Havre has the 11th best business climate of Montana’s top 25 municipalities, and the best business-friendly attitude for a city its size.
That’s the finding of a study done by the conservative Bozeman-based Montana Policy Institute and American Indicators.
MPI gave numerical rankings to communities throughout the state based on three categories:
• Economic vitality
• Business tax burden
• Community allure
The study asserted that Polson, Sidney and Glasgow were the top 3 business-friendly cities in the state. respectively. Miles City and Anaconda finished 24th and 25th.
Among the state's most populous municipalities, Bozeman and Billings finished first and second respectively, but in the second tier, the sixth to 10th largest cities, Havre had the best business climate, the survey showed.
In the separate categories, Havre was 18th of the 25 in the state when it came to economic vitality, the factor that weighed population growth, job growth and median per capita income.
Havre was 12th in the state — and best in its tier — for business tax burden, which considered property tax rates.
Havre was 12th in the state and top in its tier for community allure.
In determining the community allure, MPI took into consideration the cost of living, safe neighborhoods and area’s education system.
An MPI press release said these factors were not considered as heavily as tax burden or economic viability in coming up with the rankings, but said allure was important to the business climate.
MPI said it conducted the study because in the competitive marketplace, the state should be “as attractive as possible to businesses wishing to relocate or expand. ”
The institute concluded that seven of the top 10 cities on the list “possess small but growing populations and room to grow geographically. ”
People looking to improve their economic climate, the study said, would be wise to concentrate on “maintaining low tax rates on businesses and families, focusing on education and public safety, and making their cities as attractive as possible to prospective businesses. ”
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