Businesses, government leaders stress why people are moving to growth-friendly countries like Montana

States like Montana, Idaho, and Utah are growing faster than much of the rest of the country, which Montana’s political and business leaders attribute to the state’s lifestyle, business environment, and politics.

“Because people are looking for places to live, they are looking for quality of life, but also quality leadership from government officials,” Sen. Steve Danes, R-Mont, told Fox Business. “They see this in Montana.”

“When you see the growing hand of a large government in coastal states like California, New York, Washington, the American people long for freedom, long for quality of life, and longing for quality of leadership,” he added.

According to Pew, Montana was the third fastest growing state between July 2020 and July 2021, after Idaho and Utah. Seventeen states saw population declines during the year, including New York, California, Hawaii and Illinois.

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Housing prices in Missoula, Montana have risen significantly over the past few years. (iStock)

At the Montana Rise Economic Summit, co-hosted by Daines and the Montana Chamber of Commerce, Bill Mosley, CEO of GL Solutions, said Montana’s regulatory policies were “outstanding,” comparing them to U.S. policies such as Oregon, where they “regulate everything.”

Will Lansing, CEO of FICO, noted that “the pro-business environment is huge and not the case everywhere in the country.”

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“Montana is open to pro-business policies,” Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte told Fox Business. “We have a lot of entrepreneurs moving here. We are eliminating friction, reducing taxes, reducing regulations.”

Road up the mountain in Montana

Zimmerman’s Path as it winds its way to the edge at the western end of Billings, Montana. (iStock)

Kevin O’Leary, known as Mr. Wonderful in the hit show Shark Tank, noted that states across the country are competing with each other for business and places like Montana are winning.

“It’s a really interesting race between the states,” O’Leary said.

“New York: terrible for business. New Jersey: terrible for business. Massachusetts: terrible for business. California is not working,” he added.

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As proof of this, O’Leary, along with Danes, Gianforte, Salish and Kutenai Confederation Secretary Martin Charlo and Bitzero CEO Akbar Shamji, announced at the summit that a Bitzero data center would be set up in Montana. using hydroelectric energy.

Greg Gianforte, Governor of Montana

Montana Governor Greg Gianforte (Getty Images)

However, growth in states like Montana is not without pain. Former US Senator Max Baucus, a Democrat who has represented Montana in the US Senate for 35 years, said the perception of the state has changed somewhat.

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“The character of the state is changing a little bit,” he said. “There are problems with growth. There are housing problems. And the nature of walking down the street in the center [Bozeman] has changed little from what it was 50 years ago. ”

Gianforte also acknowledged the challenges of the workforce and housing that come with a rapidly growing population.

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“We have an acute shortage of housing in this country, especially in countries with a net influx of people, this is even more acute,” said Gianforte. “We believe that the free market decision is the right one. We have made it easier to solve … to increase supply so that you can catch up with the demand for housing. ”

Between August 2020 and August 2021, housing prices in Montana rose to third place in the nation, after Idaho and Arizona, according to a CoreLogic report.

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