November Chamber Newsletter
Events, acknowledgements, the latest Chamber news... This newsletter has it all.  
Upcoming Events
Christmas Bazaar
Saturday, November 4 9 am - 3 pm
Big Timber Civic Center

Find the perfect Christmas gift at the Big Timber Woman's Club Christmas Bazaar. There will be vendors from all across Montana with a variety of goods and crafts for sale. 
Monthly Chamber Meeting
Wednesday, November 8 12 pm - 1 pm
The Grand Hotel

Come to the monthly meeting of the Sweet Grass County Chamber of Commerce. See what's happening in the county from a business point of view.
Lunch & Learn - Tax Write-Offs for Your Business
Wednesday, November 15 12 pm - 1 pm
Extension Office Conference Room - Annex

Guest presenter: Paula Hudson with BT Tax Services. Bring your lunch and learn about business write-offs to use this tax season.
Crazy Mountain Christmas
Friday, November 24 9 am - 4 pm
The American Legion

Join us downtown to find the perfect Christmas present from a local vendor or a local business. Get a picture with Santa and Mrs. Clause between 1 pm and 3 pm.
2017 Buy Local Challenge
The Chamber is sponsoring a buy local challenge to create awareness and emphasize the importance of our local independent businesses on our local economy. The event will run Friday, November 24 (Black Friday/Crazy Mountain Christmas) through Friday, December 1 (The Holiday Lighted Parade). 

Anytime a customer purchases a product from a participating business (the list will be out soon) that customer can fill out an entry form and put it in the Give Big, Shop Small container. At the end of the challenge, one name will be drawn from a combination of all of the bins from each store and that person will win $100 in Chamber Bucks. Multiple participating businesses will also have their own drawing for a prize.

Get out and shop local to find the perfect gift and possibly win a great prize.

If you are a business who is interested in participating in this challenge please contact Julie Johnson at or 932-5131.
Meeting Attendance Drawing Winner
Gust of Big Timber

Gusts of Big Timber opened its doors in 1947 (no, that is not a typo) and is owned and operated by WWII veteran Virgil Gust. Today, 70 years after those doors opened, you can still find Virgil welcoming customers into his wonderful shop.

Gusts offers a great selection of men's, women's and children's clothing and shoes, jewelry, and kitchen accessories like aprons and dishtowels. If you are in need of work pants or a pretty shirt or some riding boots or a warm jacket, Gusts has what you're looking for. Gusts also offers custom screen printed clothing. If you want custom shirts for a family reunion or custom warm up pants for a sports team, look no further than Gusts.
November Member-to-Member Presentation
Firefly Marketing

Firefly Marketing is owned by Big Timber local Whitney DeCock and offers responsive web design with SEO optimization, social media management and content creation, and graphic and user experience design. Whitney's passion is working with small businesses to develop and manage their digital presence. If you are looking for a full-service marketing and design enterprise, look no further than Firefly Marketing.
New Member
Big Timber Family Dental
A family dental clinic serving the people of Big Timber and surrounding communities. Open Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Schedule an appointment and meet Dr. John Wilson.
Thank you!!!
A huge thank you to those who donated to the Sweet Grass County Chamber of Commerce during the Raw Deal Run Community Fundraiser. The Chamber is very excited to use the money donated to get some new Christmas decorations this year. We are happy to be partnering with Sweet Grass Technical Institute to make the decorations. This will allow us to get more decorations with the money we have and will allow students at the institute to learn valuable skills.

Thank you again to all those who donated. Your contribution will light up Big Timber this holiday season.
Visitor Information Center Statistics for 2017
The Visitor Information Center (VIC) is now closed for the season. A big thank you to Jan Beley, Fran Elgen, Judy Riter and Judy Vidack for once again staffing the VIC. These ladies provided great service and information for thousands of visitors over the summer. Below is a summary of VIC statistics for the 2017 season.

There were a total of 2,962 people who stopped at the Big Timber VIC between Memorial Day 2017 and September 30, 2017.  The Big Timber VIC was open from Memorial Day weekend to September 30 from 10 am to 4 pm Monday through Saturday and 1 pm to 4 pm on Sunday. 

A large majority of visitors were on their way to Yellowstone National Park or Glacier National Park. We did seem to have more visitors asking for information about the Sweet Grass County area than in the past. Most of those individuals were looking for camping sites and/or hiking trails. Natural Bridge in the Boulder Valley and hiking in the Crazy Mountains continue to be the most popular destinations. There were also more inquiries about Prairie Dog State Park than in the past. Because it is right off Interstate 90, it is an easy quick stop for people traveling through. The picnic table is also a very popular reason people stop at the VIC. A lot of travelers are packing lunches to save on traveling costs and our picnic table is easily seen by those stopping for gas. It should be noted that the Big Timber VIC location is ideal for attracting visitors who are passing through as it is right off one of our two exits. The Big Timber VIC has great visibility. 
Top 10 Visitors by State/Country
* The above graph shows the top 10 visitors by state/country, not the total number of visitors or every state/country visitors came from. The top 10 shows where the majority of Big Timber visitors have traveled from.
Business Tip of the Month
This month's business tip comes from market research expert Ivana Taylor, publisher of, ranked among the most influential people on the Internet.

Create unique customer experiences to draw the right audience. Local businesses shouldn’t try to compete on price. It just puts them into a death spiral and attracts customers that are unlikely to sustain business. Instead, shift your attention to creating engaging customer experiences that are fun and educational — and attract customers that will keep coming back. Also, leverage other local business owners to enhance your events. Get a local music school to showcase its talents by having students play at your event; ask a local accountant to hang out in your bookstore on Friday mornings to answer questions; or hold a wine tasting at the yarn store’s moms night out. You’re not limited to your own creativity when working with others nearby to develop ideas. And by working together, you can also reach more local customers by co-marketing the event. -
Business Resource of the Month
Would you like some confidential business advice? Do you have a question you would love to ask an expert, but don't know who that expert is? Check out Score . Score is a non-profit with 11,000 working and retired business professionals who volunteer to support small business owners like you. The site offers free and confidential business advice, mentoring and education.
Get Involved
Do you want to get involved in your community? Are you looking for a fun way to help Big Timber thrive? Then work with the Chamber on one of our fun projects or events. Below are just a few ways you can get involved.

  • Join the Holiday Lighted Parade Committee - this fun committee plans all of the activities surrounding the Holiday Lighted Parade.
  • Put a float in the Holiday Lighted Parade - get your group or business together, use your imagination and create an amazing float that will bring joy to people this holiday season.
  • Join the Marketing Committee - this committee meets once per month to discuss all things marketing. Help design the Big Timber brochure, build tourism ads, create exciting videos and much more.
  • Join the Sweet Grass Fest Committee - help plan the biggest event in Big Timber. Be part of putting together the parade, vendor fair, car show, kids zone, or come up with a new event to add to the festivities.
  • Write a tourism focused blog to share on - if you fancy yourself a writer, send an article focusing on tourism in Sweet Grass County (hiking, a historical site, fishing, a scenic drive, etc.) to be published on the website and shared on Facebook. We love having guest authors to give fresh perspectives.
Sweet Grass County Chamber of Commerce
(406) 932-5131 | |