Here's a look at some business news in the Missoula area:
The grand opening celebration for the nine new retail shops and restaurants at the Mercantile in downtown Missoula is slated for Tuesday, Nov. 12 from 5–7 p.m. Each business will offer discounts, specials, and prizes. A number of items will be raffled, with a grand prize valued at over $1,000 drawn at the conclusion of the event.
The grand opening, which is free and open to the public, also will feature screenings of "The Merc," which organizers are calling a professionally produced 9-minute film by award-winning, Montana-based Implement Productions.
"The film celebrates and honors the history of Missoula and the role the Mercantile has played in the area’s growth and change, according to filmmaker Phill Baribeau. He will be on hand to introduce The Merc and answer questions about the film, which will be shown on the half-hour beginning at 5 p.m. in the Meeting Room off the lobby of the hotel.
Additionally, guests who fill out a “passport” and get stamped at all nine businesses will be eligible for the grand opening raffle to be held at 7 p.m. in the Residence Inn Marriott hotel lobby (no purchase is necessary, must be present to win).
The nine businesses participating are:
The Camino, a bar and restaurant dedicated to "honest Mexican cooking" by pulling ingredients and techniques from various culinary regions in Mexico. (The restaurant won't be open yet but the owners will be there talking to people.)
Basal, a restaurant specializing in unique signature salads, espresso and bone broth via convenient counter service. It's open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
1889, a traditional steak house offering quality cuts of meat and seafood prepared in a traditional steak house style. It also has a full bar.
Zoo Thai, a restaurant featuring Bangkok-style street food and other regional Thai favorites. They also serve beer, sake and wine.
Create Art Bar is a do-it-yourself crafting bar where people can make unique pieces of art and enjoy craft cocktails, wine and beer.
Sobba Cycle is a cycling studio that offers a beat-based workout.
The Montana Scene is a lifestyle company with outdoor and Montana-inspired clothing and gifts.
Olive and Iron is a men's and women's clothing store with a welcoming, simple aesthetic and inspiring atmosphere.
Skin Chic is a local, woman-owned business that has been providing Missoula with skin care, makeup and esthetic services for over 17 years.
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Approximately 30 home health care workers and office staff in Missoula will keep their jobs because a Butte entrepreneur has purchased the Medicare lines of service that was about to be shut down by Consumer Direct Care Network.
Sheena Hensley, the owner of Senior Solutions Homecare and Hospice in Butte, recently closed on a contract to purchase the service line from Consumer Direct. Earlier this fall, Consumer Direct announced that it was shutting down the service line and laying off the 30 employees along with other employees in an unrelated department.
“We’ll continue to employ those people and keep the lines of Medicare services open,” Hensley explained. “What we’re going to do is go back to (being called) Home Health and Hospice of Montana. We’ll lease office space from Consumer Direct until April of 2020 and then find a location. We’re so excited.”
Hensley said she’s very confident that the new organization will be successful because she knows why Consumer Direct wasn’t successful.
“I know what it takes to maintain these companies,” she said. “We’re very confident we can continue.”
Some of the jobs saved include positions in nursing, therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, social work and chaplain services.
“The jobs and positions are extremely important, but we’re also salvaging care for residents of this community,” Hensley said.
Beginning Dec. 1, the U.S. Census Bureau will increase Census field workers’ pay rates across the country. In Montana, the wages will increase to a starting rate of $17 per hour for enumerators and $19.50 for those working in Cascade, Gallatin, Lewis and Clark, Missoula and Yellowstone Counties.
The U.S. Census Bureau aims to hire thousands of Montanans by early next year to ensure every person in the state is counted during the 2020 Census. Montana receives an estimated $2 billion in federal funds each year based on the reported Census. For every Montana resident counted, a census study estimates the state will receive $20,000 over the decade for things like highway planning, medical assistance, educational programs, and infrastructure.
With the wage increase beginning Dec. 1, job seekers are encouraged to submit their applications as soon as possible. With the expected volume of incoming applications, candidates who have not submitted their paperwork before the new year may not be hired in time to support spring 2020 field operations.
Temporary Census jobs in Montana offer flexible hours, paid training, weekly paychecks and mileage reimbursement for personal vehicles.
The Montana Department of Labor & Industry is encouraging Montanans to visit their local Job Service Montana office for more information on the application process and all future 2020 Census job openings. State employment specialists can assist job seekers looking to fill temporary and permanent positions. Interested applicants should also look for Census hiring events in their communities.
Montanans interested in applying may also do so online at 2020Census.gov/Jobs or through the MONTANAWORKS.GOV website. Applicants are encouraged to call the Census Toll Free Job Hotline at 855-562-2020 and press option 3 to speak to someone to check the status of their application. Learn more about how Montana is preparing for the Census at CENSUS.MT.GOV.