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Small Business BEAR: Business Expansion & Retention

Providing solutions for small businesses.

As a business owner, you are a vital part of the community. One of the most important aspects of a community’s economic development is the expansion and retention of its existing businesses. We want to thank you for doing business in Billings and surrounding areas!

BEAR is a team of professional volunteers who work to provide solutions to everyday business concerns for the sustainability, expansion and success of Billings’ and area businesses. We listen and learn from business owners to obtain clear directives of what their needs are and provide appropriate resources to address the issues identified. Mitigating risk or seizing opportunity is a function of how well we understand and anticipate change in our business environment. We are here to help. All information regarding individual businesses is held in strict confidence.

The three components of BEAR


The Interviewers
The BEAR Interviewers are trained business professionals or members of local organizations who volunteer their time to conduct interview surveys with local businesses. This allows us to get to know about your business and gather information to be reviewed by the Assessment Team members, who lend their knowledge and skills to the BEAR program.
The Assessment Team
The BEAR Assessment Team is a collaborative, community-wide group of professional, trained volunteers who offer their expertise to review the data provided during the interview survey. This team of professionals reviews the survey data to identify any areas in which we can assist small businesses to be as successful as they can be. The team then recommends resources to provide assistance in the area(s) of need or opportunity. This is an effective tool for assisting businesses in evaluating growth potential, addressing areas of concern and referring them to resources they may not have otherwise been aware of.
The Resource Providers
The BEAR Resource Team is comprised of professional individual volunteers who agree to provide assistance to BEAR clients. Most of the resources provided are free of charge and the resource providers in private sector business have agreed to provide one free initial visit and one free follow-up visit to BEAR clients. After the two free visits, any services provided and fees associated with them will be determined solely by the business owner and the Resource Provider.

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.


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