Havre Regional Small Business Development Center

Counties Served: Blaine, Chouteau, Hill, Liberty, Phillips


To view a different region, choose from the choices below:
Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Great Falls, Havre, Helena, Kalispell, Miles City, Missoula or Wolf Point.


Regional Director

Joe LaPlante, SBDC Regional Director
406.399.1557 | jlaplante@bearpaw.org

As Director of the Small Business Development Center, Joe helps businesses with business planning, marketing, and growth strategies and assists with QuickBooks questions. Before working starting at Bear Paw Development Corporation, Joe worked in Glacier National Park after receiving his degree from Montana State University Billings majoring in Management and Marketing. Joe loves the outdoors and going on hikes with his family and friends.

Joe's areas of expertise include: QuickBooks, technology implementation, marketing, NDC certified, Fasttrac certified, Core Four trainer, NxLevel and market research.


Jason Nitschke


Jason Nitschke, Zero to Five Senior Child Care Business Advisor
406.402.2455 | JasonN@ZerotoFive.org

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Jason joins Zero to Five Montana as a Senior Child Care Business Advisor after eight years in economic development as Vice President with the Great Falls Development Authority (GFDA) and Regional Director of the Great Falls area Small Business Development Center (SBDC). He will be delivering educational opportunities and one-on-one consultation support to entrepreneurs and communities starting, growing, and expanding childcare and early education solutions.

Since 2014, he has advised and trained nearly 4000 entrepreneurs and business professionals, helped start over 100 businesses, supported 2800 jobs, and helped in attracting nearly $75M in capital investment into area businesses. He was the 2022 recipient of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Boots to Business Instructor of the Year, a national award recognizing the top five presenters of the SBA’s Introduction to Entrepreneurship curriculum for active-duty military and veterans. In 2018, he was named the Montana State SBDC Star honoring the top 1% of business advisors in the U.S.

Prior to joining the economic development community, Jason owned two businesses and spent 16 years as a print and broadcast journalist. He is an award-winning broadcaster, native Montanan, and is a proud daughter-dad. Jason holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Political Science from the University of Montana and a master’s degree in Communication from Hawaii Pacific University-Honolulu.

He is a certified business advisor, Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP), and certified Profit Mastery and PeerSpectives facilitator.


Trainings Provided at Center:

  • QuickBooks
  • Customer Service
  • Cash Flow Management
  • Social Media
  • Trends in Technology