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Business Resources Division

Montana Business Expansion and Retention

PROVIDES SERVICES FOR BUSINESS EXPANSION AND RETENTION

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 BEAR (Business Expansion and Retention) program available statewide. The Montana 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.

 

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

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                                                                               

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 

Todd Erickson, 406-833-7885, toerickson@mt.govLake 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

Saundra Long, Missoula, 406-542-5768, slong@mt.gov, Missoula County, Missoula Job Service

DeLynn M. Gardner, Hamilton, Bitterroot Job Service, 406-375-6049, dgardner@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.govGallatin County Planning and Community Development 

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

 

North Central Montana

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

 

South Central Montana

Marissa Hauge, Columbus, 406-322-8050, mhauge@co.stillwater.mtStillwater County 

Chad Moore, Billings, Yellowstone County,k 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