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The Montana Small Business Development Center Network will be hosting their 2nd annual Invest in Success Conference on April 6, at the Crowne Plaza Billings Hotel. The conference is designed to help owners of growing large and small businesses of all industries, and offers a unique opportunity to obtain skills, knowledge and resources.
SBA Preferred Lenders can begin approving Small Loan Advantage loans; ‘Mission-focused’ lenders can start applying to participate in Community Advantage
Lenders who participate in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Preferred Lender Program can approve loans through the agency’s new Small Loan Advantage program beginning Feb. 15. At the same time, the agency will begin accepting applications from community-based, mission-focused lenders who are interested in making SBA-guaranteed loans through the new Community Advantage program.
The prospect of the Big Sky Economic Development Authority (EDA) putting in a bid to administer the east Billings Tax Increment Finance District (TIFD) was a primary focus of members of the joint meeting of the executive committees of the EDA and its sister organization, the Big Sky Economic Development Corporation (EDC), last week.
Clerk and Recorder Nave to Retire
Yellowstone County Clerk and Recorder Tony Nave surprised those in attendance at a regular weekly meeting of the Yellowstone County Commissioners with the announcement that he is going to retire. His resignation becomes effective May 31, 2011.
Nave, a Republican, was only recently re-elected for a fifth term to the position, going unchallenged in the General Election after having defeated Eric Coobs in the Primary.
The updated master plan for what has been known as the Heritage Bike Trails will begin the approval process of local governments now that printed drafts are available.
The plan is being presented in two segments – as the master plan for the future, and as an asset management plan, which will outline costs associated with immediate and long-term maintenance of the existing 36 miles of trails. The name of the plan has also been changed to the Billings Urban Area Bikeway and Trail Master Plan.
The community – as it is governed under the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) – is required by the federal government to have a master bike trail plan and to update that plan every five years. Should local governments fail to comply, they stand at risk of losing federal transportation funds, according to federal law.
Finding ways to create opportunities could have been a theme for the joint meeting of the Executive Committees of the Big Sky Economic Development Authority (EDA) and the Economic Development Corporation (EDC). The slowed economy, tax protests and looming legislative budget cuts, all, are posing downward pressures on the means to recruit businesses and to attempt to help business expansion.
Executive Board members and staff discussed how to deal with these varied problems last week.
The Lockwood School Board laid off ten non-tenured teachers at their meeting, last Tuesday evening, and the likelihood is that an additional 13 non-teacher positions will also be impacted as the District struggles to fill a $600,000 budget gap. Four of those positions have already been terminated through attrition.
In his 28 years at Lockwood School, said Principal Dave DeBoer, “I can’t remember that we were ever in a hole this deep.”
The action to not renew contracts with non-tenured teachers was one of four actions taken by the board, as steps toward addressing “the hole” created by lost revenues and increased costs.
ConocoPhillips is poised to begin moving their mega loads of equipment from Idaho to Montana on February 1. Last week, they received the full fledged endorsement of the Yellowstone County Commissioners in that effort. Commissioners underscored, in a resolution, the importance of the refinery’s continued operation to the local economy, as a supplier of jobs and fuel.
The oil company has been stymied in efforts to move equipment through Idaho and Montana by legal and permitting challenges.
The Big Sky Business Journal
P.O. Box 3262
Billings, MT 59103