• Language matters when it comes to talking about energy, says Mark Mathis, a noted author, consultant, and filmmaker, and he urged attendees of the Montana Petroleum Association’s annual luncheon to change terminology in speaking of energy issues, and to take control of their own message.Call carbon based fuels TECHMAP fuels. Don’t call them, “fossil fuels,” which carries with it a
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  • Six businesses will receive Montana Family Business Program awards at the 2016 Montana State University Jake Jabs College of Business & Entrepreneurship State Farm Insurance Family Business Day, set for Friday, Oct. 7, at the Best Western Plus GranTree Inn in Bozeman.
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  • The numbers show Montana Fair had another very successful year.Metra Park Manager Bill Dutcher reported the fair numbers to Yellowstone County Commissioners on Tuesday. Metra Park depends on fair revenues to fund about a fourth of their annual budget.
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  • Just as Daytona Beach is noted as the home of NASCAR, members of the Professional Indian Horse Racing Association (PIHRA) hope to make Billings synonymous with Indian Relay Races. Having held their national championship in Billings for the first time last year, with great success, Metra Park’s Grandstand will once again be the venue September 22-25.
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  • Big Sky Economic Development (BSED) will hold their annual board meeting in conjunction with a summit on the economy of the health care industry, October 12 and 13 at the Doubletree by Hilton in Billings.The event begins on Wednesday, Oct. 12, at 10 am, with a presentation on the year in review by the leadership of the Big Sky Economic
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  • Some years ago a veteran manufacturer in Montana, owner of his own, very successful company, attending a seminar on “sustainability” was heard to declare, “We have always been sustainable. Successful manufacturing has always been about sustainability. It’s about keeping costs down and operating efficiently.”
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  • Once again Montana ranks at the top of the list of states with the highest rate of entrepreneurship, in the 2016 Ewing Marion Kauffman index. It is the fourth year in a row that Montana has ranked at the top, although Montana has been a leader in the rate of entrepreneurship for decades.
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  • Montana State University’s Montana Manufacturing Extension Center recently released the 2016 version of their annual State of Montana Manufacturing report, showing that Montana has increased its manufacturing base.
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  • Billings-based GTUIT, LLC has earned the 203rd position on Inc. magazine’s 2016 Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing private American companies with a three- year revenue growth rate of 1,894%. For 35 years, Inc. has tracked the fastest-growing private companies which have included firms like Microsoft, Under Armor, Oracle and Yeti Cooler.
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  • This issue of the Big Sky Business Journal reports on the end of a proposed project that makes one wonder if everyone understands the nature of economies and the importance of setting community priorities right.
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  • The Billings Alliance, during its quarterly board meeting, endorsed and agreed to help fund a campaign by the Billings Area Chamber of Commerce, to again approach the Montana state legislature to pass legislation that would give municipalities the power to enact local option taxes.
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  • Billings civic leaders have spent a couple of years trying to improve Billings air service, amid a lot of talk in the community that it is not competitive with Bozeman, and not keeping up with the times. To better inform the community about the facts, a community informational meeting was held last week co-hosted by Big Sky Economic Development (EDA),
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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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