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Lt. Governor Cooney, Commerce Director Celebrate Grand Opening of the Miles Community College Small Business Development Center

Friday, August 4, 2017/Categories: Market MT, Small Business Development Center Network

Miles City SBDC Ribbon Cutting

Lieutenant Governor Mike Cooney and Commerce Director Pam Haxby-Cote Thursday joined the Small Business Administration (SBA), southeastern Montana economic development organizations, and higher education communities to celebrate the grand opening of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Miles Community College (MCC).

“Southeastern Montana is a great place to do business, and the partnership between the Small Business Development Center and Miles Community College ensures the region will continue to support our state’s entrepreneurs as the start and grow businesses and create more jobs,” said Lt. Governor Cooney [Audio available].

The new Miles City Regional SBDC will serve Carter, Custer, Dawson, Fallon, Powder River, Prairie, Rosebud, Treasure, and Wibaux counties, creating a centralized hub to support entrepreneurs.

Linette Silvernail owns the Wagon Wheelz Café in Colstrip and shared the success story of her business thanks to SBDC assistance. In 2016, the SBDC helped Silvernail develop a business plan and create financial projections. Since then, Wagon Wheelz Café has hired two full-time and 11 part-time employees in Colstrip, which she credits to the SBDC’s support.

“The SBDC is a worthy program for anyone seeking to start their own business,” Silvernail said. “They provide one-on-one assistance from start to finish.”

Entrepreneurs in southeastern Montana will have new resources available to continue developing the region’s economy thanks to Miles Community College. Hosting the SBDC aligns with a portion of the college’s strategic plan to grow workforce development partnerships.

The newly hired Miles City SBDC Regional Director, Alex Evans, has the experience needed to help aspiring and existing southeastern Montana business owners thrive.

“We are excited to have Alex join our team and support southeastern Montana. His educational and business development experience makes him a perfect fit,” said Miles Community College President Dr. Stacy Klippenstein. “We are equally excited to be in partnership with the SBDC and SBA so we can continue to serve this great region of Montana.”

Miles Community College is Montana’s tenth SBDC statewide regional office to provide tools and guidance for small business success, overseen by administrative offices at the Montana Department of Commerce, and funded jointly with the SBA and Montana Department of Commerce. In just the last year, Montana’s SBDC network has helped launch 73 businesses and created or retained 616 jobs.

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About Montana Small Business Development Centers

The Montana SBDC Network is funded in-part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Montana Department of Commerce that began in 1989. Over the course of its 28-year history, the Montana SBDC has assisted more than 29,000 Montana entrepreneurs and nearly 6,500 businesses. Montana SBDC's certified Business Consultants provide one-to-one management advising to small businesses at no cost to clients. For more information, visit

About Miles Community College

Established in 1939, Miles Community College is Montana’s first community college. MCC serves Custer County and the southeastern Montana region by providing over 35 academic programs (transfer and career-technical degrees), online degrees and courses, several short-term training certifications, workforce training, and community outreach programs. Miles Community College student-athletes compete in the National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region IX in men’s and women’s basketball and golf, baseball, and women’s volleyball. The men’s and women’s rodeo team competes in the Big Sky Region of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA). On-campus housing and dining as well as multiple student organizations exist for the over 500 students who attend MCC throughout the course of an academic year.



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