Great Northern Development Corporation, Small Business Development Center is hosting a business plan competition in conjunction with the MDT Small Business Enterprise Program throughout a seven-county region in Northeastern Montana consisting of Valley, Garfield, McCone, Richland, Roosevelt, Sheridan, and Daniels. The goal of this event is to attract new entrepreneurs and support existing businesses in Northeastern Montana by uniting communities in a common goal of economic development. GNDC and the MT SBE Program will award two prize packages of $5,000; one to a startup business and one to an existing business.

SBDC Director, Shandy Moran, will be holding business plan development classes in each of the participating seven counties in January. Entrepreneurs planning to compete in the Minnow Tank Business Plan competition are encouraged to attend a class. These class topics include business plan basics, marketing, and small business financials. Watch the GNDC website or our monthly newsletter for the class schedule release. If you are unable to attend a class please call GNDC to schedule an appointment with Shandy Moran at (406) 653-2590 ext 203. Minnow Tank business plan submissions are due to GNDC by 5:00 PM on March 1st. Submissions can be mailed to GNDC at 233 Cascade Street or sent via e-mail to 

The Minnow Tank finale will be held April 12th, 2022, at 5:00 PM at the Sidney Event Center, where the finalists will present their business plan live to a panel of judges, one judge being the audience! Support your favorite entrepreneur by planning to attend; tickets will be available at the door or by calling SBDC Program Coordinator Quincy at(406) 650-2524.

Minnow Tank Guidelines


Guidelines and Application Procedures to Enter Minnow Tank Promotion: This is a two-phase contest.

Phase 1—Business Plan Submission (March 1st 2022) In the first phase, all applicants are asked to provide a business plan using LivePlan (For access to LivePlan contact Shandy Moran at or (406) 653-2590 ext. 203) no longer than 20 pages consisting of;

1. Executive Summary
2. Company Summary
3. Products/Services Summary
4. Market Analysis Summary
5. Strategies & Implementation Summary
6. Management Summary
7. Financial Plan (including 3 years of projections as well as cash flow)
8. A community impact summary stating:
a. How your business will enhance Northeastern Montana
c. Why your business stands out

Phase II– Minnow Tank Live Pitch, finalists will be notified by Friday, March 18th, 2022 by 5:00 PM. Finalists will be asked to present their concept and plan in front of a panel of judges in a live, presentation format that will include a question and answer period lasting no longer than 10 minutes. Visual aids and PowerPoints will be allowed, finalists need to make arrangements prior to competition in order to use them. The Live event will take place on April 12th at the Sidney Event Center starting at 5:00 PM. Winners will be announced that evening following the live pitch.


1. This promotion is open to all legal U.S. residents, 18 years of age or older at the time of entry.
2. Proposed retail businesses can be independent operations or franchised.
3. All applicants must include a $20.00 application fee with submission. Make checks payable to the Great Northern Development Corporation.
4. Applicant must be an existing business or going to start a business in Garfield, Valley, McCone, Richland, Roosevelt, Sheridan or Daniels Counties.

How to Enter:
1. All business concept submissions with application fee must be emailed, delivered, or postmarked to the Great Northern Development Corporation by 5:00 p.m. on March 1st, 2022. Send to or
233 Cascade Street, Wolf Point MT 59201.

Business Planning 101 Class Schedule

Garfield County

January 12 at 10:00 A.M.
Garfield County Bank
Registration Link to attend class:

Valley County

January 18 at 10:00 A.M.
Glasgow – Cottonwood Inn
Registration Link to attend class:

Daniels County

January 19 at 10:00 A.M.
Scobey – Nemont Friendship Room
Registration Link to attend class:

Richland County

January 20 at 1:00 P.M.
Sidney – MSU Extension Office
Registration Link to attend class:

McCone County

January 12 at 2:00 P.M.
Circle-McCone County Fairgrounds
Registration Link to attend class:

Roosevelt County

January 18 at 2:00 P.M.
Wolf Point – GNDC Conference Room
Registration Link to attend class:

Sheridan County

January 19 at 2:00 P.M.
Plentywood-Sheridan Courthouse Jubilee Room
Registration Link to attend class: