructure this much smaller city faces most of the same problems as Williston, North Dakota.
Billings will "remain a good hub for energy, and a good location for Sanjel" for a considerable time, Alan Olson told a tour group during a visit to the company's maintenance and training facility. Olson, who might also be recognized as a Montana State Legislator, is manager of the Billings facility for Sanjel Corporation Billings, a service company which fracks oil wells. "We are primarily a high-pressure pumping company," explained Olson.
Some forty business people from Billings and other areas of the state, from as far away as Whitefish, joined the Big Sky Economic Development Authority (EDA) tour of the Bakken. About a third of them said that they went to explore the possibility of launching some kind of business enterprise in what has become the hottest oil play in the nation, and perhaps the world.
Most returned undaunted by the challenges which they discovered exist for anyone trying to do business in the Sidney, Montana and Williston, North Dakota area. The two-day trip in early June was filled with site visits, speakers and panel discussions, conveying a wealth of information. Another tour of the Sidney-Glendive area is planned for July 10-11.
The Big Sky Business Journal
P.O. Box 3262
Billings, MT 59103