One of the redevelopment visions for downtown Great Falls we’re putting together with the Downtown Development Partnership and our consultants LPW Architecture and AE2S Communications. Getting interested?
GFDA Top 10
Here is our Top 22 for this week, celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy.
1) The Madison Food Park submitted plans to Cascade County to open a local distillery to be called Silver Falls Distillery — another step forward in growing and diversifying our food, agricultural and bio-processing industries in the Golden Triangle! See TheElectricGF.com for details.
2) Visited ADF headquarters in Terrebonne, Quebec, and a Montreal area biotech company that has been partnering with a Great Falls company. Exhibited at SelectUSA’s Canada Day in Montreal; met with numerous companies looking to expand into the U.S.
3) Congratulations to Great Falls College MSU on being designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security! See Great Falls Tribune for details. Congratulations to MSU Northern on earning AED Foundation accreditation for its diesel technology BS degree program!
4) Registration is now open for Ignite 2020, presented by PayneWest Insurance. Ignite is a fast-paced, high-energy breakfast that allows business developers, entrepreneurs, officials, and educators to unveil their upcoming projects. The format is simple and quick – five minute presentations on business startups, expansions, real estate developments and capital projects that will either start of open in 2020. RSVP here!
5) The Great Falls MSA is in the top quarter of U.S. metro areas for highest concentration of millennials, according to the National Association of Home Builders.
6) Worked with a large company which visited this week to research feasibility of operations across the Golden Triangle. This is a great example of partnership. The company representative walked into the Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce and Shane directed him to GFDA. We then met with the representative several times over two days and are looking forward to future engagement. Thank you Shane! We will drop everything to aid businesses in expanding to the Golden Triangle. Just call Jolene, 406-750-4481.
7) The Great Falls City Commission approved contracts for the next phase of 10th Street historic bridge improvements and for important investments in the City’s water treatment infrastructure. See Tribune story.
8) Submitted applications to the Environmental Protection Agency in an effort to expand our brownfield clean-up lending capacity and to secure more funds to help developers with brownfield assessments.
9) Federal agencies issued banking regulations to remove barriers for farmers growing hemp. See Natural Products Insider for details.
10) Visited with a potential loan client this week that is interested in purchasing and expanding a business in rural Montana. We like to help with the financing for all different types and sizes of projects. If your business is looking to start or expand and you need help with getting the money to do so, contact Jill Kohles at 406-590-1056 or JKohles@GrowGreatFalls.org.
11) Our second Triangle Pitch Night is set for Thursday, December 19th, 6 PM at the Coyote Club in Shelby. Triangle Pitch Night is designed to give Golden Triangle dreamers, thinkers, makers, innovators, entrepreneurs, and community members the space to share ideas, pitch crazy stuff, and meet like-minded peeps. If you have a business idea, want to meet other entrepreneurial-minded people, want to hear ideas and see how you can be part of something, network with does, or just sit back and have a good time, join us! For more info, contact Barnett at Barnett@GrowGreatFalls.org or visit facebook.com/trianglepitchnight to help spread the word.
12) Hosted three training events this week. Our last webinar of 2019, Start Your Side Hustle is now available for viewing. We also welcomed six people to our final pre-business workshop of the year, The LaunchPoint, and our fifth and final cash flow and profitability training, Profit Mastery, welcomed six people. 2020 will be another great year to develop your entrepreneurial skills. We already have 32 training events planned and at least a dozen more in the works. For more information about GFDA’s efforts to develop the region’s entrepreneurial skills, contact Jason at JNitschke@GrowGreatFalls.org.
13) Let’s convince your classmates, kids and grandkids that it’s time to Get Back to Great Falls! Get Back to Great Falls is a casual networking event where your kids who no longer live in Great Falls can connect with local businesses with fantastic career opportunities. We’ll even buy their first drink. Save the date – December 26th from 6:30-8:30 PM (location TBD). Do us a favor and sneak in an RSVP for them.
14) Completed a search engine optimization (SEO) audit for an existing GFDA client. If you’re interested in seeing your company’s SEO stats, contact Rich Gannon at 406-836-2078 or email RGannon@GrowGreatFalls.org.
15) Join us at the Montana Chamber‘s Business Days in the Capitol, January 6-7. Three resources from the Montana Department of Commerce: 1) applications are now being accepted for the new Multifamily Coal Trust Homes Program; 2) the new Montana Historic Preservation Grant Program is about to open; and, 3) wholesale registration is open for the Made in Montana trade show, March 13-14 in Helena.
16) What businesses and real estate development are missing along the Great Falls Urban Missouri River Corridor? Would you like more activity rentals, a pontoon dinner cruise, what else? That’s the discussion we sparked at GFDA’s Board meeting and Development Coffee this week. We’ll be continuing the conversation into the New Year. Contact Jolene to share your ideas and be informed of upcoming meetings, JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org.
17) Met with Inga Lake and Julie Brubaker of EPAGA Home Care who are looking to franchise their business to the Great Falls area. They started their business working with SBA and would love to partner with veterans or others who are looking to succeed.
18) Worked with several clients to review government bid applications, update SBA information and look at cybersecurity plan options. Remember, our Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) doesn’t just help with SAM renewals. Give us a call and see how we can get you ready to expand your government contracting expertise. Montana PTAC client have won $93.6 million in federal, state, local and subcontract awards since August 2019! Contact Lillian at 406-750-1253 or LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org.
19) Thank you to NeighborWorks Great Falls for hosting this quarter’s development coffees! 20 high school house students and over 30 business, real estate and development professionals packed the house on Friday to discuss strategic initiatives for the river corridor. Plan to join us in January as we kick off the next quarter of coffees at Skyline Preschool; first Friday of every month at 7 AM.
20) GFDA’s Board appointed Forrest Ehlinger, Chief Resources Officer and Executive Vice President of Benefis Health System, to our Executive Committee to chair our new talent attraction effort.
21) I’m pleased to announce that we have hired Soren Chargois as our new Talent Attraction Director. Soren grew up in Great Falls then earned a BA in Visual & Media Studies at Duke University with a minor in Economics and an Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate. She has been working for Duke University Alumni Affairs as Marketing and Digital Content Manager and traveling the world before deciding to move back to Great Falls. Soren will lead our efforts to bring home Great Falls and Golden Triangle expatriates and help employers attract talented new employees to relocate to the Great Falls region. She will join our team on January 2nd. Welcome home Soren!
22) Thank you to this week’s Investor’s in Economic Development, Gusto Distributing, Great Falls International Airport, The Davidson Family Foundation and Cushing Terrell for their investments at the Leadership Division, AE2S, General Mills and TD&H Engineering, for their investments at the Pacesetter Division and Liberty Electric, for their investment at the Community Division. With your support, we’re able to leverage your investment to double and often triple the resources to grow the economy. As 2019 draws to a close, consider supporting your community through an investment with GFDA. As a 501(c)3 charitable organization, we will put your dollars to work with lead generation and deal closing, client service and, now, talent attraction! To make your year-end investment, call Teresa Schreiner at 406.781.9499 or email TSchreiner@GrowGreatFalls.org.
We are HUNGRY to Grow the Great Falls regional economy, create higher wage jobs, build our tax base, improve our market competitiveness, and enhance the quality of life and economic opportunity for residents of Great Falls, Cascade County, and the entire 13-county Great Falls trade area.
President & CEO
“What is the calculus of innovation? The calculus of innovation is really quite simple: Knowledge drives innovation, innovation drives productivity, productivity drives economic growth”
GFDA Career Opportunity
GFDA has a great new career opening. We are on Equal Opportunity Employer and encourage everyone interested to apply! See description below or download all our position opening and help us spread the word!
Downtown Business Development Officer
Main Street Economic Development
Dynamic, self-motivated professional sought to join our passionate, creative, fast-paced, results-driven economic development team. We are looking for a super star to lead downtown economic revitalization in partnership with the Downtown Development Partnership of Great Falls (an accredited National Main Street program) and the Great Falls Business Improvement District. You will meet with existing downtown businesses to aid in their retention and expansion, conduct market research, work to attract businesses and developers to downtown, and provide overall aid in our downtown business development efforts. Involves coordination, cold-calling, networking, relationship building, project management, advocacy, marketing events, meeting with businesses, listening, and additional client business development services. Position may involve travel in region, U.S. and Canada. Looking for a star with demonstrated achievement in business development. Requires excellent writing, computer, and communication skills. Live on the Missouri River along the Rocky Mountain Front and work with a great team! Salary range $45,000-55,000 with excellent benefits, professional development, growth opportunities, and flexible work environment. EOE. Cover letter and resume to Brett Doney, President, BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. Open until we find a great candidate.
November SBA 504 Loan Rates
The 25-year loan effective rate came in at 3.74%; 20-year at 3.679%; 20-year refinance at 3.681%; and, 10-year equipment 3.852%. These rates are FIXED for the life of the loan and are inclusive of all fees. If you would like to find out how to get financing for commercial real estate and equipment at potentially lower rates than you’re paying for your home mortgage, please contact Jill Kohles at 406-590-1056 or JKohles@GrowGreatFalls.org.
Cost-Effective Rail-Served Industrial Sites Available
If your company needs a rail-served, BNSF-Certified, shovel-ready site with all municipal services at your door, we have lots available for immediate construction in the Great Falls AgriTech Park. Contact Jolene Schalper at 1.406.750.4481 or JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org
Events, Business Trainings, and Opportunities
Of our online business planning tool, LivePlan, one said: “LivePlan is Awesome!” The LivePlan tool is helping her streamline her strategy in preparation for presenting to bank partners. We offer LivePlan licenses for free to active clients. Learn more about LivePlan on our website.
All 24 of our recorded monthly business strategy webinars are available online for viewing anytime, click them out here.
The Montana Manufacturing Extension Center is offering a PCQI Preventive Controls for Human Food Course, December 10-12 in Bozeman. The course will explain the regulatory requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). For more info and to register, click here.
The Montana Department of Commerce is accepting applications for it’s State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) grants. This program reimburses for trade show expenses and travel stipends to attend and exhibit at international trade shows. For more information visit the ExportMontana website at https://marketmt.com/STEP/TradeshowExhibition.
The Montana Manufacturing Extension Center offers a great array of workshops and trainings for all sizes of manufacturing companies.
The Montana Department of Commerce’s Film Office is offering powerful new incentives to promote filming and production in Montana. Click here for details.