Top 10 – 8/20/19

More creative sidewalk paintings in downtown Great Falls, these in front of the new Tracy’s. See KRTV for story.

GFDA Top 10

Here is our Top 11 for last week, celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy.

1) Closed a $80,558 loan for an exciting downtown business that is expanding its operations. Downtown Dice & Games, LLC is opening Let’s Play Games And Toys right next door to their current location. They will be offering unique and educational toys in an updated and fun environment. Thank you to our partner, Tom Mathews at Opportunity Bank of Montana, for helping these entrepreneurs expand and the continued support to help revitalize Downtown Great Falls. If you have a business, or are thinking of starting or buying a business and could use some help with financing options, please reach out to Jill Kohles at (406) 590-1056 or JKohles@GrowGreatFalls.org.

2) Scheels has started construction on its expansion in Great Falls. KRTV ran a story about the downtown block development visioning project. Meadow Lark Country Club celebrated its Centennial Anniversary, see KRTV.

3) The Great Falls Tourism Business Improvement District is offering a major grant opportunity of up to $100,000 to spur creation of a new multi-day events that will attract visitors to the city during the non-summer September through mid-June season. New events are events that have not previously been and are not currently being held in Great Falls. Proposals submitted shall comply with the instructions and procedures outlined in the detailed Application Instructions available to download at www.VisitGreatFallsMontana.org/Opportunities. Apply by submitting a proposal electronically in PDF format to Rebecca@VisitGreatFalls.org by 5:00 PM on September 30.

4) Worked with several businesses looking to expand through redevelopment projects using the Brownfields tools. Are you investigating the purchase of an older building or vacant site that may be complicated by potential contamination? Don’t give up. Give us a call to see how we can assist you with moving forward on these projects. Contact Lillian Sunwall at LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org (406) 750-1253.

5) Infrastructure improvements! Geraldine’s water system received a boost with over $2.1 million in grant and loan funds from USDA Rural Development. See KFBB for details. Construction started on a new main entrance for Gibson Park in Great Falls; see KRTV. Cascade County secured funds to do more planning for reuse of the smelter site in Black Eagle; see TheElectricGF.com. Construction is underway on a major new water line being bored under the Missouri River; see Great Falls Tribune.

6) Several of our clients have some great equity investment Opportunity Zone projects in the works. If you’re looking for investment opportunities or are working to put deals together throughout the Golden Triangle, we’re eager to help. Contact Jolene to discuss, (406) 750-4481 or email JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org.

7) The Great Falls Tribune published a nice article about Cut Bank that featured two of our great clients. KRTV did a great story on the Rockcress Commons affordable apartment complex under construction in Great Falls.

8) Lillian made a presentation about GFDA’s newly expanded Procurement technical Assistance Center to economic development lenders at the USDA Rural Development Economic Development Roundtable. Are you interested in learning how to diversify your customer base and grow your business by pursuing government contracting? For more information, contact Lillian Sunwall at LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org (406) 750-1253 or Shannon Clancy at SClancy@GrowGreatFalls.org (406) 590-1184.

9) Congratulations to Jill Kohles on her promotion to Loan Officer on GFDA’s team. Jill has done an outstanding job for as as Lending Operations Manager over the past five years and will make a great Loan Officer! Thank you to Mike Archer who has done an outstanding job for us as Loan Officer over the last three years! Mike has joined a large national CDFI, the Rural Community Assistance Corporation, and will continue to work remotely from Butte. We look forward to continue working with Mike in his new capacity.

10) I plan to pitch the Great Falls trade area and network with real estate developers, brokers and retail/dining brands at the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) Western Division event next month. Let me know if there is anyone you would like me to try to connect with at the event. Proud to represent Montana as ICSC’s state government affairs chair. BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org.

11) Thank you to this week’s Investors in Economic Development, including Vision Net, for their Leadership Division investment, AE2S for their Pacesetter Division investment, Payne West for their Community Division investment and Anderson Family Pharmacy for their Supporter Division investment. Your investment makes all of our work possible. We’ve been able to leverage local investor dollars to double and sometimes triple the resources we can put to work to grow our regional economy. Whether it is through start-ups, business expansion, attraction deals and real estate development, our team continues to drive your investor dollars toward lead generation, client service and deal closing. If you wish to invest in GFDA, contact Teresa Schreiner at (406) 781-9499 or TSchreiner@GrowGreatFalls.org. Join the team!

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.

 

“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.”

Michael John Bobak

 

GFDA Job Openings

Commercial Loan Processor and Operations Assistant —

Economic Development — Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).

Dynamic, self-motivated professional sought to join our passionate, creative, fast-paced, results-driven economic development lending team. Help us to keep growing our gap and bridge financing efforts to support entrepreneurs, businesses, developers and non-profit organizations throughout the Great Falls trade area and across Montana. This position receives, reviews and processes commercial loan documents, maintains loan application files and other duties related to the processing and servicing of the commercial loan portfolio.Reviews all gathered pending documents for accuracy, completeness, loan authority, lien position, insurance, flood insurance, collateral, appraisal, coding, risk rating, disbursements, etc. Reviews documents for compliance purposes, recognizes problems with documentation, and takes appropriate action.  Requires the ability to maintain accurate records, work with a wide variety of clients, and have computer and communication skills. Experience with SBA 504 loan servicing and/or economic development loan funds a plus. Must be detail oriented and organized with flexibility to help achieve our overall team mission. Live on the Missouri River along the Rocky Mountain Front and work with a great team! Salary range $35,000-40,000 with excellent benefits, professional development, growth opportunities, and flexible work environment. EOE.  Cover letter and resume to Brett Doney, President, BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org.  Open until we find a great candidate.

Business Development Officer – Economic Development. Dynamic, self-motivated professional sought to join our passionate, creative, fast-paced, results-driven economic development team. We are looking for a super star to meet with existing businesses to identify needs, coordinate business development trips and events, and provide overall aid in our business development efforts. Involves coordination, event planning and management, market research, cold-calling, networking, relationship building, project management, advocacy, meeting with businesses, listening, and additional client business development services. Position may involve travel in region, U.S. and Canada. Looking for a star with demonstrated achievement in business development. Requires excellent writing, computer, and communication skills. Live on the Missouri River along the Rocky Mountain Front and work with a great team! Salary range $45,000-55,000 with excellent benefits, professional development, growth opportunities, and flexible work environment. EOE.
Cover letter and resume to Brett Doney, President, BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. Open until we find a great candidate.

 

SBA 504 Loans

SBA 504 rates came in at insanely low levels in August. The 25-year note came in at 3.626%; 20-year at 3.526%; and, 20-year refinance at 3.559%. There was no 10-year equipment debenture sale this month but July’s sale came in at 3.922%. These rates are FIXED for the life of the loan and are inclusive of all on-going 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.

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

Great Falls Events Weekly Email

Are you bored? There is always something to do in Great Falls! Check out this week’s listing of things going on and get ready to experience our community. Want the list emailed directly to you? Sign-up to get this weekly event notice. Thank you Great Falls Tourism for putting this together!

Events, Business Training & Opportunities

2019 GFDA Business Education Calendar

The Downtown Great Falls Association published an exciting Calendar of Events for 2019.

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 – 8/11/19

Visited Lethbridge last Friday and we stayed in one of five newer national brand hotels right across highway from a successful meat processing plant. Enjoyed a great flight of beer at craft brewery right next door. Lethbridge is one of the fastest growing communities in Alberta.

GFDA Top 10

Here is our Top 14 for the last two weeks, celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy.

1) California-based Susteen, Inc. plans to develop a blockchain model data center in the former Rainbow Dam powerhouse. NorthWestern Energy has requested approval of the plan from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. See Great Falls Tribune for details.

2) GFDA’s Food and Agricultural Development Center Director Barnett Sporkin-Morrison was in New Zealand last week to give the keynote opening talk at ProteinTECH 2019 in Auckland. Barnett walked a diverse audience from largely New Zealand and Australia through what the future of protein looks like, focusing on changing consumer demand drivers and opportunities for both livestock producers and the alternative protein space. While at the conference networking with attendees, Barnett was interviewed by Radio New Zealand (RNZ) for their national Country Life program and his interview was run on RNZ’s nationwide broadcast this week.

3) Construction started on the new $19 million Missile Maintenance Facility at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls. See more details on TheElectricGF.com.

4) Hosted a prospect visit by a Canadian company. Submitted a proposal for a new industry sector to enter our market. We listen to client needs, compile the information, and create a package to help companies choose Great Falls. If we can help you with data or a pitch package, give Jolene a call at 750.4481.

5) D.A. Davidson Companies and Sletten Construction have been renovating their headquarter offices in Great Falls. It’s great to have these two outstanding companies headquartered here and continuing to make major investments!

6) Lower airline ticket prices saved Great Falls travelers over $32 million since the Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce launched the Low Cost Airfare Initiative seven years ago. The Chamber is raising funds for a new incentive pool to attract more direct flights to GTF. GFDA has supported this effort from the start. Last week we pledged $2,500/year for three years to continue our support, and urge our investors to consider supporting this important effort. Contact Shane Etzwiler at 750-9600 or setzwiler@greatfallschamber.org.

7) Scheel’s is expanding its Great Falls store. Pizzaz opened its expanded store downtown. See TheElectricGF.com for details. The Cascade County Commission approved a 78-lot subdivision, see TheElectricGF.com.

8) SBA 504 rates came in at insanely low levels in August. The 25-year note came in at 3.626%; 20-year at 3.526%; and, 20-year refinance at 3.559%. There was no 10-year equipment debenture sale this month but July’s sale came in at 3.922%. These rates are FIXED for the life of the loan and are inclusive of all on-going 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.

9) The Blackfeet Nation, in partnership with the University of Montana’s Department of Native American Studies, won a $2 million grant from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research to support sustainable agriculture efforts. See details in Glacier Reporter.

10) In an effort to reach a larger audience in our rural communities, GFDA has started broadcasting our training events live over the internet. In our initial broadcast, five people from Kalispell to Shelby to Miles City dialed into The LaunchPoint: A Pre-Business Workshop. We plan to do this as often as possible when it makes logistical sense. If you are an entrepreneur interested in professional development, contact Jason at JNitschke@GrowGreatFalls.org.

11) The Montana Manufacturing Extension Center is offering a wide array of programs and trainings for Montana manufacturing companies. Visit the MMEC web site for more information.

12) To maximize the Opportunity Zone capital gains investment opportunity, investments must be made by the end of this fiscal year. This week we worked with an area attorney who has put together an Opportunity Fund of investors looking to capitalize on this. We also worked on two projects located in Opportunity Zones interested in investments. For a map of Montana Opportunity Zones, https://commerce.mt.gov/OpportunityZones. Call Jolene to discuss your project 406.750.4481 or JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org.

13) The Montana Department of Commerce’s Film Office is offering powerful new incentives to promote filming and production in Montana. Click here for details.

14) Thank you to our Investors in Economic Development, Central Plumbing, Heating & Excavation, for their Advanced Division investment, Great Falls Public Schools, for their investment at the Leadership Division, Sletten Construction, for their investment at the Pacesetter Division and Anderson Family Pharmacy, for their Supporter Division investment. Investment drives a healthy and diverse economy; and your investment continues to allow us to push for growth in ways that couldn’t otherwise happen. We are hungry to Grow Great Falls, so thank you for furthering these efforts! If you haven’t engaged in Investment or have further questions, contact Teresa Schreiner at 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.

 

“I can’t give you a sure-fire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time.”

Herbert Bayard Swope

 

GFDA Job Openings

Commercial Loan Processor and Operations Assistant — Economic Development — Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).

Dynamic, self-motivated professional sought to join our passionate, creative, fast-paced, results-driven economic development lending team. Help us to keep growing our gap and bridge financing efforts to support entrepreneurs, businesses, developers and non-profit organizations throughout the Great Falls trade area and across Montana. This position receives, reviews and processes commercial loan documents, maintains loan application files and other duties related to the processing and servicing of the commercial loan portfolio.Reviews all gathered pending documents for accuracy, completeness, loan authority, lien position, insurance, flood insurance, collateral, appraisal, coding, risk rating, disbursements, etc. Reviews documents for compliance purposes, recognizes problems with documentation, and takes appropriate action.  Requires the ability to maintain accurate records, work with a wide variety of clients, and have computer and communication skills. Experience with SBA 504 loan servicing and/or economic development loan funds a plus. Must be detail oriented and organized with flexibility to help achieve our overall team mission. Live on the Missouri River along the Rocky Mountain Front and work with a great team! Salary range $35,000-40,000 with excellent benefits, professional development, growth opportunities, and flexible work environment. EOE.  Cover letter and resume to Brett Doney, President, BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org.  Open until we find a great candidate.

Business Development Officer – Economic Development. Dynamic, self-motivated professional sought to join our passionate, creative, fast-paced, results-driven economic development team. We are looking for a super star to meet with existing businesses to identify needs, coordinate business development trips and events, and provide overall aid in our business development efforts. Involves coordination, event planning and management, market research, cold-calling, networking, relationship building, project management, advocacy, meeting with businesses, listening, and additional client business development services. Position may involve travel in region, U.S. and Canada. Looking for a star with demonstrated achievement in business development. Requires excellent writing, computer, and communication skills. Live on the Missouri River along the Rocky Mountain Front and work with a great team! Salary range $45,000-55,000 with excellent benefits, professional development, growth opportunities, and flexible work environment. EOE.
Cover letter and resume to Brett Doney, President, BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. Open until we find a great candidate.

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

Great Falls Events Weekly Email

Are you bored? There is always something to do in Great Falls! Check out this week’s listing of things going on and get ready to experience our community. Want the list emailed directly to you? Sign-up to get this weekly event notice. Thank you Great Falls Tourism for putting this together!

Events, Business Training & Opportunities

2019 GFDA Business Education Calendar

The Downtown Great Falls Association published an exciting Calendar of Events for 2019.

The Montana Manufacturing Extension Center offers a great array of workshops and trainings for all sizes of manufacturing companies.

Top 10 – 8/1/19

Big Sky Montana food brands are renowned world wide. This is a photo of a sandwich I was served on my recent trip to work with economic developers on Saipan!

GFDA Top 10

Here is our Top 12 for the last two weeks, celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy. Sorry for another delay in getting the Top 10 out to you. Fantastic summer days and evenings filled with biking, hiking, horse racing, baseball, the State Fair, and some fence painting make it a challenge! Luckily, there has been no summer slowdown in our client work and new leads. Please spread the word about our two new team position openings detailed below. Hope to see our economic development investors and future investors tomorrow morning for our August Development Coffee, 7 AM at TD&H Engineering.

1) Construction has started on the Five on Black building at West Bank Landing. Pizazz is expanding in downtown Great Falls, see Great Falls Tribune. Elevation 3330‘s “suspendlet” balcony opened downtown, see KRTV.

2) One of our coaching clients received Phase 1 funding approval through GFDA’s Brownfields Assessment program. This project would purchase and redevelop a property in Great Falls. The same client began working on his formal business plan using our newest tool, LivePlan. The LivePlan is a cloud-based planning tool that creates a traditional business plan in a more efficient, collaborative, and innovative way. Templates are customizable by industry, able to be integrated with QuickBooks or Xero software, and can auto-populate industry financial benchmarks. It’s a fantastic addition to GFDA’s tool belt. We believe it will make loan applications better and entrepreneurs more fully prepared. We are proud to offer it to our clients free of charge. For an informational video, check out our website or contact Jason at JNitschke@GrowGreatFalls.org.

3) The Federal Highway Administration is planning to rehabilitate Many Glacier Road. The 12.4 mile road entrance to Glacier National Park’s popular Many Glacier region will cost $15-20 million to reconstruct, and it sure needs it!

4) Worked with a Prime Contractor to identify subcontractors for a potential bid package on a federal contract. If you have questions about government contracting or finding potential contract opportunities, contact Lillian Sunwall at LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org or (406) 750-1253 for more information.

5) The University of Providence and the McLaughlin Research Institute announced a new STEM partnership, see Tribune. Great Falls College MSU launched its new cyber security program, see KFBB. The College will offer 158 Montana Access Scholarships, each worth $1,000, over the next two years. Download flyer here to see how you can support this effort.

6) Received a loan application from a gentleman looking to start an exciting new non-profit in Great Falls. We are very happy to offer loans to non-profits providing valuable services to our community. We require the same business plan and projections as with all of our business loans, and we have to be confident of the organization’s ability to repay the loan, but as a non-profit ourself we recognize that sometimes great opportunities don’t exactly line up with your funding. When that happens, we are happy to try to help. If you have a business or non-profit that needs help financing exciting opportunities, please contact Jill Kohles at 406-590-1056 or JKohles@GrowGreatFalls.org.

7) Congratulations to Cascade County Commissioner Joe Briggs on being elected to represent the west region at the National Association of Counties! See KRTV.

8) Three business education events are on our August calendar. Boots to Business for veterans, active duty, and military families will be August 7th and 8th. The LaunchPoint: A Pre-Business Workshop is also August 8th. Marketing Your Brand will be August 22nd, in partnership with the Montana Department of Transportation’s DBE program. Jason leads our business education events. Contact him with questions at JNitschke@GrowGreatFalls.org.

9) Lillian met with several businesses looking at potential building purchases and expansions to educate on tools available for environmental due diligence. Are you looking at a site or older building?  Contact Lillian Sunwall at LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org or (406) 750-1253 for more information.

10) Mike met with loan officers in Conrad, Shelby and Cut Bank this week to bring them up to speed on all the services we are able to offer to businesses within our rural communities. If you have a business, or are thinking of starting a business, anywhere in the Golden Triangle and could use some help with financing, business advising, marketing, advocacy, market research or anything else please contact us at 406-590-1056.

11) Spoke about economic development incentives and Opportunity Zones at the Council of State Governments West conference in Big Sky. Led the annual Economic Development Research Partners’ retreat at the University of Michigan for the International Economic Development Council.

12) Thanks to our Investors in Economic Development, D.A. Davidson for their investment at the Pioneer Division, US Bank for their investment at the Advanced Division, Great Falls Montana Tourism for their Leadership Division investment, Days Inn of Great Falls, Cascade County Tavern Association, Great Falls College MSU and Macek Companies, Inc. for their Community Division investments, and Cargill for their Supporter Division investment. Your generous investments allow our team to move the needle in economic development more each week. In fact, your investment dollars are leveraged through various enhancements, including gap and bridge loans, EPA cleanup support, and business development and entrepreneurship assistance. If you have questions about investment or you need to renew your investment for the 2020 fiscal year, contact Teresa Schreiner at 781.9949 or TSchreiner@GrowGreatFalls.org.

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.

 

“I never dreamed about success, I worked for it.”

Estee Lauder

 

GFDA Job Openings

Commercial Loan Processor and Operations Assistant — Economic Development — Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).

Dynamic, self-motivated professional sought to join our passionate, creative, fast-paced, results-driven economic development lending team. Help us to keep growing our gap and bridge financing efforts to support entrepreneurs, businesses, developers and non-profit organizations throughout the Great Falls trade area and across Montana. This position receives, reviews and processes commercial loan documents, maintains loan application files and other duties related to the processing and servicing of the commercial loan portfolio.Reviews all gathered pending documents for accuracy, completeness, loan authority, lien position, insurance, flood insurance, collateral, appraisal, coding, risk rating, disbursements, etc. Reviews documents for compliance purposes, recognizes problems with documentation, and takes appropriate action.  Requires the ability to maintain accurate records, work with a wide variety of clients, and have computer and communication skills. Experience with SBA 504 loan servicing and/or economic development loan funds a plus. Must be detail oriented and organized with flexibility to help achieve our overall team mission. Live on the Missouri River along the Rocky Mountain Front and work with a great team! Salary range $35,000-40,000 with excellent benefits, professional development, growth opportunities, and flexible work environment. EOE.  Cover letter and resume to Brett Doney, President, BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org.  Open until we find a great candidate.

Business Development Officer – Economic Development. Dynamic, self-motivated professional sought to join our passionate, creative, fast-paced, results-driven economic development team. We are looking for a super star to meet with existing businesses to identify needs, coordinate business development trips and events, and provide overall aid in our business development efforts. Involves coordination, event planning and management, market research, cold-calling, networking, relationship building, project management, advocacy, meeting with businesses, listening, and additional client business development services. Position may involve travel in region, U.S. and Canada. Looking for a star with demonstrated achievement in business development. Requires excellent writing, computer, and communication skills. Live on the Missouri River along the Rocky Mountain Front and work with a great team! Salary range $45,000-55,000 with excellent benefits, professional development, growth opportunities, and flexible work environment. EOE.
Cover letter and resume to Brett Doney, President,

BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. Open until we find a great candidate.

SBA 504 Loans

The 25-year June SBA 504 loan interest rate dropped to 4.011% and the 20-year to 3.914%, the 20-year REFI at 3.948% and the 10-year at 3.937%. These rates are inclusive of all ongoing fees and are fixed for the life of the loan. Now is the time to make that commercial real estate or equipment purchase you’ve been thinking about. If you would like to find out more about the SBA 504 program, or how we can help you finance your business startup or expansion, please contact Jill Kohles at 406-590-1056 or JKohles@GrowGreatFalls.org  to find out more.

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

Great Falls Events Weekly Email

Are you bored? There is always something to do in Great Falls! Check out this week’s listing of things going on and get ready to experience our community. Want the list emailed directly to you? Sign-up to get this weekly event notice. Thank you Great Falls Tourism for putting this together!

Events, Business Training & Opportunities

2019 GFDA Business Education Calendar

The Downtown Great Falls Association published an exciting Calendar of Events for 2019.

The Montana Manufacturing Extension Center offers a great array of workshops and trainings for all sizes of manufacturing companies.

Top 10 – 7/14/19

Congratulations to Precision Wood Works on winning a contract with the National Park Service to create a unique desk counter for the Logan Pass Visitor Center. It’s beautiful!

Our PTAC coach has been helping them go after smaller federal contracting opportunities.

GFDA Top 10

Here is our Top 16 for the last two weeks, celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy.

1) Many positive steps forward to celebrate! The new grandstands at the ExpoPark opened, see The ElectricGF.com. Choteau, Conrad and Stanford airports in our region won grants for improvement projects, see Great Falls Tribune. Great Falls International Airport won a $1.6 million grant for improvements, see Great Falls Tribune. We have a new ice cream truck in Great Falls, see KRTV. Tracey’s re-opened downtown, see Tribune. Pizazz is expanding downtown, see TheElectricGF.com.

2) Two pieces of great news to keep our regional economic development effort going strong! Our Great Falls Food & Ag Development Center has been extended for another two years by the Montana Ag Development Council and the Montana Department of Agriculture. And, our Procurement Technical Assistance Center has been approved to expand from 0.5 FTE to 1.0 FTE beginning August 1st.

3) The Love’s Travel Stop and Country Store annexation was approved by the City’s Planning Advisory Board, see TheElectricGF.com. Hallie Thompson, 16-year old second place winner of this spring’s Electric City Shark Tank competition, has opened Wholesome Hal’s, a healthy smoothie and protein bowl food stand at the Farmers Market, see KRTV. Ed DesRosier’s, owner of Sun Tours, was named a Top 50 Business Entrepreneur by Native Business Magazine, see Tribune.

4) We came about as close as we could to having all of the effective SBA 504 interest rates under 4% this month! The July 25-year note came in at 4.011%, the 20-year at 3.914%, the 20-year REFI at 3.948% and the 10-year at 3.937%. These rates are inclusive of all on-going fees and are fixed for the life of the loan. Now is the time to make that commercial real estate or equipment purchase you’ve been thinking about. If you would like to find out more about the SBA 504 program or how we can help you finance your business start or grow, contact Mike Archer at 406-284-1789 or MArcher@GrowGreatFalls.org.

5) Brilliant Stream published an article about the black lentil ale produced by Jeremiah Johnson Brewing in collaboration with Timeless Seeds — two great GFDA clients working together! Geraldine and Teton County won Community Development Block Grants from the Montana Department of Commerce for infrastructure improvements.

6) We received six excellent proposals from consultants and teams for the Downtown Block Development Visioning project. The Downtown Development Partner organizations met to score the proposals, selecting the LPW Architecture/AE2S Communications team. Thank you to all who submitted such competitive proposals!

7) The Central Montana Agricultural Research Station held its annual field day on July 10th at the Moccasin research station. With a thematic focus on small grains, MSU researchers discussed variety trials, as well as winter nitrogen mineralization, soil microbe activity, and diversification of dryland cropping systems. Dr. Jamie Sherman of MSU’s Barley Breeding Program discussed the program’s new malt barley called “Buzz” which improves on “Hockett” with lower proteins and improved malt quality stability. To learn more about MSU’s Barley Breeding Program, which has also been screening winter barley from around the world, contact Dr. Jamie Sherman at jsherman@montana.edu.

8) The Association of Defense Communities published a nice article about the Montana National Guard camp for military kids at Camp Rotary. In 2018, Great Falls saw 1,029,502 overnight visitors, according to a report issued by the University of Montana’s Institute of Tourism and Recreation Research. Great Falls Public Schools won a Golden Achievement Award from the National School Public Relations Association for its Business Goes to School event in collaboration with the Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce.

9) Our Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) reviewed a proposal for a local business looking to bid on a large federal contract. Are you looking at bidding on an upcoming solicitation? PTAC is dedicated to showing your company how to find, bid and win government contracts. We can help make the contracting process clearer and easier so you can concentrate on pursuing opportunities. Whether you are located in a remote, rural area of Montana or on main street, you can take advantage of our PTAC services. For more information, contact Lillian Sunwall at LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org or (406) 750-1253.

10) We have another new position opening to help us continue to expand our lending. Commercial Loan Assistant — Economic Development — Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). Dynamic, self-motivated professional sought to join our passionate, creative, fast-paced, results-driven economic development lending team. Help us to keep growing our gap and bridge financing efforts to support entrepreneurs, businesses, developers and non-profit organizations throughout the Great falls trade area and across Montana. This position involves servicing closed loans, maintaining loan files and databases, compiling loan fund reports, conducting annual loan visits to borrowers across the state, responding to client and bank inquiries. Requires the ability to maintain accurate records, work with a wide variety of clients, computer, and communication skills. Experience with SBA 504 loan servicing and/or economic development loan funds a plus. Must be detail oriented and organized with flexibility to help achieve our overall team mission. Live on the Missouri River along the Rocky Mountain Front and work with a great team! Salary range $35,000-40,000 with excellent benefits, professional development, growth opportunities, and flexible work environment. EOE. Cover letter and resume to Brett Doney, President, BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. Open until we find a great candidate.

11) The Great Falls Region Chamber of Commerce’s Agricultural Committee hosted its first annual Future of Ag Tour. The tour brought together the Great Falls business and education sector for a networking event focused on learning about agriculture. The tour spent time in Teton County viewing Cargill’s canola trials near Dutton and chickpea fields near Choteau, as well as included a tour of Cargill’s Great Falls facility, a talk about hemp, and a reception at the Celtic Cowboy. Lunch was taken at the Lightner Family’s idyllic Agawam Oasis just North of Choteau. The tour wrapped up with a reception at the Celtic Cowboy’s Darkhorse Hall.

12) Did you know LinkedIn is testing a new app that will aid in promotion of business events? We were fortunate to have a free consultation with Andrew from LinkedIn while he was visiting for the Fourth of July holiday. We highly recommend building your LinkedIn network and utilizing it to promote your business and brand. Connect with GFDA at www.LinkedIn.com/companies/great-falls-development-authority

13) Don’t miss out on exhibiting at the 3rd annual Montana Food Show organized by the Montana Department of Agriculture–deadline to sign up is July 24! The MT Food Show will be held in the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse at MSU in Bozeman on Friday, September 27, 2019. Buyers from local, state, and national companies are expected to be in attendance, and international buyer teams from Canada and Mexico will be attending this year as well. Learn more at https://agr.mt.gov/MTFoodShow.

14) Thanks to this week’s Investors in Economic Development, KRTV, for their investment at the Leadership Division and Catalyst Commercial, for their investment at the Community Division. We leverage your economic investments to better capitalize on the economic health and vitality of our Golden Triangle. As we close out a banner fiscal year for investment, we hope to make FY2020 an even more successful year for our team. If you have questions about how investment benefits your business and our entire trade area, contact Teresa Schreiner at 406.781.9499 or TSchreiner@GrowGreatFalls.org.

15) GFDA’s Board elected officers for our new fiscal year. Congratulations to Len Watkins of Gusto Distributing, Board Chair, Errol Rice of Transystems, Board Vice Chair, Dianne Meinhardt of Cogswell Insurance Agency, Board Secretary, and Mark Macek of Macek & Co., Treasurer. Here is a current GFDA Board list and a current Investors in Economic Development list. And, here is a FY 2020 Calendar.

16) The Board appointed GFDA’s Executive Committee for FY 2020, which will include our officers and Ron Nelson of Church, Harris, Johnson, Williams, Immediate Past Chair, and Joe Briggs, Cascade County representative. Additional Executive Committee positions include: AgriTech Park Chair, Nate Weisenburger of AE2S; Brownfield Advisory Chair, Tim Peterson of LPW Architecture; Digital Economy Chair, Heidi Hockett of NorthWestern Energy; Downtown Development Partnership Liaison, Mark Cappis of Anderson ZurMuehlen; High Plains Finance Board Liaison, Rebecca Engum of Great Falls Tourism; Investment Chair, Ted Lewis of First Interstate Bank; and, Loan Chair, Travis Neil of Dick Anderson Construction. Len Watkins will continue to represent GFDA on the Montana Defense Alliance Executive Committee, and I will represent GFDA on the boards of the Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, Great Falls Tourism, Great Falls Downtown Development Partnership, and Montana Economic Developers Association.

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.

“Relax, Recharge and Reflect. Sometimes it’s OK to do nothing.”

Izey Victoria Odiase

GFDA Job Opening

Business Development & Marketing Officer – Economic Development. Dynamic, self-motivated professional sought to join our passionate, creative, fast-paced, results-driven economic development team. Help businesses in Montana’s Great Falls trade area to grow and attract new businesses to invest in our region. Create digital content that promotes business and talent opportunities. Involves market research, cold-calling, networking, relationship building, project management, marketing materials, digital content, web and social media, proposal writing, advocacy and client business development services. Position may involve extensive travel in region, U.S. and Canada.Looking for a star with demonstrated achievement in business development, marketing and/or economic development. Requires excellent writing, computer, and communication skills. Live on the Missouri River along the Rocky Mountain Front and work with a great team! Salary range $45,000-55,000 with excellent benefits, professional development, growth opportunities, and flexible work environment. EOE. Cover letter and resume to Brett Doney, President, BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. Open until we find a great candidate.

SBA 504 Loans

The 25-year June SBA 504 loan debenture came in almost 1.5% below prime at 4.086%. The 20-year note faired even better at 3.978%. When was the last time you obtained business financing with an interest rate that started with a 3? SBA 504 interest rates are fixed for the life of the loan and are inclusive of all on-going fees. If you are looking to finance commercial real estate or equipment now is the time! Contact Mike Archer at 406-284-1789 or MArcher@GrowGreatFalls.org to find out more.

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

Great Falls Events Weekly Email

Are you bored? There is always something to do in Great Falls! Check out this week’s listing of things going on and get ready to experience our community. Want the list emailed directly to you? Sign-up to get this weekly event notice. Thank you Great Falls Tourism for putting this together!

Events, Business Training & Opportunities

2019 GFDA Business Education Calendar

The Downtown Great Falls Association published an exciting Calendar of Events for 2019.

The Montana Manufacturing Extension Center offers a great array of workshops and trainings for all sizes of manufacturing companies.

Top 10 – 7/2/19

Rockcress Commons

Rockcress Commons affordable apartment homes are well on their way! Congratulations to NeighborWorks Great Falls and GMD Development on this great project!

GFDA Top 10

Here is our Top 10 for last week, celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy.

1) The Oakland family and City Motors donated $500,000 to upgrade the new Career and Technical Education Center at Great Falls High School! See Great Falls Tribune.

2) Barnett was in the Midwest this week meeting with leading multinational food company executives and emerging food startup innovators. GFDA continues to expand the horizon for Montana’s agricultural sector and is working to increase the linkage effects of Montana’s agricultural production. If you are interested in helping to build an entrepreneurial ecosystem that can result in deal-flow and help increase venture capital and private equity investment in our region, contact Barnett at Barnett@GrowGreatFalls.org  and 406-750-3285.

3) The Downtown Development Partnership and Great Falls Tourism are partnering to create the first Great Falls Downtown Mural Festival in August. See TheElectricGF.com.

3) Received six excellent proposals from consultant firms/teams for the Downtown Block Development Visioning project we are undertaking with the Downtown Development Partnership and the City of Great Falls.

4) Federal recognition of the Little Shell Chippewa Tribe advanced a step further with approval by the U.S. Senate. See KRTV.

5) We held our GFDA annual meeting at Play N Learn Academy. Our top six accomplishments for FY19 included increasing our digital media footprint, investing in our staff team through the addition of dynamite new members and through continuing education and credentialing, progress on several catalytic projects such as downtown development and West Bank Landing, increasing our overall economic development resources, securing additional loan capital, and expanding our investor base. Thank you for making FY19 such a great year! We look forward to more success in FY20.

6) Carmen Mee launched her business, Graceful Stone, LLC. Carmen produces handcrafted stone jewelry. In eight short days, GFDA’s Small Business Development Center walked Carmen step-by-step through the best practices of officially organizing a business. GFDA offers a free, monthly workshop to help facilitate entrepreneurial activity in and around Great Falls. The next LaunchPoint is August 15th or get the same information anytime online. Graceful Stone can be found on Facebook or at the July 13th Farmer’s Market. Congratulations Carmen on your entry into entrepreneurship!

7) Great Falls has a new açaí bowl and waffle food truck (actually a bus) called Purple Gold. See Great Falls Tribune for details.

8) GFDA investors re-elected Tim Peterson of LPW Architecture and Len Watkins of Gusto Distributing for new Director terms. New Directors elected to the Board are Sherrie Arey of NeighborWorks Great Falls, Andreas Geranios of Geranios Enterprises, Harley Huestis of Fall Construction, Alex Huffield of KLJ, and Dan Reardon of Liberty Electric. Becky Fink was appointed to the Board by Advance Division investor US Bank. New Superintendent of Great Falls Public Schools, Tom Moore, also joined the board. Welcome all!

9) The GFDA loan committee approved a loan for the expansion of a downtown business. We love to see all of the activity going on downtown these days and we want to see more! If you have an idea for a business that would work well downtown or if you own a business downtown and want to expand please contact Mike Archer at 406-284-1789 or MArcher@GrowGreatFalls.org to find out how we can help.

10) Aiding existing business with growth is a predominant role of economic development. We are currently identifying and reaching out to existing businesses listening to their current reality and planned future and linking them with potential resources. We need your help identifying additional businesses. Please give your ideas to Jolene at JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org or 406.750.4481.

11) Thank you to this week’s Investors in Economic Development, Dick Anderson Construction for their investment at the Leadership Division, CTA Architects for their investment at the Pacesetter Division and Klinefelter’s Insulation, Stewart Title and K&K Trucking for their investments at the Community Division. Each investment is impact-driven. We leverage your dollars to enhance, implement and pursue capital projects. If you have not invested before, need to renew your investment or have questions about what investment means to the Golden Triangle, contact our Investment Director, Teresa Schreiner at 406.781.9499 or TSchreiner@GrowGreatFalls.org. We continue to move the needle, and how we do so can help your business!

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

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.

“Nothing makes the earth so spacious as to have friends at a distance.”

Henry David Thoreau

GFDA Job Opening

Business Development & Marketing Officer – Economic Development. Dynamic, self-motivated professional sought to join our passionate, creative, fast-paced, results-driven economic development team. Help businesses in Montana’s Great Falls trade area to grow and attract new businesses to invest in our region. Create digital content that promotes business and talent opportunities. Involves market research, cold-calling, networking, relationship building, project management, marketing materials, digital content, web and social media, proposal writing, advocacy and client business development services. Position may involve extensive travel in region, U.S. and Canada.Looking for a star with demonstrated achievement in business development, marketing and/or economic development. Requires excellent writing, computer, and communication skills. Live on the Missouri River along the Rocky Mountain Front and work with a great team! Salary range $45,000-55,000 with excellent benefits, professional development, growth opportunities, and flexible work environment. EOE. Cover letter and resume to Brett Doney, President, BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. Open until we find a great candidate.

SBA 504 Loans

The 25-year June SBA 504 loan debenture came in almost 1.5% below prime at 4.086%. The 20-year note faired even better at 3.978%. When was the last time you obtained business financing with an interest rate that started with a 3? SBA 504 interest rates are fixed for the life of the loan and are inclusive of all on-going fees. If you are looking to finance commercial real estate or equipment now is the time! Contact Mike Archer at 406-284-1789 or MArcher@GrowGreatFalls.org to find out more.

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

Great Falls Events Weekly Email

Are you bored? There is always something to do in Great Falls! Check out this week’s listing of things going on and get ready to experience our community. Want the list emailed directly to you? Sign-up to get this weekly event notice. Thank you Great Falls Tourism for putting this together!

Events, Business Training & Opportunities

Cybersecurity Workshop offered through the Montana PTAC by Northrop Grumman, July 2 in Bozeman. See details and registration here.

2019 GFDA Business Education Calendar

The Downtown Great Falls Association published an exciting Calendar of Events for 2019.

The Montana Manufacturing Extension Center offers a great array of workshops and trainings for all sizes of manufacturing companies.