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6 Ways the Butte Silver-Bow Local Government Supports New Business

Butte has a long history of great ingenuity, resilience in the face of adversity and a strong, unbeatable character. As discussed before, these attributes, among others, make Butte a great place to do business.

A sign stating the history of Butte made out of stone.
Butte, a little town with a big history.

But the city-county itself is another reason to make the plunge and relocate to this picturesque mountain town. The city-county of Butte-Silver Bow has a strong commitment to helping businesses start, expand and thrive.

Here, we’ve listed six ways the local government supports local business:  

City-county government

The city-county of Butte-Silver Bow is structured as a combined city-county government, which is a fancy way of saying that the government has jurisdiction of both Butte the city, and the greater county of Silver Bow.

An artists depiction of early Butte, MT. Smoke Stacks rise over a small down on a hill.
Butte has seen many changes.

This unique way of organizing government causes long-term savings, increased efficiency, improved resources and enhanced planning capabilities, according to the National League of Cities. Because of these benefits, a city-county style government allows for a stronger relationship to develop between the government and the private sector, which is better for your business.

Tax Increment Districts

Under the Montana law known as Tax Increment Financing, local governments are able to “utilize property taxes brought about by new development to construct infrastructure and assist with facility construction to support additional industrial uses in the area,” according to the Butte Local Development Corporation.

Butte has three Tax Increment Districts—including one within the Montana Connections Business Development Park—to help new and expanding businesses offset the cost of infrastructure. This means that funds are available to help your business with site development (adding capacity, building facilities, parking etc). How much you can acquire through these funds is based on total project investment and job creation.

Low cost-of-living

Starting or expanding a business in an expensive market can be taxing for you and your business. You can’t take the proper risks or focus on your startup if you are strapped for cash. That is not a problem in Butte. Currently, Butte-Silver Bow’s cost of living is nearly 7 percent lower than the U.S. average, with a median home listing price at $113k, according to real estate website Zillow.

A screen shot of a zillow map of Butte Montana homes for sale.
Few real estate markets are better suited for expanding businesses.

Butte-Silver Bow seeks to continue keeping the cost of living low, while striving to raise the already high standard of living.

Access to grants funded by the state of Montana

Butte-Silver Bow is committed to helping you find the grant money you need to expand your current business or get your new business off the ground.

The county will help you find the proper grant program that’s likely to provide necessary funding. Available grants include workforce training grants, incumbent worker training grants, economic development grants, business infrastructure grants and a host of other programs designed to bring business to the state of Montana. For a comprehensive list visit the BLDC’s website.  

The Butte Local Development Corporation

The Butte Local Development Corporation (BLDC) is a private/public organization that serves as a liaison between you and the government. They are there for you to help expedite project activity, as well as work as an intermediary for introductions to all the key players you may need in launching a successful business.

Not only that, but the BLDC boasts on their website that they provide key market intelligence including demographics, labor availability, taxes, cost of living comparisons, and research on workforce, recruitment and training assistance.

Taking a team approach

Kristen Rosa, who works in Community Development in the Butte-Silver Bow government said the number one way her city-county supports new business is by taking a team approach when it comes to supporting startups. 

The Montana Connections Business Development park works alongside the BLDC, Headwaters, a non-profit focused on improving the economic well-being of Southwest Montana, and the local government to figure out what kind of help your business needs.  

A collection of business buildings with mines in the background.
Butte’s beautiful business district hasn’t aged a day.

From there, they continue to work together to meet with the people who can provide this help. They don’t give you a name and leave it at that—they introduce you to those who have the resources you need. They are by your side every step of the way.

The success of your new or expansion of your current startup is one of the top priorities for the city-county of Butte-Silver Bow. And is just another reason Butte’s a great place to be a business.

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