Black Mountain Software is Part of a Small Group of Businesses Crucial to Montana’s Economy

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In a recently published article by Barbara Wagner, Senior Economist for the Research & Analysis Bureau of the Montana Department of Labor, facts and figures dispel the myth of Montana small business as being "mom and pop shops" that drive Montana's economy. The fact is, Black Mountain Software is one of the few small businesses with over 20 employees headquartered in Montana that are crucial to driving Montana's economy, providing a diversity of services and income to many Montanans, and helping keep money in the state.

Graph showing that Black Mountain serves 71% of all MT cities and 100% of MT cities with a population between 1000-10,000

Black Mountain Software serves a large percentage of all of the incorporated cities in Montana, and 100% of those in the 1,000 - 10,000 population range.

We are keenly interested in serving Montana's local governments because Montana is our home, too. It's an honor and a responsibility.

There is a saying here in Montana that “Montana is a great place to live, as long as you can afford to live here.” Myths and folklore about Montana abound, but unfortunately, the saying is all too true. In a mainly non-urbanized state with a labor market driven largely by the tourism and service industries and their mostly low paying jobs, Montana ranks 36th in per capita income in the United States. "Larger" small businesses like Black Mountain Software, however, provide a bright spot in Montana’s economy. As explained in a the recent Montana Department of Labor publication article "Fact or Myth: Checking what you know about Business Size in Montana," local businesses that employ more than 20 people are crucial to the Montana economy, providing employment and diversity of services and income to many Montanans, and keeping money circulating within the state.

Ninety-one percent of Montana employers employ fewer than 20 people, according to the Department of Labor publication. Black Mountain Software (BMS) has over 40 employees and therefore claims membership in an elite group that comprises less than 8.5% of all of Montana’s businesses, but hires nearly 58% of all workers and pays over 60% of the wages paid in the state.

“We are keenly interested in serving Montana's local governments because Montana is our home, too,” stated Black Mountain President, Wayne Carriere when asked about the company’s commitment to selling software in Montana. “We understand the importance of companies like ours not only to the towns where we employ staff but also to our state. It's an honor and a responsibility. When Montana’s small cities, towns, special districts, counties, and school districts spend money with Black Mountain Software, it keeps money in our state to support Montanans and Montana’s economy.”

Carriere and Vice President, Jack Liebschutz are the founders and co-owners of Black Mountain Software, which began as two separate technology start-ups more than 25 years ago in the cities of Helena and Polson, Montana. Black Mountain Software is not a subsidiary or owned by an organization headquartered outside of Montana, unlike most of their competitors who sell municipal software in the state.

Long-time employee David Morton was happy to share some pretty impressive company stats: “We have 275 Montana customers using our accounting and billing software to help run their local governments, including 24 of the 56 counties, 119 of Montana’s schools, and nearly three-quarters of all of Montana’s towns.” Morton spends about one-third of his time on Montana’s road these days. His Montana Road Warrior blog chronicles the adventures, sites, and people he encounters while visiting clients and recruiting more Montana organizations to Black Mountain’s customer list.

Black Mountain Software, Inc. is a provider of fund accounting, payroll and utility billing software for local governments and schools. More than 500 city and county governments, utility and special districts, and schools in 25 states rely on Black Mountain Software products to ensure regulatory compliance, improve operational efficiency and foster collaboration.

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Darlis Smith
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