Microloans of up to $10,000 available to Big Sky entrepreneurs

MONTANA WOMEN’S BUSINESS CENTER

Women entrepreneurs in Big Sky are eligible for non-traditional lending and no-cost business coaching thanks to a new partnership between Prospera Business Network, the Montana Women’s Business Center and the Yellowstone Club Community Foundation.

The new “Yellowstone Club Community Foundation Micro Loan Fund” is supported by a $20,000 grant from the YCCF. This microloan program is for businesses that are at least 50 percent owned by a woman, or women. Businesses that are ready to start up, or already in business but need a financial boost, are eligible.

The business must be located in the Big Sky area and must be registered with the Montana Secretary of State. Loans will not exceed $10,000 or a three-year term, and the interest rate will be 5 to 7 percent. The loans are subject to minimal filing fees of less than $30 with no loan fees or closing costs. No collateral is required and loans will be issued based on character, credit score, and a personal financial statement. Clients must have a willingness to meet with a business counselor two times per year to keep the business on track.

Prospera, which has been involved in community economic development for more than 30 years, provides business technical assistance through the Montana Women’s Business Center and access to nontraditional capital through revolving loan fund programs.

The Yellowstone Club Community Foundation serves as a resource for nonprofits in the greater Big Sky and Gallatin Valley area. The foundation, which is supported by Yellowstone Club members and guests, as well as local community members, has awarded more than $3 million since 2010.

Details can be found at prosperabusinessnetwork.org or by calling (406) 587-3113.

Penny for Housing bill starts down the legislative pike

EBS STAFF

BIG SKY – On Feb. 24, a special meeting of the Big Sky Resort Area District tax board was held to request approval for a change in the language of the Penny for Housing bill.

Fielding concerns expressed by the Ennis School Board that the proposed resort tax increase of up to an additional 1 percent could be used to assist in the funding or creation of a Targeted Economic Development District (TEDD) supported by tax increment financing (TIF), bill sponsor Sen. Jeff Welborn of Dillon requested that restrictive language be included in the bill stating that the potential increase could not be used in that capacity.

The board, while not unanimously in favor of the Penny for Housing bill, voted unanimously in favor of the language change.

With official written support from all nine Montana resort areas, districts and communities, Bill LC743, or the Penny for Housing bill, will be presented before the senate taxation committee the week of March 6 or early the following week. Potential uses for additional funds that could be collected with the 1 percent increase extend beyond workforce housing to supportive services and community development.

BSRAD legal council, Mona Jamison, reiterated that putting the bill before the Senate and the House will not pass the increase of up to 1 percent but rather allow residents of those communities to vote for or against the increase. State law currently caps resort tax at 3 percent.

“This is not what they call self-implementing,” Jamison said to the board. “This is just giving you authority to put out the vote to the people.”

Gov. Bullock congratulates U.S. Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke, orders special election to fill open House seat

OFFICE OF GOVERNOR STEVE BULLOCK

Gov. Steve Bullock congratulated Ryan Zinke on becoming U.S. Secretary of the Interior and ordered a special election to fill the vacancy of Montana’s lone representative in the U.S. House.

“I congratulate Ryan Zinke on his confirmation as Secretary of the Interior. Montanans know how important this post is to protecting our public lands, outdoor recreation, tourism, and natural resource industries—and the thousands of good-paying Montana jobs that rely on them,” Bullock said. “I will work closely with Secretary Zinke to ensure our state’s interests are reflected in Washington, D.C., and I will hold him accountable to Montanans and to the values we place on our outdoor heritage.”

Montana Code Annotated 13-25-203 requires the governor to immediately set a date for a special election upon the creation of a vacancy in the U.S House of Representatives. With only one seat representing Montana, Bullock has ordered the special election to occur on the soonest possible date allowed by law, Thursday, May 25.

“Since being nominated, Ryan Zinke has not been actively participating in the deliberations of the House,” Bullock said. “There are a lot of important discussions being had in Washington, D.C. right now and we must do everything we can to ensure Montanans have a seat at that table as soon as possible.”

Under the U.S. Constitution, there can be no temporary appointment by the governor to fill the vacant position. Political parties fielding candidates will have their own separate nominating conventions to select their candidate for the special election.

Ivan Doig named ‘Outstanding Montanan’

 
MSU NEWS SERVICE
 
The Montana Historical Society has named acclaimed author Ivan Doig to its list of Outstanding Montanans.

Doig (1939-2015) is the author of 16 works of fiction and nonfiction primarily set in Montana. His widow, Carol Muller Doig, awarded Doig’s archive to Montana State University in 2015. The university library has digitized the entire collection; it is now available to the public online as well as in print in the library’s Special Collections and Archives.

The Montana Legislature established the Gallery of Outstanding Montanans in 1979 to honor citizens who have made significant contributions to their selected fields while epitomizing the unique spirit and character that defines Montana, according to the historical society.

Inductees into Montana’s hall of fame are rotated into the gallery on a biennial basis and are honored for an eight-year period. Honorees must have been born, raised or lived a significant period of time in Montana. All honors are awarded posthumously.

To view the Doig Collection online, visit ivandoig.montana.edu. For more information on the Outstanding Montanan honorees, see the historical society website at mhs.mt.gove/education/outstandingmontanans.