Slowdown in the Bakken region not completely unwelcome

PUBLISHED: Billings Gazette 2015

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[…] On Richland Economic Development Corp.’s website, on a page titled “Success Stories,” Messer appears in photos next to the smiling recipients of its revolving loan funds. The REDC works with local banks to provide small businesses in Richland County with fixed low-interest rates and flexible repayment options. Jerry and Robin Watson’s 2014 loan allowed them to put a down payment on Footers sub shop.

According to Jerry Watson, much of the new oil field activity in Sidney has settled, to the detriment of Richland County. “A lot of the old-timers say ‘good riddance,’” Watson said. But he says the majority of business owners are already lamenting the mellowing of the bustle.

Watson says business at Footers is still steady. Locals, including the homecoming king and long-time regulars, continue to patronize the shop. When asked if he sees a promising future for the community and his restaurant in spite of the whims of the oil market, Watson says without hesitation, “Yes, I do.”