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Lt. Gov. Cooney Celebrates 3rd Annual SBDC Day with Small Business Owners

Wednesday, March 20, 2019/Categories: Market MT, Small Business Development Center Network, Choose Montana

Lt. Gov. Cooney celebrates SBDC Day with advisors and business owners in Butte.

BUTTE, Mont. – Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney and Commerce Director Tara Rice Wednesday celebrated the third annual SBDC Day, a national celebration of the impact of Small Business Development Centers, with an event in Butte featuring Montana small business owners and the state’s SBDC Network.

SBDC Day unites the state’s 10 regional SBDCs in celebrating the success stories of Montana’s entrepreneurs. Participants also shared their stories about the invaluable assistance of their local SBDCs on social media using #SBDCDay.

“SBDC Day recognizes our Small Business Development Center network across Montana and the work the network advisors do to support entrepreneurs and business owners who strengthen our main street economy in every corner of the state,” said Lt. Gov. Cooney.

SBDC Business Advisors support entrepreneurs at every stage of their business at no cost to clients. Montana SBDCs, which celebrate their 30th anniversary this year, have assisted nearly 33,500 Montana entrepreneurs and helped to create and retain more than 15,000 jobs since 1989.

At Wednesday’s event, Montana Craft Malt and Marathon Machine Works gave credit to the Butte SBDC for their success. Both have added to local and statewide industries to build the state’s small business impact.

“Launching a start-up business is exciting, but facing challenges and hurdles is part of the gig, so finding good partners to help navigate the hard spots is key for success. We've found one of those partners in the SBDC,” said Montana Craft Malt’s President and Founder Jennifer O’Brien, “The SBDC has gone above and beyond in helping us refine our business plans, secure grants, and make relationships within key networks. The SBDC team is key to the success of my business, and I am thankful for their partnership.”

Another attendee, Pardue Grain was able to obtain more than $7 million in investment to help create 20 high-wage jobs with the assistance of the Great Falls SBDC. Pardue Grain’s 32,000-square-foot pulse processing facility is located on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.

Bitterroot Valley’s Salvage Signs was also in attendance. The Missoula SBDC helped Salvage Signs secure a $12,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture Marketing Grant that will help them expand their market and sell on a larger scale.

The Montana SBDC Network is funded in-part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Montana Department of Commerce. For more information, visit


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