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Chamber of Commerce: Mexican favorite open in East Helena; Farmers State Bank building coming along; new stop light on Last Chance Gulch

Chamber of Commerce: Mexican favorite open in East Helena; Farmers State Bank building coming along; new stop light on Last Chance Gulch

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Wow. It is already August! However, in some ways, the past 4-5 months have seemed like a year with all the challenges of living and working through the pandemic. Let’s keep the faith that this will start to decrease in number of cases and that Montana continues to work toward getting back to business as usual.

We’ve received some calls at the chamber about the dirt being moved just north of Super One Foods. There are not any permits filed on that project yet, but word on the street is that it will be a housing complex of some sorts. I will be watching and try to find out more details soon.

Work continues on Farmers State Bank’s new building at the corner of North Montana Avenue and Last Chance Gulch. What a beautiful building – SMA Architects is the designer. They have tenants planned for the extra space including a second location for a local coffee shop and a dram shop (brewery-type). As soon as contracts are signed for these tenants, we will get the business names to you.

The building on 16th just behind Last Chance Casino is part of the Center for Mental Health. It appears to be a fairly large building with several floors.

Karmadillo’s Southwestern Cafe is open in their new location in East Helena. They are in the new building owned by Missouri River Brewery, which is hoping to open by late August.

The restaurant is open Tuesday-Thursday from 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday-Saturday from 11 a.m.-9 and closed on Sunday and Monday. Their phone number is 442-2595. Stop out and enjoy their amazing Tex-Mex food! Check out their website at

Contractors in Helena are very busy – it seems that many homeowners and businesses are remodeling and/or expanding with many small projects. The city reported 33 re-roofing projects in the last month.

Many of the home developments built in the 1990s and early 2000s have roofs nearing that 20 year mark that will need to be replaced soon. The city of Helena reminds you to be sure if you live in the city limits to get your roofing or remodeling project permit before you begin the work.

The Montana Deptartment of Transportation has installed a new stop light at the crossing of East 14th Street and Last Chance Gulch (where you turn west to the Great Northern Town Center). Dowling Architects, located at that light, is working on a remodel of the former Danzer Paint building they purchased to accommodate their offices and potentially another suite. Look for a new exterior facade sometime in the coming months.

Win $100!

Make sure and support our local businesses as they work to survive the pandemic impacts to their business. As mentioned in my last column, the Helena Area Chamber of Commerce has a great program that started last week on July 20 called 20 for 2020 Support Local. It is 20 weeks of promoting support for local businesses, especially those impacted by the COVID 19 pandemic. And, you could win $100 cash.

All Helena area residents and local businesses are encouraged to participate. If you are shopping or in a local business, post a photo to the Chamber’s Facebook or Instagram page Helena Area Chamber of Commerce recognizing the store you are in and tag the chamber @HelenaAreaChamberofCommerce, tag the store @storename, or they can email the chamber at or request an entry form from the chamber office by calling 442-4120.

Each week we will be drawing for a $100 cash winner, plus the store that the winner patronized/visited will receive a free e-blast from the chamber a $250 value.

Sponsors for the 20 for 2020 program are Northwestern Energy and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana. Media partners include the Helena Independent Record, Montana Radio Co., and Allegra Print & Marketing. Enter once, enter often. And, remember the reason for the program -- to help our local businesses.

It is for retail, services, restaurants, bars and more. Any business who has a service or product – even a car dealership, hair and nail salons, etc. No purchase is necessary to win but we hope you will support these local businesses now and into the future so they will be here to serve our community.

Cathy Burwell is president/CEO of the Helena Area Chamber of Commerce.



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