GFDA Top 10
Here is our Top 20 for this week celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy!
1) Great Falls won the 2020 Best City for Singles Award in Montana from Insurify for its exceptional livability for singles! The Best Cities for Singles in each state were identified through a combined analysis of single populations and economic benefits in cities across the country.
2) The Great Falls City Commission unanimously approved issuing bonds that will reimburse the West Bank Landing developers for tax increment financing improvements that enabled the first phases of the mixed-use riverfront development, including Springhill Suites, The Peak at West Bank Landing, The Portgage Building (GFDA’s new home), and Five on Black. Thank you for City support which made West Bank Landing possible! GFDA will soon be repaid for the large bridge loan package we lent to the developers. Now we can reinvest those funds in new projects.
3) Excited for more food options in Great Falls? Five on Black in Great Falls is now open. Stop by and have an amazing, fast casual Brazilian meal. And come in on Tuesday for community night to help support a local community organization. More information on KRTV. If you feel like authentic Japanese ramen and sushi, Hokkaido Ramen & Sushi Bar announced they are opening in the Great Falls Marketplace this spring. See more on KRTV, TheElectricGF.com and Great Falls Tribune.
4) What business ideas do you have for our Missouri River Urban Corridor? Party boats? Dinner cruise? Paddle board rentals? Food truck court? Join us this Tuesday from 6:00-8:00 PM at MT Pints to share and discuss ideas and support business on and along the Missouri River. An RSVP is not required, but is highly encouraged.
5) Number one in Montana and number 88 in the entire country – that’s where Great Falls ranked in a nationwide study of decreases in the gender pay gap over the last decade. This statistic wouldn’t have been possible without Great Falls businesses acknowledging the equal contributions of women in their workplaces and celebrating them! Congratulations, Great Falls! Read the KRTV story here.
6) Woman? Entrepreneur (or aspiring)? Desire to learn and network? This year’s Fire Within sponsored by Embark Credit Union is for YOU! On March 26th, we will hear inspirational stories from our winners and participate in small group discussions regarding important business topics for existing female entrepreneurs or aspiring female entrepreneurs. The event is FREE, but an RSVP is required!
8) Calling all recruiter and HR personnel! We are hosting a Recruitment Roundtable on March 3rd at the Springhill Suites from 4:00-5:30 PM. This event is for all private sector recruiters looking to engage in a peer-to-peer conversation on talent attraction efforts in our community: best practices, perfecting corporate culture, recruiting out-of-town talent and beyond. Please RSVP. Contact Soren for more info at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org.
9) Busy week for GFDA. We signed our CDFI Financial Award agreement that will bring $650,000 to boost our lending and development services capacity throughout the Golden Triangle. We contracted with Banik Communications to develop a new talent relocation web site to better compete for workers to move to the Great Falls region. We worked on several primary sector attraction leads. And, our rural partnering efforts were featured in the Choteau Acantha.
10) Profit Mastery is our cash flow and profitability workshop scheduled for March 3rd and March 27th. Our next webinar is Three Steps to Get Your Business on a Path to Profitable Growth on March 5th. And our monthly pre-business workshop, The LaunchPoint, is scheduled for March 5th as well.
11) Airports throughout the region won grants this week for safety improvements from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Great Falls International won $1,412,122 to fund repairing an access road, Lewistown $700,000 to fund apron repairs, Ft. Benton $500,000, Chester $324,000, Choteau $199,196, Big Sandy $113,400, and Havre $50,000. See KRTV for more details.
12) Brainstormed with an entrepreneur that has some environmental cleanup needs in order to be able to redevelop the land. The client was ecstatic to hear about GFDA’s different financing options that include our Brownfield Loan Fund which can offer low interest rates loans for environmental cleanup. If your business needs assistance with financing to start, grow or expand, please contact Jill Kohles at 406-590-1056 or JKohles@GrowGreatFalls.org.
13) Did you know 43% of cyber attacks target small businesses? Many small businesses could be devastated by a security breach. That’s why GFDA is planning a series of training events in 2020 to help businesses do the basics. On March 5th, Justin Jones, the IT Risk Manager at D.A. Davidson will present a free, one-hour seminar called CyberSecurity Tips to Keep Your Company Safe. Mark your calendar and register to join us.
14) Our Introduction to Government Contracting workshop on February 26th is at capacity. If you are curious about expanding your business with government contracting, we have a second workshop scheduled for March 5th at Bear Paw Development Corporation in Havre! Space is limited, so RSVP soon!
15) Are you ready for the upcoming changes in Government Contracting? Starting in December 2020, the DUNS number will be going away. SAM.GOV will also be going through a major revamping. What does that mean for businesses looking to get into government contracting or those already involved? Get ahead of the game by contacting Shannon Clancy at SClancy@GrowGreatFalls.org.
16) Looking for opportunities that help Golden Triangle area entrepreneurs and tech start-ups succeed? Join us for an introduction to Early Stage MT. Learn how Early Stage MT helps accelerate the growth of Montana-based tech startups by providing master-level training, extensive mentoring by MT’s leading business executives, and access to capital investment that drive success, create jobs, and benefit the statewide economy. March 4 at Great Falls College MSU starting with a short presentation at 3 PM followed by opportunities for one on one mentoring sessions. RSVP to Jolene Schalper at JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org.
17) GFDA is in full swing in executing our 2020 Talent Attraction Plan. If you’re a recruiter or HR for your company and would like to have a conversation about best practices for recruiting out-of-town employees, or would like print copies of the Great Falls Livability relocation magazine, email Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org. Let’s talk Talent Attraction!
18) Worked with several developers looking for information on how to address potential environmental conditions that could affect redevelopment of their sites. If you are looking at a property or building, give us a call early so we can discuss options with you to keep the project moving forward. Contact Lillian Sunwall at LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org.
19) We have a great job opportunity! Commercial Lending Operations Specialist. Experienced, self-motivated lending operations professional sought for two-person lending team within 15-person nonprofit economic development Community Development Financial Institution. Help us to continue to grow our gap and bridge financing efforts to support entrepreneurs, businesses, developers and non-profit organizations throughout the Great Falls trade area and across Montana. Responsible for working with borrowers to put together thorough and accurate loan application packages, preparing loan documents, coordinating loans closings, managing our loan portfolio, maintaining digital loan files, preparing reports to public and private loan capital sources, and maintaining excellent relationships with clients and bank partners. Requires working familiarity with commercial loan documents and recording, insurance, appraisals, and lending practices. Requires the ability to maintain accurate records, work with a wide variety of clients and bank partners, and excellent computer and communication skills. Must be detail-oriented and organized with the flexibility to help achieve our overall team mission. Experience with EDA, USDA, CDFI, EPA and/or SBA 504 loans a plus. Live on the Missouri River along the Rocky Mountain Front and work with a great team! Salary range $45,000-50,000+ with excellent benefits, professional development, growth opportunities, and flex-time work environment. EOE. Cover letter and resume to Brett Doney, President, BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. Open until we find a great candidate.
20) Thank you to this week’s Investors in Economic Development, General Mills for their Pacesetter Division investment, Brad and Diane Livingston, Montana Eggs and Wilcox Farms, Madill Enterprises-Four Ten Central, Great West Engineering and Liberty Electric, Inc. for their Community Division investments. GFDA’s value proposition stands to promote, foster, and diversify in ways that would not otherwise occur. Thank you for continuing to invest in the Golden Triangle; GFDA cannot fulfill its mission without your continued investment. To discuss investment contact Teresa Schreiner at 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.
President & CEO
“Never, never rest contented with any circle of ideas, but always be certain that a wider one is still possible.”
Support Local Education!
The Great Falls Development Authority’s Board of Directors unanimously voted to support the Great Falls Public Schools elementary schools operating levy. Join us in supporting the critical efforts of Kids Education Yes!
Economic Development Services
See our updated Great Falls Economic Development Menu of Services which includes our expanded staff team. We provide award-winning and internationally-accredited economic development services throughout Montana’s Golden Triangle, and SBA 504 loans statewide.
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
February SBA 504 Loan Rates
The 25-year loan effective rate came in at 3.46%; 20-year at 3.388%; 25-year refinance at 3.712% and 20-year refinance at 3.389%; and, 10-year equipment 3.791%. 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.
Invest in Great Falls Regional Economic Development
Events, Business Training, and Opportunities
The Great Falls Livability relocation magazine is a new tool to help you recruit talent from out of town to relocate to the Great Falls trade area. Here is the online link to the magazine. For printed copies, and to have a conversation about best practices for recruiting employees, email Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org. Let’s talk Talent Attraction!
Early Stage Montana provides mentorship and technology to tech startups. GFDA is partnering with them to share details about their accelerator program and provide some initial one on one meetings; March 4 at Great Falls College MSU Starting at 3 PM. Email Jolene to get more information or sign up, JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org
The Downtown Development Partnership signed up for the 2020 National Main Street Center’s Advanced Principles webinar series. These will be available for viewing at the BID/DGFA Downtown office. First up, Quality Design for downtowns, February 25, from 12:00-1:30 PM. Contact Kellie Pierce at the Downtown Great Falls Association if you would like to participate, email@example.com.
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.
USDA has open grant rounds for the Value-Added Producer Grant, Rural Business Development Grant and Renewable Energy for America Programs. Visit www.rd.usda.gov/mt or contact Lea McGiboney for more info, 406-770-4291 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us know if we can help!
Malmstrom AFB will be hosting their second Career and Education Pathway Fair on March 19, 2020 from 2:30-5:30 PM. The focus is military members and military spouses as well as military members/families who will be transitioning out of the military — providing information on how to pursue careers i.e. required education, certification, or how to utilize the resources you offer. The event includes a hiring fair for businesses/companies that have open positions. This will be open Active Duty Military, Guard, Reserve, DoD Civilian, and dependents. For any questions, call Carmen Kubiak at (406) 731-3060 or email email@example.com.
The Montana Department of Commerce (MDOC) is accepting applications for its new Montana Historic Preservation Grant program. Deadline is February 28th. MDOC’s State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) is offering grants to help businesses pay for translation of marketing materials to boost exports. The program also offered trade show grants and assistance.
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.
Wholesale Buyers can register for the Made in Montana Tradeshow, March 13-14 in Helena. The 2020 show will feature 150 Made in Montana producers including more than 40 new exhibitors and a Native American Made in Montana Pavilion.
All 26 of our recorded monthly business strategy webinars are available online for viewing anytime, click them out here.
Mark your calendar for the Governor’s Conference on Tourism & Recreation, April 26-28 in Billings.
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 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.