Tester hosts 16th Small Business Opportunity Workshop in Billings

(Billings, Mont.)-Senator Jon Tester today hosted his 16th Small Business Opportunity Workshop in Billings to connect Montana entrepreneurs and small business owners with the capital they need to start up and grow their businesses in the 21st Century.

Nearly 200 Montana business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs packed into MSU-Billings’ Petro Theatre to better understand the resources available to them to finance and expand their business.

“Access to capital remains one of the biggest hurdles that small businesses and entrepreneurs face when trying to grow and create more jobs,” Tester said. “My Small Business Opportunity Workshop connected Main Street business owners with some of the nation’s leading financing experts so they can continue to grow their business and prosper here in Montana.”

Founder and CEO of American Rural, Diane Smith, and the Regional Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, Betsy Markey, were the keynote speakers at Tester’s workshop.

“I think Jon’s Small Business Opportunity Workshops are vitally important for entrepreneurs,” Smith said. “Particularly for small businesses and entrepreneurs who are off the beaten path because they need the access to information available at this workshop. I am grateful for Senator Tester for putting on 16 of these successful workshops.”

Attendees also had access to three panels that discussed traditional financing, next-generation financing, and how to develop a business plan. One panel included Shalon Hastings, owner of Taco del Sol and Hub Coffee in Helena.

“I am happy that Jon Tester is taking the lead and trying to get information out to people so they can use it to start their own business,” Hastings said. “Montana is considered the best state to be an entrepreneur and having these free workshops at our disposal is a great boon and it allows us to educate ourselves and get the courage to get our businesses going. If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, take advantage of these events to network and grow your business.”

Tester has hosted 15 previous Small Business Opportunity Workshops across the state for small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Tester’s Small Business Opportunity Workshops are free and open to the public.