Missoula Offers Businesses Room for Growth in a Pristine Setting
Business owners looking to combine work and play find Missoula the ideal place to set up shop.
Money magazine named the area one of the 100 best places to live and launch in 2008, citing the economic development center’s loan programs and willingness to assist small business owners.
Missoula’s economy runs on industries such as wood products, government, medical, education, small business and tourism. The U.S. Forest Service has its regional headquarters here, and the area’s abundant recreation opportunities equal a booming tourism sector. As Montana’s second largest business center, service and retail lead area employment.
The city’s major employers include Wal-Mart, Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation and health care providers such as St. Patrick Hospital and Health Sciences Center.
The Missoula Development Park sits on 446 acres of prime business real estate within reach of the airport, rail service (Montana Rail Link is headquartered here) and Interstate 90. Designed as a mixed-use development, the park can accommodate a vast range of businesses, including hotels, warehouses and business parks.
Shopaholics take note: Missoula is home to western Montana’s largest indoor shopping mall, national discount and department stores as well as dozens of interesting downtown stores and boutiques.
The Missoula Redevelopment Agency created the Front Street Urban Renewal District, designed to stimulate construction of new office space and parking areas downtown. City leaders are investing more than $20 million in revitalizing the downtown area, the location of the city’s up-and-coming shopping district.
The Missoula Downtown Association, a group dedicated to fostering retail, housing and entertainment growth for a vibrant business and cultural environment, has partnered with city leaders, residents and consultants to find the right mix of green space, small business and anchors such as Macy’s to draw residents and visitors alike to a unique downtown experience.