Coal Black Liquids is using the technology developed by ARCTECH, Inc., a diversified research and development company in Chantilly VA, to manufacture as from coal products for soil mitigation and water treatment. They hope to begin manufacturing this year, in Billings. The company’s managing partner is Tom Rossetto, the former president of Westmoreland Coal. The bio-conversion technology uses naturally occurring microorganisms to convert the coal. The entrepreneurs are completing a feasibility study that was made possible by a $415,000 grant from the Department of Commerce’s Montana Board of Research and Commercialization Technology. The study is helping to locate the right kind of coal and to identify a plant site. The proposed plant will, at a minimum, produce 10 million gallons of fertilizer product, 5,000 tons of environmental remediation products, and 10,000 to 100,000 mcf of biogas.
Dan Kern and his partner, Chris Nurre, are right on the cusp of bringing a new invention to market. Nurre devised a physical therapy devise that retrofits bicycles so that people with limited mobility can ride them. They have developed a prototype and tested it, and are now in the phase of refining the design for manufacturing. Kern said that they anticipate launching sales through high-end bike shops.
Having recently moved to Billing from Alaska, Michael Sweeney is poised to launch a new business that will target a niche technology market. Tech Helpers will provide consultation services to the law firms and other enterprises aligned with the legal profession. Launching a business has many kinds of challenges, with which Sweeney has been dealing, but the one thing that has not daunted him at all is the state of the economy. He couldn’t be more confident about the future, especially for Billings.
A networking event in Billings, hosted by TechRanch, for technology entrepreneurs generated a full house at The Rex last week. Representing a wide range of businesses and ventures, people came from throughout the region to meet others of like mind and interest – and that was exactly TechRanch’s purpose.
Keith Lauver has a better idea, one that has launched a new business, The Healthy Pantry, Red Lodge. In a former life as a computer technician, Lauver realized how difficult it is for busy people to prepare and eat the right foods in order to keep fit. He has developed an easy-to-prepare line of foods that are healthier. He likens them to “Hamburger Helper” style of prepared foods, only made with whole grains and higher quality ingredients. The company employs four people. The products are available at about two dozen retail outlets, including the Good Earth Market in Billings.
Newspaper Publishers Revenues Decline in 2008
Newspaper publishers experienced a single-year decline in total revenue of 8.3 percent — from $47.9 billion in 2007 to $43.9 billion in 2008. This followed a more modest decline of 2.7 percent in 2007, the U.S. Census Bureau reported.
A major contributor to the overall loss in revenues for the industry was the decline in advertising space revenue for general newspapers, which dropped 10.2 percent — from $30.9 billion in 2007 to $27.8 billion in 2008. Revenue from newspaper subscriptions remained largely unchanged over the period, from $8.3 billion in 2007 to $8.2 billion in 2008.
These estimates come from the 2008 Service Annual Survey: Information Sector Services. The survey provides national estimates of annual revenue and expenses for industries primarily engaged in producing, processing and distributing data, which range from motion picture production to libraries.
The Big Sky Business Journal
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Billings, MT 59103