BEAR: Business Expansion & Retention About BEAR

Successful business leaders ready to mentor YOUR business.

Thank you for doing Business in Billings and Yellowstone County! The Billings Business Expansion and Retention (BEAR) Team is a group of individuals, most of them volunteers; focused and dedicated to assist our existing local businesses to ensure they are operating at optimum capacity. We value and serve our business community by reaching out to develop one-on-one relationships with business owners. Our goal is to capture business owners’ thoughts, ideas, concerns, plans, and valuable insights into our local business community.

The B.E.A.R. Process: 

  •  The Gathering of Information ~ For the BEAR Team to learn about your business, you will receive a Questionnaire via email. The following areas of your business will be covered: Company Information, Workforce, Sales, E-commerce, Facility & Equipment, Municipal Services and Business Climate.
  • The Assessment ~ Our BEAR Resource Team will review and discuss your Questionnaire responses to identify any areas of concern or “red flags”, as well as opportunities that may be available to your business. These meetings are held monthly and all information is confidential to the BEAR Resource Team.
  • The Referral(s) ~ Resource referrals are made after the Assessment has taken place. The BEAR Resource Team lends their expertise to develop a Resource Plan  which will be emailed to you. Once received, the next step is an action step taken by the owner of the business to reach out and contact each resource individually as outlined in their Resource Plan.


If you have any questions, please contact Lorene at 869-8404 or

or Kathy at 869-8414 –

Not all resources can be provided for free, but in most cases the return on the investment made will be of great benefit to the company.

Helpful Links

SBDC Regional Business Advisor/
BEAR Volunteer Manager
Lorene Hintz, ASBC 406-254-6014

SBDC Regional Director Dena Johnson 406-254-6014