“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it.” To me, this oft-quoted line from Norman MacLean truly captures the sense of place I feel here in Missoula. One of the things I like best about it is that it celebrates our surrounding five valleys and the importance of what they bring to the convergence.

                As the Missoula Area Chamber of Commerce, we feel a great sense of inclusion and pride when it comes to our neighboring communities. Our mission to engage business and community extends far beyond the Missoula city limits. Our membership includes addresses from Ronan, Paradise, Deer Lodge, Greenough, Milltown, Hamilton and Frenchtown, and everything in between. The communities that make up our surrounding valleys provide workforce, agriculture, hospitality, recreational opportunities, and an array of other resources that are pivotal to the local economy.

                Just in our Chamber office, over half of our staff commutes each day from outside of Missoula. They represent an important segment of the population contributing to the economic growth and vitality of Missoula. 2015 Census figures state that nearly 26% of the nearly 60,000 workers in Missoula County commute from outside the county, yet the average commute time is just under 20 minutes. (See WGM’s report for more details.) What this means is that one doesn’t have to travel far to obtain an ideal balance of Missoula employment opportunities, and an often more affordable rural home lifestyle.

                In the next few months, we are pleased to be launching a Lolo-based Business Networking Group, and look forward to continuing to work together as one with our neighboring communities and their local businesses to ensure they feel their voice is included at the table on issues that affect us all. Ultimately, whether you live in the heart of downtown Missoula or own a small business in Seeley Lake, we’re all in this together.

More from the Blog:

Celebrating Giving Tuesday Across Missoula

Celebrating Giving Tuesday Across Missoula

1 week ago

Read More
Childcare Update 10-31-18

Childcare Update 10-31-18

1 month ago

Read More
Why Miss Out?

Why Miss Out?

1 month ago

Read More