Top 10 – 12/8/19

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.

Brett Doney
President & CEO

Connect with me on LinkedIn to network with the Great Falls region.
Forward the GFDA Top 10 to friends and colleagues. You can join our distribution list HERE or text GFDA to 22828.

“What is the calculus of innovation? The calculus of innovation is really quite simple: Knowledge drives innovation, innovation drives productivity, productivity drives economic growth”
William Brody

 

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

2019 GFDA Business Education Calendar

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 Innovation Partnership is offering trainings later this month on Market Research for Early Stage Technologies and on Writing Winning SBIR/STTR Proposals. See more info 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.

Top 10 – 12/1/19

One of the infill development visions for downtown Great Falls we’re putting together with the Downtown Development Partnership and our consultants LPW Architecture and AE2S Communications.

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) Congratulations to Beehive Homes  on its remodel and reopening of an assisted living facility in Cut Bank; see Cut Bank Pioneer Press for details. Congratulations to Shelby Safari, an interactive place for kids to play that opened in downtown Shelby.

2) Held our first Gather Round event for family and friends visiting their hometown for Thanksgiving. Thank you to everyone for making it a memorable evening, including the great team at Elevation 3300! There are fantastic career opportunities here in Great Falls. Be sure to talk up our next Get Back to Great Falls Event to your family and friends that will be coming back to visit for the holidays! Hold the evening of December 26 from 6:30-8:30 PM.

3) The Cascade County Commission signed an agreement with the Department of Defense for the upgrade of 42 miles of county roads which DOD will pay for; see Great Falls Tribune for details.

4) Start Your Side Hustle is the topic of our monthly webinar this Thursday, December 5 at 11:00 AM. The webinar will address turning a hobby or passion into a side business, including a lean approach to business planning and innovating to solve your customers’ real world problems. Free registration and details here.

5) Two major aviation events will be held in Great Falls next year, a statewide meeting of airline executives to consider new flights and the Montana Department of Transportation’s aviation conference; see TheElectricGF.com for details.

6) We’re offering Profit Mastery, our unique two-day cash flow and profitability workshop for entrepreneurs, on December 6th and December 18th. For more information or to register to attend click here.

7) GFDA investors and interested business and real estate leaders are invited to join us for our monthly Development Coffee this Friday, December 6, 7:00 AM at NeighborWorks Great Falls.

8) Last chance to register for the Montana SBIR/STTR Innovation Summit being offered by the Montana Innovation Partnership on December 11th in Bozeman. More info and registration here.

9) Our second Triangle Pitch Night has been 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 information, contact Barnett at Barnett@GrowGreatFalls.org or visit facebook.com/trianglepitchnight to help spread the word.

10) Mark your calendars for Great Falls Ignite 2020, sponsored by PayneWest Insurance. Our annual high energy, kick-off the new year event will be held on January 10th, 7:30-10:30 AM, at Meadow Lark Country Club. Ignite allows developers, entrepreneurs and businesses throughout the Golden Triangle to publicly showcase their plans for new real estate projects, business startups and major business expansions planned in 2020. If you haven’t scheduled your five minute project announcement or showcase of an already announced project, contact Nathan Reiff at NReiff@GrowGreatFalls.org or 406.403.4937.

11) We are pleased to announce that we have hired Sarah Weaver as our new Lending Operations Specialist! Sarah grew up in Spokane and earned an Associates of Arts from Spokane Falls Community College and a BA double major in Finance and Economics from Eastern Washington University. Sarah brings considerable experience in business ownership and management to our team, as well as real estate construction and transactions. Sarah is relocating to Great Falls and starts work tomorrow! Thank you to the 91 excellent candidates who applied for the position. We hired our first talent Attraction Director this week and will announce who that is in next week’s Top 10. We are still interviewing for our new Downtown Business Development Officer position created through a partnership between the Great Falls Business Improvement District and GFDA; see position description below.

12) GFDA committed $2,000 to help fund an analysis of Montana’s Next Generation of Community and Economic Development Tools being commissioned by the Montana Economic Developers Association and the Montana Chamber Foundation.

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.

Brett Doney
President & CEO

Connect with me on LinkedIn to network with the Great Falls region.
Forward the GFDA Top 10 to friends and colleagues. You can join our distribution list HERE or text GFDA to 22828.

“If you’ve got an idea, start today. There’s no better time than now to get going. That doesn’t mean quit your job and jump into your idea 100% from day one, but there’s always small progress that can be made to start the movement.”
Kevin Systrom

 

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 Training, and Opportunities

2019 GFDA Business Education Calendar

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 Innovation Partnership is offering trainings later this month on Market Research for Early Stage Technologies and on Writing Winning SBIR/STTR Proposals. See more info 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.

Top 10 – 11/26/19

Rendering of the new showcase section of the River’s Edge Trail along the downtown Missouri River front that was approved by the Great Falls City Commission.

GFDA Top 10

Here is our Top 18 for last week, celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy. What an amazing week for Great Falls!

1) Congratulations to the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base on winning the Blanchard Trophy for best ICBM Missile Wing in America and, dare I say, the world!! The Great Falls based team also brought home another 10 awards. See TheElectricGF.com for details.

2) The Great Falls Downtown Development Partnership hosted the unveiling of redevelopment visions for three targeted downtown half blocks, developed by LPW Architecture and AE2S Communications. Thank you to the Montana Main Street Program at the Montana Department of Commerce for funding the effort and for the gazillions of community members who have helped! See the Great Falls Tribune, KFBB and TheElectricGF.com for details, and stay tuned when we publish the visions online.

3) Great Falls Public Schools and education supporters across the community celebrated the topping out of the new Longfellow Elementary School, part of $98 million in improvements of our local schools. See Tribune for details.

4) Kids coming home for Thanksgiving? Help us lure them back and tell them to Gather Round Great Falls! This casual networking event encourages our Great Falls expats to take a second look at their hometown and connect with local businesses that have current career opportunities. The event will take place at Elevation 3330 from 6:30-8:30 PM tomorrow night, Wednesday, November 27th (Thanksgiving Eve). For the best experience, we recommend an RSVP – it’s quick and simple and can be done HERE.

5) The University of Providence won a $441,357 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to install a distance learning system to deliver advanced classes for nurses and nursing students at its Lewistown campus. See KFBB for details.

6) We welcomed 10 participants in our monthly pre-business workshop, The LaunchPoint. Half participated from other parts of the state over the internet. Only four events remain on our 2019 Business Education Calendar. We’ve just added a new training event in December. Profit Mastery is our cash flow and profitability workshop for entrepreneurs. Save the dates of December 6th and December 18th for this two day workshop. For more information or to register to attend click here.

7) The Great Falls City Commission approved moving forward with a new showpiece downtown section of the River’s Edge Trail along the Missouri River. See details on KRTV, Tribune and TheElectricGF.com.

8) Asbestos, leaking fuel tanks, or other environmentally sensitive issues can really put a stop to a building purchase or potential development project.  GFDA has a great solution for entrepreneurs or developers who run across these daunting issues. With our Brownfield Loan Fund, we can provide funding for as low at 3% interest to remove the contamination and help bring the project to fruition. If you have a project or building that you would like to discuss, please contact Jill Kohles at JKohles@GrowGreatFalls.org or 406-590-1056.

9) A new unique business opened in downtown Great Falls, Rage Rooms of Montana. Check it out on KRTV.

10) After a successful launch of Triangle Pitch Night at Cut Bank Creek Brewery in October, our second Triangle Pitch Night has been set for Thursday, December 19th at 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, come participate in the second Triangle PITCH NIGHT on December 19th at 6 pm at the Coyote Club in Shelby. For more information contact Barnett at Barnett@GrowGreatFalls.org or visit facebook.com/trianglepitchnight to help spread the word.

11) Montana was ranked the 8th Best State for the middle class by SmartAsset. Montana was ranked the 5th Smartest State by SafeHome, see Tribune.

12) GFDA won a competitive $650,000 grant from the Community Development Financial Institution Fund of the U.S. Treasury! This award will enable us to continue to expand our loan capital to meet the gap and bridge financing needs of entrepreneurs, established businesses, developers and nonprofits across the Golden Triangle. THANK YOU to GFDA Investors who provided the 1:1 match to make this possible!!

13) There are 10 seats left for the Montana SBIR/STTR Innovation Summit being offered by the Montana Innovation Partnership on December 11 in Bozeman. More info and registration here.

14) Jolene finished the final course of the National Development Council’s Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) certification.

15) We are proud to announce that GFDA has signed on to the Risk Management Association‘s new Principles of Ethical Conduct for lending practices.

16) GFDA is excited to announce PayneWest Insurance as our exclusive sponsor of Ignite 2020, Great Falls’ high energy, premier event on January 10th from 7:30-10:30 AM at the Meadow Lark Country Club. Ignite allows all developers, entrepreneurs and businesses to ‘lift the curtain’ and publicly showcase their capital improvement projects before the regional Great Falls community. If you haven’t scheduled your project announcement, there’s still time! Contact Nathan Reiff at NReiff@GrowGreatFalls.org or 406.403.4937.

17) Met with Brent Donnelly SBA Deputy District Director and Shelby city officials to discuss Opportunity Zone investments in Shelby and Toole County.

18) Thank you to this week’s Investors in Economic Development, Benefis Health System, for their investment at the Executive Division, Jerry Hood & GPD Consulting Engineers for their Pacesetter Division investments, Hybrid Steel Design, KLJ and Grabofsky, Van Heel & Funderburk for their Community Division investments, and Morrison-Maierle, for their Supporter Division investment. Your investments provide our team, and our region, the resources we need to attain a vibrant and healthy economy. To continue to grow the Golden Triangle, contact TSchreiner@GrowGreatFalls.org or 406.781.9499.

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.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Brett Doney
President & CEO

Connect with me on LinkedIn to network with the Great Falls region.
Forward the GFDA Top 10 to friends and colleagues. You can join our distribution list HERE or text GFDA to 22828.

“Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.”
Dwight Eisenhower

 

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 Training, and Opportunities

2019 GFDA Business Education Calendar

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 Innovation Partnership is offering trainings later this month on Market Research for Early Stage Technologies and on Writing Winning SBIR/STTR Proposals. See more info 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.

Top 10 – 11/18/19

Just think what we can do with these downtown blocks! Join us this Wednesday November 20th at 4:00PM or 7:00PM in the Missouri Room at the Great Falls Civic Center for the unveiling of development visions for attracting more great businesses and developers to invest in downtown Great Falls. After a charrette and online input from community members, LPW Architecture and AE2S took these ideas and created development visions that will be used to attract interest of developers and entrepreneurs – RSVP and be the first to see!

GFDA Top 10

Here is our Top 12 for last week, celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy.

1) Pitched the Great Falls region to a dozen site selectors at a private lunch in Chicago. We teamed up with Billings, Butte, Missoula, and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development to host the private luncheon. Ten of the twelve site selectors we had not yet met and got to introduce them to the Great Falls region.

2) Have family or friends coming home for Thanksgiving? Gather Round Great Falls! On Wednesday, November 27th (Thanksgiving Eve) we will be hosting former Great Fallsians encouraging them to take another look at their hometown by connecting them with local businesses with current employment opportunities. The event is free of charge, and we’ll even buy their first drink! Send them HERE to RSVP.

3) Personal income in the Great Falls MSA (Cascade County) increased 5.0% in 2018, well above inflation of 1.9%, according to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Per capita personal income grew by 4.9%.

4) Fifteen active duty airmen, veterans, and military spouses joined us for our final two-day Boots to Business workshop of 2019 at Malmstrom Air Force Base. We’ve now delivered 21 Introduction to Entrepreneurship workshops with 330 attendees since launching this partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration and Malmstrom Air Force Base since 2014. Up next is The LaunchPoint: A Pre-Business Workshop this Thursday, November 21st from 4-5 PM. Join us live in the GFDA office or from the comfort of your home or office via GoToMeeting. Please register here or contact Jason for more information at JNitschke@GrowGreatFalls.org.

5) Congratulations to the 26 high school students of Great Falls Public Schools who signed into the carpenter pre-apprentice program last week!

6) SBA 504 rates are still at low levels in November. The 25-year note came in at 3.740%, 20-year at 3.679%, 20-year refinance at 3.681% and the 10-year debenture at 3.852%. These rates are FIXED for the life of the loan and are inclusive of 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.

7) Helped score eight proposals in response to the Business Improvement District’s RFP for developing a wayfinding blueprint for the Great Falls area.

8) Rural Business Advisor Rich Gannon spent time in Conrad this week helping a business owner launch a website for a custom manufacturing business. In Cut Bank, he introduced an entrepreneur to Live Plan, the all in one business plan tool that GFDA offers to clients. He also helped a Cut Bank area rancher who is looking to diversify his operation by offering direct to consumer grass fed beef and pasture raised pork. If you are in the area north of Great Falls and need help starting or growing your business give Rich a call at 406-836-2078 or email RGannon@GrowGreatFalls.org.

9) Networked with producers and processors at Montana Pulse Days.

10) 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. If you are considering exporting to international markets as a growth strategy for your business, contact Jason to step you through an export readiness exercise at JNitschke@GrowGreatFalls.org.

11) Attended the APTAC Conference for government contracting in Washington DC. The main focus was on helping small business with Set-Aside Certifications and the “hot button” topic of Cybersecurity.  If your business is involved in government contracting and you access any DOD payment platforms such as WAWF, you need to have a security plan in place.  For more information, contact Shannon Clancy at SClancy@GrowGreatFalls.org.

12) Worked with a local business that is looking to expand on a former gas station site. We are walking them through the assessment process so they can work on next steps to redevelopment of the site. Are you looking at a site or older building with perceived or actual environmental issues? Before you buy or give up on a property, give us a call to see what tools we can put to use that could make the site redevelopment work. Contact Lillian at LSunwall@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.

Brett Doney
President & CEO

Connect with me on LinkedIn to network with the Great Falls region.
Forward the GFDA Top 10 to friends and colleagues. You can join our distribution list HERE or text GFDA to 22828.

“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway. ”
Earl Nightingale

GFDA Job Openings

GFDA has two great career openings. We are on Equal Opportunity Employer and encourage everyone interested to apply! See descriptions below or download all our position openings and help us spread the word!

Talent Attraction Director
Digital Content Marketing, Events, and Recruitment Services

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.

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 Training, and Opportunities

2019 GFDA Business Education Calendar

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 Innovation Partnership is offering trainings later this month on Market Research for Early Stage Technologies and on Writing Winning SBIR/STTR Proposals. See more info 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.

Top 10 – 11/10/19

A great aerial of Centene, Talus Apartment Homes and construction of Rockcress Commons, all in the Great Falls Med-Tech University District.

GFDA Top 10

Here is our Top 17 for this week, celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy.

1) Great Falls Public Schools and hundreds of community members celebrated the ribbon-cutting of the HUB addition at Great Falls High School. The $40 million project, approved by voters in 2016, will provide students with state-of-the art culinary, electrical, physics, geology, metal fabrication, wood fabrication, and automotive classrooms, just to name a few. See Great Falls Tribune and KRTV stories, and Tribune photos.

2) Join us on Wednesday November 20th at 4:00PM or 7:00PM in the Missouri Room at the Great Falls Civic Center for the unveiling of development visions for attracting more great businesses and developers to invest in downtown Great Falls. After a charrette and online input from community members, LPW Architecture and AE2S took these ideas and created development visions that will be used to attract interest of developers and entrepreneurs – RSVP and be the first to see!

3) During the third quarter of 2019 four new businesses opened in downtown Great Falls and thirteen building permits totaling $1,864,562 were issued for downtown improvements. Volunteers invested 11,934 hours to support organizations and efforts downtown.

4) Do you have friends and family coming home for Thanksgiving? Gather Round Great Falls! On Thanksgiving Eve, Wednesday, November 27, we are hosting a gathering at Elevation 3330 from 6:30 – 8:30 PM to show friends and family who’ve moved away that it’s time to take another look at their hometown and learn about career opportunities. Gather Round Great Falls is a casual, professional networking event. We need your help to spread the word to our out of town guests. Send them this link to register. Questions? Call Nathan at 406-403-4937.

5) The Buffalo Crossing tax increment financing agreement was approved by the City Commission. Lewistown was named the happiest place in Montana and one of the happiest places in America by Zippia; see more at OnlyInYourState.

6) Seven entrepreneurs were in last week at various stages of evaluating business purchases. 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.

7) Congratulations to our loan client AgFertilizers, Inc. on their successful hemp information day. AgFertilizers hosted speakers from different elements of the evolving hemp industry for the full-day event. The Hemp 101 seminar was attended by farmers from across Montana and companies from California, Canada, Colorado, and Oregon, as well as the Montana Department of Agriculture. A live recording of the event is available.

8) We have several different options to help an entrepreneur realize their dream of owning or expanding their business. Just one of these options is the Gap and Bridge financing tools that we offer to help make a project happen. We love partnering with a bank on a project to allow more flexibility to the client within that project. This not only helps with the banks risk level but can also allow for a lower down payment from the client, leaving funds available for working capital. If you have a project that could use some support please contact Jill Kohles at 406-590-1056 or JKohles@GrowGreatFalls.org.

9) Congratulations to the first group of construction apprentices at Dick Anderson Construction who graduated from the Great Falls College MSU new program! See KRTV for details. The Montana Department of Labor and Industry has Incumbent Worker Training grants available.

10) Fifteen entrepreneurs, business professionals, resource partners, bankers, and advisors logged into our statewide, monthly webinar series. November’s topic is titled: Business Valuation-More Art Than Science presented by Tom Kerr of WestPac Wealth Partners of Missoula. To watch this webinar or any of our 23 other recorded webinars, click here.

11) Hutterite communities have a significant positive economic impact on Montana, particularly in the Golden Triangle, as documented by a report issued by the University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research; see Havre Daily News story. Download report here.

12) Shared an overview of our work to the Grow Great Falls region with the Leadership Great Falls class. Economic development is a team sport and we need to engage more people in growing and diversifying our economy. Do you have a team, club, or other group that would be interested in learning more about economic development efforts across our region? Contact Jolene to set up a speaking engagement that fits your schedule, 406.750.4481.

13) The University of Providence announced it will offer a new online Pharmacy Tech program starting in January, and will be bringing back Accounting, Elementary Education, and Health and Physical Education programs; see KRTV. Teresa and Nathan took a tour of the new University Center. Nick Estrada gave a fascinating and informative tour of the University’s newly remodeled Galerie Trinitas. The new University Center allows for the showcasing of what was previously a hidden gem in Great Falls. The UC also has event space for groups from 30 to 700. This is a great addition to our community. If you would like to take a virtual flythrough of the space you can see it here.

14) GFDA’s Board began our assessment of opportunities for growing digital/information technology industries in the Great Falls region by conducting a Strengths/Weaknesses/Opportunities/Threats (SWOT) discussion. If you would like to join our task force that will be forming to assess opportunities in these industries, email Jolene at JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org.

15) Please join us in welcoming a new GFDA board member. Kylie Carranza, serves as Chief of Staff to the President at the University of Providence. Kylie is a Great Falls native and is eager to engage in her position as a member of the GFDA Board. Welcome, Kylie!

16) Searched for more loan capital and learned the latest about a wide variety of tax credits, industrial development bonds, tax increment financing, Opportunity Zones, and revolving loan funds at the Community Development Finance Association’s annual summit. Presented opportunities to invest in the Great Falls trade area at the summit’s Marketplace.

17) Thank you to this week’s Investors in Economic Development, The Fagenstrom Company and the Great Falls Voyagers for your Community Division investments. By investing in economic development, you are investing in the economic well-being of the region. Your investments allow our team to fulfill our strategic priorities- activities which are ultimately designed to promote high wage jobs and a diversified economy. If you haven’t yet invested this fiscal year, contact Teresa Schreiner at 406.781.9499 or 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.

Have a great week!

Brett Doney
President & CEO

Connect with me on LinkedIn to network with the Great Falls region.
Forward the GFDA Top 10 to friends and colleagues. You can join our distribution list HERE or text GFDA to 22828.

“The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity.”
Peter Drucker

GFDA has three great career openings. We are on Equal Opportunity Employer and encourage everyone interested to apply! See descriptions below or download all our position openings and help us spread the word!

 

GFDA Job Openings

Commercial Lending Operations Specialist
Economic Development
Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI)

Experienced, dynamic, self-motivated lending administration professional sought for two-person lending team within 15-person nonprofit economic development Community Development Financial Institution. Responsible for loan originations and closings, maintenance of loan files, reports to public and private loan capital sources, loan portfolio management system, and borrower relations. Experience with EDA, USDA, CDFI, EPA and/or SBA 504 loans a plus. 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 $40,000-50,000 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, Events, and Recruitment Services

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.

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.

 

October SBA 504 Loan Rates

The 25-year loan effective rate came in at 3.48%; 20-year at 3.398%; 20-year refinance at 3.40%; and, 10-year equipment 3.553%. 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 Training, and Opportunities

2019 GFDA Business Education Calendar

Plan to attend the reveal of the downtown visioning process. Over 70 people replied online and over 100 attended the planning session. On November 20 we will have to sessions in the Missouri Room of the Civic Center, one at four and seven. RSVP 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 Innovation Partnership is offering trainings later this month on Market Research for Early Stage Technologies and on Writing Winning SBIR/STTR Proposals. See more info 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.