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Top Ten 9/12/23

In this week’s Top Ten- GFDA supports Safety in the Falls, a new bakery opens in Great Falls and more!

1) Kalen McKelvey’s love of horses and her dream of starting her own business led to the opening of Sunshine Stables in Cut Bank. Kalen worked with Small Business Advisor Rich Gannon to build the business. In this video, we highlight Sunshine Stables and see the growth of her business first-hand.

2) Ox & Son Towing and Recovery, a family-owned business in Great Falls, has expanded to Lincoln. Learn more about their expansion in our Announcement of the Week.

3) Congratulations to Leigh Larson with CreativeLeigh Digital on the launch of her ecommerce site featuring creative Great Falls branded merchandise all designed by Leigh! If you are looking for assistance with starting or growing a small business then please reach out to Tony at or via phone at 1-406-750-2099 to learn more about the resources available to you.

4) This week we responded to yet another request for information and property search through our partners at the Montana Department of Commerce for a company looking to expand to the Great Falls market. The appeal of Great Falls spans multiple industries and sizes of companies, all finding the low cost of doing business, low cost of living, and our beautiful setting to be a draw for their employees. If your business is ready to make Great Falls your new home reach out to Jake Clark 1-406-403-4937 or

5) This week Anna joined the Great Falls Chamber of Commerce on a wonderful Future of Ag tour ‘Follow the Wool’. We visited the Mckamey West Ranch where we learned about every aspect of sheep ranching from a working stockdog demo to sheep sheering demo. We also heard from two ranchers and wool producers  Montana Wool Company and Duckworth company about some of the opportunities and challenges in using Montana wool in value added products. Mike Hallahan of Enbar cooked a delicious lunch of Lamb and we finished off the day with a presentation by Drew Hicks of Central Avenue Meats and a beer at Annie’s Tap House donated by Jeremiah Johnson Brewing Company. If you are a sheep rancher or wool producer looking to explore value added agriculture, please reach out to Anna Flies at or 1-406-590-1301.

6) GFDA’s investors and public partners support and dedication to our mission have played a pivotal role in effecting positive change within our community. Learn more about them here. Recent Investments include: Advance Division—General Distributing Co.; Pacesetter Division—Macek Companies; Community Division—Buchanan EnterprisesInc. Their contributions provide us with the means to pursue our objectives, working towards a more prosperous and vibrant community. If you’d like to contribute to the growth of our economy, contact Investment Director Jenn Gallmeier at 1-406-781-9499 or

7) Our Brownfield program helps businesses assess property for contaminants and helps provide funding for clean up. To date, our program has worked with 43 phase one assessments and 27 clean up projects leverage $87m in redevelopment! Join us on September 21 from 4-5 PM at the City Bar in Downtown Great Falls to kick off our new round of funding. We’ve received an additional $500,000 to put to work in our region for assessment, clean up, and to move projects forward!

8) A King’s Kraving bakery moved into 1008 20th Street South. Are you thinking of opening a business or need help growing your small business? We’re here to help. Call Rich Gannon at 1.406.836.2078.

9) Worlds of Work (WOW!) needs volunteers! The event is presented by Central Montana Works through the Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce to show 8th and 10th grade students the wide range of career possibilities. The event is hosted at the University of Providence and Great Falls College MSU on September 26 from 9 AM – 5 PM. Click here to learn more about the event and volunteer possibilities.

10) Childcare is a critical component of workforce availability. Join the Great Falls Chamber of Commerce for a Discussion on the Business Case for Childcare, 9/20 from 8-10 AM at the Newberry. Click here for additional information and registration.

Hope you have a great week!

Jolene Schalper

Senior Vice President