News & Events

Kalispell Core & Rail Redevelopment Brings Investment to Kalispell

Monday, January 14, 2019

The Montana West Economic Development (Montana West), in combination with the Flathead County Economic Development Authority and City of Kalispell, was awarded the MEDA Innovation Award for the Kalispell Core & Rail Redevelopment project – an innovative plan to develop the Kalispell Core Area. For the first time in decades, Kalispell has captured the attention of state and national developers, along with local entrepreneurs looking to put their stamp on the heart of Kalispell. Once the project is complete the Kalispell Core Area will have a walking trail, more green space, entertainment, dining and retail options – all factors that will...
Don’t Let the Sun Set on Economic Development in Montana

Friday, December 28, 2018

The Montana Legislature has an important decision before them – whether to continue investing in the economic development of our state or to let the sun set on key programs that have made regional growth possible. Montana’s Economic Development Programs Bring Private Investment Into the State These economic development programs require the state investing in growth. However, the state only contributes a small portion of the funds required for projects. The rest is paid for by private investment and sometimes federal grants and funding mechanisms. This has resulted in an incredible benefit to the state of Montana. In fact, on an annual...

Friday, December 21, 2018

Montana Backcountry Adventures began in 1997 as a snowcat skiing operation on the slopes of Moonlight Basin. In 2000, the previous owner purchased a 30-foot yurt and began the “Moonlight Dinners” enterprise, offering snowcat-accessed dining. In 2004, the Lone Tree lift was installed on MBA’s ski terrain, ending the snowcat ski business. The yurt moved to its current location on Big Sky Resort property in 2005. Kevin Daily, along with two partners, purchased Moonlight Dinners in 2007, and in 2008 they opened the Bell Lake Yurt backcountry ski hut in the Tobacco Root Range, offering guided skiing, avalanche courses, and overnight...
After decades sitting vacant, Laurel man has big plans for historic Laurel Trading Post

Thursday, December 20, 2018

LAUREL- A Laurel man is taking a chance on an old historic and vacant downtown building: the old Laurel Trading Post on West Main Street. Ron Seder hopes to restore the 112-year-old building to its original glory. He opened the doors to the vacant structure to show the progress so far. It’s not going to be easy because the foundation and walls are unstable, something Seder is currently working on. Seder said he couldn’t imagine the building being torn down, so when it went on the market, he jumped at the chance to take on the project. “It was a really good deal. Deal...
Business Funding for Veterans: What You Need to Know

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

t’s no secret that veterans can face challenges and hardships when re-acclimating to civilian life. One of the ways vets can build a successful future is by starting their own business. With Veteran’s Day fast approaching on Sunday, November 11th, part of thanking you for your service, is to help in whatever we can to ensure you have a bright and successful future. If you are looking to get your venture off the ground, there are many programs and resources to consider that specifically work with veterans. Consider beginning your journey with the Veterans Business Outreach Center Program. This program provides business...
Missoula Economic Partnership, UM and local government set course on collaboration

Monday, December 17, 2018

t took an “extraordinary” set of circumstances for Glacial Lake Missoula to leave traces of an ancient shoreline 500 feet above the floor of the Missoula Valley. A similar set of circumstances has left Missoula with a thriving economy, one Grant Kier predicts will have generational impacts and lead to stronger ties between the city’s premier institutions. “If economic development is anything, it’s about making sure the children that grow up in our town, in our state, have every opportunity to take their skills and build on that,” Kier said. “If they’re willing to put their energy and their efforts to work...
CEO says Montana in good position for changing economy

Friday, December 14, 2018

BILLINGS – The changing economy around the country will bring about people looking for a place to live and the companies will follow. Montana is one of the places that offers an attractive lifestyle choice, according to Bob Dunn, CEO of Landmark Development Services Company, LLC. Dunn spoke at the Big Sky Economic Development annual meeting. He said potential employees like mountain states and the appealing lifestyle is something communities and companies will need to consider. “We’re in the middle of a very dynamic shift in our economy,” Dunn said. “It used to be that the employer would locate in a community, in a state,...
Five Ways Business Owners Can Start Preparing For The Holiday Retail Season

Thursday, December 13, 2018

During the lazy, hazy days of summer, most consumers haven't even begun to think about their holiday shopping. In the retail world, holiday marketing is just a couple months away, which means now is the time to begin planning for the seemingly distant yuletide shopping season. While you don't necessarily need to advertise your behind-the-scenes efforts, it's a good idea to start thinking about the inventory, capital and labor force you'll need to get you through your busiest time of the year. We asked a panel of Forbes Finance Council members what business owners should be doing right now to prepare for holiday sales. Their answers are below. Continue to full article
Joe Willauer loves angling for Butte's economic development

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Joe Willauer is a fisherman to the roots of his soul. And that's a pretty good passion for a southwest Montana economic development leader to have. The Washington state native who succeeded Pam Haxby-Cote as the executive director of the Butte Local Development Corp. and Headwaters RC&D has quickly developed a reputation for bold and innovative thinking, an ability to bring people together and an unquenchable belief that success lies just around the next bend in the river. Willauer has taken several steps to market Butte's attractiveness to young people looking for a great place to raise a family. He points out...
Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: A comparison for businesses

Monday, December 10, 2018

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act ("TCJA") changed deductions, depreciation, expensing, tax credits and other tax items that affect businesses. This side-by-side comparison can help businesses understand the changes and plan accordingly. Some provisions of the TCJA that affect individual taxpayers can also affect business taxes. Businesses and self-employed individuals should review tax reform changes for individuals and determine how these provisions work with their business situation. Visit regularly for tax reform updates. Businesses can find details and the latest resources on the provisions below at Tax Reform Provisions that Affect Businesses. Continue to full article
Guest opinion: Celebrate Montana's veteran-owned businesses

Friday, December 07, 2018

National Veterans Small Business Week is an opportunity for us to, once again, reflect upon the sacrifices made by many of our fellow citizens who chose to serve in our nation’s armed forces. When we see dates like this on the calendar, we are glad that there are organizations working to help veteran businesses thrive in our community. That is the goal of the Veterans Business Outreach Center hosted at Big Sky Economic Development as we train, consult, and promote small business opportunities for veterans and their families. National Veterans Small Business Week is our chance to celebrate and recognize the...
Governor Bullock Announces $490,000 in Grants for Montana Film Production

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Granted Projects Include Adaptation of Montana Novel by Academy Award Nominee HELENA, Mont. – Governor Steve Bullock announced $490,000 in grant awards for productions filming in Montana, including a grant responsible for bringing the Ed Harris-backed feature film “The Ploughman” to Fort Benton and Great Falls. “Filmmakers are taking notice that Montana is the ultimate location for film production,” said Gov. Bullock. “By welcoming them into our communities, we’re creating jobs for Montanans, infusing dollars into our local businesses and strengthening our important tourism industry by inspiring folks to visit Montana.” “The Ploughman” is adapted from the novel of the same name by Montana author...
Fitness tech company in Missoula celebrates 100-worker milestone

Monday, December 03, 2018

In less than a year, a high-tech fitness-focused company called ClassPass has gone from just a few workers to more than 100 relatively highly paid employees in Missoula. The company will soon be moving into a new 15,000-square-foot office on the fifth floor of the First Interstate Bank building downtown. ClassPass hosted Gov. Steve Bullock and executives from its home office in New York to celebrate the achievement. Brian Mitchell, the head of talent acquisition for the company, said ClassPass began discussions about a third office in January 2017 and looked at more than 900 towns and cities before adding Missoula to...
Bozeman entrepreneur helps launch app to train workers displaced by technology

Friday, November 30, 2018

Robots are taking over workers’ jobs, there’s no doubt about it. McKinsey and Co., a research firm, found that 45 percent of current jobs could be replaced by artificial intelligence, and researchers expect that number to keep climbing, displacing millions of workers. To solve this problem, a local entrepreneur has launched NextStep Interactive, a company that will use a mobile phone app to help train workers displaced by artificial intelligence and automation for careers in the growing health care industry. Removing the barrier of having to take classes in-person, users can complete coursework on the app to become certified in an entry-level job, like a...
Snowy Mountain Development Corp. Wins Innovation Award from MEDA for Creekside Project

Friday, November 09, 2018

Kathie Bailey, Executive Director for Snowy Mountain Development Corp., has a simple mantra – “If you’re going to succeed it’s up to you. As a community, you have to step up and create what you want.” That attitude is shared by the residents of Lewistown, Montana, as evident by their Creekside Project, an initiative that led to Snowy Mountain Development Corp. earning MEDA’s Innovation Award. Community members in Lewistown decided they wanted a public meeting space, a place to gather to eat and listen to music, and outdoor restrooms – all things that would make the downtown an epicenter for family...
MEDA August 2018 News

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Catch up on all the MEDA News....and MEDA Unconference Registration is now open.
MEDA July 2018 News

Sunday, July 01, 2018

MEDA July News is ready for your summer reading pleasure.  See you in Billings in August for Innovate Montana.
MEDA June 2018 News

Thursday, May 31, 2018

MEDA June News - Check out Community Reviews, Grants, Membership News, and more.
MEDA April 2018 News

Saturday, March 31, 2018

MEDA April 2018 News - be sure to check out the list of Tools for you to use as well as the Grant Opportunities.
MEDA February 2018 News

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

MEDA Registration is now live.  Catch up on the agenda and news!
How Reinventing Regulation Can Boost Economic Growth

Monday, December 10, 2018

A conversation with Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and New Belgium co-founder Kim Jordan Improving regulatory processes can be a powerful and cost-effective economic development strategy for states. According to research by The Pew Charitable Trusts, two reforms have the strongest potential to boost state economies: First, states can make it less costly and time-consuming for businesses to comply with regulations. And second, they can partner with businesses to increase compliance and create economic opportunities. In Colorado, Governor John Hickenlooper has demonstrated the value of these strategies. He has implemented a statewide effort to set and achieve annual goals for reducing compliance costs for...
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