Located in southwestern Montana, Bozeman is the county seat of Gallatin County with a population of around 30,000. While this may no seem like much, it actually has the fifth largest population in the state. Bozeman was named after John M. Bozeman and it is usually described as an All-American City. There are many features that make Bozeman ideal for entrepreneurs and small business owner who want to start or expand their business.
There are many aspects that make Bozeman an attractive business destination. In this article, we’ll look into the reasons why many high-tech and light industry firms choose to base their headquarters in Bozeman. In addition, we’ll also give an overview of the biggest employers, the general employment profile, and the effects of the recession in this area.
Around 64% of workers in the city work for private organizations, 19% work for the government, while 7% are self-employed. High-tech and light industry companies remain one of the most important industries in Bozeman. RightNow Technologies is Bozeman’s largest employer with 450 employees. The company offers on-demand customer service software and is also adapting to cloud computing. Meanwhile, Mystery Ranch, a backpack firm that supplies backups to the military (their products can fit over armored plating and support up to 100 pounds), has around 100 workers in the city. Both companies look to other areas for growth but they continue to expand operations in Bozeman.
One key reason why many high-tech companies find it attractive to locate their business in this area is the presence of Montana State University’s. The school has a strong research facility and has been aggressively pushing for government funding in the areas of energy, biomedical, and environmental research.
Effects of the Recession
Bozeman, Montana did not escape unscathed from the recent recession. It had shed a lot of jobs in construction and retail. Workers came from these industries may have a hard time finding work similar to their old occupation. Research shows that that most will have to retrain for another profession such as nursing in order to gain employment with comparable income.
Right now, the most in-demand jobs in Bozeman are for sales jobs, account management jobs, staff pharmacists, and temporary drivers. Meanwhile, the average salary is around $24,768. The median household income is at $32,156. The most popular companies in Bozeman include Target, Home Depot, Safeway, Office Depot, and Staples. However, it is important to take note that these firms may not necessarily be the biggest employers.
In essence, Bozeman was able to deal with the effects of the recession better than most cities in Montana. The reason for this can be attributed to the above-mentioned reasons: strong research and developing facilities, government grants, and the presence of many high-tech and light industry manufacturing facilities that create innovation that benefit both in the city itself and the whole country. While Bozeman might have its weaknesses, the advantages it offers to certain business sectors more than make up for these.
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