Missoula Area Chamber of Commerce
The Missoula Area Chamber of Commerce works to best support a thriving, growing local business community — because for every successful city or town, a vibrant and interconnected business community is its foundation. With a professional staff working for a dedicated and involved membership of local businesspeople and business leaders, the Chamber is collaborating with the Missoula Economic Partnership to specifically support economic development work.
In addition to advocating for sustainable and growing businesses, the Chamber offers local businesses timely access to credible information regarding public policy / government affairs, educational events on a range of business topics, leadership training programs and marketing resources. The Chamber also works to provide direct links to additional outside information and insight needed by local businesspeople.
And, Chamber programs seek to develop young business people into tomorrow’s business leaders, to connect businesspeople within Missoula via networking opportunities, and to generally support and enhance the ability of Missoula area residents to come together as community. The Chamber also is a centralized source of relocation information to anyone considering a move to Missoula.
Some Current Chamber Programs
Relocation information: The Chamber publishes a yearly guide to Missoula that is useful to any person, family or business looking to relocate. In addition to economic development information and resources, the guide offers statistics and insight about the community, neighborhoods, schools, health care resources and other items of interest. The Chamber’s membership directory helps incoming families connect to local businesses and organizations that are community minded and welcoming. To receive a hard copy of either document, please contact the Chamber.
Business Expansion and Retention: The Chamber is collaborating with the Missoula Economic Partnership, Missoula Job Service, Missoula Downtown Association and others on a Business Expansion and Retention program to support, connect and help existing local businesses not only survive but also grow. Here, professional staff and local business leaders seek to learn about the specific challenges local companies face and then connect them with existing, available resources to help them expand and succeed.
Tools for Success: This Chamber resource connects start-up and existing-business entrepreneurs to tax, human resources and other legal forms needed to start and operate a business in the Missoula area. The database can be sorted by company age, topic area and industry. No need to be a member to access this resource.
Workforce Development and Education: This committee works to connect business development to current and future workers.
- Public school district personnel in 2012 are preparing for fall 2012 enrollment in a new Big Sky Health Science Academy to be located within Big Sky High School. The academy’s teachers and administrators will work with parents and community partners — such as the Chamber and its members — to develop opportunities through which students can become exceptional and well-rounded scholars and citizens. The curriculum will be college-preparatory with a focus on careers in the medical health sciences and in veterinary/animal science. The academy plans to have 400 enrolled 9-12 students by the 2015-2016 school year.
- Chamber members are working with the school district to directly connect local business leaders online and in-person with high school students for career shadowing, work experience and mentoring opportunities. Connecting business leaders to high school seniors and their senior projects is part of this effort.
- The committee is working with The University of Montana College of Technology to identify specific needs anywhere in the greater community for workforce training(s) and then to create and offer that training. These trainings range from half-day seminars to extensive weeks-long courses.
Business Development Academy: Launching fall 2012, the Business Development Academy of Missoula is being designed to meet the needs of owners of small businesses. Based on Leadership Missoula, the new program will offer monthly1.5-hour training sessions built to accommodate busy professionals who want to expand their knowledge of time management, team building, effective communication and related business topics. This nine-month program will be open to Chamber members and nonmembers.
Brown Bag Business Lunches: The Business Community Development Division in 2012 is getting set to launch a series of lunchtime business gatherings that focus on one management skill or topic per session. These peer-to-peer learning programs will be geared for small-business owners who cannot dedicate an entire day to a management seminar. Open to Chamber members and nonmembers; sign up only for the sessions you want to attend.
Business Issue Forums: In addition to hosting its annual State of Missoula each January, the Chamber’s Governance Division is hosting three quarterly issue forums. These smaller-venue, 1.5-hour sessions will each target a timely political, business or community-related topic. The forums are open to Chamber members and nonmembers.
Call the Chamber at 406.543.6623; fax 406.543.6625.
The Chamber is located in downtown Missoula at 825 East Front Street.
Find the Chamber online at www.missoulachamber.com.