PROGRAMS & SERVICES
The Business Retention and Expansion Program exists to accelerate the successes of Missoula’s existing entrepreneurs. Recognizing that 80 percent of economic growth typically comes from the expansion of existing local companies, the Partnership staff — often in conjunction with our strategic partners — conducts diagnostic sessions with local companies to better understand their needs and to help connect them to financing, professional services and planning assistance.
The MEP Angel Network connects Missoula-based investors with local, growing companies. Our program includes coaching on presenting essential information that investors look for. Several times a year we sponsor pitch sessions, where qualifying companies present to network investors.
The Innovation Initiative brings together a variety of startup businesses and entrepreneurs to connect with one another and obtain guidance from seasoned business professionals. This program — which started as a joint venture between the Montana Technology Enterprise Center, Hellgate Venture Network and the Partnership — provides presentations and one-on-one information sessions on topics such as securing venture capital, building a brand, search engine marketing, public relations, patent law, information technology and strategic planning.
The Business Attraction Program recruits existing businesses to relocate or expand their operations to our area. While our program casts a wide net, we specifically focus on key industries deemed “best-fit” for Missoula: life sciences, information technology, manufacturing, back office & professional services, and forest & renewable products. We work directly with companies and professional site selectors around the country, providing them with prompt, detailed and actionable information about the local labor pool, real estate market, incentive packages and other key resources.
The Air Service Task Force aims to reduce business airfares by attracting a low-cost air carrier to the Missoula International Airport by spring of 2013. By saving money on business travel, local companies can shift operational funds into job creation and new capital investment. We therefore see this as an important component in both attracting new businesses and nurturing those already in the area. We are also evaluating optimal additions to existing nonstop service to and from Missoula.