RGZ Enterprises, 1258 Crist Dr, 850-1725, Scott Geiger, service

Wayne Blomquist, 3107 Gloxinia Dr, 876-5362, Wayne Blomquist, service

LM Properties, 2021 Lamar Dr, 860-0399, Matthew & Laura O’Bleness, service

Freedom Plumbing Inc., 1615 Blarney St, 850-4587, Curtis DeHaven, plumbing contractors

John Shaw Construction, 2459 10th Rd N, 679-5788, John Shaw, general contractors

Paperhearts Wallcovering, 44 prairie View Dr, 702-0927, Teddee Cuomo, service

American Gutter Manufacturing LLC, 2019 Burlington Ave, 850-3005, Joe Connor, general contractors

 Hometown Tile & Stone, 5406 Walter Hagen Dr, 690-4464, Joshua Opliger, service

Confidential Counseling and Consultation LLC, 1220 Avenue C -Ste F, 698-1619, Chavis Nichols, service

Susan Davonne Studios, 912 Dorothy Ln, 690-1230, Susan Martinez, service

Design My Sign Today, 6020 Farmstead Ave, 698-7776, Lisa Owen, Misc

Wild Dog Digital, 1635 Roadrunner Place, 585-775-7696, Tyler Metcalf, service

GQ’s Painting Co, 412 gay pl, 698-2928, Robert Ronquillo, service

Yellowstone Snow Removal, 2051 Dickie Rd, 413-5908, Codie Masterson, service

 Steve’s Exteriors LLC, 4533 Stone St, 303-618-0586, Stephen Knudson, general contractors

Tnetrucking, 205 S 29th St, 697-6424, Nathan Whittaker, service

Element Skin Therapy, 2645 Grand Ave #8, 208-7822, Kialy Iverson, service

Sire Technology Group Inc, 6236 Western Bluffs Blvd, 247-0475, Doug Sire, service

Autozone #4856, 1142 Grand Ave, 200-6486, Autozone Parts Inc, retail sales

Classical Painting Inc, 2650 E Lambourne Ave, 801-205-8554, Ron Van Tienderen, service

My Open Storage, 510 Pemberton Ln, 272-5412, Christopher Birkle, service

Excel Mechanical, 834 Hwy 12 W #312, 662-418-5500, Trina Thompson, service

The Parlor, 1281 Grubstake Circle, 694-9825, Sharon Harmon, service

Jason Duncan Construction, 1660 Country Manor Blvd #1208, 661-361-8041, Jason Duncan, general contractors

Midnight Blue Entertainment group, 1228 N 25th St, 530-5446, Mike Tutaj, service

Grace Studio, 1116 Grand Ave, Ste 102, 208-8517, Jeanette Davis, cosmetology

Rimrock Foundation – Willow Way, 1231 N 29th St, 248-3175, Lenette Kosovich CEO, service

Endres Fabrication, 3029 E Copper ridge Loop, 208-5658, Ryan Endres, general contractors

Ivory Salon & Spa, 1407 Wyoming Ave Ste 5, 670-6480, Stacy Galvin, cosmetology

Precision Massage Therapy, 2108 Broadwater Ave #200D, 780-0535, Alex Jokela, service

 Zak Jokela Photography, 530 Avenue D, 426-1155, Zak Jokela, service

Highend Concrete, 7748 W Stillwater, 907-317-6350, Shannon Simpson, general contractors

Snack Attack 406 Concession, 8805 Longmeadow Dr, 697-7181, Debbie Patterson, restaurants

Let’s Clear the Air, 1715 Augsburg Dr, 861-5005, George Renee, service

Franco Roofing, 121 Jackson St, 855-8763, Summer Fitzpatrick, general contractors

Work House Bar LLC, 530 S 27th St, 534-4371, Josh Benson/Pete Carlson, liquor license

Southern CNC Services, 4424 Lux Ave, 423-661-6347, Robyn Fogle, service

IAYA LLC (mobile), 435 Lordwith Dr #1, 696-6351, Kiayah Wendell, service

Whole Hog Breakfast Sandwiches, 2719 1st Ave N, 998-8814, Garrett Halsey, restaurants

Plumb Straight Construction, 210 N 16th St, 694-9911, Curtis Witmer/Scott Vanrooy, general contractors

Design West Acoustics Inc, 1333 E 1200 S, 801-491-8000, Kris Linquist, general contractors

Nails by Linda, 315 S 34th St, 839-5923, Linda Kay Lara, service

Wyatt Watson, 4139 Arden Ave #4, 694-7010, Wyatt Watson, service

Stahly Engineering & Associates, 2223 Montana Ave, 601-4055, Amy Strainer, engineer

Slayton’s Original Artwork LLC, 2413 Elizabeth St, 591-7825, Deva Gallagher, retail sales

Shy Fox Shirt Co., 3514 Stone Brook Dr, 671-8955, Tiffany Sims, retail sales

Pixie Dust Cleaning Service, LLC, 820 Broadwater Ave, 647-4257, Casey Lujan, service

KDV Construction, 617 Grand Ave, 927-3351, Kip Vidrine II, general contractors

Harmony’s Back to the Grind, 1800 6th Ave N, 591-5588, Tera Wombolt, restaurants

Halo Fire Protection LLC, 4811 E Julep St #124, 480-325-2280, Isaac Pember (mgr), service

Gillman Travel, 4537 Toyon Dr, 696-6271, Jennifer Gilman, service

Enso Counseling LLC, 644 Grand Ave – Ste 3, 855-8215, Kenneth Dean, service

Transformed Renu Counceling PC, 1643 Lewis Ave Ste 3-4, 671-9560, Carol Demaray (mgr), service

Morning Start of Billings, 4001 Bell Ave, 652-9303, CHP Billings MT Tenant Corp, special services

The water Guy, 134 Regal St, 208-9451, Jason Eastwood, service

Gearhead Automotive, 3140 Drury Ln, 661-7974, Brian Roque, service

Y-Stone Commercial Cleaning, 1171 Centennial St, 208-1489, Rilee Collins, service

ZC Enterprises, 24 White sands Dr, 694-4633, Zachary Carey, service

Born This Way Boutique, 1775 Morocco Dr, 698-7011, Tyler Frickel, retail sales

Swept Away, 2291 bench Blvd, 998-9455, Teela Stiles, service

Jeremy’s Green Acre, 7721 Burlington Ave, 591-5122, Jeremy Jennison, service

Bottema Tile inc, 507 North 400 West, 435-628-0516, Paul Bottema, service

MK Mechanical LLC, 8732 Susanna Dr, 208-3234, Matthew Kottke, service

Body by Scotty, 1409 Avenue E, 690-6301, Scott Reidy, service

Bravo Yankee LLC, 4290 Waterford Dr, 647-7442, Brady Stoppel, retail sales

P Bruce Courier, 1319 Quartz Pl, 2281-2772, Perry Bruce, service

RH Courier, 64 nugget Dr, 606-2497, Roger Herden, service    


  • HM Holding Company Llc/Jones Construction, Inc, 5360 Southgate Dr, Com Addition, $596,470
  • Yellowstone County/Hardy Construction Co., 3165 King Ave E, Com Addition, $300,000
  • Wilson, Andrew E & Laura L/Stewart Construction & Remodeling, 2311 Monad Rd, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $95,000
  • Soelter Properties Llc/Art Work Builders, 1942 Clubhouse Way, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $15,000
  • Jorden, Edward/Kirby Construction, 1632 Gleneagles Blvd, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $17,000
  • Jessen, Richard D & Janice M/A And B Construction, 1943 Clubhouse Way, Com Fence/Roof/Siding,    $53,840
  • McCall Development/McCall Development, 6020 Elysian Rd, Com New 3+ (Multi Family), $515,000
  • Swenson, Randall D & Beartooth Holding & Construction, 1537 41st St W, Com New Store/Strip Center,     $701,170
  • School District #2, 3700 Madison Ave, Com New Warehouse/Storage, $35,850
  • Hm Holding Company Llc/Jones Construction, Inc, 5360 Southgate Dr, Com Remodel, $65,000
  • Rimrock Owner Lp/Rolo Construction Inc, 300 S 24th St W, Com Remodel, $250,000
  • Clock Tower Inn, Llc/Cucancic Construction Inc., 2511 1st Ave N, Com Remodel, $500,000
  • Fagg Family Properties Llc/Jones Construction, Inc, 222 N 32nd St, Com Remodel, $95,000
  • Temple Corporation Of The Chur/Westland Construction Inc, 3100 Rimpoint Dr, Com Remodel, $1,300,000
  • CTA Building LLP/T.W. Clark Construction Llc, 2202 1st Ave N, Com Remodel, $100,000
  • Glacier Bank/Dick Anderson Construction, 2401 Grand Ave, Com Remodel, $292,527
  • Billings Builders Exchange Inc/Yellowstone Basin Construction, 2050 Broadwater Ave, Com Remodel,     $188,042
  • Billings Heights Post #6774 -Wireless Telecommunication Facility, 637 Anchor St, Com Remodel,      $25,000
  • Soelter, Jonathan R & Heather/Art Work Builders, 1932 Clubhouse Way, Com Remodel, $8,000
  • Jones, Patrick & Linda/One Source Construction Llc, 220 Grand Ave, Com Remodel, $625
  • Seder, Ron/Wild West Construction, 1515 Central Ave, Com Remodel, $30,000
  • Ziegler, Jack R & Michelle L/No Construction, 1760 Monad Rd, Com Remodel – Change In Use,      $2,000


  • Blewett, William/Ahoulihan Construction, 224 Wyoming Ave, Res New Accessory Structure, $16,000
  • Wagenhals Land And Livestock/Wagenhals Enterprises Inc, 1122 Daylight Ln,  Res New Single Family,   $260,000
  • Parks, Trent/Billings Best Builders LLC, 632 Claremont Rd, Res New Single Family, $216,964
  • Parks, Trent/Billings Best Builders LLC, 634 Claremont Rd, Res New Single Family, $216,964
  • Bob Pentecost/Bob Pentecost Const, 5131 Amherst Dr, Res New Single Family, $309,900
  • Yellowstone Property Solutions LLC/Yellowstone Property Solutions LLC, 5215 Amherst Dr, Res New Single Family, $248,579
  • McCall Development Inc/Mccall Development, 6028 Norma Jean Ln, Res New Single Family, $269,512
  • McCall Development Inc/McCall Development, 6039 Norma Jean Ln, Res New Single Family,      $236,011
  • Magnus Land Development/Brown Builders Inc., 6337 Absaloka Ln, Res New Two Family, $327,260
  • Marsich Investments Inc/Marsich Investments, 123 Twin Pines Ln, Res New Two Family, $408,078

The Platinum Anniversary of Business Days at the Capitol is coming on January 6 & 7 at the Best Western Premier, Helena Great Northern Hotel. It begins with lunch at 12 pm. Seminars are held from 2 to 4 pm. From 6 to 9 pm will be a Lawmaker Appreciation Reception & Banquet. On Tuesday, Jan. 7 the program will begin at 7:30 with Eggs & Issues Breakfast, followed by seminars and with The Last Word Closing Luncheon. For more information contact Stacye@MontanaChamber.com.

The Montana Outfitters and Guides Association is hosting their 45th Annual Winter Convention, January 9-11, in Bozeman. MOGA’s yearly convention draws more than 100 outfitters and guides for education, advocacy and networking. This year’s conference also includes a Gubernatorial Forum on Saturday, January 11, with all leading candidates for the upcoming race for Montana Governor participating. All events will be held at the Best Western Plus GranTree Inn and Holiday Inn, in Bozeman. https:// one.bidpal.net/ 2020mogaconvention/ browse/ fixedPrice

The 45th Annual Economic Outlook Seminar will be held in Billings on February 4 at the Northern Hotel. This year’s half day seminary, annually presented by the Bureau of Business and Economic Research will focus the challenge of finding good workers. “The economic success of local communities and the entire state depends on making the best match between workers and workplaces. Montana has some advantages in attracting talent, but there are plenty of things we could do better.” The event will is held in ten Montana communities. Details are available at http:// www. economicoutlookseminar. com/ s

The Montana Society of Certified Public Accountants will hold their annual industry conference in Helena on March 18 and 19. Registration information may be accessed at www.mscpa.org/ professional_ development/ course/ 0320/ industry_ conference

Montana has the 20th best structured Unemployment Insurance (UI) tax in the nation, according to the Tax Foundation in its examination of the five major components of the 2020 State Business Tax Climate Index. Montana has hovered at about the same level over the past four years.

The states with the best-scoring UI tax systems are Oklahoma, Florida, Delaware, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arizona. The worst are Massachusetts, Kentucky, Idaho, Nevada, Alaska, and New Hampshire.

Unemployment insurance is a joint federal-state social insurance program that finances benefits for recently unemployed workers through taxes on employers. State UI tax systems are often quite complex, using variable-rate structures that impose different rates depending on how well-established a business is, its layoff history, and the health of the state’s UI trust fund, among other factors. All 50 states and the District of Columbia levy UI taxes, but some states structure their systems better than others.

According to a new study of state budget records, 30 state governments cut funding for their environmental agencies’ pollution control programs and 40 reduced environmental agency staff size.

The nonpartisan Environmental Integrity Project’s report, “The Thin Green Line: Cuts to State Pollution Control Agencies Threaten Public Health,” examined spending and staffing in state pollution control programs in 48 U.S. states excluding Alaska and Hawaii over a 10-year period.

Twenty-five states imposed cuts of at least 10 percent on their environmental agencies; 16 reduced spending by more than 20 percent, when adjusted for inflation, according the report.

The states with the most cuts to environmental agency funding are Wisconsin, Texas, Louisiana, North Carolina, Delaware, New York, Arizona, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Mexico.

Twenty-one states cut their environmental workforce by at least 10 percent; nine cut their workforce by 20 percent or more.

The states with the most cuts to their environmental agency staff were Illinois, North Carolina, Arizona, Louisiana, New York, Tennessee, Michigan, Delaware, Florida and New Jersey.

Illinois cut the most environmental agency jobs between 2008 and 2018, by 38 percent, or the equivalent of 1,028 full-time positions.

Overall, states eliminated 4,400 positions at their environmental agencies.

State government spending in fiscal 2019 increased at the largest rate since the end of the Great Recession, according to the latest State Expenditure report from the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO).

Total state spending reached $2.1 trillion in fiscal 2019, rising from $2 trillion in fiscal 2018. Total state government spending rose 5.7 percent in fiscal 2019. The increased 2019 growth was slightly above the 33-year NASBO survey historical average of 5.6 percent (without adjusting for inflation).

Seven out of eight geographic regions reported an increase in total state spending in fiscal 2019, according to the report. Western states reported the largest increases; Southwestern states saw a slight decline.

Spending from states’ own funds (general funds and other state funds combined, excluding bonds) rose 5.9 percent in fiscal 2019, the highest annual growth rate since the last recession, NASBO found.

Much of the state spending increases were in transportation.

René Beyl has been named the Billings Chamber’s Operations and Engagement Manager. Beyl brings 12+ years of experience with the Billings Chamber of Commerce to her new position, which is responsible for daily operations, member data management, and assisting with employee and member engagement.

“René brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to this position,” said Chief Operating Officer Jennifer Reiser. “Her overall commitment to our organization, her upbeat and outgoing personality, along with her detailed knowledge of our members, and willingness to meet new people and help them feel comfortable with our organization make her an excellent candidate for this new role.”

by William Haupt III, The Center Square

“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”

– Martin Luther King, Washington D.C., 1964

The right to petition for redress of grievances was the most important principle included in the 1215 Magna Carta, and the 1689 English Bill of Rights. During our Revolutionary War, Virginia passed a Declaration of Rights that affirmed, “Freedom of the press is the greatest bulwark of liberty!” Each colony followed, fearing independence could result in a new despotic regime. The colonies stood firm on their demand to protect free speech since it catalyzed the flames that fueled the revolution.

At the Constitutional Convention, George Mason proposed the Constitution include a canon of rights guaranteeing free speech. But James Madison argued “all civil liberties” were protected under the Constitution’s limitations on government. During the Federalist debates, colonies were assured free speech was protected. But they demanded a list of rights, and freedom of speech was added to the Constitution before they’d sign on the dotted line. The colonies knew free speech was their most important right.

Ratified on Dec. 15, 1791, precisely 228 years ago Sunday, the Bill of Rights guaranteeing the essential rights and liberties omitted in crafting the Constitution became law. Yet today, the right to free speech is being abridged beyond our colonies expectations! Language within the Bill of Rights guaranteeing our right to free speech has been circumvented with limited “politically correct” rights of “approved speech” controlled by the views on left-supporting forums.

“We’re losing our freedom of speech. We are losing freedom of religion. We are losing freedom of the press.”

– Roger Ailes

New Age censorship has brought a tempest of anger and frustration to many patriots as it drives a stake through the heart of republicanism. The new left has made “tolerance” its number one goal to promote socialism. Their intent is to victimize all groups that continue to lobby for laws and patriotic causes that prevent them from further eroding our freedom and liberty. Unlike other past coercive regimes, their tactics have been refined to skirt the letter of the law through bullying and intimation.

The Fourth Estate, once anointed watchdogs of our liberty, should be tried for high treason since they abandoned their sacred post at government’s doorstep in favor of seats in the liberal lunch rooms. Today, they are feasting on a daily diet of liberal table scraps feeding leftist propaganda to a public starving for information. Now every TV and radio station, along with every daily fish wrap, reports the exact same news stories defaming traditional center-right opinions and praising leftist causes.

“Deplatforming” is code for restricting individual political or organizational activism with an intent to shut down controversial speakers or speech by denying them access to venues to express their opinions. Tactics used to achieve this goal among leftist groups include direct action, and internet activism. It is used by social media and other technology companies to selectively suspend, ban or restrict access to their platforms by users who have different views than them.

“Social media is the only place I can express my views where I never fear being censored.”

– Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Spike Magazine’s latest survey shows universities restricting on-campus free speech, newspapers and numerous forms of free speech using “platforming” is a worldwide pandemic. Banning of individuals and activist groups that adhere to beliefs some universities consider right-wing or extremist is now an intercontinental issue. Out of the 115 major universities surveyed, 108 censor or dissuade free speech in one way or another. Only seven claim to support total free speech.

“The right of freedom of speech that was enshrined in numerous constitutions is now under attack.”

– Salman Rushdie

Students were once the most vocal group against censorship. In the 1960s, Cal Berkeley students undertook a mass-movement to remove university restrictions on free speech. Led by leftists Jack Weinberg, Bettina Aptheker and Jackie Goldberg, they demanded the ban on all campus political activities be lifted. Within weeks their free speech rights were reinstated. And that empowered them to birth the anti-Vietnam War student protests that proliferated at every university around the world.

Oh, how times have changed! Nobody on the left is honoring the pledges of those students of the 60s. This year, a violent leftist protest at Berkeley shut down a lecture by avant-garde right-leaning speaker Milo Yiannopoulos, who was invited to speak. When Yiannopoulos arrived, leftist students joined by socialist and far left demagogues rioted on campus until police came and shut down the perilously bloody event that injured dozens. The Berkley chief of police told reporters: “It was just impossible to maintain order given the level of destruction, personal assaults and student violence.”

A Pew Research study recently focused on the socialists’ and progressives’ lack of support for net neutrality. The majority of all surveyed reiterated concerns for big tech’s political bias and outright censorship. They attribute this to Barack Obama, who manipulated media for his gain. Most agree it is OK to regulate hate speech and curtail harassing or threatening behavior but Facebook, Google and Twitter use “elastic” rationale to label hate speech, and censor conservative political views in conflict with leftist ideology. The study also revealed 77 percent of Americans condemned these tactics.

In January, Project Veritas exposed Twitter for “shadow banning” conservative profiles by blocking them from the platform without even notifying them. In June, Google listed Nazism as the ideology of the California Republican Party. Google again found itself in hot water when a top search result for a North Carolina Republican state senator yielded a photo labeling her a bigot. The list goes on. Obscenely vicious attacks on FCC Chairman Ajit Pai are published every day on Twitter.

“Social media censorship is not about hate speech but conservative ideology.”

– Leonid Bershidsky

Amid recent news about Google’s 2016 election scandals, Congressional interference, attacks on President Donald Trump, and assisting Democrats in spreading false information that fanned the flames of impeachment on false-info social media platforms, tech companies are facing unrelenting criticism from the Republican Party and traditional Democrats. According to a recent Gallup survey, 79 percent of U.S. citizens believe these companies should be investigated, punished and fined by the FCC.

Author Charles Warner wrote, “Politics makes strange bedfellows.” All political censorship of free speech is an act of treason in a free society. No one has the right to censor any one, any political party, ideology, opinions, beliefs, complaints, or anything legal to print, say or write in any avenue of communication in a free republic. Free speech is the benchmark of liberty and feeds the sole of our free republic.

“When you are right you cannot be too radical.”

– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

When Lenin wished to control Russia, he outlawed free speech. The Democratic socialists have replaced free speech with political correctness. America is asking: How long will we let this go on?

“Cowardice asks the question, is it safe? Expediency asks the question, is it politic? Vanity asks the question, is it popular? But, conscience asks the question, is it right?”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

Online advertising is saving entrepreneurs and small business owners significant time and money, creating more efficiencies and effective uses for the limited capital they have on hand, and playing a positive role in driving new sales growth and revenues. These are the findings of a new survey conducted by TechnoMetrica for SBE Council in “The Digital Boost to Startups and Small Business: Online Advertising Delivers BIG Benefits.”

Moreover, for startups and new businesses, the availability of online advertising was identified by entrepreneurs as a key factor in launching their enterprises, with 80% agreeing that: “The ability to reach customers and potential customers was an important factor in starting my business.”

With entrepreneurship lagging in recent years, tools and strategies that lower risks and strengthen affordable access to markets and customers are vital to enabling startup activity. Of the startups surveyed in the report, 90% agree that “Online advertising has provided my business with an affordable option to launch and/or grow my business,” and 86% agree that the method is “important to my business survival and growth.” Technology, obviously, has become an entrepreneur’s best friend. New innovations continue to produce cutting-edge tools for entrepreneurs to launch and grow their businesses. Thanks to the internet and cost-effective methods that help entrepreneurs target and reach potential customers, small business owners are experiencing very positive returns through online advertising. They are also shifting savings from this affordable option to other important needs within their businesses, which in turn supports their competitiveness and growth.

SBE Council has found each new wave of technological innovation and the tools spawned by big innovations has created big benefits for small businesses. For example, in tracking the emergence and then explosion of mobile devices and apps in 2014, the adoption of these new technologies by small business owners added up to big savings – with mobile apps saving businesses almost 600 million hours annually and mobile devices nearly 2 billion in hours. In total, SBE Council estimated that the use of these technologies saved America’s small business owners a staggering $67.5 billion a year.

According to estimates, the savings for small businesses run even higher when it comes to online advertising, nearly $163 billion annually.

The Trump administration has issued its fiscal year 2019 status update on one-in, two-out –“Regulatory Reform Results for Fiscal Year 2019.”

According to the administration, agencies issued 61 “significant deregulatory actions,” and 35 significant regulatory ones, for a ratio of 1.7 to 1.

“Close to one-in, two-out, but not quite,” commented the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

The fiscal year-end 2018 update  showed 57 significant deregulatory actions and 14 significant regulatory actions were completed, for a ratio of four to one.

In any event, the leading edge of the one-in, two-out is the capping of spending rather than the ratio of cuts to addition. In the new accounting for 2019, the administration claims to have eliminated $13.5 billion in overall regulatory costs across the government, and over $50 billion in overall regulatory costs since 2017. Using different methodologies, the Council of Economic Advisers estimates far more.

Criticisms notwithstanding, other presidents have not implemented a program as ambitious as Trump’s.