• 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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  • After something of a boom year in 2015, Montana’s economy slowed in 2016. Growing just short of four percent in 2015, growth in 2016 was just a little over half that. Economist Pat Barkey, Director of the Bureau of Business and Economic, projects that 2016 growth will be about 2.6 percent, but the final data is not yet available to
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  • Magic City Real Estate is a new Full Service Residential Real Estate company in Billings. Reatha Montoya as Broker/Owner has launched Magic City Real Estate.Montoya was with Keller Williams for over three years.
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  • A need for a program with more emphasis on banking has resulted in a partnership between Montana State University’s Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship and the Montana banking community.
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  • The Montana Petroleum Association said it was not surprised by the cancellation of 15 leases held by Devon Corp. in the northwest Montana area of the Lewis and Clark National Forest.
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  • Attracting a more educated and younger labor force to Montana is necessary to shore up the state’s economy, but to do so is more complicated than it may seem.And, is Montana sure that that’s what it wants? quizzed Bryce Ward, an economist with the Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) during the BBER’s 42 Annual Montana Economic Outlook for 2017.
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  • Gracia Barr always dreamed of owning her own business, but when the opportunity presented itself she wasn’t sure she was ready. However, the opportunity to purchase The Nail Institute and own a school that served the industry which had been so much a part of her life, was just too much the perfect fit. So with the urging and support
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  • One of Montana’s oldest and most popular businesses is expanding its facility in Billings to meet growing demand.
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  • The upbeat news in agriculture in Montana is all about pulse crops (lentils and peas) with prices expected to rise and production increasing by 75 percent, while more traditional farm production has suffered price declines over the past couple of years. George Haynes of the Department Economics and Agricultural Economics and Extension Economics at MSU, called the emerging importance of
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  • While the economic news for Yellowstone County is less than stellar, it could be worse and it is not without its bright spots.
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  • Next Steps for TEDDNow that the TEDD in Lockwood has been created for the purpose of developing an industrial park, Big Sky Economic Development Authority (BSEDA) is pursuing the next step in the process. That step is to develop an infrastructure master plan that will help in designing the Billings Bypass, according to Steve Arveschoug, BSEDA Director. “We need to
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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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