Top 10 – 2/23/2020

Plans were unveiled this week for an exciting expansion of the Montana ExpoPark. Let’s get this plan built! Read the Great Falls Tribune, KRTV and TheElectricGF.com for more details.

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 KRTVTheElectricGF.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!

7) Congratulations to Loy Elementary School on being named a School of Character by Character.org, representing the entire state of Montana! See KRTV and Tribune.

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.

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, never rest contented with any circle of ideas, but always be certain that a wider one is still possible.”
Pearl Bailey

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

Contact Teresa Schreiner at 406.781.9499 or TSchreiner@GrowGreatFalls.org. Here is a current list of our great investors.

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, info@downtowngreatfalls.net.

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 lea.mcgiboney@usda.gov. 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 carmen.kubiak.1@us.af.mil.

The Montana Manufacturing Extension Center is offering an excellent Lean Principles 101 introduction to lean manufacturing in Great Falls on March 26. Download flyer here.

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.

Top 10 – 2/17/2020

Great Falls is an arts city! Congratulations to the C.M. Russell High School String Quartet on being selected to perform with the Beatles vs. Stones Musical Showdown. Adonai Gray, viola, Jayla Mitchell, cello, Gail Parambi, violin, and Sidalee Sneed, violin. And, Great Falls is a sports city! Congratulations to the Great Falls High School Wrestling Team on winning the state championship with Elijah Davis and Ethan DeRoche repeating as state champions!

GFDA Top 10

Here is our Top 14 for last week celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy!

1) Have you missed your taste of Texas BBQ in Great Falls for the past few weeks? Big Mouth BBQ is now open at their new location at the HI-HO on 10th Avenue South. Come in and enjoy the same amazing taste at their new location. See KRTV.

2) NeighborWorks Great Falls secured $1,675,560 in loans from the Montana Multifamily Coal Trust Homes Program, created in the last legislative session, to purchase and preserve 42 units of affordable housing in Belt and Cascade; see MTPR. Echo Enterprises secured a $520,509 loan to purchase and preserve 32 units in Havre; see MDOC press release.

3) Our urban river corridor is underutilized! Want to do a party boat? Dinner cruise? Paddle board rentals? Food truck court? We want to hear YOUR ideas at the Missouri River Corridor Pitch Fest on Tuesday, February 25th from 6-8 PM at MT Pints. Share, discuss, and support business along the Missouri River. We recommend an RSVP.

4) Congratulations to the City of Great Falls and Great Falls Business Improvement District for winning a $15,000 grant from the Department of Commerce’s Montana Main Street Program for developing a city-wide wayfinding blueprint on behalf of the Great Falls Downtown Development Partnership. This will help develop signage to direct people to enjoy all the great things our beautiful Downtown Great Falls has to offer. Check out KFBB and TheElectricGF.com for more details.

5) Testified in support of the Silver Falls Distillery that will put Great Falls and Cascade County on the Montana Distillery Trail! The company will start out bottling vodka, whiskey and tequila imported from Canada and Mexico, then evolve into a full scale distillery. A number of people have asked me where Big Sky Cheese and Silver Falls Distillery will be located. The entrance road will be on Highway 87, 7.0 miles east of 57th Street (2.3 miles east of the rail underpass), then the private road will head south about 1.2 miles off the highway in the middle of the 3,018 acres entrepreneur Ed Frieden has purchased.

6) Cascade County Commissioners, Great Falls Montana Tourism, Montana ExpoPark Advisory Board and the Great Falls Area Lodging Association invite the community to preview concept plans for proposed facility updates of Montana ExpoPark this Thursday, February 20, 2020 in the Exhibition Hall, at 400 3rd St. NW in Great Falls at 7:00 PM. Project staff will present the proposed concept plans in a 45-minute presentation and then disperse to tabletop displays where attendees can engage in further discussion about the proposed plan. Facility tours start at 5:30 PM. See Great Falls Tribune.

7) If you are a woman entrepreneur with a desire to learn and network, then the tenth annual Fire Within is for YOU! We are shaking the format up this year. 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 thanks to Embark Credit Union, but an RSVP is required.

8) Great Falls College MSU has been approved by the Montana Board of Nursing to offer a part-time practical nurse track that will allow certified nursing assistants and others interested in advancing in their careers to continue working while pursuing a career in nursing; see KFBB. The College also earned designation once again as a Military Friendly School by Military Friendly; see KRTV.

9) 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.

10) The Blackfeet Tribal Transportation Program will be hosting an Industry Day for the upcoming Tribal Transportation projects on Tuesday, February 18 from 9 AM-1 PM at the Blackfeet TERO Conference Room in Browning. Please note this is a separate from the Four Horns Dam Industry day being held in Great Falls on Wednesday February, 19th. For information on either event visit https://blackfeetnation.com/

11)  We networked with business owners and followed up leads to help businesses expand in our wonderful downtown. If you have a business idea, or are thinking about moving your business downtown, please contact Christian at 406-836-0136 or CLeinhauser@GrowGreatFalls.org.

12) Ten entrepreneurs, including three over the internet, joined us for our monthly pre-business workshop, The LaunchPoint. We presented A Beginner’s Guide to SEO: Five Tips to Get Found Online to the Conrad Chamber of Commerce. For a recorded version of this training, click here. Up next on GFDA’s Business Education Calendar: February 26 – Introduction to Government Contracting (space is limited); March 3 – Profit Mastery (our cash flow and profitability course); March 4 – CyberSecurity Tips to Keep Your Company Safe; and, March 5 – Three Steps to Profitable Growth (our next webinar).

13) 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.

14) Jolene and Brett spoke at the International Economic Development Council‘s annual Leadership Summit. These opportunities are critical in gaining best practices we can then apply in across the Golden Triangle. Brett facilitated “Integrating Social Impact into Core Economic Development Functions”. Jolene facilitated IEDC’s Ethics Workshop. We also met this week with a consultant from TIP Strategies who is working with the Montana Economic Developers Association and the Montana Chamber Foundation to assess the competitiveness of Montana’s decades-old economic development programs and m are recommendations in preparation for the next Governor and Legislature. GFDA has supported the study with a $2,000 investment.

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.

“Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.”
Jerry Rice

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!

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

Contact Teresa Schreiner at 406.781.9499 or TSchreiner@GrowGreatFalls.org. Here is a current list of our great investors.

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!

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 18 and 25, all from 12:00-1:30 PM. Contact Kellie Pierce at the Downtown Great Falls Association if you would like to participate, info@downtowngreatfalls.net.

The Blackfeet Nation will be hosting an Industry Day for the Four Horns Dam Modification Project. The Industry Day event will be held in Great Falls on Wednesday, February 19th from 9 AM-1 PM at the Hilton Garden Inn. The purpose of this Industry Day is to introduce the project, get construction feedback, and gain an understanding of how the construction industry can support this project in preparation for bidding. For more information and to RSVP click here.

Hire a Bobcat! Montana State University is holding its “Almost Spering” Career and Internship Fair on February 20 in Bozeman. Go get some of those students to move to our region! Details here. And, use the new Great Falls Livability digital/print magazine to help with your recruitment. Contact Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org and see KRTV.

Did you know governmental agencies buy everything from paper clips to nuclear submarines? Government contracting is a great way to expand your business. Attend our FREE half-day Introduction to Government Contracting workshop on Wednesday, February 26th and figure out how your business can get a piece of the pie!

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 lea.mcgiboney@usda.gov. 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 carmen.kubiak.1@us.af.mil.

The Montana Manufacturing Extension Center is offering a Business Transition Readiness workshop in Great Falls on February 13 from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Although the focus is on manufacturing companies, any business owner who does not yet have a succession plan will find this workshop to be very valuable. Details and registration here or download flyer. MMEC is also offering an excellent Lean Principles 101 introduction to lean manufacturing in Great Falls on March 26. Download flyer here.

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.

Top 10 – 2/9/2020

Everyone is gearing up for shovel season. If your project is not yet ready, we may be able to help you make it happen!

Here is our Top 26 for this week celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy!

1) Carved Axe Throwing and Chase Your Dreams VR opened in Great Falls; see KRTV. The Great Falls Association of Realtors announced that we set new housing records in 2019 with the median prices of homes sold up 8%; see KRTV. The United Way of Cascade County achieved a record campaign raising $1.16 million, see Great Falls Tribune.

2) 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! Our Board also approved our 2020 Business Development Plan. We issued our Quarterly Investor Letter.

3) The Downtown Development Partnership of Great Falls released progress milestones for 2019. Over $8.8 million was invested in renovating downtown buildings, up from $3.1 million in 2018. Over 13 new businesses opened downtown. Volunteers donated over 42,000 hours, up from 32,000 hours in 2018. See KRTV.

4) Great Falls has been recognized by LendEDU for shrinking its gender pay gap at one of the fastest rates in the country over the last decade. The report used earnings data from the U.S. Census Bureau to analyze nearly 1,000 US cities. In 2010, the gender pay gap in Great Falls was 26.28%, while it improved to 18.75% in 2018. This 7.53% drop ranked Great Falls #88 in the country for closing the gender pay gap, and #1 in the state of Montana. Thank you to all our Great Falls businesses for prioritizing equal pay! See other top performers here.

5) Flew down to Salt Lake City to participate in an Opportunity Zone workshop at the University of Utah with investment groups, the Milken Institute, Sorenson Impact Center, federal agency leaders and other OZ experts. Let us know if we can help with your Opportunity Zone projects. We have five zones in the Golden Triangle with great investment opportunities.

6) SBA 504 rates came in at insanely low levels in February. The 25-year note came in at 3.460%; 20-year at 3.388%; 20-year refinance at 3.3.389%; 10-year at 3.791%. These rates are FIXED for the life of the loan and are inclusive of all on-going fees. NOW is the time to stop leasing your business location and look at purchasing! If you would like to find out how to get financing for commercial real estate and equipment please contact Jill Kohles at 406-590-1056 or JKohles@GrowGreatFalls.org.

7) Check out this great virtual walkthrough video of the new Longfellow Elementary School, part of the Great Falls Public Schools facility improvements.

8) We are looking for business ideas that utilize our Urban Missouri River Corridor. Want to do a party boat? Dinner cruise? Paddle board rentals? Food truck court? The Missouri River Corridor Pitch Fest is an evening sharing, discussing, and supporting business on and along the Missouri River. We want to connect ideas with people who can make them happen. We’ll bring business coaches, financial professionals, and others – you bring ideas!

9) While we comb through dozens of incredible nominations, we encourage you to register for The 10th Annual Fire Within sponsored by Embark Credit Union. Are you a woman entrepreneur or do want to be one? This year’s event is focused on YOU! Quick inspirational stories of women making it in business, and speed dating-style table topics presented by our previous winners, business coaches, and Embark!

10) Up next on GFDA’s Business Education Calendar is The LaunchPoint: A Pre-Business Workshop. This free, one-hour, monthly workshop walks prospective entrepreneurs through the process and best practices of starting a business. Tell a friend or join us this Tuesday, February 11th from 4-5 PM in the GFDA office. Space is limited. Please register to attend here.

11) MSU Extension is offering a free hemp seminar in Great Falls this Tuesday, February 11, 9:30 AM in Heritage Hall at Great falls College MSU. See details in The Valierian.

12) 23 people attended our webinar “A beginners guide to SEO, 5 things you can do to get found online” presented by our rural business advisor Rich Gannon. A recording of this webinar can be found here. Rich will be presenting this information live this week in conjunction with the Conrad Area Chamber of Commerce. That meeting will take place at noon on Thursday, February 13th, at the Coach’s Corner in Conrad all are welcome to attend. Rich can be reached at RGannon@GrowGreatFalls.org or 406-836-2078.

13) The Blackfeet Nation will be hosting an Industry Day for the Four Horns Dam Modification Project. The Industry Day event will be held in Great Falls on Wednesday, February 19th from 9 AM-1 PM at the Hilton Garden Inn. The purpose of this Industry Day is to introduce the project, get construction feedback, and gain an understanding of how the construction industry can support this project in preparation for bidding. For more information and to RSVP click here.

14) The Board of Cascade County Commissioners, Great Falls Montana Tourism, Montana ExpoPark Advisory Board and the Great Falls Area Lodging Association invite the community to preview concept plans for proposed facility updates of Montana ExpoPark on Thursday, February 20, 2020 in the Exhibition Hall, at 400 3rd St. NW in Great Falls at 7:00 PM. Project staff will present the proposed concept plans in a 45-minute presentation and then disperse to tabletop displays where attendees can engage in further discussion about the proposed plan.

15) The City of Great Falls won a $11,300 Big Sky Trust Fund planning grant from the Montana Department of Commerce to help the proposed Big Sky Country National Heritage Area to develop a business plan. Bear Paw Development won a $27,000 grant to help Montana Premier Protein develop a feasibility study for a potential processing plant in the Golden Triangle. Snowy Mountain Development won $16,200 to complete a childcare feasibility study.

16) Did you know governmental agencies buy everything from paper clips to nuclear submarines? Government contracting is a great way to expand your business. Attend our FREE half-day Introduction to Government Contracting workshop on Wednesday, February 26th and figure out how your business can get a piece of the pie!

17) Every improvement is a step forward! Oakwells just finished a $350,000 renovation of the banquet rooms at Great Falls International Airport. The Airport Board approved $1.7 million in road improvements; see TheElectricGF.com. The Great Falls City Park & Rec Department completed two parks projects, opening the renovated bathrooms at Gibson Park and an accessible wildlife river viewpoint in West Bank Park; see TheElectricGF.com.

18) We met with a local business to discuss using GFDA’s Brownfield clean up funds on a business expansion. They had previously done a Phase 1 prior to purchase so they qualify to use the RLF. If you are looking at a site to purchase that might be hindered by the possible presents of contamination, give us a call to see if we can help; call Lillian at 406-750-1253 or LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org.

19) Bass Clef announced that it is expanding and purchasing the Time Square Building in downtown Great Falls; see TheElectricGF.com and KRTV.

20) Met with a start-up business and 2 existing businesses this week that are planning to plant roots in our beautiful Downtown. If you have a business idea, or want to relocate Downtown, please contact Christian at 406-836-0138 or CLeinhauser@GrowGreatFalls.org.

21) Congratulations to Blackfeet Community College on achieving final state certification of its Nursing Program! See the Glacier Reporter.

22) Our Talent Attraction Plan is in full swing. Talent Attraction Director Soren Chargois has met with over a dozen HR Directors and recruiters around town in the past two weeks, and is excited to meet more! For copies of the Great Falls Livability Magazine and other recruitment resources, and to have a conversation about talent attraction best practices, email Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org.

23) Congratulations to Central Catholic High School on winning State Class B Championship in speech and debate! See Great Falls Tribune.

24) Jolene Schalper earned her Economic Development Finance Professional certification. This two year course by the National Development Corporation provides in depth education for structuring real estate and business deals and credit analysis. She joins Brett and Jason on our team who have secured their certifications as well. Congratulations!

25) Can you use $12,125 per employee? If over half your income comes from outside of Montana and you are hiring new workers you may qualify for Big Sky Trust Fund Job Creation and Primary Sector Workforce Training Grants. The Deadline for is March 11. Call Jolene to discuss your project and check eligibility, 406.750.4481.

26) Thanks to this week’s Investors in Economic Development Detailed Construction for their Pacesetter Division investment, and Homebuilders Association of Great Falls and Five on Black for their Community Division investments. Teresa would love to talk about how investment in GFDA furthers growth in the Golden Triangle. Contact Teresa Schreiner at 406.781.9499 or TSchreiner@GrowGreatFalls.org. Here is a current list of our great investors. Well, current as of Thursday — it keeps growing!

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.

OK, who’s slacking off? The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said this week that productivity across the country increased 1.7% in 2019. Our GFDA goal is 10%++ a year!

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.

“Hell, there are no rules here – we’re trying to accomplish something.”
Thomas Edison

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

January SBA 504 Loan Rates

The 25-year loan effective rate came in at 3.71%; 20-year at 3.641%; 25-year refinance at 3.712% and 20-year refinance at 3.641%; 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.

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!

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 11, 18 and 25, all from 12:00-1:30 PM. Contact Kellie Pierce at the Downtown Great Falls Association if you would like to participate, info@downtowngreatfalls.net.

Hire a Bobcat! Montana State University is holding its “Almost Spering” Career and Internship Fair on February 20 in Bozeman. Go get some of those students to move to our region! Details here. And, use the new Great Falls Livability digital/print magazine to help with your recruitment. Contact Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org and see KRTV.

Do you have ideas for businesses on or along the Urban Missouri River that runs through the middle of Great Falls? We want to hear about them. The Missouri River Corridor Pitch Fest is an evening sharing, discussing, and supporting business on and along the Missouri River. What do you want to open? How do you want to help? What is missing? We want to connect ideas with people who can make them happen. We’ll bring business coaches, financial professionals, and others – you bring ideas! Click here to register.

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 lea.mcgiboney@usda.gov. 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 carmen.kubiak.1@us.af.mil.

The Montana Manufacturing Extension Center is offering a Business Transition Readiness workshop in Great Falls on February 13 from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Although the focus is on manufacturing companies, any business owner who does not yet have a succession plan will find this workshop to be very valuable. Details and registration here or download flyer. MMEC is also offering an excellent Lean Principles 101 introduction to lean manufacturing in Great Falls on March 26. Download flyer here.

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.

Congratulations Malmstrom Airmen!

Congratulations Malmstrom Airmen!

Great Falls is proud to be a great American Defense Community hosting both Malmstrom Air Force Base and Montana Air National Guard.

Recently, members from Malmstrom Air Force Base (MAFB) have won several Awards and Trophies, including:

  • Wing 1 – Doolittle Trophy (AFGCS Innovation Excellence Award)
  • The Spirit Bell
  • The Blanchard Trophy (Best ICMB Wing in AFGSC, 3 Peat!)
  • Best Facility Maintenance Section (FMS) Team Trophy
  • Best Missile Communications (MCT)Team Trophy
  • McMahon Trophy (12MS) for Best weapons system performance
  • Best Special Forces Marksmanship Team, Tactics Team, Mental and Physical Challenge Team, and Charlie Fire Team
  • Best Helicopter Security Response Trophy

MAFB will be conducting a Celebratory Parade this Friday, February 7 starting at 3:00 on the MAFB and will travel down 2nd Avenue N. At 8th Street, they will head south to Central Avenue and travel down Central Avenue to the Civic Center.

We hope to see you along the parade route to show them our community support!

Central Avenue and side streets will remain open so please watch for other traffic.

Top 10 – 2/2/2020

Great Falls’ next generation of tradespersons, along with school board members and school staff got a tour of the construction of Longfellow Elementary scheduled to be completed in July. Construction managers from Sletten Construction explained the construction process, how they set elevation, gridlines, foundation prep, and school design to the construction class. Dave Crum from the Great Falls Public School Foundation announced gifts to purchase construction tools for the class. This is another way our schools support the growth of trade and industry in our community. See KFBB.

GFDA Top 10

Here is our Top 23 for this week celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy!

1) The Great Falls Design Review Board approved plans for the Benefis Women’s and Children’s Center. Bright Eyes Cafe opened at 300 Smelter Ave NE in Great Falls; see Great Falls Tribune.

2) More progress downtown! Eleven building permits were issued in downtown Great Falls during 2019Q4 totaling $1,815,120. Downtown volunteers donated 11,381 hours during the quarter. One new business opened.

3) 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 11, 18 and 25, all from 12:00-1:30 PM. Contact Kellie Pierce at the Downtown Great Falls Association if you would like to participate, info@downtowngreatfalls.net.

4) Do you have a business idea for the urban Missouri River Corridor? Do you want to help make a business happen? Join us for our first Reverse Pitch Night focusing on the urban Missouri River corridor, February 25 starting at 6 PM at MT Pints, 215 3rd St. NW. Click here and let us know you’re coming.

5) Sletten Construction began façade work for Central Avenue Meats that will be located in Downtown Great Falls at 420 Central Avenue. Owner Drew Hicks plans to have construction on the project completed in February with the goal to have the high-end butcher shop open this spring.

6) Hire a Bobcat! Montana State University is holding its “Almost Spering” Career and Internship Fair on February 20 in Bozeman. Go get some of those students to move to our region! Details here. And, use the new Great Falls Livability digital/print magazine to help with your recruitment. Contact Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org and see KRTV.

7) The Port of Northern Montana announced that is has a significant amount of low-cost renewable electrical power available at its Data Center Development Park in Shelby; see press release.

8) The City of Great Falls is receiving $1,088,840 this year in infrastructure funds from the state which it will use for road repairs. Cities, counties and towns across the region also receive much needed infrastructure funds. We are proud to have been partners in the Montana Infrastructure Coalition‘s policy efforts to improve vital infrastructure across Montana. Thank you to the Legislators and Governor who supported this effort! See TheElectricGF.com.

9) The University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research projected continued steady growth in Cascade County non-farm earnings for at least the next four years. I gave the local perspective at the annual Economic Outlook in Great Falls. See KRTV story covering the event.

10) GFDA’s Food and Ag Development Center Director was in Kansas City to meet with contacts and network within the emerging alternative finance space to increase access to debt and equity capital for companies in the Great Falls trade area. If you have ever thought about scaling-up a food or beverage brand, contact Barnett at 406-750-3285 or Barnett@GrowGreatFalls.org.

11) The Cut Bank Pioneer Press published the first of what will become a monthly series of business tips and best practices produced by GFDA’s team. We’re offering these to newspapers throughout our region. These will also be posted on our website. Check out our first column on Online Reputation Management here.

12) Do you know a business that earns over half their income from outside of the Golden Triangle? We want to learn about them! These primary sector businesses fill our economic bucket and the majority of our growth will come from their growth. We have resources they may not now about. Help us identify them. Call or email Jolene if you have an idea for us, 406.750.4481 or JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org.

13) The City of Lewistown enjoyed new construction of almost $11 million in 2019; see Lewistown News-Argus. INDHemp started processing its first load of hemp at its new Ft. Benton facility, see The River Press.

14) Started work with a startup woman-owned business to explore options in government contracting. We looked at registering in the System for Award Management (SAM), navigating the SBA set-asides for getting certified as a Woman-Owned Small Business and upcoming workshops.

15) FabFx has added an Accupress at their new expanded location at 2400 10th Street NE in Great Falls. This new equipment allows Josh Minardi to bend most metals and expands his fabrication business. Josh is another one of our local entrepreneurs who is succeeding across the state. He recently did the metal fabrication for a MSU resident hall. He is currently setting up new equipment and settling into his new location at 2400 10th Street NE. If you have a business you would like to start or expand, we may be able to help. Contact Nathan Reiff at NReiff@GrowGreatFalls.org.

16) 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 lea.mcgiboney@usda.gov. Let us know if we can help!

17) Chase Your Dreams VR is becoming a reality very soon. On February 8th at 10 AM, Chase your Dreams will be having their grand opening downtown at 316 Central Ave. Take some time to stop by and check out what this young 8th grade entrepreneur has done to change his dream into a reality.

18) GFDA joined the Transload Distribution Association of North America (TDANA) as part of our business development efforts to attract a transload facility and operator to serve businesses in the Great Falls area.

19) Happy 1st Birthday to Alluvion Health! Join them on February 6th at 4:00pm to help them celebrate one year!

20) The Cut Bank International Airport won a $44,542 grant for improvements from the Montana Department of Transportation’s Aeronautics Board; see Cut Bank Pioneer Press.

21) Congratulations to Paul Tuss, Executive Director of Bear Paw Development in havre on being elected to the board of the National Association of Development Organizations!

22) Jill Kohles attended NADCO’s in-person training and received her certification from the Credit Risk Institute. This course focuses on underwriting and risk rating commercial loans with an focus on SBA’s 504 loan program.

23) Thanks to this week’s Investors in Economic Development, Loenbro for their Advanced Division investment, BNSF Railroad for their Leadership Division investment, Douglas Wilson and Co. and Detailed Construction for their Pacesetter Division investments and Montana Milling, Inc., Home Builders Association of Great Falls and Great Falls Association of Realtors for their Community Division investments. With a new year and new tools to tackle growth, our region is eager to invest. Thank you for being a part of Growing with GFDA!

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
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.

“Be a doer and not a critic.”
Tony Blair

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

January SBA 504 Loan Rates

The 25-year loan effective rate came in at 3.71%; 20-year at 3.641%; 25-year refinance at 3.712% and 20-year refinance at 3.641%; 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.

Events, Business Trainings, 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!

Do you have ideas for businesses on or along the Urban Missouri River that runs through the middle of Great Falls? We want to hear about them. The Missouri River Corridor Pitch Fest is an evening sharing, discussing, and supporting business on and along the Missouri River. What do you want to open? How do you want to help? What is missing? We want to connect ideas with people who can make them happen. We’ll bring business coaches, financial professionals, and others – you bring ideas! Click here to register.

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.

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 carmen.kubiak.1@us.af.mil.

The Montana Manufacturing Extension Center is offering a Business Transition Readiness workshop in Great Falls on February 13 from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Although the focus is on manufacturing companies, any business owner who does not yet have a succession plan will find this workshop to be very valuable. Details and registration here or download flyer. MMEC is also offering an excellent Lean Principles 101 introduction to lean manufacturing in Great Falls on March 26. Download flyer here.

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.