Business Expansion and Retention Banner

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The Governor's Office of Economic Development, Montana Department of Commerce, Montana Department of Labor and Montana Economic Developers Association (MEDA) formed a partnership that allows Montana to be one of several states to make the Montana Business Expansion and Retention (BEAR) program available statewide. The BEAR program is supported by local community entities that provide staff and financial support so that local business owners and operators are able to access much needed resources allowing them to improve and/or expand their businesses.

The BEAR program pulls together local business and community leaders to form a volunteer assessment team to address local needs. Assessment team members are trained in both the assessment process and in interviewing. Local area businesses who request the free service are visited by interviewers from the Assessment Team to conduct on-site surveys of the issues and needs of their local business. After reviewing the confidential survey the Assessment Team connects the client business to state, area, and local resources that that will assist with the identified needs and issues.

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Montana BEAR Teams Contact Points

Need a BEAR visit? Contact Statewide Coordinators: Mike and Gloria O'Rourke gloria@medamembers.org (406) 563-5259

Northwest Montana
Western Montana
Southwest Montana
North Central Montana
South Central Montana
Central Montana
Eastern Montana

 

Northwest Montana

Tracy McIntyre
Eureka
406-297-7374
Eureka Rural Development Partners
tracy@eurekardp.net
Lincoln County

Mike Jackson
Kalispell
(406) 758-6230
MJackson2@mt.gov
Flathead County

Bonnie Haun
(406) 827-8112
bhaun@mt.gov
Sanders County Job Service

John Balsam
Kalispell
(406) 756-3351
jbalsam@fvcc.edu
Flathead County Community College

 

Western Montana

Marie Hirsch-Mahugh
Ronan
(406) 676-5901 x 117
marie@ronan.net
Lake County Community Development Corporation

Lynn Lagerquist
(406) 833-7882
llagerquist@mt.gov
Lake County Job Service

Brigitta Miranda-Freer
Missoula
406-541-6461
bfreer@missoulaworks.org
Missoula Economic Parternership

Angie McDonald
406-542-5748
amcdonald@mt.gov
Missoula County
Missoula Job Service

George Palmer
406-542-5746
Gepalmer@mt.gov
Missoula County
Missoula Job Service

Vickie Steele
Hamilton
406-375-6045
Bitterroot Job Service
Ravalli County
vsteele@mt.gov

 

Southwest Montana

Jim Davison
Anaconda Deer Lodge County
Anaconda Local Development Corporation
406-563-5538
jameshdavison@gmail.com

Dale Mahugh
Butte
406-497-3756
Dale.Mahugh@northwestern.com
Silver Bow County and Southwest Region

Zack Medina
Dillon
406-683-4259
zmedina@mt.gov
Dillon Job Service
Beaverhead County

Bob Toole
Deer Lodge
406-846-2094
chamber@powellcountymontana.com
Powell County Chamber of Commerce

Deb Chouinard
Helena
406-447-3202
dchouinard@mt.gov
Helena Job Service

Brian Obert
Helena
406-266-4370
bobert@mbac.biz
Montana Business Assistance Connection

Warren Vaughan
Bozeman/Gallatin County
406-582-3130
warren.vaughan@gallatin.mt.gov
Gallatin County Planning and Community Development

Meagan Lannan
Livingston
Livingston Job Service
406-222-8904
mlannan@mt.gov

Katie Weaver
MSU Park County Economic and Community Development Extension Agent
Park County
406-222-4156
catherine.weaver@montana.edu

 

North Central Montana

Carol Lamey
Havre
406-265-5847
clamey@mt.gov
Havre Workforce Job Service Center

 

South Central Montana

Marissa Hauge
Columbus
406-322-8050
mhauge@stillwater.mt.gov
Stillwater County

Chad Moore
Billings
Yellowstone County
406-869-8404
moore@bigskyeda.org
Big Sky Economic Development

 

Central Montana

Karen Sweeney
Fergus County
Golden Valley County
Judity Basin County
Musselshell County
Wheatland County
406-535-2591
smdckaren@midrivers.com
Snowy Mountain Development Corporation

Kristin Rutten
406-535-1562
krutten@mt.gov
Lewistown Job Service

 

Eastern Montana

Martin DeWitt
Wolf Point (Valley County, Garfield County, McCone County, Daniels County, Roosevelt County, Sheridan County)
406-653-1840
martin@gndc.org
Great Northern Development Corporation

Jason Rittal
Prairie County
Dawson County
Wibaux County
Falon County
Carter County
406- 698-3255
jrittal@midrivers.com

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Business Expansion and Retention Volunteer Locations



BUSINESS RESOURCES DIVISION | MONTANA DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
301 S. PARK AVE. | PO BOX 200505 | HELENA, MT 59620-0505 | P: (406) 841-2730 | F: (406) 841-2731 | TDD: (406) 841-2702