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Top Ten 10/1/23

Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine students enjoyed a tour of our city, followed by an unforgettable evening filled with live music, drinks, dancing, and pure fun! Huge thanks to Ron and Becky Nelson for graciously hosting students and faculty at their Hootenanny event. Students had the opportunity to reconnect with the community members they’ve met and blow off some steam dancing to live music by the Trent Brooks Band. Special thanks to Admiral Beverage/Pepsi of Great FallsGusto DistributingEnbarEric HinebauchBlacked Out 406, and above all, Ron and Becky Nelson for opening their home to create these cherished memories. The students said they have never felt more welcome in a new city, and they’re genuinely touched by how everyone has come together to make their time here so special. We take immense pride in being part of this incredible community and are reminded again of what makes Great Falls great!

1) We hosted two business delegations from outside the US interested in opportunities for investment and development in our region. One came through our partnership with the Montana World Trade Center and the other through our networking and participation in Select USA. If your company is interested in doing business in the Great Falls region, please reach out to Jake Clark 1-406-403-4937 or

2) In this week’s TheElectric’s Business Bites Chipotle will open next month, The Rib & Chop House is hiring staff and scheduled to open in late October and Great Falls Honda is under new ownership. See restaurants story on KRTV. Congratulations to Theresa Burgmaier on opening Eagle’s Nest childcare center in Fairfield; see KRTV.

3) We approved and funded a $117,500 working capital loan to Ski-Lift, Inc dba Showdown Montana. We were able to help the client secure the necessary funds needed to gear up for another booming season. If your business needs assistance with financing to start, grow or innovate please contact Jill Kohles at 406-590-1056 or

4) Congratulations to the Great Falls Area Chamber of CommerceCentral Montana Works and all of the businesses and organizations that hosted the 2023 Worlds of Work! The event brought together over 2,000 8th and 10th graders from Great Falls Public Schools, local private schools, and rural schools for a day of career-focused engagement at the campuses of Great Falls College MSU and University of Providence; see KRTV. Over 70 businesses had booths and stations unveiling unique career paths allowing students to dive into immersive activities. This event is not only fun and educational, but it also prepares the next generation for future careers and fortifies our community by nurturing a skilled and motivated workforce. Thank you to everyone that was involved in putting this event together and for investing in the future of our community. If you need assistance with recruiting or workforce development, please reach out to Tony at or 1-406-750-2099.

5) Invest Downtown 2023 and the Montana Main Street Conference are both coming up in October in Downtown Great Falls. Invest Downtown will be October 18th at 9-11 AM and the Montana Main Street Conference will follow afterwards through the 20th; see TheElectric. If you have any questions about either of these events, please contact Christian at 1-406-836-0136 or

6) TDS Telecommunications has started construction of its 8GB fiber-to-the-home network in Great Falls. The company is hiring for multiple positions to staff operations in the community. Learn more in our Announcement of the Week.

7) We received eight consultant proposals from across the country in response to our RFP for the Downtown Great Falls market demand assessment and economic transformation strategy. We’ll be working with our Downtown Development Partners to select the top firm and get this project going. Thank you again to the City of Great Falls, Montana Department of Commerce Main Street ProgramNeighborWorks Great Falls, and GFDA Investors for funding this project. We’ll use the results to attract more great private investment downtown.


8) The GFDA Board urges you to support the Great Falls Public Safety Levy and Bond. Public safety, emergency service response time, and better insurance rating that benefits both commercial and residential properties were all reasons the GFDA Board vote was unanimous. Visit to learn more.

9) Our government contracting advisors for APEX (formerly PTAC) attended the quarterly MT APEX Meeting in Billings at Big Sky EDA. They trained on the new metrics & reporting requirements under DoD and looked at how to coach our businesses on the new regulations and certification updates in this shorten contract year. We were also able to assist one of our clients on how to submit invoices on the federal payment platforms so they could get paid. Cybersecurity will also be added to federal contracts in the next 18 months. Are you ready to address these security requirements or do you know what they are? If not, contact Shannon Clancy at

10) We received $1,948,532 Equitable Recovery Program grant funds from the Community Development Financial Institution Fund of the U.S. Treasury. We will invest these funds in loans to developers, businesses, and organizations with projects in eligible census tracts throughout the region. We also received the first $1,625,000 in meat processing loan capital from USDA and will soon close our first meat processing loan.

11) The exhibitor application for the 2024 Made in Montana tradeshow will be available online starting October 3 at 9:00 AM. All applications must be submitted no later than 11:59 PM on October 26. The no-fee application is open to current Made in Montana members who want to grow their business through the wholesale market. The online application will be available on their tradeshow webpage. All applications will be reviewed by a committee after October 26. The show will take place March 8 – 9, 2024 at the Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds in Helena.

12) We released our FY2023 Audited Financial Statement for our fiscal year that ended on June 30th. Another clean audit! We updated our Procurement Policy and our Financial Management Policy. All of our policies, financial, and governance documents can be found in the About Us section of our website,

13) Excited to announce that Tyler Menzales will be rejoining the GFDA staff team in a new position, Vice President Strategic Initiatives! Tyler will lead our efforts putting into action many of the 19 priorities in the new 2023-2025 Economic Development Strategy we adopted in June.

14) The support that we receive from our investors and public partners has allowed us to make great strides and progress on the growth of our community. We couldn’t do what we do without this group of champions and leaders. Learn more about them here. Recent investments include: Leadership Division—Dick Anderson Construction. Their belief in our community is not only inspiring, but it allows us to continue our important work to make Great Falls a better place to live and work. To learn more about our organization and how you can be a part of the team that is working to grow the economy, contact Investment Director Jenn Gallmeier at 1-406-781-9499 or

We’re rocking and rolling to help businesses, future entrepreneurs, and developers to make successful investments in the Great Falls regional market!

Brett Doney
President & CEO