The Montana Department of Commerce says April 30 to May 6 is being celebrated throughout Montana as Small Business Week.

Director Pam Haxby-Cote said there are over 30,000 small businesses with employees in Montana, while there are over 120,000 Montanans who consider themselves self-employed.

"Small business are the backbone of Montana's economy," Haxby-Cote said. "The Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurship has named Montana number one for startup activity and third for main street entrepreneurship, but that comes as no surprise, given Montana's agricultural background, we have a culture of entrepreneurship. I think that's what makes Montana so unique is our entrepreneurial culture."

The Small Business Administration defines a small business as having fewer than 500 employees.

"For me, that's not a small business, that's a big business for Montana, in fact, most Montana companies have fewer than 100 employees," she said. "Most of the time when we hear from folks in our office, it's because they're looking at expanding their operations, looking for capital, trying to find talent, or looking for programs than can help him out."

Haxby-Cote said her office is putting together an online resource to help small business people receive mentoring from the state's most successful entrepreneurs.

Get more details about the Montana Department of Commerce here.

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