At a Sept. 14 Kalispell Chamber of Commerce, Convention and Visitor Bureau luncheon at the Hilton Garden Inn, Gov. Greg Gianforte promoted Montana as a competitive business state while emphasizing its economic resiliency during the pandemic.
Gianforte spoke following a visit with GL Solutions, a software company that recently relocated to Kalispell from Bend, Oregon, with the company citing a supportive and relaxed business environment in the Flathead Valley.
In June, the Montana Department of Commerce launched the “Come Home Montana” campaign, designed to target through social media Montana high school and college graduates who left the state for better job opportunities to encourage them to return to Montana to work.
“They may join your business, they may start their own business, they may even bring a job with them,” Gianforte said. “We have a lot to offer and we’re going to promote it. Plus, we have the benefit when we bring Montanans back home, they bring Montana values with them, and that will help us preserve our way of life.”
Since removing mask mandates, ending business restrictions like hours of operation and capacity limitations, and prohibiting vaccine passports in Montana, Gianforte confirmed he would not impose any mandates in the state.
“I believe the government’s role should be educating and communicating, not mandating,” Gianforte said.
Gianforte said Montana has “made great progress in the pandemic” while working with the Legislature to create a competitive business environment. He said the state has cut income taxes, tripled the business tax exemption from $100,000 to $300,000 and created an “entrepreneur magnet,” encouraging businesses to locate in Montana.
To address the housing shortage, Gianforte proposed fewer regulations and recruiting more tradespeople, and he’s also prioritizing “cutting back the thicket of red tape,” referring to his establishment of the Red Tape Relief task force, which is working to restructure the Montana Department of Environmental Quality to shorten the wastewater permit process.
“Duplicative or oppressive regulations need to get off the books,” Gianforte said.