A new regional Chamber of Commerce has formed in Eastern Montana just days before the 66th session of the Montana Legislature convenes.
Sam Loveridge is executive director of the Billings-based Yellowstone Area Chamber of Commerce.
“Anything that helps businesses, we’re going to support. Anything that hurts businesses, we’re going to oppose," Loveridge says.
YACC includes about 30 businesses extending from Eastern Montana, west to Bozeman.
The group will work independently of the existing 1,300-member Billings Chamber of Commerce.
Loveridge says members of his new group felt the Billings Chamber wasn’t adequately representing their needs.
“It’s a lot of things, but specifically it was tax increases, including the local option sales tax that the Billings Chamber supports that business owners in the area are just firmly against.”
He says there’s more than enough room in the region for both Chambers.
“Absolutely there is. We are meeting a demand. And when there’s a demand out there, there’s definitely enough room to fit us both in.”
Loveridge says the new Yellowstone Area Chamber of Commerce is currently hammering out its policy goals for the upcoming legislative session.