Montana ranks 5th in nation according to latest Well-Being Index
Moving up from 6th place in 2012, Montana continued to occupy the top quintile as reported in the 2013 State of American Well-Being report released in February. Global well-being improvement leader Healthways and management consulting firm Gallup conducted analysis based on data from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index®, a measure of real-time changes in well-being throughout the world. Based on more than 178,000 interviews nationwide, the index examined Americans’ perceptions on topics including physical and emotional health, healthy behaviors, work environment, social and community factors, financial security, and access to necessities such as food, shelter and healthcare to create a composite well-being rank for each state. A full report included detailed state reports will be available in April.
Bozeman's overall cost of living was just about average in 2013, housing costs were more than 10 percent above the national average for the year
Bozeman’s composite cost of living index score came in at just 0.9 percent above the national average for 2013, according to the annual Cost of Living Index Report. The annual score represents an unweighted average of data submitted for the first three quarters of 2013. The composite index is based on six component categories – housing, utilities, grocery items, transportation, health care and miscellaneous goods & services. The 2013 annual average housing index score for Bozeman was 110.6, meaning that area housing was 10.6 percent above the national average for the year. This is the highest annual score as relative to national averages each year since 2008.
Overall fiscal condition earns Montana 9th best ranking amongst states for fiscal year 2012
George Mason University's Mercatus Center, a market-oriented think tank, recently published a new study which determined rankings for the 50 states using four “solvency indices”. The study found the five states with the highest ranked overall fiscal conditions to be Alaska, which was first, followed by South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska and Wyoming. The five states with the lowest ranked fiscal conditions are California at 46th, followed by Massachusetts, Illinois, Connecticut and New Jersey.
USDA Announces additional loan funds for rural small business development
Prospera Business Network's Intermediary Relending Program (IRP) loan fund was one of seven recipients in the nation to be awarded funding to create or expand revolving loan programs for rural small businesses. The announcement was made on February 5th at Quality Foods Distributing, a natural and organic food distributor and Prospera IRP loan recipient. Through the Intermediary Relending Program, eligible entities borrow the funds from the USDA and then lend them out to rural small businesses that would not normally be able to access capital at affordable rates. Once these funds are repaid, they become available again for another borrower. The original USDA loan is paid off through the interest payments made by the ultimate borrowers.
Prospera Business Network supporters dominate 2nd Annual Business Journal '20 Under 40' list
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle's Business Journal narrowed down a list of more than 50 nominees to a group of 20 of southwest Montana's most accomplished people under the age of 40. As stated in the list's introduction, "A common thread of unusual accomplishment and an outsized influence on the community at large unites all of them." Not surprisingly, there were a lot of familiar faces on the list including Prospera members, former Business Excellence Award Winners, community partners and former Prospera staff!
Montana Photonics Industry Alliance launches new website
The MPIA network serves as a hub for Montana’s optics and photonics companies, entrepreneurs, laboratories and universities to commercialize, grow and sustain globally leading organizations that create high quality jobs and economic opportunity in Montana. MPIA’s new website features a member directory, news and events information, employment opportunities and access to relevant resources.