Want to know what a population increase will do for our economy? In 2017 we hired the experts at Chmura Economics to conduct a population growth impact study. Just 0.85% growth would have a first year economic impact of $13 million, growing exponentially over the years! Check out the full report here. GFDA is about to launch a talent attraction effort.
GFDA Top 10
Here is our Top 12 for this week, celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy.
1) We closed a $40,000 gap loan to RE Family Services, Inc. that the startup non-profit in downtown Great Falls needed for equipment and working capital. For more information on the gap financing options that GFDA may be able to help with, please contact Jill Kohles at JKohles@GrowGreatFalls.org.
2) Congratulations to GFDA Investor Best Bosses! Dick Anderson of Dick Anderson Construction named best boss by the Helena Chamber and Nick Schlueter of VisionNet named best boss by the Great Falls Chamber!
3) Our first Triangle Pitch Night was a roaring success. Twenty-seven entrepreneurial-minded folks in the Golden Triangle joined us in Cut Bank to talk about innovation, meet like-minded people, and pitch business ideas to those gathered. We heard 11 different pitches from nine people at Cut Bank Creek Brewery. Thank you to all who attended. And stay tuned. We plan to put on more Triangle Pitch Nights across the region.
4) The Great Falls Business Improvement District issued a Request for Proposal for Downtown Wayfinding. Questions can be directed to Joan Redeen at 406.77.5403 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline for submission is November 8, 2019 at 12:30 PM MST.
5) Two educational events are on our agenda over the next two weeks. Win the Bid: How to Prepare a Proposal walks businesses through the process of writing a winning proposal with local, state, or federal governmental agencies. Space is limited. Please register here. Seats are also filling up for our final QuickBooks class of the fall. To reserve your spot, click here. Contact Jason with any questions on any of GFDA’s Business Education Calendar events at JNitschke@GrowGreatFalls.org.
6) The Great Falls Downtown Development Partnership discussed the input presented at the downtown charrette and from 75 people who submitted ideas through the online portal. Work on the development visions has started. Thanks to everyone for the great, creative ideas for new private investment downtown!
7) GFDA team members were out on the road again this week. Jolene and I invested part of the week at the International Economic Development Council’s annual conference, learning new best practices from industry leaders, and networking with site selection consultants, BNSF and others. We were both featured speakers to share what we’re doing in the Great Falls region. Talent attraction strategies were a hot topic, something we are just getting into. As was building more resilient regional economies. We received our reaccreditation plaque. Congratulations to Big Sky EDA on winning an award!
8) Jill attended the annual meeting of NADCO, the trade association for SBA 504 lending. This was an opportunity to network with other experts in the 504 industry, and learn about upcoming changes from the SBA. Contact Jill for up to date info on how SBA 504 loans can support your business acquisition, startup or growth, JKohles@GrowGreatFalls.org.
9) Teresa networked at the 2019 Innovate Montana Conference in Butte, taking the opportunity to strengthen existing relationships, and develop new ones, with potential businesses and developers for the Great Falls regional market.
10) How do you pitch Great Falls? We all have the opportunity to pitch our community to out of town colleagues, family members, strangers on airplanes, and others. Your challenge this week is to take a moment to think about how you pitch our community. Think about various audiences and your absolute favorite/surprising tidbits about our region. We had the chance to compete (and won) against 45 other economic developers in a quick pitch competition. Here’s Jolene’s winning pitch for Great Falls that placed first at the IEDC annual conference!
11) GFDA was featured in a recent press release from the Montana Department of Commerce. The release highlighted our stepped up economic development efforts in the rural communities of the Golden Triangle. Check it out here.
12) Thank you to this week’s Investors in Economic Development, KRTV, for their investment at the Legacy Division and NAPA Auto Parts for their investment at the Community Division level. Your investments are creating more opportunities for growth. We do not take this for granted. Your investments are the reason that we are the enviable place to work and play. If you have not invested, contact Teresa Schreiner at TSchreiner@GrowGreatFalls.org or 406.781.9449
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
“Networking has been cited as the number one unwritten rule of success in business. Who you know really impacts what you know.”
GFDA Job Openings
GFDA has another new career opportunity. We’ve partnered with the Great Falls Business Improvement District to create a Downtown Business Development Officer position. See description below or download all our position openings 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.
Commercial Loan Processor and Operations Assistant
Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI)
Dynamic, self-motivated professional sought to join our passionate, creative, fast-paced, results-driven economic development lending team. Help us to keep growing our gap and bridge financing efforts to support entrepreneurs, businesses, developers and non-profit organizations throughout the Great Falls trade area and across Montana. This position receives,reviews and processes commercial loan documents, maintains loan application files and other duties related to the processing and servicing of the commercial loan portfolio.Reviews all gathered pending documents for accuracy, completeness, loan authority, lien position, insurance, flood insurance, collateral, appraisal, coding, risk rating, disbursements, etc. Reviews documents for compliance purposes, recognizes problems with documentation, and takes appropriate action. Requires the ability to maintain accurate records, work with a wide variety of clients, and have computer and communication skills. Experience with SBA 504 loan servicing and/or economic development loan funds a plus. Must be detail oriented and organized with flexibility to help achieve our overall team mission. Live on the Missouri River along the Rocky Mountain Front and work with a great team! Salary range $35,000-45,000 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.
Talent Attraction Director
Digital Content Marketing
Dynamic, self-motivated professional sought to join our passionate, creative, fast-paced, results-driven economic development team. We are looking for an experienced digital marketing leader who can learn and utilize best practices to design and implement a program with the goal of getting people to relocate in the Great Falls region. This public relations star will manage content on our website and social media platforms, engage partners and the community, conduct research, and implement PR campaigns to attract people to the Great Falls region. 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 $35,000-45,000 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.
SBA 504 Loans
SBA 504 rates came in even lower in September. The 25-year loan effective rate came in at 3.44%; 20-year at 3.553%; and, 20-year refinance at 3.388%. There was no 10-year equipment debenture sale this month but July’s sale came in at 3.553%. These rates are FIXED for the life of the loan and are inclusive of all on-going 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 Training, and Opportunities
GFDA’s PTAC is accepting registrations for the upcoming training, Win the Bid: How to Prepare a Proposal on October 23rd from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. For more info, call Shannon Clancy (406) 590-1184.
The Montana Downtown Conference will be held October 23-25 in Missoula. This is always a great conference with lots of idea sharing. More info here.
Our fall QuickBooks class is now taking registrations. This full-day training event on November 1st, presented by GFDA investor Wendy Weissman CPA PC, helps participants understand how QuickBooks can be used most effectively to manage financial statements. It is designed for users with basic to no knowledge of the tool as well as more advanced users to get more out of it. For more information or to register, click here.
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.