#25 Montana

From the Governor

“Montana’s economy continues to grow, with about 4,000 new jobs added so far in 2019… My administration will continue to invest in our state’s economy by expanding access to workforce development opportunities to ensure every Montanan has the ability to join the workforce and contribute to our ongoing success.” —Gov. Steve Bullock

The Sky is the Limit

While natural resources are making a comeback in Big Sky Country, the tech industry is thriving in places like Bozeman and Missoula as entrepreneurs capitalize on low costs, strong talent and a high quality of life. Companies to break ground or expand here in the past year include ClassPass, GlaxoSmithKline and Quiq.

Key Contacts

Montana Department of Commerce

Tara Rice, Director
301 S. Park Ave.
P.O. Box 200501
Helena, Mt 59620-0501
(406) 841-2700

Key Incentives

New or Expanding Industry Tax Abatement: Offers a tax abatement of up to 75% for the first five years of operation to businesses that earn half or more of their annual gross income from out-of-state sales.

New Markets Tax Credit: Offers credits that can be used or sold for projects that have at least a $4 million investment.

Private Sector Workforce Training Grant: Offers up to $5,000 for training expenses per eligible job created.

Big Sky Trust Fund: Offers incentives of up to $7,500 per job for job for land, equipment, rehabilitation costs and employee training for projects in high-poverty areas.


Montana Governor’s Office of Economic Development: business.mt.gov

Montana Business Assistance Connection: mbac.biz

Missoula Economic Partnership: missoulapartnership.com

Big Sky Economic Development: bigskyeconomicdevelopment.com

Highlighted Program or Initiative

Envision 2026 is a 10-year strategic plan by the Montana Chamber of Commerce that is backed by investors and focuses on four policy areas (workforce, business basics, infrastructure and entrepreneurship) to drive per capital personal income, gross state product growth and job growth.

Big Deals

  • Outdoor media and lifestyle company MeatEater moved its headquarters to Bozeman in late-2018 to support its Netflix programming and other ventures.
  • ClassPass hired more than 100 employees and opened a new office in Missoula in 2018 to expand the company’s customer service, internal sales and account management teams.
  • GlaxoSmithKline announced in April 2019 plans for a $100 million expansion to increase production capacity at its Hamilton facility.
  • Tech company Submittable closed on a $10 million Series B round in July 2019 and plans to add 150 jobs in Missoula by the end of 2020.
  • Bozeman-based software company Quiq announced in July 2019 a $12.5 Series B round led by Foundry Group.

Big Companies

Applied Materials
First Interstate
Town Pump

C-Suite Testimonials

“Bozeman was specifically chosen mainly because of the fertile business community and because of MSU; laser optics and photonics industry that have arisen from those two factors convinced me that sooner or later that environment would be critical to our growth.” —Tim Sheehy, CEO, Bridger Aerospace/Ascent Vision Technologies

“When Missoula made the short list, I was ecstatic as I had personally experienced the abundant active lifestyle opportunities in the area and the dynamic and unique character of the city and community.” —Fritz Lanman, CEO, ClassPass

“One thing that I appreciate about Montana is that you can be however you want to be. If you want to be that person that works 10 hours per week, there is no judgement. Or if you want to be that person to do a great job and then at 4 p.m. go on a hike, you can do that… You can live the life you want.” —Michelle Huie, Founder, VIM and VIGR

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -


New Poll: CEOs Find Challenges In Using Customer Data To Drive Innovation

Ability to harness and sort through data for meaningful insights remains a hurdle, many say. “The key is...finding what is actually relevant.”


Sign Up to Receive Chief Executive Magazine

Chief Executive’s publications are designed to help CEOs do their jobs better and run their businesses more effectively. Subscribe here.


In Poll, Majority of CEOs Say Hybrid Work Is Here to Stay for 2022. Full Virtual? Not so Much

Almost all the CEOs we surveyed in May say they will work in at least partially hybrid mode for the rest of the year—versus just 7 percent who said they'd be fully remote.