By Brett Rowland, The Center Square

The latest survey from the National Association for Business Economics found that more than half of respondents put the possibility of a recession over the next year at 50% or higher.

“The results … indicate widespread concern about entering a recession this year,” said NABE President Julia Coronado, founder and president of MacroPolicy Perspectives LLC. “For the first time since 2020, more respondents expect falling rather than increased employment at their firms in the next three months.”

The association’s Business Conditions Survey looks at the responses of 60 members from Jan. 4-11 on business conditions. It comes amid a wave of mass layoffs in the technology sector and despite continued optimism from the White House.

Respondents reported higher interest rates and costs as the biggest downside risks to their outlooks. Sixty-three percent of respondents reported rising wages over the past three months. That was unchanged from the October 2022 survey. They further reported that sales growth in the fourth quarter of 2022 was relatively unchanged from the previous quarter.

The Net Rising Index for sales — the percentage association panelists reporting rising sales minus the percentage reporting falling sales — in the fourth quarter of 2022 was 8, unchanged from the October 2022 survey. It is the lowest NRI for sales growth since the negative reading during the pandemic in the first half of 2020. The forward-looking NRI fell to 5 from 20 in the October survey, indicating weaker expectations for sales over the next quarter, according to the association.

“The survey results reveal an unevenness across indicators,” said NABE Business Conditions Survey Chair Carlos Herrera, chief economist for Coca-Cola North America. “Wages rose at a majority of respondents’ firms in the last three months of 2022 and more firms added workers than reduced headcounts. But far more firms than in the past three years reported falling profit margins.

“The panel suggests that inflation may be easing with the outlook for prices charged at its lowest reading since the October 2020 survey, overall,” Herrera said. “Materials costs have drifted down significantly since last July, and more respondents expect falling costs in the next three months.”

The survey comes on the heels of mass layoffs in several big-name tech businesses. Last week, Google’s parent company Alphabet laid off 12,000 employees. Microsoft laid off 10,000 employees. On Monday, streaming platform Spotify announced it was laying off 6% of its workforce. That’s about 600 employees. 

President Joe Biden’s Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Tuesday that she wouldn’t speculate on why companies were laying off employees.

“Our economy is continuing to grow in a steady and stable manner as we have said,” she said during a news brief at the White House. “You just have to look at the economic data.” 

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers declined 0.1% in December on a seasonally adjusted basis, after increasing 0.1% in November, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported earlier this month. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 6.5% before seasonal adjustment. 

By Dan Brooks, Billings Chamber of Commerce

Now that we’re a few weeks into the Legislative Session, the question often arises, “How’s it going in Helena?” I pause and think of quoting a favorite tragic hero, trekking toward the Gap of Rohan: “It’s moving fast …and against the wind.”

Over 550 bills have been introduced so far—almost 200 more than this time during the 2021 Legislative Session which was an exceptionally busy session with 1,313 bill introductions.

With more than 4,500 bill draft requests in, this session is on pace to introduce more legislation than 2021 and has the potential to eclipse 2007 as the session with the most bills introduced in the last 20 years. Legislators are limited, however, by how much the state’s bill drafters (legislative staffers who actually write the new laws) can take on. Judging by the current trend line of bill introductions, and considering General Bills (not Revenue, Appropriation, or Referenda Bills) cannot be introduced after February 23rd, I’d be surprised if this session surpasses 2007 for the most introduced bills.

Even if this session isn’t record-breaking in that respect, it is still extremely busy. If you’re looking for tools to help you keep up, our Data Dashboard is tracking a few session statistics. You can also find out:

 Which local legislator has the most bills introduced and how many bills our local delegation is working on? Granted, this isn’t an entirely fair comparison as a few legislators are carrying bills such as SR 43, “Confirm governor’s appointees for the board of housing.” These bills aren’t proposing changes to the law, but are necessary to conducting government business.

 The number of bill hearings in various policy committees. Curious what the legislature is spending most of its time debating? Other than the budget, the House and Senate Business & Labor Committees are racking up the most hearings so far. 

Senate Bill 145 — Local distribution of lodging tax revenue, Sen. Keith Regier (R) SD 3 – Chamber opposes. This bill redirects funding from the Department of Commerce and the General Fund to go toward property tax relief. As is often the case, policy makers propose ideas to re-divide the same metaphorical pie, robbing Peter to pay Paul, as the saying goes. In this case, diverting money from Dept. of Commerce that funds tourism grants and programs may lead to a reduction in tax collections, which the sponsor wants to go toward property tax relief. If the bill solely redirected funds from General Fund, the Chamber would have no concerns. The bill was heard in (S) Tax on Wednesday, January 18.

House Bill 245 — Revise credit for trades education and training, Rep. Sue Vinton (R) D 56— Billings Chamber supports. This bill builds on the success of the Montana Trades Education and Training Tax Credit, established last legislative session, which offers a credit for 50% of an employee’s education, up to $2,000 annually. HB 245 expands the number of occupations and industries that qualify for the tax credit. The Department of Labor estimates the current credit covers 38,000 employees. The expansion offered by HB 245 would include an additional 31,130 employees. This is a great program for getting our workforce additional education.

A few of Governor Gianforte’s tax proposals are up for debate, Among the proposals are a couple the Billings Chamber is eager to support.

The first is House Bill (HB) 212, a bill to increase the business equipment tax exemption from $300,000 to $1 million. Meaning, businesses with market value of class 8 property less than $1 million are exempt from taxation. And those businesses with class 8 property valued at over $1 million will see reduced taxes.

 For Yellowstone County, that means significant savings to our business community. There are 502 entities with business equipment tax liability in tax year 2022. House Bill 212 would fully exempt 273 entities, reduce liabilities for the remaining 229, and provide a total savings of $1.293 MILLION to businesses in Yellowstone County.

 The Billings Chamber has long been a supporter of reducing or eliminating the business equipment tax. We were enthusiastic supporters of raising the exemption to $300,000 during the 2021 Session, and we believe HB 212 is an even better step in the right direction.

Another tax bill making it’s debut this week is Senate Bill (SB) 121. This bill would lower the top marginal income tax rate from 6.5% to 5.9%. It also comes with significant benefits to Yellowstone County taxpayers. The Department of Revenue estimates SB 121 will result in a tax savings of $20.5 million for Yellowstone County taxpayers in tax year 2024. With many of our small businesses filing as pass-throughs, this means more money to reinvest in their businesses.

 Reducing Montana’s top income tax rate to 5.9% would allow the state to take a step down from the top of the tax rate podium. Currently, Montana holds the title for highest top marginal tax rate among our neighboring states. See the graphic below and note that it lists the state’s top rate as 6.75 in January 2022 rather than 6.5, which would go into effect in 2024 per legislation passed in 2021. 

The first 80 students will begin “active learning” in July at Billings’ newly completed Rocky Vista University Montana College of Osteopathic Medicine at the intersection of Monad and Shiloh.  Construction began on the 138,000 square foot facility— Montana’s first medical college— in October of 2021. The college is unique in that there are no lecture halls; students learn through hands-on training and hyper-realistic simulations with state-of-the-art technology. Training uses aids such as lifelike mannequins that can breathe and be administered IVs, or virtual reality goggles that can take students into the body, the heart, or into the bloodstreams. David Park, the Vice-President and the Founding Dean, reports that the privately-funded college has already had a significant economic impact on the Billings community and will continue to have a $78.6 million impact, as well as an additional $67 million impact as it continues to fully expand over the next 4 years. The college provides 350 jobs, and adds more than $1.2 million in taxes to the region.

 The college offers a program called the Rural Medicine Track, where our students will be specifically trained on how to deliver healthcare in rural settings, and which will hopefully be able to provide additional services and support for rural communities. Well aware of the housing shortage, Rocky Vista is partnering with Stock Development to build 720 apartments next to the college.36 apartments have already been built. Rocky Vista also has medical colleges at Parker, Colorado and in Ivins, Utah

By Chris Woodward, The Center Square

A new report aims to show how California-style zoning practices make it difficult to build affordable starter homes in Montana. 

The updated Montana Zoning Atlas 2.0 from the Frontier Institute also outlines a “Pro-Housing Platform” with policy solutions that local and state leaders can adopt. 

The updated atlas utilizes “a new standardized methodology” that was developed by Cornell University Professor Sara Bronin for the National Zoning Atlas project, “which aims to depict the nation’s 30,000 zoning codes in a clear, publicly accessible map,” according to Frontier Institute President and CEO Kendall Cotton.

“The goal of the Montana Zoning Atlas is to provide community leaders with actionable data which clearly demonstrates how harmful zoning practices worsen the housing shortage by making it difficult to build affordable types of homes in Montana cities,” Cotton told The Center Square.

Published in March 2022, the original zoning atlas accounted for just two zoning factors that impact housing affordability. It was also limited to six cities, whereas the new atlas examines over 100 different variables of zoning regulations. 

“It finds 50% of zoned land in 13 of Montana’s most in-demand counties either outright prohibits or penalizes affordable multifamily starter homes like duplexes,” Cotton said.  

Montana’s population grew 10% from 2010 to 2020, but the supply of housing grew only by 7%, according to Cotton. 

“Governor Greg Gianforte’s Housing Task Force noted that strict local zoning regulation outright prohibits the most affordable types of starter homes like duplexes, townhomes, and triplexes in vast portions of Montana cities,” Cotton said. “People aren’t just getting priced out of Montana cities, they are getting zoned out.”

Cory Shaw, executive director for the Montana Building Industry Association, agrees that housing supply is a problem. Shaw told The Center Square that a lack of housing is a major issue for workers relocating to the state for jobs.

“If there are homes, those that are available are extremely expensive and cost prohibitive due to supply and demand driving up prices,” Shaw said. “Land is tied up in zoning and growth plan restrictions that prevent new construction. All of these play into the detrimental impact to local businesses that a lack of housing can cause.”

The housing crisis is one of the reasons why organizations such as Shelter WF exist.

Nathan Dugan, co-founder and president of Shelter WF, said downtown businesses in Whitefish have had to limit hours due to staffing problems. Meanwhile, Dugan said it is increasingly difficult for younger people to lay down roots and build community in Whitefish. 

“The overall vibrancy of nightlife has decreased as well over the years as many younger folks have been forced out of town due to housing costs,” Dugan said.

The Frontier Institute’s Pro-Housing platform asks Montana leaders to step up with “bold, pro-housing reforms on a statewide scale to give Montana landowners more freedom” to build affordable homes, such as duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes.

“These are some of the most affordable starter home options,” Cotton said. “These types of homes are often referred to as the missing middle because they are outright prohibited in vast portions of America’s cities.”

The platform also says local governments and state lawmakers should “prohibit excessive minimum lot areas in cities,” a move that “can boost the supply of housing.”

State Sen. Jeremy Trebas, R-District 13, is among lawmakers trying to push reforms. He plans to carry a proposal suggested in the governor’s housing task force report that would allow for more multi-family units to be constructed where only single-family housing is currently allowed.

“I agree with Frontier Institute’s position, especially that it prevents starter homes and encourages urban sprawl,” Trebas told The Center Square. “People are pushed to the outer parts of a city or bedroom community because costs in the city close to where they generally work is too high.”

By Keely Larson, From Kaiser Health News

Jenna Eisenhart spent nearly six years as a licensed therapist in Colorado before deciding to move to a place with a greater need for her services. She researched rural states facing a shortage of behavioral health providers and accepted a job as a lead clinical primary therapist at Shodair Children’s Hospital in Helena, Montana, in January 2018.

But she couldn’t start her new job right away because state officials denied her application for a license to practice in Montana on the grounds that her master’s degree program required only 48 credits to complete instead of 60.

Eisenhart spent nearly $7,000 to earn 12 more credits to meet the requirement, something she acknowledged not every provider would be able, or want, to do.

“I’m coming here as a licensed therapist to provide services that Montana desperately needs and you’re saying, no, you’re educationally deficient, when that’s not actually true,” said Eisenhart, now the director of clinical services at Shodair. “It kind of made me feel unwanted.”

Eisenhart’s difficulties are an example of the problems that health professionals can have in obtaining a Montana license to practice. State lawmakers are considering proposals to make it easier for professionals with out-of-state licenses to work in Montana. The need to attract more workers is particularly acute amid a national mental health crisis and a worker shortage, both heightened by the covid-19 pandemic. But lawmakers, behavioral health advocates, and providers say the need is so great, they doubt that lowering barriers for out-of-state practitioners will be enough.

One measure, House Bill 101, sponsored by Republican Rep. Jane Gillette and drafted by the Children, Family, Health and Human Services Interim Committee, covers social workers, professional counselors, addiction counselors, marriage and family therapists, and behavioral health peer support specialists. It would let the Department of Labor & Industry automatically license those providers in Montana if they meet certain requirements, like having an active license from another state for at least a year and having proper educational credentials.

Eisenhart said if the bill had been in effect in 2018, she wouldn’t have had to jump through as many hoops to work in Montana.

Another, House Bill 152 sponsored by Republican Rep. Bill Mercer and requested by the state Department of Labor & Industry as part of Gov. Greg Gianforte’s “Red Tape Relief” initiative, aims to streamline the licensing process for all occupations regulated by the department, from nurses to real estate appraisers.

HB 152 is designed to simplify the process for licensing the more than 50 professions and 150 types of licenses under the purview of the labor department, Eric Strauss, administrator of the department’s Employment Standards Division, said in a Jan. 18 committee hearing on the bill.

Last year, the department received more than 21,300 applications for licensure across professions, and half of those were from out-of-state professionals, said Dave Cook, the department’s deputy administrator of professional licensing. Health care-related licenses had an even higher share of out-of-state applicants — 60%, he said.

HB 152 would improve license mobility by creating a standard the department uses across professions to determine whether out-of-state license holders are qualified to work in Montana, department officials said. It also would establish a timeline of 30 days for the agency to issue a license after receiving a completed application.

“This helps the engineer, psychologist, social worker, or cosmetologist who has practiced for 20 years to get licensed without being required to get additional education or take an examination,” said department spokesperson Jessica Nelson.

Though the two bills have the same aim, labor department officials criticized Gillette’s bill on behavioral health worker licensing as not going far enough to remove obstacles for out-of-state workers.

HB 101 “creates additional burdens to licensure, including requiring residency and mandating that a particular licensing examination has been taken,” Nelson wrote in an email. “These are issues that HB 152 is attempting to reform.”

Gillette said she doesn’t think her bill or Gianforte’s bill alone would solve the workforce problem in health care. To make a substantial change, Gillette said, Medicaid provider reimbursement rates need to be higher.

“It’ll do something but it’s not going to fix it by any stretch,” Gillette said, referring to streamlining the licensing process.

A study commissioned by the 2021 legislature found that Montana’s Medicaid provider rates were too low to cover the cost of many of those who work with seniors, people with disabilities, and children and adults with mental illness.

The study found that the state’s Medicaid program is now paying, on average, 85% of the actual cost of care for adult behavioral health services, for example. Gianforte’s proposed budget would boost that funding next year to 94% of costs, on average, before lowering it again to 91%. The budget proposal is before lawmakers, and, to fully fund the services, providers are asking them to raise the rates higher than the governor proposes.

Mary Windecker, executive director of the Behavioral Health Alliance of Montana, which strives to make community-based services more accessible to patients, said that her organization recommended the interim committee come up with what became HB 101 but that HB 152 goes further than they could have hoped.

Windecker said every agency that her organization represents is experiencing staffing shortages of 25% to 30%. Up to 90% of the alliance members’ income comes from Medicaid reimbursements, she said, and it’s not enough. She said speeding up the licensure process and raising the Medicaid provider rates in accordance with a study the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services instigated are the main strategies needed to satisfy demand for behavioral health services.

“We’ve got to get people in here to work,” Windecker said. “We have a huge labor shortage and with the Medicaid reimbursement so low, we’re having a really hard time hiring people.”

According to the Board of Behavioral Health, there were 5,126 active behavioral health providers in Montana as of last April. The Montana chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness reported 163,000 adults in Montana have a mental health condition.

Keely Larson is the KHN fellow for the UM Legislative News Service, a partnership of the University of Montana School of Journalism, the Montana Newspaper Association, and Kaiser Health News. Larson is a graduate student in environmental and natural resources journalism at the University of Montana.

KHN (Kaiser Health News) is a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about health issues. Together with Policy Analysis and Polling, KHN is one of the three major operating programs at KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation). KFF is an endowed nonprofit organization providing information on health issues to the nation.

“This recognition honors NorthWestern Energy’s century-long commitment to provide customers with reliable and affordable electric and natural gas service while also being good stewards of the environment,” said NorthWestern Energy President and Chief Executive Officer Brian Bird. “We have long been committed to excellent corporate governance, deep community engagement and robust environmental programs. Our business practices reflect a respect for, and a commitment to, ESG policies and practices.”

The list recognizes the top 500 most responsible companies in the United States, spanning 14 industries. Presented by Newsweek and Statista Inc., the world-leading statistics portal and industry ranking provider, America’s Most Responsible Companies were selected based on publicly available key performance indicators derived from CSR Reports, Sustainability Reports, and other reports as well as an independent survey. The key performance indicators focused on company performance in the environmental, social, and corporate governance areas, while the independent survey asked U.S. citizens about their perception of company activities related to corporate social responsibility.

Kampgrounds of America, Inc. (KOA)  was recently named a 2023 Top Franchise by Franchise Business Review. The annual list recognizes the Top 200 Franchises and highlights the best franchise opportunities based on franchisee satisfaction ratings. Earning high scores in leadership, core values and franchisee support, Kampgrounds of America, Inc. was also named to the FBR Hall of Fame for more than ten years of franchisee satisfaction.

“It’s such an honor to continually be recognized for the value we provide our franchise partners year after year,” said Toby O’Rourke, president and CEO of KOA. “Over nearly 60 years of franchising campgrounds, we’ve created and refined the tools and resources owners need to deliver and capitalize on the best camping experience in the market.”

 KOA was among more than 360 franchise brands, representing more than 38,000 franchise owners, that participated in Franchise Business Review’s research.

It is time once again to register for the 31st Annual Job Service Employer’s Committee (JSEC), Jobs Jamboree at MetraPark in the Montana Pavilion on March 15, from 11 am to 6 pm.

This is an opportunity to showcase your business at Montana’s largest job fair. The event is offering 3+ Premier Sponsorships (2/15/23 deadline) among the basic registration and event sponsorship.

The Jobs Jamboree is a valued event by both employers and job seekers; 100+ employers and over 1,100 job seekers attended the 2022 event. It’s an opportunity to interact and connect with qualified job seekers and network with fellow employers in one location.

This year the Billings Job Service Employers Committee (JSEC) has partnered with the Employer Support of The Guard and Reserve (ESGR) to offer Jobs Jamboree to Montana Guard and Reserve members, military spouses and veterans. Event proceeds go toward scholarships. Over the years, JSEC has used these funds to award 37 scholarships to apprentices and college students worth $29,500. JSEC is offering a convenient option of online registration and payment. All registrations are online, if you need assistance, contact Samantha Hensel 406-655-6061 or Brittany Lane 406-655-6057. To reserve a booth, register online at Lunch will be provided for up to two representatives. Additional meals can be purchased for $10 each.

National Federation of Independent Business’ (NFIB) monthly Jobs report shows that small businesses planning to add new positions remains elevated, with a net 17% planning to create new jobs in the next three months, down one point from a month earlier. Overall, the monthly Small Business Economic Trends (SBET) report saw the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index decline 2.1 points in December to 89.8, the 12th consecutive month below the 49-year historical average of 98.

“Small business owners remain frustrated with the current labor situation,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “The trend in planned hiring eased slightly as labor quality and labor cost are two top issues for owners. Owners raised compensation again in December to attract and retain employees.”

NFIB’s December 2022 Jobs Report noted that 55% of small business owners reported hiring or trying to hire in December, four points down from November. Finding qualified applicants remains a major challenge, and among those hiring or trying to hire, 93% reported few or no qualified applicants.

Forty-one percent of small business owners reported job openings they couldn’t fill, a three-point decrease from November. While this is substantially higher than the 49-year historical average of 23%, it is also a significant decline from the record-high reading of 51% from July 2021.

The number of unfilled job openings is more than double the 48-year historical average of 23%. A net 19% of small business owners also plan to create new jobs in the next three months.

Small business owners expecting better business conditions dropped significantly by eight points to a net negative 51%. Some of their top business problems include the following.

* Inflation remains the single most cited small business problem at 32%.

* The second-most cited problem is labor quality, up two points from last month to 23%.

* Labor costs also remain a commonly cited top problem at 8%, one point down from November. Small business owners continue to try to attract new employees with higher pay: a net 44% report raising compensation in December, four points up from November.

When it comes to prices, the net percent of small business owners raising average selling prices decreased eight points to a net 43%, historically elevated but the lowest level since May 2021. In addition, a net 24% of owners plan price hikes in the near future, down 10 points from November.

Business relocations projected to create 900 new Montana jobs

Fifteen relocating or expanding businesses will create 900 new Montana jobs, reported Gov. Greg Gianforte in his State of the State address.

In his State of the State address, Governor Greg Gianforte announced the relocation or expansion of 15 businesses to Montana that project to create 900 new Montana jobs.

“As we lead the Montana comeback, we’re creating an environment where businesses can thrive, create more good-paying jobs, and increase opportunities for all Montanans,” Gov. Gianforte said. “There’s no doubt about it: Montana is open for business.”

 “We’ve made Montana more attractive to innovative job creators, and they’re investing in our state and our people,” he said.

Since the governor took office, 15 businesses from a variety of sectors announced a relocation or expansion to Montana.

They include Hyundai Motor Group, NextEra Energy Resources, and Tonix Pharmaceuticals, which project to create nearly 500 jobs combined.

The 360 Electrician, which coaches over 250 electrical contractors nationwide, relocated from California to Florence, Montana.

“We chose Montana, and plan to grow here,” said Jeff Guldalian, CEO of The 360 Electrician. “Montana is the triple threat. You have a friendly business climate, can be successful, and can enjoy that success here, too. The Montana difference makes doing business so much better.”

Avanti Helium, which focuses on the exploration, development, and production of helium, has expanded its operations from Canada to Shelby, Montana.

“We’ve found Montana’s business climate to be excellent,” said Chris Bakker, CEO of Avanti Helium. “The communities have been welcoming and the interactions with various governmental bodies has been reasonable, fair, and efficient. The Treasure State will be central to our future investment plans.”

Businesses relocating to or expanding to Montana since January 2021 include:

The 360 Electrician, Inc., a commercial and residential electrical contracting firm which also operates an online community helping electricians around the country adopt best practices, relocated from California to Florence and projects to create 10 Montana jobs.

Amazon engages in the retail sale of consumer products and subscriptions through online and physical stores in North America and internationally. Amazon announced its first Montana dispatch and delivery facility in December 2022. With the new facility in Missoula, Amazon projects to create 140 Montana jobs.

Avanti Helium  in the Flathead is focused on the development and production of helium across western Canada and the United States. Avanti projects to create more than 20 Montana jobs.

Berkshire Hathaway Energy provides energy to more than 12 million customers and end-users through the United States, Great Britain and Alberta, Canada. The company will leverage Montana’s wind power from NaturEner. It expanded its operation to Judith Gap and projects to create 20 Montana jobs.

Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO) relocated its corporate headquarters to Bozeman. The leading analytics software company, which helps businesses in more than 90 countries, expects to create more than 10 Montana jobs.

GlassyBaby, a manufacturer of high-quality handblown candles and glassware, expanded its operation from Washington State to Livingston, Montana. GlassyBaby could employ as many as 140 Montana workers.

Hyundai Motor, a global automotive manufacturer, announced its new research and development center in Bozeman in May 2022. Hyundai is investing an estimated $20 million in the new headquarters and anticipates creating more than 50 Montana jobs.

INDUSTRY provides customizable workspaces for long-term tenants. The company expanded its operation from Colorado to Bozeman and projects to create 10 Montana jobs.

Melcher Manufacturing, which manufactures high quality composite ramps for the moving and trucking industries, relocated from Washington State to Helena, and expects to create seven Montana jobs.

NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, delivering clean energy across much of North America, expanded its operation from Texas to Rosebud, Custer, and Carter counties. The company expects to create 300 Montana jobs.

Snowflake, Inc., a global cloud data analytics vendor, relocated from California to Bozeman, and is expected to create 20 Montana jobs.

Sostena Corp. provides agri-tech solutions, offering customers, including family farmers, tech solutions needed to help growers maximize their efficiency while reducing costs. Sostena located to Missoula, and expects to create 40 Montana jobs.

Sustainable Oils, Inc., the world’s leading developer of camelina, moved its North American headquarters from California to Great Falls in 2022, and it projects to create  15 Montana jobs.

Tonix Pharmaceuticals will support Phase 3 and commercial scale manufacturing of live-virus vaccines. Tonix expanded its operation to Hamilton, and projects to create 120 Montana jobs.

Vista Outdoor designs, manufactures and markets consumer products in the outdoor sports and recreation markets in the United States and internationally. Vista expanded its operation from Minnesota to Bozeman, will locate one of its headquarters in Bozeman, and anticipates creating 25 Montana jobs.