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Billings Chamber of Commerce/Convention and Visitors Bureau staff members are discussing the latest findings released from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The data shows small businesses' outlook for the United States economy declined in the third quarter and fewer expect to hire additional employees, with many executives citing government taxes and regulations as significant hurdles, according to a poll conducted online for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce by Harris Interactive between September 29 and October 6, 2011.
"The voices of Main Street businesses are telling us plain and simple: To start hiring, we need faster economic growth and a change of course in Washington," said U.S. Chamber President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue.
ConocoPhillips plans create two leading, independent energy companies.
ConocoPhillips’ board of directors has approved pursuing the separation of the company’s Refining & Marketing and Exploration & Production businesses into two stand-alone, publicly traded corporations via a tax-free spin of the refining and marketing business to ConocoPhillips shareholders.
The year 2009 was the safest year in history for mining in the US, according to “Montana Mining 2011.” It marks a century-long effort to improve mine safety and a steady decline in accident-related deaths in the industry.
There were 15 fatalities in metal and non-metal mines and 18 in coal mines –a dramatic difference than the beginning of the century when over 2500 miners being killed per year was considered normal. The turning point happened in1907 after the “deadliest month” in American mining history with over 700 fatalities across the nation. But “there is more work that can and should be done,” said the publication.
For the first time in three years, the majority of small-business CEOs nationwide said they plan to hire in the next twelve months, according to a recent Vistage CEO Confidence Index study. Of the 1,729 respondents in the quarterly study, 77 percent expect increased revenues and 63 percent foresee higher profits in their own companies. A whopping 54 percent expect to expand their staffs in 2011, while only one in 20 said they’d have to trim back.
“On the whole, companies are coming out of their bomb shelters,” said Becky Smith, Ed.D., the Vistage Chair in Bozeman. “They are no longer in survival mode.”
The quarterly Vistage CEO Confidence Index is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive report on the opinions and projections of CEOs at small- to mid-sized businesses (grossing at least $5 million annually).
Blueprint for Western Energy Prosperity: West Poised to Displace Imports from the Middle East, Venezuela and Russia. The Blueprint for Western Energy Prosperity finds that by 2020 the West will produce as much oil and natural gas on a daily basis as the U.S. imports from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait, Venezuela, Colombia, Algeria, Nigeria, and Russia combined.
The inability of Congress and the administration to move three stalled free trade agreements is hurting U.S. economic growth, testified American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman before the House Ways and Means Committee. Combined, the Korea, Colombia and Panama agreements would add an additional $3 billion to the U.S. economy through agricultural trade.
Once fully implemented, the Korea free trade agreement would trigger $1.8 billion annually in agriculture exports. Gains in exports through the Colombia agreement are estimated at $815 million, while the Panama agreement is estimated to increase U.S. agricultural exports to more than $195 million.
The Big Sky Business Journal
P.O. Box 3262
Billings, MT 59103