Top 10 – 9/19/2020

Groundbreaking for the Aim High Big Sky Aquatics & Recreation Center. Congratulations to all involved in making this great project happen!

GFDA’s Top 10

Here is our Top 18 for this week celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy — Montana’s Golden Triangle. And, sharing business resources and skill-building opportunities to empower your success.

1) GFDA’s Loan Committee approved three gap loans totaling $1,624,162 to help three Great Falls businesses expand! These loans will leverage over $10.3 million investment in Great Falls. If your business needs assistance with financing to start, grow or innovate, please contact Jill Kohles at 406-590-1056 or JKohles@GrowGreatFalls.org.

2) Agro Link, a pulse crop processing facility in Glacier County, continues to grow. The company is a joint venture between Link One, a US company, and Agrocorp, a multinational corporation based in Singapore. AgroLink is making significant investment in the Golden Triangle. See Cut Bank Pioneer Press for details.

3) We submitted the next round of information for a large primary sector business we are competing to bring to Great Falls. The process has been on-going for five months, involving numerous partners providing detailed information on energy, location, permitting, and more. We hope that we end up being the best fit for the company. The process has been an excellent learning experience and Great Falls Montana will be even better positioned for the next project. If you have questions on how we respond to these types of requests and to offer assistance to the team, give Jolene a call to discuss: 1.406.750.4481.

4) NeighborWorks Great Falls celebrated the amazing DreamStreet of family-built homes. Five Guys opened in Great Falls. We have another new car wash in the works. See more in The Electric’s Business Bites. Nova Health Clinic opened in Great Falls (see KRTV). Be Loved, a new bridal shop, has opened in Downtown Great Falls(see KRTV). The River’s Edge Trail’s River Drive North improvement project is under construction (see KRTV). The Alliance for Youthopened its new Youth Resource Center in Great Falls (see KRTV).

5) Thank you to everyone who participated this week in helping to develop a new economic development strategic plan for the Great Falls market. Our consultant team listened to dozens of community members and facilitated a vision and mission discussion with the GFDA Board. The team will continue to hold one-on-one and group listening sessions online through October and will be back for face to face sessions the week of October 11th.

6) A very exciting ground breaking this week! Malmstrom Air Force Base, the City of Great Falls, and Montana Air National Guard have partnered together to build the new Aim High Big Sky Aquatic Center at Lions Park. Check out the video announcement! Partnerships like this not only help Great Falls to make competitive improvements , but help strengthen the Great Falls regionally economy. Read more on The Electric and Great Falls Tribune. This project os so exciting that I had to put it in the Top 10 twice this week.

7) We selected three finalist firms for the Great Falls Housing Demand Market Assessment that we plan to commission in partnership with NeighborWorks Great Falls and the Great Falls Association of Realtors®. GFDA is launching a Housing Development Task Force and an Industrial Space Task Force. GFDA task forces bring together the doers that make things happen. If you are interested in getting involved in either of these task forces, contact Jake Clark at Jake@GrowGreatFalls.org or 406-403-4937.

8) The Great Falls Clinic announced a $7 million expansion of its day surgery center. The project will add over 7,000 square feet of space to the facility, significantly increasing its capabilities. The Clinic recently celebrated the opening of the Harold & Carmen Poulsen Legacy Housing Facility to help patients and their families from our vast rural and tribal region (see KRTV).

9) Upcoming GFDA entrepreneur/business convenient virtual trainings: Our popular Website Bootcamp: Website in a Day in Lewistown on Tuesday, September 28. The LaunchPoint, our catch all class for starting a business is back on Tuesday, October 5th. October’s webinar topic on Thursday, October 7 is Cybersecurity. And it may seem early, but on October 12th we are starting a new session of our Website Bootcamp specifically for your business to capitalize on the Online Holiday Shopping craze.

10) Worked with a local memory care provider, MT Gems, to submit a Big Sky Trust Fund Planning Grant application. This planning grant will assist MT Gems in care expansion resulting in an additional twelve jobs. Big Sky Trust Fund Planning grants can help businesses with architect, engineering, studies, and general planning assistance to determine project feasibility. Reach out to Jolene Schalper to learn more, JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org.

11) Montana State University has announced a fantastic $101 million gift to its College of Nursing to support and expand its nursing education facilities in Billings, Bozeman, Great Falls, Kalispell, and Missoula! The donation from Mark and Robyn Jones is the largest gift in history to a U.S. College of Nursing. THANK YOU!!!

12) We approved another phase 2 environmental assessment for a downtown Great Falls building. Did you know that many building and properties contain environmental contaminants that, if not discovered and documented properly before purchase, eliminate the possibility of cleanup funding for future redevelopment? Before you buy a property or site, reach out to our team to find out how we can help with your pre-development questions and research. For more information, contact Lillian Sunwall at LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org or (406) 750-1253.

13) Invest Downtown Great Falls is quickly approaching. If you haven’t registered yet, head over to our registration page and sign up. We’re looking for Developers and Retail/Restaurant targets to invite for Invest Downtown. If you have some great ideas on who to invite, send an email to Christian at CLeinhauser@GrowGreatFalls.org or call at 406.836.0136.

14) Businesses in Lewistown have fared well through the pandemic, as detailed in a report from the Snowy Mountain Development Corporation (see Lewistown News-Argus).

15) Large projects and companies face as many if not more challenge as small projects and companies. We are working with a site selector to find ways to win a business expansion project that would be an $80 million capital investment for our community providing couple hundred new, high wage jobs. We specialize in project advocacy and finding tools/resources for all size projects. If your project needs help, call us 406.750.4481!

16) Mark your calendars for Development Coffee on Friday, October 1 at NeighborWorks Great Falls. Our topic will be announced in next week’s Top 10! Can’t make the meeting in person? We are offering a zoom option as well. Contact Jolene Schalper for login information at JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org or call (406) 750-4481.

17) Is your business opening, expanding, or doing something revolutionary? We want to hear about it and tell your story to the Great Falls regional business community! Our Announcement of the Week goes out to a captive audience of thousands in the Great Falls regional business community. Contact Tyler at TMenzales@GrowGreatFalls.org to get started on your announcement.

18) Thank you to our amazing GFDA Investors who make everything we do possible. Recent investments include: Premier Division — Cascade County Montana; Advance Division — General Distributing Co. and Great Falls Clinic Hospital; Flagship Division — TD&H Engineering; Pacesetter Division — Anderson ZueMeuhlen & Co., Taylor’s Auto Max, and The Hinebauch Agency; and, Supporter Division — Wendy J. Weissman, CPA and Ted & Roxie Lewis. THANK YOU! Join the team that’s working together to create economic opportunity by strengthening and growing our economy. Contact Jenn Gallmeier at 406-781-9499 or Jenn@GrowGreatFalls.org.

Another great week!

Brett Doney
President & CEO

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

“I remind myself every morning: Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if I’m going to learn, I must do it by listening.”
Larry King

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.

Edition 504


Here is an updated Growth Highlights for the Great Falls Montana Trade Area. Our Menu of Services and Staff Team handout. Here is our our Quarterly Investor Letter and our GFDA 2021Q2 Quarter Index.

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

September SBA 504 Loan Rates
The 25-year loan effective rate came in at 2.973%; 20-year at 2.855%; 10-year equipment loan at 2.673%; and, 20-year refinance 2.898%; 25-year refinance 3.014%. 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.

Career Opportunities
GFDA has two exciting career opportunities for Resource Director (grant writing) and Business Development Officer (food processing specialist). Download job postings and please help spread the word. GFDA has launched a College Intern Program starting with five paid internship opportunities. Download application. Help us spread the word!

Invest in Great Falls Regional Economic Development
Contact Brett Doney at 406-750-2119 or BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. Here is a current list of our great investors.


Events, Business Training and Opportunities

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced changes to the COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). Changes include increases to maximum loan amount and expansion in the uses of funds for paying and prepaying existing business debt. If your business is still struggling to stabilize and recover from the pandemic or are seeing new challenges related to the Delta variant, GFDA’s business advisors are here to help. Connect with Jason at JNitschke@GrowGreatFalls.org. Apply for COVID EIDL on the SBA’s website.

Looking to take control of your business’s financials, increase profit, and improve your bottom line? We have had interest from businesses in scheduling a Profit Mastery course. These courses are scheduled by demand. If you are interested in taking this two-day workshop, contact Jason Nitschke at JNitschke@GrowGreatFalls.orgor call (406) 750-0314.

Pro-tip: Post positivity! When you’re using Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn and share something positive about Great Falls, tag @LiveinGreatFalls or @GrowGreatFallsMontana. We will like and share your posts. Follow our talent attraction effort, Live in Great Falls, on InstagramFacebook and YouTube, and follow the Great Falls Development Authority to help us attract entrepreneurs and business investment on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn, and YouTube.

You are facing tough decisions right now. We’ve developed toolkits to help you decide what is best for your business. Toolkits include: Crisis Toolkit, Hibernation Toolkit, Business Resiliency Guide, Re-Opening Toolkit, and a Child Care Whitepaper. All of these can be found on our website.

We deliver print copies of the Great Falls Livability talent attraction magazine around town every Friday – if you would like copies of this great recruitment tool, email Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org version anytime! Visit our relocation website LiveInGreatFalls.com. This website was the #1 request we got from local recruiters and HR professionals for aiding in attracting talented workers to Great Falls. The Great Falls At-A-Glance two-pager is a great complementary resource that highlights Great Falls for people unfamiliar with our community.

We have Brownfield Clean-Up money that we want to put to work! Our low interest Brownfield Loans can be used to clean up hazardous materials including but not limited to lead paint, asbestos, etc. Are you working on a project that could use some clean up? Call Lillian today to discuss eligibility 406.750.1253 or LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org.

Manufacturers, if you’re not engaged with the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center hosted by MSU, you’re missing out on powerful resources, services, and networking. MMEC clients report cost savings of $160.3 million, new investment of $328.4 million, $1.3 billion in new and retained sales, and 6,186 new and retained jobs since 2000. We’re proud to host an MMEC business adviser who covers the Golden Triangle region. Contact Doug Roberts at richard.roberts4@montana.edu or (937) 489-3985.

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 of our recorded monthly business strategy webinars are available online for viewing anytime, click them out here.

Top 10 – 9/14/2021

Great Falls, Montana’s Museum City, will soon have its 11th museum. The Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum will be located at 1300 1st Avenue North. The Karpeles Manuscript Library Museums are the world’s largest private holding of important original manuscripts. Check out all of our museums at the Great Falls Museums Consortium.

GFDA’s Top 10

Here is our Top 10 for last week celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy — Montana’s Golden Triangle. And, sharing business resources and skill-building opportunities to empower your success.

1) Calumet announced it has selected Burns & McDonnell as its EPC Contractor for the Montana Renewables renewable diesel project in Great Falls.

2) Six active duty and retired military members participated in our quarterly Boots to Business: An Introduction to Entrepreneurship course in partnership with Malmstrom Air Force Base’s Transition Assistance Program. Special thanks to our two guest speakers for sharing their entrepreneurship journey: US Army veteran Bethany Blessing, a realtor with Re/Max in Great Falls, and retired US Air Force pilot Jeff Miser, owner of Mountain Wave Distilling opening Winter 2021 at 313 Central Avenue in Great Falls.

3) The National Association of Development Organizations announced that it is awarding GFDA two Impact Awards, one for our work on the West Bank Landing riverfront brownfield redevelopment and one for our COVID pandemic economic development response. Thank you to the clients, partners, and GFDA investors who made this work possible! Congratulations to Sweetgrass Development for also winning two NADO Impact Awards! The only Montana two economic development organizations to win awards this year are right here in the Golden Triangle!

4) PUBLIC MEETING ANNOUNCEMENT
WHEN: Next Wednesday, September 15th, 5:30-7:00 PM
WHERE: GF College MSU, Room B101 (South entrance, door 7)

GFDA invites you to give input into the start of developing a new strategic plan to grow and strengthen the economy of the region. The first step is to gather community input on the strengths and weaknesses of our current regional economy, an the opportunities and threats we will face. We want to tap into your knowledge and expertise. please join us on the 15th to give us your thoughts. If you can’t make it, please take a few minutes to fill out a brief survey here.

5) Upcoming GFDA entrepreneur/business convenient virtual trainings: Our popular Website Bootcamp: Website in a Day in Lewistown on Tuesday, September 28. The LaunchPoint, our catch all class for starting a business is back on Tuesday, October 5th. October’s webinar topic on Thursday, October 7 is Cybersecurity. And it may seem early, but on October 12th we are starting a new session of our Website Bootcamp specifically for your business to capitalize on the Online Holiday Shopping craze.

6) The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced changes to the COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). Changes include increases to maximum loan amount and expansion in the uses of funds for paying and prepaying existing business debt. If your business is still struggling to stabilize and recover from the pandemic or are seeing new challenges related to the Delta variant, GFDA’s business advisors are here to help. Connect with Jason at JNitschke@GrowGreatFalls.org. Apply for COVID EIDL on the SBA’s website.

7) GFDA has two exciting career opportunities for Resource Director (grant writing) and Business Development Officer (food processing specialist). Download job postings and please help spread the word.

8) Invest Downtown Great Falls is quickly approaching. If you haven’t registered yet, head over to our registration page and sign up. We’re also looking for Developers and Retail/Restaurant targets to invite for Invest Downtown. If you have some great ideas on who to invite, send an email to Christian at CLeinhauser@GrowGreatFalls.org or call at 406.836.0136.

9) We are searching for individuals or families who have recently (in the past 2 years) relocated to or moved back to the Great Falls area and LOVE their life here. We want to hear their stories! We have several media/marketing opportunities coming up (including the next issue of Great Falls Livability magazine) and we want to interview dozens of people who relocated to the Great Falls area. Email Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org with their (or your own!) name/relevant information and we will do the rest.

10) Is your business opening, expanding, or doing something revolutionary? We want to hear about it and tell your story to the Great Falls regional business community! Our Announcement of the Week goes out to a captive audience of thousands in the Great Falls regional business community. Contact Tyler at TMenzales@GrowGreatFalls.org to get started on your announcement.

Congratulations to the Great Falls Voyagers for their first session in the new independent Pioneer League!

Have a prosperous week!

Brett Doney
President & CEO

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

“It’s only by saying “No” that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.”
Steve Jobs

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.

Edition 503


Here is an updated Growth Highlights for the Great Falls Montana Trade Area. Our Menu of Services and Staff Team handout. Here is our our Quarterly Investor Letter and our GFDA 2021Q2 Quarter Index.

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

September SBA 504 Loan Rates
The 25-year loan effective rate came in at 2.973%; 20-year at 2.855%; 10-year equipment loan at 2.673%; and, 20-year refinance 2.898%; 25-year refinance 3.014%. 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.

GFDA has launched a College Intern Program starting with five paid internship opportunities. Download application. Help us spread the word!

Invest in Great Falls Regional Economic Development
Contact Brett Doney at 406-750-2119 or BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. Here is a current list of our great investors.


Events, Business Training, and Opportunities

Looking to take control of your business’s financials, increase profit, and improve your bottom line? We have had interest from businesses in scheduling a Profit Mastery course. These courses are scheduled by demand. If you are interested in taking this two-day workshop, contact Jason Nitschke at JNitschke@GrowGreatFalls.orgor call (406) 750-0314.

Pro-tip: Post positivity! When you’re using Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn and share something positive about Great Falls, tag @LiveinGreatFalls or @GrowGreatFallsMontana. We will like and share your posts. Follow our talent attraction effort, Live in Great Falls, on InstagramFacebook and YouTube, and follow the Great Falls Development Authority to help us attract entrepreneurs and business investment on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn, and YouTube.

You are facing tough decisions right now. We’ve developed toolkits to help you decide what is best for your business. Toolkits include: Crisis Toolkit, Hibernation Toolkit, Business Resiliency Guide, Re-Opening Toolkit, and a Child Care Whitepaper. All of these can be found on our website.

We deliver print copies of the Great Falls Livability talent attraction magazine around town every Friday – if you would like copies of this great recruitment tool, email Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org to get the latest version anytime!

Visit our relocation website LiveInGreatFalls.com. This website was the #1 request we got from local recruiters and HR professionals for aiding in attracting talented workers to Great Falls. The Great Falls At-A-Glance two-pager is a great complementary resource that highlights Great Falls for people unfamiliar with our community.

We have Brownfield Clean-Up money that we want to put to work! Our low interest Brownfield Loans can be used to clean up hazardous materials including but not limited to lead paint, asbestos, etc. Are you working on a project that could use some clean up? Call Lillian today to discuss eligibility 406.750.1253 or LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org.

Manufacturers, if you’re not engaged with the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center hosted by MSU, you’re missing out on powerful resources, services, and networking. MMEC clients report cost savings of $160.3 million, new investment of $328.4 million, $1.3 billion in new and retained sales, and 6,186 new and retained jobs since 2000. We’re proud to host an MMEC business adviser who covers the Golden Triangle region. Contact Doug Roberts at richard.roberts4@montana.edu or (937) 489-3985.

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 of our recorded monthly business strategy webinars are available online for viewing anytime, click them out here.

Top 10 – 9/8/2021

GFDA Brownfields Assistance leads to Redevelopment Project
In 2016, GFDA completed a Brownfields Phase 1 Assessment for the owners of the Falls Construction site located along the Missouri River next to the 10th Street Bridge. After five years including a Phase 2, work with EPA, MT DEQ & consultants, and a land swap with the City of Great Falls, the project has come full circle and the first redevelopment on the site has begun. Independence Bank has started construction on a new branch that will include a True Brew Espresso first floor of the new building. An added bonus to this project is the connection of the River’s Edge Trail to the 10th Street pedestrian bridge. The location of the third True Brew is also exciting for GFDA because their first Drive-thru Espresso was the very first Brownfields cleanup site in downtown Great Falls back in 2010. For more information on how we can help with your project, contact Lillian Sunwall at LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org or (406) 750-1253.

GFDA’s Top 10

Here is our Top 15 for last week celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy — Montana’s Golden Triangle. And, sharing business resources and skill-building opportunities to empower your success.

1) The C.M. Russell Museum announced the completion of their $25 million capital campaign and opened their new campus grounds. Congratulations!!! See Great Falls Tribune.

2) Great Falls was named the Best City for Foodies in Montana by Insurify! We have another new food truck in town. Robert Ibarra has opened Taqueria Ibarra; see KRTV. Brittany Riley has opened International Spice District in Great Falls; see KRTV. KRTV ran a story on a number of additional new businesses opening soon in Great Falls.

3) Congratulations to Curiously Artistic, a great store in Cut Bank that recently reopened their doors. Read the full story in the Cut Bank Pioneer Press.

4) Downtown Great Falls lands a NEW Teaching Kitchen! Check out the video announcement hereNourish’s new space is a gathering place for the community to share their love of food through cooking and nutrition classes, as well as the capacity to host and cater events.

5) The unemployment rate in the Great Falls MSA was 3.2% in July, according to the Montana Department of labor and Industry.

6) Ever wonder how you can help grow our community? There are many ways! One of the easiest is to share our social media posts. Another is to share what you love about our community with others. Think about the top three selling points you’d tell someone you really want to move to Great Falls. Share those on your social media, talk about them. When we are recruiting businesses to town they often ask around. What message do you want them to hear?

7) Upcoming GFDA entrepreneur/business convenient virtual trainings: Boots to Business, our workshop for active military personnel looking to transition to a life of entrepreneurship is back on Thursday and Friday, September 9 & 10. The LaunchPoint, our catch-all workshop for budding entrepreneurs is back on Thursday, September 9. And wrapping up the month is our popular Website Bootcamp: Website in a Day in Lewistown on Tuesday, September 28.

8) PUBLIC MEETING ANNOUNCEMENT
WHEN: Next Wednesday, September 15th, 5:30-7:00 PM
WHERE: GF College MSU, Room B101 (South entrance, door 7)

GFDA invites you to give input into the start of developing a new strategic plan to grow and strengthen the economy of the region. The first step is to gather community input on the strengths and weaknesses of our current regional economy, an the opportunities and threats we will face. We want to tap into your knowledge and expertise. please join us on the 15th to give us your thoughts. If you can’t make it, please take a few minutes to fill out a brief survey here.

9) Help us spread the word about the great things going on in Great Falls! Use your Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram accounts to engage with us – we’ll share your posts and great stories, and you share ours! If you’d like to receive an email notification every time @LiveinGreatFalls posts on social media so you can be one of the first to “like” or share it, email Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org.

10) Our local media partner KRTV is helping us spread the word about the ‘Live in Great Falls’ initiative and finding individuals/families to interview who have moved to Great Falls recently! Read or watch the story here.

11) Employers, never again lose out on a star candidate due to their significant other being unable to find work in Great Falls. Join the Trailing Partner Email Group made specifically for employers to share resumes of trailing spouses/partners across the Great Falls region with other employers looking to hire. Email Talent Attraction Director Soren Chargois Ebbasi at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org to opt-in.

12) We asked our Board members to tell us what advantages in doing business in Great Falls. Some of their responses: stable steady economy; community support; willing partners collaborating for common growth; access to business assistance; businesses supporting each other; genuine, honest, good people; hardworking employees; and loyal customers.

13) We participated in the International Economic Development Council’s Economic Development Research Partners (EDRP) Retreat. Some of the top economic development groups across the country gather as a think tank for research projects to benefit economic developers. We’re looking at a variety of issues facing communities like ours, for example supply chain disruption, real estate transformation, pandemic and natural disaster disruptions.

14) Is your business opening, expanding, or doing something revolutionary? We want to hear about it and help you tell the story. Our Announcement of the Week goes out to a captive audience of thousands in the Great Falls regional business community. Contact Tyler at TMenzales@GrowGreatFalls.org to get started on your announcement!

15) Still catching up on a few things for the Top 10 from the summer. I had the pleasure of speaking on a national webinar with the Economic Development Administration and another webinar on Accredited Economic Development Organizations hosted by the International Economic Development Council, participating in the Montana Economic Developers Association Board of Directors annual retreat, volunteering as an instructor for the Council of Development Finance Agency’s Introduction to Revolving Loan Funds, Designing Your Revolving Loan Fund, and Advanced Revolving Loan Funds virtual courses, serving on the Governor’s 8th District Judicial Nomination Advisory Committee, and testifying before the Montana Economic Transformation Commission.

Thank you to the Great Falls Voyagers for a fun season and to the Downtown Summer Jam concert producers!

Enjoy the late summer weather!

Brett Doney
President & CEO

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

“Anyone who thinks that they are too small to make a difference has never tried to fall asleep with a mosquito in the room.”
Christine Todd Whitman

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.

Edition 502


Here is an updated Growth Highlights for the Great Falls Montana Trade Area. Our Menu of Services and Staff Team handout. Here is our our Quarterly Investor Letter and our GFDA 2021Q2 Quarter Index.

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

August SBA 504 Loan Rates
The 25-year loan effective rate came in at 2.863%; 20-year at 2.744%; 10-year equipment loan at 2.591%; and, 20-year refinance 2.787%; 25-year refinance 2.904%. 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.

GFDA has launched a College Intern Program starting with five paid internship opportunities. Download application. Help us spread the word!

Invest in Great Falls Regional Economic Development
Contact Brett Doney at 406-750-2119 or BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. Here is a current list of our great investors.


Events, Business Training, and Opportunities

Looking to take control of your business’s financials, increase profit, and improve your bottom line? We have had interest from businesses in scheduling a Profit Mastery course. These courses are scheduled by demand. If you are interested in taking this two-day workshop, contact Jason Nitschke at JNitschke@GrowGreatFalls.orgor call (406) 750-0314.

Check out August’s Hot Jobs in Great Falls, a collection of open jobs that we’re marketing to people in talent attraction target markets (Seattle, Portland, etc.). These are jobs that people would relocate for. If you have a particularly high-skill, high-salary or out-of-the-box job opportunity to include in September’s blog, email Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org.

Pro-tip: Post positivity! When you’re using Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn and share something positive about Great Falls, tag @LiveinGreatFalls or @GrowGreatFallsMontana. We will like and share your posts. Follow our talent attraction effort, Live in Great Falls, on InstagramFacebook and YouTube, and follow the Great Falls Development Authority to help us attract entrepreneurs and business investment on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn, and YouTube.

You are facing tough decisions right now. We’ve developed toolkits to help you decide what is best for your business. Toolkits include: Crisis Toolkit, Hibernation Toolkit, Business Resiliency Guide, Re-Opening Toolkit, and a Child Care Whitepaper. All of these can be found on our website.

We deliver print copies of the Great Falls Livability talent attraction magazine around town every Friday – if you would like copies of this great recruitment tool, email Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org

version anytime! Visit our relocation website LiveInGreatFalls.com. This website was the #1 request we got from local recruiters and HR professionals for aiding in attracting talented workers to Great Falls. The Great Falls At-A-Glance two-pager is a great complementary resource that highlights Great Falls for people unfamiliar with our community.

We have Brownfield Clean-Up money that we want to put to work! Our low interest Brownfield Loans can be used to clean up hazardous materials including but not limited to lead paint, asbestos, etc. Are you working on a project that could use some clean up? Call Lillian today to discuss eligibility 406.750.1253 or LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org.

Manufacturers, if you’re not engaged with the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center hosted by MSU, you’re missing out on powerful resources, services, and networking. MMEC clients report cost savings of $160.3 million, new investment of $328.4 million, $1.3 billion in new and retained sales, and 6,186 new and retained jobs since 2000. We’re proud to host an MMEC business adviser who covers the Golden Triangle region. Contact Doug Roberts at richard.roberts4@montana.edu or (937) 489-3985.

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.

Top 10 – 8/31/2021

Exciting new businesses on their way to downtown Great Falls, including our first micro distillery: entrepreneur Jeff Miser in front of the upcoming home of Mountain Wave Distilling!

GFDA’s Top 10

Here is our Top 11 for last week celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy — Montana’s Golden Triangle. And, sharing business resources and skill-building opportunities to empower your success.

1) Team Great Falls hosted a large manufacturing prospect visit. Thank you to the many partners, departments, and agencies who worked together providing the information the company needs to make their decision.

2) Calumet‘s Renewable Diesel Conversion Produces New Jobs! Check out the video announcement here! This will not only create 200-300 construction jobs through 2022, but permanent employment is expected to grow by 10-20 new high wage positions, as well as several professional staff positions. This project creates a tremendous opportunity to attract a large oil seed crush plant to help meet this new, local demand!

3) The cost of living in Great Falls is 88.6% of the national average, according to 2021Q2 data released by the Council for Community and Economic Research. We are well below the national average – let’s work to keep it that way! To see a cost of living comparison of Great Falls to other US cities, check out the Cost of Living Calculator on the new Live in Great Falls talent attraction website. By the way, Bozeman’s cost of living is 113.5% of the national average so your dollar goes 25% further living in Great Falls!

4) Upcoming GFDA entrepreneur/business convenient virtual trainings for September: Model Canvas/Value Proposition Design is the topic of our monthly webinar on Thursday, September 2nd. Boots to Business, our workshop for active military personnel looking to transition to a life of entrepreneurship is back on Thursday and Friday, September 9 & 10. The LaunchPoint, our catch-all workshop for budding entrepreneurs is back on Thursday, September 9. And wrapping up the month is our popular Website Bootcamp: Website in a Day in Lewistown on Tuesday, September 28.

5) The Downtown Development Partnership (DDP) approved the TIF application from the Business Improvement Districts (BID) Wayfinding project to go forward for final approval at the City Commission. This will be scheduled in the next few weeks and we look forward to seeing these Wayfinding signs installed. You can read more about the Wayfinding project and see sign examples over at KRTV.

6) The Great Falls Planning and Zoning Board unanimously approved the a TIF application for the two wayfinding signs that will be located within the West Bank Urban Renewal Distric district. These signs will help direct visitors and residents towards more than 40 points of interest in our City. Wayfinding has been proven to boost customer satisfaction and repeat business within a community and we are very excited to see this project become a reality.

7) We are searching for individuals or families who have recently (in the past 2 years) relocated to or moved back to the Great Falls area and LOVE their life here. We want to hear their stories! We have several media/marketing opportunities coming up and we want to interview dozens of people who relocated to the Great Falls area. Email Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org with their (or your own!) name/relevant information and we will do the rest.

8) The U.S. Small Business Administration announced on August 25 a moratorium on the requirement that participants in SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program must establish a bona fide place of business in a specific geographic area in order to be awarded any construction contract through the 8(a) Program due to the ongoing challenges of COVID-19. The moratorium is effective August 25, 2021, and applies to all 8(a) construction contracts offered to the 8(a) Program between August 25, 2021, and September 30, 2022. “The SBA is committed to finding innovative ways to assist small businesses, particularly small disadvantaged businesses that have been historically underserved,” said Bibi Hidalgo, Associate Administrator for SBA’s Office of Government Contracting and Business Development. “This change to the SBA’s 8(a) program — our flagship contracting program born out of the Civil Rights movement — will help small businesses continue to drive our economic recovery and position themselves at the forefront of our nation’s reimagined economy.”

9) During the moratorium, any 8(a) Program participant seeking an 8(a) construction contract (either on a sole source or competitive basis) will not be required to have or establish a bona fide place of business in any specific geographic location. For purposes of 8(a) construction procurements, a bona fide place of business means a location where a participant regularly maintains an office that employs at least one full-time individual within the appropriate geographical boundary. The term does not include construction trailers or other temporary construction sites. The SBA believes this modification to the 8(a) Program will make it easier for small disadvantaged businesses to be eligible to be awarded 8(a) construction contracts.

10) The US Small Business Administration (SBA) has opened a supplemental round of funding for previous recipients of the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG). Eligible applicants for the supplemental award will have already “received an initial grant and have illustrated a 70% loss when comparing 2021’s first-quarter revenues to the same in 2019.” The SVOG program was designed to help offset losses of businesses in the performing arts and live entertainment venue industry. Previous awardees will receive invitations to apply via email. For more information, please visit the SBA’s COVID-19 relief website.

11) Is your business opening, expanding, or doing something revolutionary? We want to hear about it and help you tell the story. Our Announcement of the Week goes out to a captive audience of thousands in the Great Falls regional business community. Contact Tyler at TMenzales@GrowGreatFalls.org to get started on your announcement!

Go forth and prosper!

Brett Doney
President & CEO

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

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
Samuel Beckett

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.

Edition 501


Here is an updated Growth Highlights for the Great Falls Montana Trade Area. Our Menu of Services and Staff Team handout. Here is our our Quarterly Investor Letter and our GFDA 2021Q2 Quarter Index.

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

August SBA 504 Loan Rates
The 25-year loan effective rate came in at 2.863%; 20-year at 2.744%; 10-year equipment loan at 2.591%; and, 20-year refinance 2.787%; 25-year refinance 2.904%. 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.

GFDA has launched a College Intern Program starting with five paid internship opportunities. Download application. Help us spread the word!

Invest in Great Falls Regional Economic Development
Contact Brett Doney at 406-750-2119 or BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. Here is a current list of our great investors.


Events, Business Training, and Opportunities

Looking to take control of your business’s financials, increase profit, and improve your bottom line? We have had interest from businesses in scheduling a Profit Mastery course. These courses are scheduled by demand. If you are interested in taking this two-day workshop, contact Jason Nitschke at JNitschke@GrowGreatFalls.orgor call (406) 750-0314.

Check out August’s Hot Jobs in Great Falls, a collection of open jobs that we’re marketing to people in talent attraction target markets (Seattle, Portland, etc.). These are jobs that people would relocate for. If you have a particularly high-skill, high-salary or out-of-the-box job opportunity to include in September’s blog, email Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org.

Pro-tip: Post positivity! When you’re using Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn and share something positive about Great Falls, tag @LiveinGreatFalls or @GrowGreatFallsMontana. We will like and share your posts. Follow our talent attraction effort, Live in Great Falls, on InstagramFacebook and YouTube, and follow the Great Falls Development Authority to help us attract entrepreneurs and business investment on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn, and YouTube.

You are facing tough decisions right now. We’ve developed toolkits to help you decide what is best for your business. Toolkits include: Crisis Toolkit, Hibernation Toolkit, Business Resiliency Guide, Re-Opening Toolkit, and a Child Care Whitepaper. All of these can be found on our website.

We deliver print copies of the Great Falls Livability talent attraction magazine around town every Friday – if you would like copies of this great recruitment tool, email Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org

version anytime! Visit our relocation website LiveInGreatFalls.com. This website was the #1 request we got from local recruiters and HR professionals for aiding in attracting talented workers to Great Falls. The Great Falls At-A-Glance two-pager is a great complementary resource that highlights Great Falls for people unfamiliar with our community.

We have Brownfield Clean-Up money that we want to put to work! Our low interest Brownfield Loans can be used to clean up hazardous materials including but not limited to lead paint, asbestos, etc. Are you working on a project that could use some clean up? Call Lillian today to discuss eligibility 406.750.1253 or LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org.

Manufacturers, if you’re not engaged with the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center hosted by MSU, you’re missing out on powerful resources, services, and networking. MMEC clients report cost savings of $160.3 million, new investment of $328.4 million, $1.3 billion in new and retained sales, and 6,186 new and retained jobs since 2000. We’re proud to host an MMEC business adviser who covers the Golden Triangle region. Contact Doug Roberts at richard.roberts4@montana.edu or (937) 489-3985.

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 of our recorded monthly business strategy webinars are available online for viewing anytime, click them out here.

Top 10 – 8/22/2021

Just a few of the great new murals added to downtown Great Falls during the 2021 Artsfest Montana. Congratulations to all involved!

GFDA’s Top 10

Here is our Top 10 for this week celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy — Montana’s Golden Triangle. And, sharing business resources and skill-building opportunities to empower your success.

1) Welcomed the CEO of Calumet and Governor Gianforte to celebrate delivery of the first trainload of canola oil for the Montana Renewables project in Great Falls. The canola oil was produced by Montana Specialty Mills in the Great Falls AgriTech Park.

2) Worked with a technology company and Cascade County to submit a broadband infrastructure application to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

3) The Great Falls Clinic Legacy Foundation hosted the Grand Opening of The Harold & Carmen Poulsen Housing a non-profit temporary housing facility for patients and their families traveling for medical treatment to Great Falls, Montana. Check out the video announcement here! Poulsen Housing is the only patient housing facility in Great Falls that allows all patients to stay, free of charge to all guests receiving medical treatment in the Great Falls community.

4) The Great Falls Business Improvement District approved the bid for construction of the Great Falls Wayfinding Plan.

5) Congratulations to all involved in the Special Edition Western Art Week!

6) We are already planning GFDA entrepreneur/business convenient virtual trainings for September! Model Canvas/Value Proposition Design is the topic of our monthly webinar on Thursday, September 2nd. Boots to Business, our workshop for active military personnel looking to transition to a life of entrepreneurship is back on Thursday and Friday, September 9 & 10. The LaunchPoint, our catch-all workshop for budding entrepreneurs is back on Thursday, September 9. And wrapping up the month is our popular Website Bootcamp: Website in a Day in Lewistown on Tuesday, September 28.

7) Congratulations to Steve L’Heureux of LPW Architecture on his retirement!

8) Participated in the quarterly meeting of the Great Northern Corridor Coalition, a partnership we are part of that works to improve rail infrastructure across northern western states.

9) Gave a presentation on C-Pace energy efficiency financing to the Montana Facility Finance Authority board.

10) Received four proposals for Great Falls Housing Market Demand Assessment and five proposals for web design services.

11) GFDA’s Board made appointments to our Executive Committee for FY 2022. In addition to our officers, the Board appointed Joe Briggs, Cascade County Commissioner, Rebecca Engum of Great Falls Tourism who will chair our Loan Committee, Ted Lewis of First Interstate Bank who will co-chair our Investment Committee, Eric Hinebauch of Hinebauch Insurance who will chair our Brownfields Advisory Committee, and Nate Weisenberger of AE2S Engineers who will serve as board liaison to the AgriTech Park Tenants Association.

Hope you enjoyed our 500th GFDA Top 10! Have a great week!

Brett Doney
President & CEO

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

“It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.”
Muhammad Ali

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.

Edition 500


Here is an updated Growth Highlights for the Great Falls Montana Trade Area. Our Menu of Services and Staff Team handout. Here is our our Quarterly Investor Letter and our GFDA 2021Q2 Quarter Index.

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

August SBA 504 Loan Rates
The 25-year loan effective rate came in at 2.863%; 20-year at 2.744%; 10-year equipment loan at 2.591%; and, 20-year refinance 2.787%; 25-year refinance 2.904%. 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.

GFDA has launched a College Intern Program starting with five paid internship opportunities. Download application. Help us spread the word!

Invest in Great Falls Regional Economic Development
Contact Brett Doney at 406-750-2119 or BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. Here is a current list of our great investors.


Events, Business Training, and Opportunities

Looking to take control of your business’s financials, increase profit, and improve your bottom line? We have had interest from businesses in scheduling a Profit Mastery course. These courses are scheduled by demand. If you are interested in taking this two-day workshop, contact Jason Nitschke at JNitschke@GrowGreatFalls.orgor call (406) 750-0314.

Check out August’s Hot Jobs in Great Falls, a collection of open jobs that we’re marketing to people in talent attraction target markets (Seattle, Portland, etc.). These are jobs that people would relocate for. If you have a particularly high-skill, high-salary or out-of-the-box job opportunity to include in September’s blog, email Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org.

Pro-tip: Post positivity! When you’re using Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn and share something positive about Great Falls, tag @LiveinGreatFalls or @GrowGreatFallsMontana. We will like and share your posts. Follow our talent attraction effort, Live in Great Falls, on InstagramFacebook and YouTube, and follow the Great Falls Development Authority to help us attract entrepreneurs and business investment on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn, and YouTube.

You are facing tough decisions right now. We’ve developed toolkits to help you decide what is best for your business. Toolkits include: Crisis Toolkit, Hibernation Toolkit, Business Resiliency Guide, Re-Opening Toolkit, and a Child Care Whitepaper. All of these can be found on our website.

We deliver print copies of the Great Falls Livability talent attraction magazine around town every Friday – if you would like copies of this great recruitment tool, email Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org

version anytime! Visit our relocation website LiveInGreatFalls.com. This website was the #1 request we got from local recruiters and HR professionals for aiding in attracting talented workers to Great Falls. The Great Falls At-A-Glance two-pager is a great complementary resource that highlights Great Falls for people unfamiliar with our community.

We have Brownfield Clean-Up money that we want to put to work! Our low interest Brownfield Loans can be used to clean up hazardous materials including but not limited to lead paint, asbestos, etc. Are you working on a project that could use some clean up? Call Lillian today to discuss eligibility 406.750.1253 or LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org.

Manufacturers, if you’re not engaged with the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center hosted by MSU, you’re missing out on powerful resources, services, and networking. MMEC clients report cost savings of $160.3 million, new investment of $328.4 million, $1.3 billion in new and retained sales, and 6,186 new and retained jobs since 2000. We’re proud to host an MMEC business adviser who covers the Golden Triangle region. Contact Doug Roberts at richard.roberts4@montana.edu or (937) 489-3985.

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 of our recorded monthly business strategy webinars are available online for viewing anytime, click them out here.