What Impact Do Montana’s Co-ops Have on the State’s Economy?

By Guy Gregory
MCDC Communications Specialist

The Montana Cooperative Development Center (MCDC) and the Montana Council of Cooperatives want to find out what impact cooperatives continue to have on Montana’s economy.  In an effort to find out, they are jointly sponsoring the fourth biennial Economic Impact Survey of Montana’s cooperatives.  This summer, be on the lookout for one-page survey forms that MCDC and MCOC will mail to all cooperatives in the state. Both organizations will use the study to gather and compile 2017 economic data from cooperatives across all sectors of the economy, to include farm supply stores, telecommunication co-ops, electric co-ops and retail co-ops.  As in the past the Montana Electric Cooperatives’ Association (MECA) and Montana’s Credit Unions will collect survey data directly from their member utilities and credit unions.

Information gathered from the surveys include employment numbers along with salaries/wages and worker benefits paid out by co-ops during the 2017 tax year.  The survey will also gather data on retail trade, state tax revenue and other community contributions from survey respondents.  MCDC – in cooperation with researchers from both Montana State University and University of Montana – will compile and analyze results into an official report on the Economic Impact of Montana’s Cooperatives.   The report will be shared with Montana legislators, and state and federal government officials to inform them of the important contributions co-ops make to Montana’s economy.

Respondents may remain anonymous as to protect the confidentiality of information from each individual cooperative. Co-ops participating in the economic impact survey will have 30 days to reply to the online version of the survey or return their responses in the pre-addressed, stamped envelope provided in the mailing.

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