Business digest

2014-04-13T00:00:00Z Business digest The Billings Gazette
April 13, 2014 12:00 am

The Wyoming Business Alliance's Spring 2014 economic outlook program will be presented in Sheridan at the Wyo Theater from 4 to 6 p.m. on Monday, May 5. The free program includes a reception. Since 1996 the Wyoming Business Alliance has organized 52 Economic Outlook forums. The yearly event has expanded to 10 or more venues across the state.

The 2014 sessions include economic trends from national leaders: Ambassador Marc Wall, visiting professor at the University of Wyoming; Scott Anderson, Bank of the West chief economist from San Francisco; and Herb Meyer, retired vice chair of the Central Intelligence Agency and author of “The Siege of Western Civilization”; state perspectives by Wyoming forecaster and University of Wyoming economics professor Anne Alexander, and county/regional performance comparisons by Bill Schilling, president of the Wyoming Business Alliance.

For more information and to register, go to

High Point Networks has earned the 2013 VXSuite Rookie of the Year Award, the prestigious technology award recognizing outstanding accomplishments. The winners were announced at the annual VXSuite VXMadness Managed Services Partner Conference. VXSuite's Partner Awards have expressed recognition for the numerous technology company success stories produced in the cloud-based analytic software business. Presented in numerous categories, the Rookie of the Year Award recognizes the VXSuite partner that generates the most revenue in their first new of partnership with VXSuite.

Montana SCORE and the U.S. Small Business Administration Region VIII are launching an initiative to attract additional volunteer mentors with business experience to expand confidential small business counseling and training throughout Montana.

Volunteering as a SCORE mentor means joining an active national community of 11,000 volunteers who are committed to helping small business owners succeed. SCORE volunteers come from a many different sectors and professions including entrepreneurship, large corporations, military communities and higher education.

In Montana, SCORE has more than 70 members and chapters in Helena, Great Falls, Bozeman, Kalispell and Billings, serving more than 600 individuals annually. All SCORE mentoring is done on a no-fee basis.

Since its inception in 1964, SCORE chapters have been serving the small business community with a combination of confidential mentoring and workshops covering a wide range of business topics. In response to the demands of the marketplace and the increasing complexity of running a small business, a select number of chapters have increased their services to include workshop series geared toward start-ups as well as existing businesses.

For more information on how to become a SCORE mentor, visit or in Yellowstone and surrounding counties, call Mike Keene at 406-656-8574. The phone number for the state office is 406-442-4986.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that farmers and ranchers can sign-up for disaster assistance programs, reestablished and strengthened by the 2014 Farm Bill, beginning Tuesday.

The Livestock Indemnity Program and the Livestock Forage Disaster Program will provide payments to eligible producers for livestock deaths and grazing losses that have occurred since the expiration of the livestock disaster assistance programs in 2011, including calendar years 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Enrollment also begins on April 15 for producers with losses covered by the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program and the Tree Assistance Program.

To expedite applications, all producers who experienced losses are encouraged to collect records documenting these losses in preparation for the enrollment in these disaster assistance programs. Information on the types of records necessary can be provided by local FSA county offices. Producers also are encouraged to contact their county office ahead of time to schedule an appointment.

For more information, producers may visit any local FSA office or USDA Service Center.

The Montana Stockgrowers Association has begun a partnership with Frontline Ag. Frontline Ag is an "Official Affiliate Top Hand Club Sponsor" of the Montana Stockgrowers Association and they have been instrumental in helping MSGA to implement the Affiliate Top Hand Club for 2014. This year's top prize will be a John Deere Gator sponsored by Frontline Ag to be given to the local affiliate associate that recruits the highest number of new memberships for MSGA.

The Top Hand Club is a part of Stockgrowers' Affiliate Mentorship Program, as a renewed effort to strengthen local affiliate members across the state.

The Affiliate Top Hand Club is the Montana Stockgrowers Association's "member-recruit-a-member" program, which has been developed to recognize those Local Affiliate Associations and members who continually give their time and effort to help increase the strength of their state organization, the Montana Stockgrowers Association.

The prize winner will be announced at MSGA's Annual Convention in Billings Dec. 11-13 at the Holiday Inn Grand Montana. For more information, visit

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