“One Big One Big Sky District means more money for statewide infrastructure, essential services for our citizens, and it puts Montana back on the map for businesses and people deciding where to locate. For our rural counties and gateway communities in need of essential infrastructure, added revenue from One Big Sky District could help to pay for those improvements. And, Montana’s other large cities could implement a similar district concept to incentivize meaningful private investment to fund anchor projects in their communities.
WHAT IT MEANS FOR BILLINGS Billings stands to gain substantially as well. New properties will add to the property tax base, increasing funding for public safety. Building a community where our youth want to live in and the next generation of workforce wants to move to will help our businesses grow. And it will help to make our housing more affordable. But that’s not just the prediction of the One Big Sky District Strategy Partners. It’s what our Billings businesses project will happen. I had the opportunity to sit down with a few of our chamber members to get their feedback about the One Big Sky District project. We discussed their industries, One Big Sky District, and how new growth can benefit their b ottom line. Andrew Newman, who owns NewANDREW NEWMAN, man Restoration Newman Restoration & Cleaning and Cleaning, a locally-owned business specializing in disaster restoration and professional cleaning services, is excited at the prospect of growth. “Growth is success,” Andrew remarked as we discussed the business community and the economy. Newman Restoration and Cleaning has grown
Sky District is projected to add more than $2.5 billion in new taxes to the state of Montana.”
significantly in the last year, and Andrew attributes that growth to their diverse offering of services, a quality product, and effective social media use. One Big Sky District offers even more growth for Newman Restoration and Cleaning. “This is a huge opportunity to get our foot in the door of new business coming into town. New buildings will need to be maintained and cleaned.” Ultimately, Andrew sees the greater benefit to Billings from One Big Sky District. “This is not just going to help my business and family, but the whole community,” Andrew concluded. I also spent time discussing the impact of One Big Sky District with Kolten Knatterud, a Professional Engineer and TerritorialLandworks’ Billings Branch Manager. When
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I asked if his company would consider relocating into the district, he responded with a question of his own, “Can you imagine us trying to park our equipment KOLTEN KNATTERUD, in a downtown Territorial Landworks parking garage, holding up traffic, taking up multiple spaces?” It’s probably best they stay where they are… And while he didn’t think Territorial-Landworks would move their office into One Big Sky District, Kolten sees the benefit downtown development could produce. “If it brings additional people to Billings due to its high-profile nature and people wanting to be part of a city which has projects like this, it will help with staffing and trigger numerous infrastructure projects outside of the district as well.” The issue of staffing is also Kolten’s biggest concern at the moment, which isn’t unique to their business. We know attracting and retaining a skilled workforce is getting more difficult, and a majority of our businesses would expand and grow but for a lack of available workers. Fortunately, One Big Sky District will help make our community more attractive for the next generation of workforce. And for the residents of Billings? Kolten concludes, “I’m really excited about the strong support I see in our city to get things done and improve our community. There may be differences in opinion about exactly what these improvements look like, but you don’t hear any arguments against creating a stronger and better Billings.” Another important consideration with workforce issues and One Big Sky District relates to housing. Brittani Hunter is Residential Sales Manager with Coldwell Banker and is familiar with our housing market trends. She sat down
Billings community business news and events.