Business Expansion and Retention Banner

The Governor's Office of Economic Development, Montana Department of Commerce, 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.

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

Joe Unterreiner
Kalispell
(406) 758-2802
bear@kalispellchamber.com
Kalispell Chamber

 

Western Montana

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

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

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

Michelle Twist
Hamilton
406-375-6045
Bitterroot Job Service
Ravalli County
mtwist@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

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

Katie Weaver
MSU Park County Economic and Community Development Extension Agent
Park County
406-222-4156
catherine.weaver@montana.edu
 
Debbie Berg
Bozeman Job Service
dberg@mt.gov

 

North Central Montana

None at this time

 

South Central Montana

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

 

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

 

Eastern Montana

Amy Deines
Glendive Job Service
113 W Bell Street
Glendive, MT
amydeines@mt.gov

Business Expansion and Retention Volunteer Locations



MONTANA OFFICE OF TOURISM AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT | MONTANA DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
301 S. PARK AVE. | P.O. BOX 200533 | HELENA, MT 59620-0533 |  T: (406) 841-2870 |  F: (406) 841-2871 | TDD: (406) 841-2702