“This is about igniting sustained economic growth in our great state.”

Webb Brown, President/CEO
Montana Chamber of Commerce

Our Vision

As the state’s leading business advocate, the Montana Chamber of Commerce envisions a business climate that is optimal for Montana business prosperity.

Our Mission

To create and sustain an optimal business climate, business prosperity and a strong Montana economy, the Montana Chamber of Commerce, through advocacy, education, and collaboration, works to provide an empowered and educated workforce, reduce business growth obstacles, and advance positions that promote success for Montana businesses.

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES

Through 2026, the Montana Chamber of Commerce will create the opportunity for business growth and prosperity by improving Montana’s business climate, quality of life, talent pipeline, and entrepreneurship through regulatory and legal reform, infrastructure investment and workforce development.

DOWNLOAD ENVISION 2026 PDF

THANK YOU ENVISION 2026 INVESTORS

Workforce Development

PROMOTE AND SUPPORT STRATEGIES TO PROVIDE A
QUALIFIED WORKFORCE

The foundation of Montana’s economy is our workforce. Envision 2026 aims to promote and support strategies to provide a qualified workforce in Montana. We will work with a broad coalition of federal, state, educational, non-profit, and business entities to train the next generation of Montanans. With the right skills and knowledge, they’ll be able to meet an ever-changing economic landscape and ensure our economic future.

Investing in Montana's Workforce

The rate of Montanans involved in an apprenticeship program dropped from 1.66 to 1.40 per thousand residents - moving Montana from 11th in the nation to 22nd.
2016 saw a dramatic increase of New Apprentices in Montana rising from 2015's 0.56 new apprentices per 1,000 residents to 6.13 per 1,000 residents. This rose Montana from 17th to the 2nd new apprentices per 1,000 residents in the nation.
Montana saw a increase of active apprenticeship programs in the state from 2015's 438 active programs. This is the highest number in the nation in a per 1,000 residents basis. (0.68 / 1,000)
Montana has the highest rate of adults by 25 years of age having a high school diploma or equivalent.
Two-year college affordability in Montana remains lower than the national average of 9.63% of disposable income. Average tuition and fee prices are weighted by full-time enrollment.
Four-year college affordability remains above the national average despite recent cutbacks and tuition hikes. Average tuition and fee prices are weighted by full-time enrollment.

Workforce Development

PROMOTE AND SUPPORT STRATEGIES TO PROVIDE A
QUALIFIED WORKFORCE

The foundation of Montana’s economy is our workforce. Envision 2026 aims to promote and support strategies to provide a qualified workforce in Montana. We will work with a broad coalition of federal, state, educational, non-profit, and business entities to train the next generation of Montanans. With the right skills and knowledge, they’ll be able to meet an ever-changing economic landscape and ensure our economic future.

The rate of Montanans involved in an apprenticeship program dropped from 1.66 to 1.40 per thousand residents - moving Montana from 11th in the nation to 22nd.
2016 saw a dramatic increase of New Apprentices in Montana rising from 2015's 0.56 new apprentices per 1,000 residents to 6.13 per 1,000 residents. This rose Montana from 17th to the 2nd new apprentices per 1,000 residents in the nation.
Montana saw a increase of active apprenticeship programs in the state from 2015's 438 active programs. This is the highest number in the nation in a per 1,000 residents basis. (0.68 / 1,000)
Montana has the highest rate of adults by 25 years of age having a high school diploma or equivalent.
Two-year college affordability in Montana remains lower than the national average of 9.63% of disposable income. Average tuition and fee prices are weighted by full-time enrollment.
Four-year college affordability remains above the national average despite recent cutbacks and tuition hikes. Average tuition and fee prices are weighted by full-time enrollment.

Entrepreneurial Development

MAINTAIN STATUS AS NATIONAL LEADER AND FOSTER ENTREPRENEURIAL DEVELOPMENT

Montanans have always had a strong entrepreneurial spirit. Envision 2026 believes in maintaining Montana’s status as a leader in entrepreneurial development. We’re implementing a multifaceted approach to successfully instill an entrepreneurial spirit in the next generation of business leaders and to provide entrepreneurs with the resources they require to start and grow a business.

Supporting new business in Montana

Montana leads the nation in business ownership with more than one in ten Montanans owning a business.
Montana dropped from 1st - 0.50% - in 2016 to 4th in 2017 in rate of new entrepreneurs.
Montana start ups were able to attract $45.7 million in capital in 2016.
Almost 52 out of 100 business started in Montana remain in business after 5-years. This is the 9th highest rate in the nation.
Montana Venture Capital funds invested $26.03 million in start ups in 2016.

Entrepreneurial Development

MAINTAIN STATUS AS NATIONAL LEADER AND FOSTER ENTREPRENEURIAL DEVELOPMENT

Montanans have always had a strong entrepreneurial spirit. Envision 2026 believes in maintaining Montana’s status as a leader in entrepreneurial development. We’re implementing a multifaceted approach to successfully instill an entrepreneurial spirit in the next generation of business leaders and to provide entrepreneurs with the resources they require to start and grow a business.

Montana leads the nation in business ownership with more than one in ten Montanans owning a business.
Montana dropped from 1st - 0.50% - in 2016 to 4th in 2017 in rate of new entrepreneurs.
Montana start ups were able to attract $45.7 million in capital in 2016.
Almost 52 out of 100 business started in Montana remain in business after 5-years. This is the 9th highest rate in the nation.
Montana Venture Capital funds invested $26.03 million in start ups in 2016.

Business Climate

REDUCE THE COST OF DOING BUSINESS TO
IMPROVE THE BUSINESS CLIMATE

Montana is part of a world economy. Not only are we in competition with our neighboring states, but also the entire U.S. and globe. To compete in this international marketplace, we as a state must be conscious of the costs and regulatory burdens we place on businesses. After all, capital and talent are more mobile than ever before. We must reduce the cost of doing business to improve the state’s business climate.

Making Montana Business More Competitive

Wyoming (23rd), Idaho (28th), South Dakota (32nd), & North Dakota (50th) all have lower Workers’ Compensation costs than Montana.
Montana has held steady in the past four years, ranking sixth in the index each year since 2013.
Housing in Montana is 8.1 percent higher than the national average.
Montana improved from #34 in 2015's rankings to #27 in 2017. However, the states that surround Montana all have better climates. (S. Dakota #1, Idaho #3, Wyoming #8, and N. Dakota #17.)
Montana total manufacturing output makes up more than 6.65 percent of the gross state product.
In terms dollar value, Montana’s top three exports are cigarettes, aircraft parts, and lentils.

Business Climate

REDUCE THE COST OF DOING BUSINESS TO
IMPROVE THE BUSINESS CLIMATE

Montana is part of a world economy. Not only are we in competition with our neighboring states, but also the entire U.S. and globe. To compete in this international marketplace, we as a state must be conscious of the costs and regulatory burdens we place on businesses. After all, capital and talent are more mobile than ever before. We must reduce the cost of doing business to improve the state’s business climate.

Wyoming (23rd), Idaho (28th), South Dakota (32nd), & North Dakota (50th) all have lower Workers’ Compensation costs than Montana.
Montana has held steady in the past four years, ranking sixth in the index each year since 2013.
Housing in Montana is 8.1 percent higher than the national average.
Montana improved from #34 in 2015's rankings to #27 in 2017. However, the states that surround Montana all have better climates. (S. Dakota #1, Idaho #3, Wyoming #8, and N. Dakota #17.)
Montana total manufacturing output makes up more than 6.65 percent of the gross state product.
In terms dollar value, Montana’s top three exports are cigarettes, aircraft parts, and lentils.

Infrastructure Investment

PROMOTE INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT
TO SUPPORT BUSINESS

Roads, bridges, water, wastewater, and other infrastructure are vital to supporting a growing economy. For too long, these infrastructure needs have been ignored and we’ve allowed these critical pieces of Montana’s economy are crumbling. We desperately need sustainable reinvestment in infrastructure. Recognizing this, Envision 2026 promotes infrastructure development to support business.

ReBuilding Montana's Infrastructure

These rough roads cost each Montanan approximately $292 to $484 per year in extra maintenance costs depending on their area’s roads.
Montana’s infrastructure is approaching a critical state of disrepair, earning a grade of C- from the American Society of Civil Engineers.
$30,141,744 spent on state bridge capital projects in 2013.
Montana has the third highest fatality rate in the nation, with a backlog of transportation projects waiting for available funding.
$885.3 million in drinking water infrastructure needs over the next 20 years.
$363 million in wastewater infrastructure needs over the next 20 years.

Infrastructure Investment

PROMOTE INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT
TO SUPPORT BUSINESS

Roads, bridges, water, wastewater, and other infrastructure are vital to supporting a growing economy. For too long, these infrastructure needs have been ignored and we’ve allowed these critical pieces of Montana’s economy are crumbling. We desperately need sustainable reinvestment in infrastructure. Recognizing this, Envision 2026 promotes infrastructure development to support business.

These rough roads cost each Montanan approximately $292 to $484 per year in extra maintenance costs depending on their area’s roads.
Montana’s infrastructure is approaching a critical state of disrepair, earning a grade of C- from the American Society of Civil Engineers.
$30,141,744 spent on state bridge capital projects in 2013.
Montana has the third highest fatality rate in the nation, with a backlog of transportation projects waiting for available funding.
$885.3 million in drinking water infrastructure needs over the next 20 years.
$363 million in wastewater infrastructure needs over the next 20 years.

SUPPORT ENVISION 2026

Have questions about Envision 2026?

Contact Daniel

Operations Director
406.442.2405 | Ext. 110
Contact