BSED Receives 2 Economic Impact Awards at the Montana Economic Developers Association 2023 Fall Conference


BSED NEWS -Big Sky Economic Development awarded two 2023 Montana Economic Developers Association (MEDA) Impact Awards. Each year, through its Impact Awards, MEDA recognizes member organizations that demonstrate valuable and effective approaches to community and economic development throughout Montana. Impact Awards recognize MEDA member projects for their creative efforts advancing economic development and improved quality of life. The breadth and scope of the winning projects illustrate the important role MEDA members have in Montana communities, regions, and state.


The two projects/programs that received awards:

1. Montana APEX Accelerator GovMatch 2023 – Match your business with government contracts 

The economic impact of government contracts in Montana is significant. Each year, federal agencies alone (DoD and civilian) purchase an average of $800 million of products/services from MT companies. This does not include purchases made by the State of Montana, other states, cities and counties. This includes all industries and types of products and services.  Government contracts are business opportunities for Montana companies. Revenue from contracts is used to expand operations, hire employees, pay taxes, invest in equipment/inventory and grow the top line.

GovMatch 2023 was held on August 9, 2023 in Billings. Ninety-eight companies from across the state of Montana attended and had the opportunity to meet with procurement staff from the U.S. Navy, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Seattle District, General Services Administration, Small Business Administration, Montana Army National Guard, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs,  MT Department of Transportation DBE, State of Montana, City of Billings and the Billings Logan International Airport. Staff from the offices of Senator Jon Tester, Senator Steve Daines, Representative Matt Rosendale and the Native American Development Corporation APEX Accelerator were also on site to meet with companies. Deanna was the point-of-contact and led conversations with all partnering agencies and our MT Delegation. MT companies don’t get a chance to talk with these agencies in person very often. Most of the agency staff came from different parts of Montana, but USACE came from Seattle, VA came from Denver and GSA came from Los Angeles.

In addition to the agenices mentioned above, we were fortunate to have the U.S. Navy participate this year. MT APEX welcomed Mr. David Walz as a keynote speaker. David is the Deputy for Small Business Programs, Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division, Keport, WA. Mr. Walz presented information on how to do business with the U.S. Navy, the DoD Mentor-Protégé program, preparing for procurement processes and understanding resources and assistance.


2. The Vault at 201 N Broadway, Podcast 

The Vault at 201 N Broadway is a dynamic and engaging podcast created by Big Sky Economic Development, located in the heart of downtown Billings, Montana. Launched on February 1, 2023, this podcast serves as a beacon of inspiration and empowerment for the local community and beyond.

Project Mission: The primary mission of this podcast is to showcase the businesses and the people of Billings and the surrounding region, sharing their compelling stories and the remarkable impacts they have on building a vibrant and healthy economy. “The Vault” offers a platform for entrepreneurs, small business owners, workforce development experts, community leaders, and innovative thinkers to tell their tales of success, perseverance, and innovation.

Key Project Highlights:
1. Community-Centric Approach: “The Vault at 201 N Broadway” is firmly rooted in the community it serves. Located in a historic bank building, the podcast epitomizes the essence of Billings, Montana, and its rich history. By featuring local voices and businesses, it fosters a sense of pride and unity among residents.
2. Empowering Small Businesses: The podcast actively promotes and empowers local small businesses by giving them a spotlight to share their journey and contributions. In doing so, it helps these businesses expand, thrive, and, in turn, strengthen the local economy.
3. Workforce Development Advocacy: Through insightful discussions with workforce development experts, the podcast addresses critical issues facing the workforce. It equips individuals with the knowledge and resources needed to excel in their careers and contribute to a skilled and adaptable workforce.
4. Resource Hub: “The Vault” acts as a valuable resource hub for entrepreneurs and business enthusiasts, providing access to a wealth of information and guidance. It helps navigate the challenges of business ownership, from inception to growth.
5. Community Building: By bringing together a diverse array of guests and topics, the podcast fosters a sense of community and collaboration. It creates connections among residents, business owners, and leaders, enhancing the overall quality of life in Billings and the region.

Impact and Recognition:
The Vault at 201 N Broadway has made a significant impact since its inception. It has garnered a dedicated and growing audience, becoming an influential voice in the community. By celebrating local talent and promoting economic development, it aligns perfectly with the vision for a prosperous, innovative, and inclusive Billings, improving the quality of life for all.

This project is deserving of recognition and awards because of its unwavering commitment to highlighting the people and stories that shape the region’s economic landscape. The Vault is a testament to the power of storytelling in fostering community, supporting businesses, and inspiring individuals to pursue their dreams. Its unique location, engaging content, and dedication to showcasing local talent make it a standout initiative that embodies the spirit of Billings, Montana.


The BSED team is grateful for this statewide recognition from MEDA. “The BSED team works faithfully every day to serve our community with passion and excellence. This recognition from our peers for that dedicated work is indeed an honor, and a proud moment for our team.” – Steve Arveschoug, Executive Director.