Tester Holds 17th Small Business Opportunity Workshop in Great Falls

Event Focuses on Helping Veterans and Entrepreneurs Connect

(Great Falls, Mont.) – Senator Jon Tester today hosted his 17th Small Business Opportunity Workshop (SBOW) in Great Falls to help veterans and small businesses connect.

Dozens of Montana entrepreneurs, small business owners, and U.S. service members joined Tester at the Great Falls Civic Center to learn from a number of distinguished panelists, keynotes, and local representatives about the benefits of helping veterans go into business.

“During their time in the service, America’s veterans receive world-class training. They learn to be accurate, timely, responsible, and effective when carrying out their mission,” Tester said. “These are critical skills to have in the service. But they are also critical skills to have in business. And that is why today we focused on helping Montana veterans transition from being service members to entrepreneurs so they can launch their own businesses and help existing businesses maximize their potential.”

Facebook Operations Lead and former Air Force pilot Jeff Gilmore, and Executive Director of the COMMIT Foundation Anne Meree Craig keynoted today’s workshop.

Attendees also heard from a total of 12 different panelists divided into three different panels that discussed the resources available to veterans who want to start or grow a business, the unique benefits that come with employing veterans at your business, and the trials and tribulations experienced by veterans who own and operate their own businesses.

“Be ready to work hard, utilize your military leadership experience and dig into your local community resources,” said Thad and Heidi Reiste, Owners of Electric City Coffee. “Today’s workshop used this opportunity to network with other veterans that have successfully crossed over into entrepreneurship.”

Since taking office in 2007, Tester has hosted a total of 17 Small Business Opportunity Workshops across the state-all free and open to the public. Many of these workshops have focused on specific themes or business sectors, ranging from tourism and manufacturing to marketing and agriculture. To date, these workshops have helped connect over 3,000 Montanans with the advice, networks, and capital they need to successfully launch or expand their business.

You can access a copy of today’s program, which includes the agenda and bios of all the participants, HERE. And you can get more information about all of Tester’s SBOW’s HERE