• It’s not without its critics. The tax abatement program that Yellowstone County and the City of Billings use to incentivize business growth, expansion and recruitment is often viewed as a “free pass” for some businesses, but it is anything but that according to city and county officials.“It’s an incentive to succeed,” described County Commissioner Denis Pitman.
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  • Stockman Asset Management, an independent Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) and a provider of integrated wealth management solutions has changed its name to Stockman Wealth Management. The change was enacted to better describe the company’s “client-first” service philosophy, detailed financial planning services and investment management focus. Stockman Wealth Management offers services in Billings, Helena, Missoula, and Conrad.
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  • Roughly half of all small business owners say regulations are a “very serious” or “somewhat serious problem,” according to new research made public recently by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).
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  • Every year, thousands of participants fill the streets of downtown Billings, wearing the current Montana Women’s Run t-shirt. This year, the streets will be filled with walkers and runners wearing the 2017 berry shirt.
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  • The Montana Petroleum Association (MPA) testified in support of a bill recently to require full disclosure of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing. Last legislative session, MPA opposed a bill requiring full disclosure on the grounds that Board of Oil and Gas Conservation (BOGC) could not adequately protect trade secrets if the bill became law. Montana’s Uniform Trade Secrets Act protects
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  • The opening of new companies has been driving Montana manufacturing since 2010, keeping the rate of growth in manufacturing above the national average ever since the recovery of the Great Recession began in 2010. Montana manufacturing employment grew at 4 - 5 percent annually while the US was posting increases in the 2-3 percent range, according to economist Paul Polzin in
    Read More
  • Some days one has to wonder what we are doing to our children.At every turn young people are stymied in pursuing anything which might help them understand the world in which they live, get to know themselves or to build a future.
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  • State lawmakers heard several hours of testimony on a proposal to establish public charter schools in Montana.The House Education Committee held its initial hearing on House Bill 376, sponsored by Democratic Rep. Jonathan Windy Boy of Box Elder.
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  • Just in time to provide fodder in support of increasing Montana’s gas tax, The National Transportation Research Group has released a report called TRIP that concludes that Montana will face an $874 million annual shortfall through 2021 in improving road, highway and bridge conditions, traffic safety and modernizing its transportation system.“While the state will be able to address some needed
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  • The Montana Chamber of Commerce recently reported on what it sees happening during the first half of the Montana State Legislature, and what its experience has been in supporting and opposing various pieces of legislation. It’s a good insight for business people.
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  • Over the years in reporting on business in Montana, and as once more I see the dismal rating of Montana in the SBE study about the kind of environment in which entrepreneurs must function, I am struck at how little difference reality makes in political circles.
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  • For a state that has the highest ratio of entrepreneurs, Montana does not rank well in how it treats those entrepreneurs, and the impacts of those policies are far reaching for every citizen.
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shape upEntries are now being accepted for the 10th Annual Shape Up Montana program, a three-month team-based project of the Big Sky State Games that encourages Montanans to make healthier nutrition choices and be more physically active.

Since it began in 2003, over 43,000 Montanans have logged more than 10 million activity miles and shed 82,948 pounds! Organizers are working to reverse the progression of obesity and overweight trends in Montana.  This year’s program features a new user friendly website.

The early entry deadline is January 24. 

The “Shape Up Montana” program works with the business community, member organizations and families to engage their employees and members in a team format that spurs increasing physical activity and encourages healthy eating habits.  Past Shape Up Montana teams included businesses, church groups, organizations, friends, clubs, school staff and families.

 The team competition offers two categories:

  Accumulated Activity based on logging miles with the aid of an activity conversion calculator and Weight Loss due to healthful eating and physical activity. 

Teams of 4 to 10 individuals work together for three months (February 1 - May 1) helping each other and their team to either log mileage or lose weight.  Mileage is converted from regular daily activities (yard work, housework) and aerobic activity (swimming, running, walking, cycling, etc.). 

The cost for the three-month program is $15 and $10 for employees of Big Sky State Games (BSSG) program sponsors.  Everyone who enters will receive a Shape Up Montana T-shirt, weekly challenges, exercise videos, nutrition and physical activity tips/articles, access to numerous wellness calculators and free entry into the 27th Annual Big State Games Fitness Walk held July 20, in Billings.  Awards will be presented to the top three teams in each division.

Online registration, entry forms and more information are available at www.shapeupmontana.org or call (406) 254-7426.    Entry forms are also available at the Big Sky State Games Office in Billings (490 N. 31st, Suite 200).  

Shape Up Montana is presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana. Community Sponsors include Billings Clinic, Billings Gazette and Montana’s News Station (KTVQ, KBZK, KXLF, KRTV, KXLH, KAJ18, KPAX). 

Contributing partners include Albertsons, Eat Right Montana, Montana Chamber Choices, TwoMedicine, Montana Beef Council and Wendy’s.

The Big Sky State Games’ Major Sponsors are First Interstate Bank, Kampgrounds of America, and Montana Cycling and Ski.


 

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