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.

Top 10 – 6/23/19

Honored to join the Taiwanese business delegation for a special dinner at the SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington, DC earlier this month.

GFDA Top 10

Here is our Top 16 for this week, celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy. This is our 400th GFDA Top 10!!!

Better yet, I’m typing this at 7:00 PM on Sunday from Saipan while it’s 3:00 AM Sunday in Great Falls. I travelled here to help the economic development agencies on the Northern Marianas Islands figure out new economic development strategies to recover from two Typhoons that did great damage last fall, along with a team of three other volunteers for the International Economic Development Council.

1) Average Annual Pay Growth from 2013-2017 in the Great Falls MSA ranked 11th best amongst all 370 U.S. metro areas, according to a report released by the Walton Family Foundation. Creating higher wage jobs is the cornerstone of our economic development strategy.

2) Hosted an international prospect visit that could result in another new agri-processing project in our region. Stay tuned!

3) Congratulations to Roger Sammons of Pardue Grain for earning SQF 2 Certification. The Safe Quality Food (SQF) Program is a rigorous and credible food safety and quality program that is recognized by retailers, brand owners, and food service providers world-wide. This certification makes Pardue Grain one of the premier facilities of its kind nationally. If you’re looking for more information regarding certifications such as this, please reach out to Barnett Sporkin-Morrison, Barnett@GrowGreatFalls.org.

4) Please join us this Tuesday, June 25th from 4-5 PM for the GFDA Annual Meeting. Each year we celebrate the year discussing capstone achievements at a successful business site. Join us Tuesday as we share in these successes at Play N’ Learn Academy, 4241 2nd Avenue North, Great Falls. Reagen Breeden, the business owner who recently won Women-Owned Small Business of the Year for Montana by the Small Business Administration, is generous enough to host the event. Contact TSchriener@GrowGreatFalls.org for details.

5) Great Falls Montana Tourism held their Annual Meeting this week. Overall non-resident visitors who spent a night in our community was up 23.6% this year! Tourism also launched the Great Fall Champions program that makes it easy to promote and share positive Great Falls Montana news and information on a regular basis. Click here to learn more and sign up!

6) Prepared written testimony to the Cascade County Zoning Board of Adjustments in support of the Big Sky Cheese project.

7) Unemployment in Cascade County (the Great Falls MSA) was 2.7% in May, according to data released by the Montana Department of Labor. That is the lowest May rate in Great Falls going back to at least 1990, and ties the lowest ever month back in September 2007. Still, 1,043 residents were looking for work last month and thousands more were looking for better opportunities.

8) Completed underwriting a loan to start a new downtown retail store in Great Falls and had conversations with two new SBA 504 loan prospects – one here in Great Falls and one in Kalispell. We have a number of different financing tools we can use to help you start or grow your business. If you are in need of financing assistance, please contact Mike Archer at 406-284-1789 or MArcher@GrowGreatFalls.org.

9) The Montana Manufacturing Extension Center’s new business advisor for the Great Falls region, Doug Roberts, started work. Welcome Doug! We’re proud to provide free office space to the MMEC to support the work they do for manufacturers of all sizes throughout the state. You can reach Doug at richard.roberts4@montana.edu or 1-937-489-3985.

10) Participated in a board meeting of the Great Northern Corridor Coalition hosted by North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. GFDA joined the Coalition to support the critical northern freight corridor and logistics development throughout the Great Falls trade area.

11) Spoke at the North Dakota Economic Development Association conference in Mandan and traded ideas with economic developers, state officials and community leaders.

12) High Plains Financial, our SBA 504 lending Community Development Corporation (CDC), held its annual meeting. Thank you to the wonderful volunteers who serve on the board!

13) Support from our investors is enabling us to expand our business development efforts. We have a new position opening for a

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.

14) We agreed to purchase two full page ads in the talent attraction magazine and digital marketing effort we partnered with Livability Media to produce. One ad will pitch economic development opportunities in the region and the other will pitch relocation opportunities. Thanks you to all who have invested in this effort!

15) We get some of the best deals and data from you! Our business development team is busy working with clients on deals that create primary sector jobs, grow our commercial tax base, expand local markets for agriculture producers, diversify our economy, and improve our community competitiveness. Many of these deals come from community member referrals. If you have someone we can assist or should reach out to, or if you’re interested in learning more about how you can be part of the team that is working hard to GrowGreatFallsMontana.org, call Jolene at 406.750.4481.

16) Thanks to this week’s Investors in Economic Development, City Motor Company, for their Flagship Division investment and NeighborWorks Great Falls, Prairie Mountain Bank and 1st Liberty Federal Credit Union for their Community Division investments. Thank you to all who have committed to growing our community as well as the Golden Triangle. As we near the final weeks of our fiscal year, we are just a few pledges away from our goal. If you have not yet made your pledge, please contact Teresa Schreiner at 406.781.9499 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

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.

“Once you’ve weighed the possibilities, you have to take that final leap of faith.”

Ted Turner

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.

Top 10 – 6/17/19

 

Enjoyed spending a morning with an international delegation of economic developers from Ukraine to explain how we help small businesses. Our partners at the US Department of Agriculture, US Small Business Administration, and Montana Department of Commerce all presented on the assistance available to help start and grow businesses.

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

1) Mod Pizza opened on 10th Avenue South. I tried it yesterday — their pizzas and salads are excellent! Work started on Auto Zone’s second store on the west side of town. Minuteman Metal and Sign opened a retail store at 815 2nd Street South, see TheElectricGF.com. Cattleman’s Cut Steakhouse plans to open in the Great Falls Marketplace next month, see KFBB. Grove’s Taxidermy and Firearms, with The Bow Dr., opened at 821 8th Avenue South, see KRTV.

2) The Great Falls trade area — North Central Montana — is home to Japanese, French, Spanish, and Canadian-owned companies. We exhibited and networked at the SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington DC, the annual gathering of United States Commercial Officers and foreign business delegations seeking to invest in the United States. This is an excellent opportunity to build relationships for year round referrals. GFDA has been at every SelectUSA Summit since it started 7 years ago. This year we joined the Japanese and Taiwanese delegations for special events, and with our European partners, the Transatlantic Business Investment Council. We booked an exhibit booth for next year’s Summit.

3) The Electric City Water Park opened for the season with its newly refurbished historic bathhouse, see Great Falls Tribune.

4) We issued an RFP for consultant services for the Downtown Development Visioning project on behalf of the Downtown Development Partnership and the City of Great Falls. Proposals are due by 5:00 PM on Thursday, June 27. Contact Brett for more info at BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. NeighborWorks Great Falls is developing an inventory of vacant upper floors downtown, see TheElectricGF.com.

5) Congratulations to the winners of this year’s NeighborWorks Great Falls Most Improved Properties awards!

6) Participated in a special Opportunity Zone Congressional Policy Briefing hosted by the Alliance for Science and Technology Research in America. If you are interested in learning more about Opportunity Zones, we are happy to share the information we received. Contact Jolene at JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org.

7) Congratulations to MSU Northern’s Automotive Program on being named second best in the U.S. by TheBestSchools! See MATR.net.

8) Worked with a client and federal agency to resolve registration issues so their account could be reactivated and a contract award could be made. Helped a disabled veteran navigate the Veterans First Verification process so their business can start looking to bid on VA contracts. For more information on doing business in the government contracting arena, contact Lillian Sunwall at LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org or (406)750-1253.

9) Congratulations to Benefis Health System on being named one of the best employers in Montana by Forbes! See the Choteau Acantha.

10) Submitted a proposal to the Montana Department of Agriculture to continue and enhance our Food & Ag Development Center.

11) A site selection column I wrote for Area Development magazine was published, “Uncertainty Driving Location Strategy Amid USMCA Debate.”

12) Congratulations to Vizsla Brewing of Havre on winning the title of Montana’s best brewery at the Montana Brew Fest in Great Falls! See the Havre Herald.

13) GFDA has retained a transload and logistics industry consultant to help us identify and pursue targeted companies, including our effort to attract a transload operator to open a facility in Great Falls.

14) Our team recently received a briefing on new resources and services available to businesses from the Montana Innovation Partnership (MTIP) at Montana State University. MTIP helps Montana innovators, entrepreneurs, and inventors access critical R&D seed funding through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

15) GFDA supports leading edge economic development research as Montana’s only member of the Economic Development Research Partnership of the International Economic Development Council. This week the partnership published a paper on Industry 4.0. The report dives into the strategies economic developers can can use to support small and mid-sized manufacturers to navigate the dramatic transformations taking place in manufacturing.

16) Please keep us in mind if you or someone you know is looking to start or grow their business! We have a team of certified, experienced business strategists that can help you plan your start or expansion, build a financial package, secure government contracts, clean up contaminated sites, advocate for your project, and more. We are your Team to Grow Great Falls Montana including the entire Golden Triangle! Call Jolene to discuss, 406.750.4481.

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.

“Peak performers see the ability to manage change as a necessity in fulfilling their missions.”

Charles A. Garfield

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.

Top 10 – 6/9/19

Roof of the Atlanta Falcons stadium, parts of which were fabricated right here in Great Falls by the ADF International team!

Here is our Top 21 for this week, celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy.

1) Exhibited and networked with food ingredient companies at the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Expo in New Orleans. GFDA hosted a booth to engage with food processors and their decision makers about locating in the Great Falls Trade Area, as well as give Montana based companies an opportunity to participate in the expo to expand their markets. Montana Specialty Mills attended as part of the GFDA hosted booth and was able to engage with existing and potential customers. For more information, contact Barnett at (406) 750-3285 or Barnett@GrowGreatFalls.org.

2) Make plans to attend the Kids Education Yes! annual lunch, this Wednesday June 12th, 11:30 AM-1:00 PM at the History Museum. RSVP by Monday June 10th to Gerry Jennings at jenningsg92@gmail.com or 788-5099.

3) Congratulations to the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom AFB on winning the Omaha Trophy for best missile wing in 2018!!! See KRTV.

4) We work to stimulate entrepreneurial activity throughout the region. If you are or know someone interested in starting a business in north central Montana, our next pre-business workshop, The LaunchPoint is this Tuesday, June 11th from 4-5 PM. Please register to attend here. This content is also available for viewing online.

5) The Montana Expo Park Improvement Strategy is moving forward! This week community members were invited to learn more and share their ideas. Learn more about the strategic planning for the future of Montana Expo Park by clicking here.

6) 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.

7) Congratulations to Chuck and Gerry Jennings on being recognized as the 2019 Paris Gibson Award winners!! See Great Falls Tribune.

8) GFDA’s Food and Ag Development Center Director Barnett Sporkin-Morrison networked at the Plant Based World Conference & Expo in New York City, and toured innovative grocery and retail locations to keep apprised of food and consumer trends. The visit helped to continue GFDA’s engagement in the alternative protein space, resulted in new contacts, and reinforced our ability to provide technical assistance rooted in real-world knowledge of the agricultural supply chain from farms in Montana to grab-and-go stores in New York City. For more information, contact Barnett at (406) 750-3285 or Barnett@GrowGreatFalls.org.

9) JobsEQ preliminary data for 2019Q1 released Friday indicates that average wages in the Great Falls MSA increased for the 21st consecutive quarter, generating more disposable income for local workers. The industry seeing the largest employment growth from 2018Q1 to 2019Q1 was Admin and Support, increasing 7.4%, driven by FCR‘s continued expansion in downtown Great Falls.

10) We published our Quarterly Investor Letter. Our partnership efforts to create new apartments in Great Falls was featured in an article in the Association of Defense Community’s newsletter.

11) GFDA’s Board approved our Brownfields Advisory Committee’s recommendation for a Phase 1 environmental study on a potential purchase of a vacant property. This would be for a business expansion. We’re excited to assist businesses with tools to expand and grow. If you are looking at a property or building, but unsure what environmental impacts may exist, give us a call so we can talk about how we can help. Just a reminder, in order to qualify for EPA Brownfields help through GFDA, a Phase 1 or AAI must be completed prior to property purchase. Contact Lillian Sunwall at LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org or (406) 750-1253.

12) Ft. Benton secured a major grant to improve its airport, see Tribune. A new hot dog stand opened in downtown Great Falls, see Tribune. The Great Falls Business Improvement District has issued a call for artists to paint more traffic signal boxes. Snits Bar opened downtown, see Tribune.

13) Began underwriting loans for three projects this week – one for a downtown retailer and two SBA 504 hotel loans. We are excited about all of the loan activity we’ve had recently but there is always room for more. If your business is starting, growing or expanding and you could use help financing your projects please contact Mike Archer at 406-284-1789 or MArcher@GrowGreatFalls.org.

14) Congratulations to the 2019 Historic Preservation award winners recognized by Great Falls-Cascade County Historic Preservation Advisory Committee! See TheElectricGF.com for details. We are proud to have played a small part in one of the award winners, the C.M. Russell Home restoration at the C.M. Russell Museum. We provided a brownfield grant for asbestos removal.

15) Met with and learned about Great Falls Minot Builders Supply. Great Falls is the largest of the company’s four locations and employs about 50 people here. They specialize in doors, siding, and trusses. We’re happy to have them as part of the Great Falls business landscape! We routinely go out to businesses to learn about what they do and what they need to be successful here. If you have a business we should visit, contact Jolene at JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org or 406.750.4481.

16) The Montana Department of Agriculture has created a new show to promote Montana beverage manufacturers. The Montana Beverage Show will be held on November 4th in Helena. Details and sign up to participate here.

17) GFDA’s Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) worked with Northrop Grumman to find qualified businesses in Cascade and Fergus counties to participate in their GBSD Industry Day Event this past week. Businesses were able to present their capability overview with GBSD program leadership. Northrop Grumman is continuing to accept Capability Statements and Company information. The industry sector businesses they are looking for are as follows:  Construction, Remediation, Environmental compliance, Surveying, Armed security, Transportation, Supply warehouses (including people who manage: stocking, storing, issuing, packaging and handling), Back shop maintenance (hydraulic, electrical, battery, air conditioning), Field maintenance, Vehicle repair and maintenance, Fueling of equipment (diesel and propane, access to fuel sources and fuel drops or placement at the sites), Bus/transportation services (Local movement of people and/or material) and HR staffing businesses to staff the Distribution Center.  If you were unable to attend the event, we can help get your business signed up on their Supplier List. For more information or copies of the Supplier Information Forms, contact Lillian Sunwall at LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org or (406) 750-1253.

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

19) GFDA has now trained over 200 people in our region and across Montana through our statewide monthly webinar series. Our June webinar was on the topic of converting marketing leads to paying customers. To watch the recording, please click here. Two GFDA investors will present our next two webinars, Wendy Weissman will talk about accounting on July 11th and Colin Lee from Cogswell Insurance will talk about best practices for entrepreneurs in the insurance industry on August 1st. Our webinars reach a statewide audience. If you’re a GFDA investor and are interested in presenting a webinar for us this fall, please contact Jason at JNitschke@GrowGreatFalls.org.

20) The Montana Housing Partnership Conference is being held in Butte on June 17-19. Details and registration here.

21) We are excited to announce that Alex Houtz has joined our team for a summer internship. Alex recently graduate in Economics from MSU. He will be attending law school in the fall.

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

“Networking is not about just connecting people. It’s about connecting people with people, people with ideas, and people with opportunities.”

Michele Jennae

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 – 6/2/19

 

Ready for an amazing Great Falls Montana summer! Check out all our region has to offer at VisitGreatFallsMontana.org.

GFDA Top 10

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

1) Closed a $2.271 million bridge loan package to the Madison Food Park to support the development of Big Sky Cheese. The new cheese manufacturer which will produce a variety of cheese products made from milk sourced from local and regional dairy producers. We want to see more value-added ag producers in our region. If you have been thinking of turning some of our abundant agricultural commodities into new products and could use some help with the planning or financial aspects of your business, please get in touch! Eleven months into our fiscal year, we’ve closed 17 loans totaling $6,526,751.

2) The April unemployment rate in the Great Falls metro area was 2.9%, our lowest April rate on record. If your business could benefit from diving deep into labor market data throughout our region, we subscribe to the powerful JobsEQ system.

3) Worked with several primary sector companies looking to expand in Great Falls Montana! We are here to help you every step of the way. Call Jolene to chat about your project 406.750.4481. We have a new GFDA Services & Team flyer and a new Great Falls AgriTech Park flyer.

4) Congratulations to Heather Palermo on winning the Judy Martz Women in Leadership Award from the Montana Chamber of Commerce! Heather will use the prize money to attend the Said Business School at Oxford’s Women Transforming Leadership program this fall.

5) The GFDA’s PTAC has been assisting Northrop Grumman to find subcontractors to participate in a Small Business Supplier Day event on June 5th. In conjunction with the Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, this event will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn starting at 10:30 AM. For more information on the industry sectors they are looking for or the documents you will need to provide, contact Lillian Sunwall at (406)750-1253 or LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org. You can also RSVP (including the names and titles of not more than two representatives per company) to Cascade Mittman at cascade.mittman@ngc.com or (310-812-7820.

6) The Great Falls downtown pedlet effort — creating outside dining spaces — was featured by the Montana Rural Health Initiative. Enjoy our wonderful downtown!

7) We have two training events coming up in the next couple weeks. Our next webinar, Lock Down Your Sales Funnel, will present ideas for entrepreneurs and sales people to convert marketing leads into paying customers. The live presentation is June 6th at 11 AM. We share the recorded content to everyone who’s registered. Next week, we invite anyone interested in starting a business in the region to attend our monthly pre-business workshop, The LaunchPoint, on Tuesday, June 11th. To inquire about any of GFDA’s business education events, contact Jason at JNitschke@GrowGreatFalls.org.

8) The National Science Foundation awarded a $20 million research and education project on water quality in Montana. The project, titled the Consortium for Research on Environmental Water Systems, or CREWS, is a partnership between the University of Montana, Montana State University, Montana Technological University, Salish Kootenai College and Little Big Horn College to study Montana water systems and water quality issues. The CREWS project will focus on three study sites: the upper Clark Fork River, the Judith River Watershed and the Powder River Basin.

9) We have worked with Great Falls Montana Tourism to make it easy for you to share positive messages through your own social media channels. Once you sign up you’ll receive emails that allow you to approve content postings before sharing. Check it out here.

10) Speaking of Visit Great Falls Montana tourism efforts, take a look at their new fifteen second videos featuring RoadHouse Diner and the CM Russell Museum.

11) If you are interested in the proposed new events center and other improvements at the Montana ExpoPark, the first community task force meeting will be held this Tuesday, June 4th, 7 AM in the ExpoPark Atrium Building. Contact Rebecca Engum of Great Falls Montana Tourism at Rebecca@visitgreatfalls.org for more info.

12) Make plans to attend the Kids Education Yes! annual lunch, Wednesday June 12th, 11:30 AM-1:00 PM at the History Museum. RSVP by June 6th to Gerry Jennings at jenningsg92@gmail.com or 788-5099.

13) Before buying a commercial building, we recommend you have a Phase One environmental assessment done as part of your due diligence. If you don’t do a Phase One, you are taking on 100% of the risk without the ability to access resources to help. Call Lillian to learn more about assessment, 406.750.1253.

14) Our New Markets Tax Credit partner, MoFi, won a new $70 million allocation of credits. If you are interested in exploring creative financing structures for your proposed project, contact Mike Archer at MArcher@GrowGreatFalls.org or 406-284-1789.

15) Join us this Friday, June 7th for another installment of our Development Coffee. Engage with investors and potential investors for enlightening and entertaining conversation regarding issues, projects and the potential in the Golden Triangle. Location: GFDA’s office, The Portage Building at the West Bank Landing, 405 3rd St NW, Suite 203. Time: 7 AM.

16) We’d like to recognize our newest Investors in Economic Development, Klinefelter’s Insulation, Alanna Ballard, and Jason and Ali Brantley of Notable Properties, LLC for their Community Division investments. You understand that investment in GFDA’s work increases the economic health and well-being of our economy. On behalf of our team, our Board of Directors and fellow investors, thank you!!!

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.

“There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction.”

John F. Kennedy

SBA 504 Loans

SBA 504 rates were down yet again in May! The 25-year note came in at 4.387%, the 20-year note at 4.260%, 20-year refi at 4.293% and the 10-year note at 4.351%. Contact Mike Archer at 406-284-1789 or MArcher@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.

USDA is hosting two opportunity workshops in Great Falls on June 6 for businesses, farmers and ranchers: Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) in the morning; and, Renewable Energy for America Program (REAP) in the afternoon.

Top 10 – 5/27/19

Great Falls was ranked the 11th best small city in the nation in which to open a small business by Go.Verizon.com! See Great Falls Tribune.

GFDA Top 10

Here is our Top 22 for the last three weeks, celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy. I fell behind getting the Top 10 out, but you can see below that we have been busy!

1) Choteau has a new specialty grain miller, Conservation Grains; see Great Falls Tribune. Broadwater Coffee Brewing opened in Great Falls. You can find them at 721 6th St SW Monday through Saturday 6 AM to 2 PM; see TheElectricGF.comMrs. Wright’s Pastys opened its new location; see KRTVAuto Zone is opening a second store on the west side of Great Falls; see TheElectricGF.com. Franz Bakery opened in Great Falls.

2) We closed a $305,000 SBA 504 loan on a $740,000 project for Big Sky Managed Care in Great Falls. Big Sky Managed Care has been growing fast and was bursting at the seams in their old building. We were able to help them purchase a more spacious office at a low interest rate and down payment of only 10%. Many thanks to their excellent commercial bankers Chad Simonson and Kevin Eckhardt at First Interstate Bank for recommending this great product to them. If your commercial space isn’t keeping up with your growing business or you’d like to buy instead of lease, please contact Mike Archer at 406-284-1789 or MArcher@GrowGreatFalls.org to find out how we can help.

3) Joined Great Falls Public Schools to celebrate the ground breaking for the new Longfellow Elementary School! Here is a link to a cool video that shows what the new school will look like.

4) Submitted a proposal requested by a major advanced manufacturer considering expansion locations.

5) The Great Falls Homebuilders Association and the Great Falls Association of Realtors presented a powerful report prepared by the National Homebuilders Association that details the economic impact of new home construction in the Great Falls metro area. The one-year impact of building 100 single-family homes includes $23.6 million in local income, $1.5 million in taxes and other revenue for local governments, and 363 local jobs. The additional annual recurring impact of building 100 single-family homes includes $3.5 million in local income, $696,000 in taxes and other revenue for local governments, and 71 local jobs.

6) We closed a $500,000 loan to Pardue Grain for working capital to operate their brand new state-of-the-art pulse processing facility outside of Cut Bank. Many thanks to Ryan Eney from First Interstate Bank in Cut Bank for his tireless shepherding of the lending aspects of this project from the very beginning.

7) Great Falls seniors celebrated National Career Signing Day, signing letters of intent to pursue careers with Sletten Construction, Wadsworth Builders, Liberty Electric, Cascade Electric, and Paradise Fencing. Career technical education is an excellent partnership between our industrial trades at Great Falls Public Schools and community employers. Several students signed with Great Falls College MSU to pursue careers in Health Sciences and Information Technology, taking advantage of dual-enrollment opportunities. See the story on KRTV.

8) Met with developers, brands, and brokers at the RECON commercial real estate annual event. While we still have work to do attracting population, we had more interest this year than in past years. There are numerous franchise opportunities. Contact Jolene to discuss 406.750.4481.

9) Governor Bullock signed bills reauthorizing key Montana economic development programs for another eight years and funding critical infrastructure projects, including expansion of the Dental Hygiene Program at Great Falls College MSU, and numerous rural water and sewer projects in our region.

10) Four new businesses opened in downtown Great Falls last quarter. Building permits were issued for 13 downtown construction projects totaling $5,108,627. Downtown volunteers donated 7,827 hours!

11) Approved a $2.271 million bridge loan package to support the development of an exciting new local business. We can be flexible with our financing in ways that banks can’t, which can be especially important for the beginning stages of a project when the development process, timeline and end date are not well defined. If you have a project that could use some support before the banks are able to step in, contact Mike Archer at 406-284-1789 or MArcher@GrowGreatFalls.org.

12) Mother-daughter team Deena Maier and Amber Hofstad of Windrift Hill, the skin care products manufacturer in Conrad, won the top prize $6,000 Impact Grant from the Women’s Business Center at Prospera Business Network in Bozeman to help increase their production capacity by 500%; see ABC Fox Montana story. Windrift Hill products can be found at many Great Falls area retailers, including 2J’s Fresh Market, at the Windrift Hill retail store in Conrad, or online at http://windrifthill.com/. Congratulations to Amber and Deena for their continued efforts to employ more people, pay more in wages, and drive primary sector dollars into the local economy!

13) SBA 504 rates were down yet again in May! The 25-year note came in at 4.387%, the 20-year note at 4.260%, 20-year refi at 4.293% and the 10-year note at 4.351%. These interest rates are fixed for the life of the loan and include all on-going fees. If you’re in the market for a commercial real estate or equipment loan and would like fixed interest rates like these with down payments as low as 10%, please contact Mike Archer at 406-284-1789 or MArcher@GrowGreatFalls.org.

14) USDA is hosting two opportunity workshops in Great Falls on June 6 for businesses, farmers and ranchers: Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) in the morning; and, Renewable Energy for America Program (REAP) in the afternoon.

15) Sixteen aspiring entrepreneurs attended two pre-business workshops, The LaunchPoint and Boots to Business. GFDA’s efforts to spur entrepreneurial startup activity continue to grow. We’ve now trained 64 aspiring entrepreneurs in 2019 compared to 43 last year. Thank you for helping us spread the word to inspire potential entrepreneurs in the region. We’ve also recorded The LaunchPoint: A Pre-Business Webinar for those who can’t make our live events. Click here to learn the basics about starting a business.

16) Student entrepreneurs celebrated the first Electric City Shark Tank. First Place winner was CMR student Samantha Olson, who invented the Tiny Tracker, a complex blue tooth tracker to find lost belongings. Second place winner went to Great Falls High’s Hallie Thompson, Wholesome Hal’s food truck specializing in super food. Third place went to Eean Mann, a CMR student with a 4-in-1 utensil dubbed the neo-utensil, a functional and practical utensil marketed for fast-food restaurants. Competition was incredibly well-poised, and Lincoln Elementary students also had an enlightening presentation. See Tribune story.

17) Livability Media is wrapping up their advertising for the Great Falls Montana talent attraction magazine they are publishing in partnership with GFDA. This tool has worked very well for other communities our size. Check out Southern Idaho’s publication. This is more than a magazine. Livability has an excellent track record in getting interesting community stories picked up by national media. This is one part of a multi-pronged effort to build our reputation and the awareness of what a great place we are to work and live! Contact Jolene if you’re interested in learning more, JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org.

18) Worked with a large prime federal contractor to collect business names that were ready to participate in a bid opportunity.We hosted four attendees at Win the Bid: How to Prepare a Proposal, a workshop presented by GFDA’s Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). This training walked participants through the government contracting process, how to put a company’s best foot forward, and increase opportunities to increase revenue. Our next government contracting workshop is Marketing Tricks to Win Government Contracts on July 16th. For more or to register, click here. Up next on GFDA’s Business Education Calendar is a webinar on converting marketing leads to sales, Thursday, June 6th from 11-11:30 AM. These webinars are recorded so even if you can’t participate live, please register and we’ll send it to your inbox.

19) Great Falls Public Schools Adult Education Program Celebration of Success Cap and Gown Ceremony and Reception was held Wednesday, May 15th. The event honored graduates achieving United States Citizenship, specialized workforce training, accomplishment of Hi-Set Diplomas. Commencement Speaker Gerard Kouassi, from Cote d’Ivoire Africa, obtains his US Citizenship from Superintendent of Great Falls Public Schools Tammy Lacey and Adult Education Program Director Drew Uecker. Gerard worked closely with GFPS Adult Education on obtaining his US Citizenship. While he learned English with GFPS instructors, he completed the CNA program at Benefis Spectrum. Gerard now has a Master’s Degree in Health Administration from Park University and Certificate in Healthcare Information from the University of Montana. Gerard is the Missouri River Center Health Information Management Coordinator.

20) Hosted 17 Pennsylvania State agricultural education majors. The students were part of a domestic study tour of Montana’s agricultural and education sectors coordinated through Montana’s Office of Public Instruction. GFDA’s Food and Ag Development Center Director Barnett Sporkin-Morrison talked with the students about the opportunities and challenges facing Montana agriculture. The students also heard from Mark Black, MaltEurope’s Procurement & By-product Manager. Several of the students are interested in student teaching opportunities in Montana as a result of the tour.

21) Thank you to our Investors in Economic Development, Alluvion Health, for their investment at the Advance Division level, Wells Fargo for its investment at the Flagship Division, Holman Aviation for their investment at the Pacesetter Division, NeighborWorks Great Falls and Falcon, Lester, and Schaff, P.C., for their investment at the Community Division, and Spark Architecture and Hazardous Technologies for their investment at the Supporter level! Your commitment allows us to continue to expand our economic development efforts to grow the Great Falls regional economy and support the creation of higher wage career opportunities. If you have questions about investment, contact Teresa Schreiner at 406.781.9499.

22) We are pleased to welcome Trista Besich, CEO of Alluvion Health, to our Board of Directors. With her expertise in finance, preventative healthcare, and Alluvion’s current capital-intensive projects downtown, we are eager for Trista to join our 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.

Memorial Day is always a reflective time for me. Thank you to all who have served and sacrificed to earn and protect our freedoms.

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.

“It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.”

Herman Melville

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 MT PTAC has invited over 25 federal, state, and local government agencies to participate in a GOVMatch matchmaking event on May 29th in Billings. The event is designed to facilitate introductions between business owners and government buyers with the intention of possibly doing business together in the future. Business owners will be able to visit with the various government buyers to discuss what products or services they provide, learn more about how the different agencies do business and find out about upcoming projects. If you are interested in seeing what government opportunities may be out there for your business, contact Lillian Sunwall at LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org or register for GovMatch 2019! To learn more or receive assistance with preparing your business for the event give Lillian a call (406) 750-1253 to set up an appointment

Top 10 – 5/1/19

 

Two exciting expansions of health services this week in Great Falls! Alluvion Health cut the ribbon on its new main clinic downtown, and Benefis Health System cut the ribbon on its new Northwest Clinic.

GFDA Top 10

Here is our Top 18 for this week, celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy.

1) Big Sky Cheese submitted plans to Cascade County to build a 20,000 square foot specialty cheese plant in the Madison Food Park. This is a very exciting step in expanding and diversifying food and ag processing in the region. GFDA has reviewed the plans and enthusiastically supports this project. See more details in Great Falls Tribune and on TheElectricGF.com. IndHemp has started construction on its hemp oilseed pressing facility in Havre. See KRTV for details.

2) The Great Falls Tribune ran a great story about the Belt Creek cleanup project, and another story about construction projects underway across Great Falls.

3) What would be the impact if we had a .85% population growth? $13 million economic impact the first year that compounds annually. Stores, restaurants, jobs, housing all would increase. Tax base would broaden reducing the burden on individuals and allowing greater support of police, fire, schools, and parks. We commissioned a study in 2017 to map the impact. Click here to download.

4) We welcomed 12 exemplary small business owners, lending partners, and coaches, in addition to 150 supporters of Montana small businesses at the 2019 Montana Small Business Administration Awards last Thursday. Over 98% of all businesses in Montana are small businesses, and we were honored to host the event to celebrate the successes of small businesses across the state. For a list of winners, click here.

5) The Downtown Development Partnership of Great Falls was reaccredited by the National Main Street Center, and joined the International Downtown Association. Stay tuned for more exciting project announcements downtown!

6) We trained another 20 people at two training events last week. To view our webinar, Creative Labor Solutions, click here. Up next on the GFDA Education Calendar are two pre-business workshops. The LaunchPoint is this Tuesday, May 7th from 4-5 PM. Boots to Business is May 8th and 9th at Malmstrom. Boots to Business is open to active duty military, veterans, and military families. Looking ahead, we will host Win the Bid: How to Prepare a Proposal on May 21st. Contact Jason Nitschke about all of our training events at JNitschke@GrowGreatFalls.org.

7) Congratulations to the Great Falls Public Library on winning the 2019 Excellent Library Service Award from the Montana State Library Commission! See Great Falls Tribune for details.

8) We closed a loan for $33,000 to Fresh Start Co-Op, a grocery store cooperative in Geraldine, partnering with their awesome loan officer Robert Todd at Stockman Bank, to help them purchase the property they are currently leasing. We recognize the great contributions our surrounding rural communities make to the region’s economy, diversity and character, and we want to see them prosper. We are very excited every time we have a chance to help, especially with something so critical as access to fresh foods. If you have a business, or are thinking of starting or buying a business in a rural area and could use some help with financing please reach out to Mike Archer at 406-284-1789 or MArcher@GrowGreatFalls.org.

9) Three more steps forward for downtown Great Falls. The Last Straw Bistro has opened at 5th and Central, see TheElectricGF.com. John Barnes and Neal DuBois announced plans to reopen Tracy’s restaurant, see KRTV. The downtown pedlet program opened for the season May 1st. The Business Improvement District has launched a Pedlet Passport program. Visit the pellets at the Burger Bunker, Celtic Cowboy, Elevation 3330, Enbar and Mighty Mo, get your passport stamped, and be eligible for gift certificate prizes. Passports are available at each business. See TheElectricGF.com for details.

10) We have two spaces remaining for our booth at the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) annual Food Expo in June. This is a great show for ingredient processors and companies in the food supply chain. If you are interested in learning more, contact Jolene at 406.750.4481 or JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org.

11) Budding entrepreneurs get the chance to bring their dreams to fruition at Great Falls Public School Shark Tank 2019. Join the fun this Thursday, May 9th at 5:30 PM  Heritage Hall, Great Falls College as six teams from CMR High School & Great Falls High present their product and their ideas! One team from Lincoln Elementary will also be presenting to our sharks. Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce and Great Falls Public Schools have partnered to offer an evening of food, fun and shark frenzy!

12) We are working with federal and state partners to help a property owner create a redevelopment and reuse plan for their brownfields site. For more information on our Brownfields tools, contact Lillian Sunwall at (406) 750-1253 or LSunwall@GrowGreaFalls.org.

13) Mike Archer and Jill Kuntz presented a training on SBA 504 loans to 15 lenders as part of the SBA awards this week. If you are interested in learning how to get a loan for commercial real estate or fixed assets  with a down payment as low as 10% and a fixed interest rate for up to 25 years please contact Mike Archer at 406-284-1789 or MArcher@GrowGreatFalls.org.

14) Know of students looking for a great summer opportunity? GFDA is offering college or graduate level paid internships involving a variety of business, market research and organizational projects. Interested students should send a resume and cover letter to BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. EOE.

15) Barnett worked with a company in the food and beverage space this week that has seen declining sales over the past several years due to distribution, human resource, and marketing issues. By working with the Great Falls Food and Ag Development Center, the client is able to improve their efforts to overcome their challenges and return to growth and profitability. If you have or know of a business facing issues within the fields of agriculture, biofuels, bioscience, food, or natural resources, contact Barnett at 406-750-3285 and Barnett@GrowGreatFalls.org.

16) The City of Great Falls and partners are holding a unique BaseCamp event for young professional on Saturday, May 18, 12 – 6 PM at the Mansfield Convention Center.

17) We are scheduling meetings with developers, retailers, restaurants, and brokers for the annual RECON event in Las Vegas. We’ve heard from several brands – like FireHouse Subs – that they’d like to be in our market but need to connect with a Franchisee. If you’re interested in being a Franchisee for a particular brand or have general development ideas you’d like to discuss, reach out to Jolene JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org or 406.750.4481.

18) Thank you to this week’s Investors in Economic Development, Springhill Suites, for their Leadership Division investment, and Geranios Enterprise, Inc. for their Pacesetter Division investment. GFDA works hard to ensure that our trade area participates competitively and fully in economic growth. Exploring new possibilities for business development, while showcasing our incredible features, requires continued investment, so thank you. For questions about investment, 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

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.

“Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.”

Henry David Thoreau

Great Career Opportunity

The Montana Manufacturing Extension Center is looking for a Manufacturing Business Advisor to be based in Great Falls, working out of GFDA’s new office in West Bank Landing. See posting here.

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.

Assistance for Business Clinic, Wednesday, May 15, 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM at the Heritage Inn. The Assistance for Business Clinics are designed to assist new and established employers, accountants, bookkeepers, human resource professionals and lawyers to proactively prevent unnecessary claims and/or charges by providing updated reporting of state withholding, UI Tax requirements, workers’ comp. coverage, tax incentives, minimum wage, overtime, new hire reporting, income withholding orders, USERRA laws and regulations. Register here.

The MT PTAC has invited over 25 federal, state, and local government agencies to participate in a GOVMatch matchmaking event on May 29th in Billings. The event is designed to facilitate introductions between business owners and government buyers with the intention of possibly doing business together in the future. Business owners will be able to visit with the various government buyers to discuss what products or services they provide, learn more about how the different agencies do business and find out about upcoming projects. If you are interested in seeing what government opportunities may be out there for your business, contact Lillian Sunwall at LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org or register for GovMatch 2019! To learn more or receive assistance with preparing your business for the event give Lillian a call (406) 750-1253 to set up an appointment.

Top 10 – 4/28/19

Congratulations to David Oien and the Timeless Seeds team, which has grown to 18 employees, on installation of a 50KW solar system! See Great Falls Tribune for details.

GFDA Top 10

Here is our Top 15 for this week, celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy.

1) We closed a loan to Vernon’s Quality Carpentry for $131,211 to help them fulfill the carpentry contracts they’ve won across the state. There are a ton of local, state and federal programs designed to help small businesses borrow money with low down payments, and occasionally cheap interest rates. All of the programs come with their own set of rules and requirements and it can be overwhelming trying to figure out what is the best deal, and makes the most sense for your business. If you need help navigating these programs, please contact Mike Archer at 406-284-1789 or MArcher@GrowGreatFalls.org to find out how you can take advantage of these programs to get the money you need to start, grow and expand your company.

2) MDT presented preliminary plans for Gore Hill I-15 interchange improvements. See TheElectricGF.com for details on this long overdue project. Let’s get it done! Infrastructure has faired well in the Montana Legislative session, including funding for a number of important rural projects in our region. See article in the Cut Bank Pioneer Press for details on few of these projects.

3) Join us as we celebrate our own Raegan Breeden, owner of Play N Learn Academy, along with many other exemplary small business owners at the Montana Small Business Administration Awards this Thursday, May 2nd at the Meadow Lark Country ClubReserve your spot today by clicking HERE. Thank you to our Premier Sponsor Northwestern Energy and Supporting Sponsor Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana for making this event possible.

4) The Cascade County Commission approved funding to do additional planning on the Montana ExpoPark grounds, following up on the events center study done in conjunction with Great Falls Tourism. See TheElectricGF.com for story.

5) “Before taking any further steps on your business, I recommend above all taking this financial course,” Christian Stone, owner of Golden Rule Real Estate, LLC. in Great Falls said of our Profit Mastery: Creating Value and Building Wealth class.“Your business success depends on it.” Christian was one of four entrepreneurs to participate in Profit Mastery on April 24-25.

6) GFDA’s Business Education Calendar is busy the week of April 29th. In partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration, we will be hosting a lender training event on May 1-2. This lender training is designed for commercial bankers, economic developers, and business advisors. Register here. Our next webinar, Creative Labor Solutions, is May 2nd. Also on May 2nd, we are partnering with Export Montana and the Great Falls Chamber of Commerce to host Export 101 designed for current exporters and businesses considering revenue diversification and growth strategies. Contact Jason with questions about any of our training events; JNitschke@GrowGreatFalls.org

7) Congratulations to Jim Meinert on being named Person of the Year by the History Museum of Great Falls! See story in Great Falls Tribune. The Montana Legislature approved a bill allowing for construction of a new Montana Heritage Center in Helena that will be another great day trip for visitors staying in Great Falls.

8) Lillian attended the EPA Brownfields Region 8 meeting and training conference where she spoke on a panel discussing “Advanced Topics in Grant Administration”. Talked with a potential Brownfields client about different ways to move their project towards redevelopment. To learn more about GFDA’s assessment and cleanup tools, contact Lillian Sunwall at (406)750-1253 or LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org.

9) Congratulations to the CMR High School students on having their newspaper, The Stampede, named best in the state! See KRTV for details.

10) We have engaged the company Livability to publish a paper and online magazine to showcase Great Falls for people considering relocating here. This will be a tool employers can use to boost your recruitment efforts. Livability stories frequently show up in news feeds and the exposure will be fantastic! The Top 100 Places to Live, the Top Affordable Communities, the Top Communities for People that Love the Outdoors, and more. This relocation publication can be used by all of us as we are speaking with companies and potential employees from outside the region. The publication is paid for through a limited number of advertising opportunities. If you are interesting in learning more, call Rachel Preston, Livability Media, at 1-615-850-0304.

11) Montana attracted 12.4 million out-of-state visitors in 2018 who contributed over $3.8 billion to Montana’s economy, according to a report issued by the University of Montana’s Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research. Click here for details.

12) We have two spaces remaining for our booth at the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) annual Food Expo in June. This is a great show for ingredient processors and companies in the food supply chain. If you are interested in learning more, contact Jolene at 406.750.4481 or JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org

13) Housing is a critical component of our economic development strategy to grow and diversify the Great Falls regional economy while creating higher wage career opportunities. The Homebuilders Association of Great Falls is hosting David Logan, Lead Economist  for the National Association of Home Builders, for a discussion of the impact of housing on Great Falls, a report titled Brick by Brick. Be sure to get this on your calendar for May 6 from 3-5 PM in The Portage Building at West Bank Landing, 405 3rd St NW – second floor across from GFDA.

14) We are setting appointments with developers, commercial brokers, retailers, and restaurants for the annual RECON event in Las Vegas. This is an opportunity to tell the Great Falls story beyond the numbers. If you’re interested in discussing, contact Jolene at 406.750.4481 or JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org

15) The Mighty Mo Brewing team has gained certification as official beer servers! See details on KRTV. The new Ace Hardware store on 10th Avenue South is looking great!

16) Join investors and potential investors next Friday, May 3rd at 7 AM for Development Coffee as we discuss new projects happening in our region. Come check out our new office space in The Portage Building at West Bank Landing, 405 3rd St NW, Great Falls. If you are interested in hosting Development Coffee next year, contact Teresa Schreiner at 406.781.9499 or TSchriener@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.

Stay warm at the Ice Breaker!

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.

“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.”

John D. Rockefeller

Great Career Opportunity

The Montana Manufacturing Extension Center is looking for a Manufacturing Business Advisor to be based in Great Falls, working out of GFDA’s new office in West Bank Landing. See posting here.

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.

SAVE THE DATE! Discover new opportunities for your business! The MT PTAC has invited over 25 federal, state, and local government agencies to participate in a matchmaking event on May 29th in Billings. The event is designed to facilitate introductions between business owners and government buyers with the intention of possibly doing business together in the future. Business owners will be able to visit with the various government buyers to discuss what products or services they provide, learn more about how the different agencies do business and find out about upcoming projects. If you are interested in seeing what government opportunities may be out there for your business, contact Lillian Sunwall at LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org or register for GovMatch 2019! To learn more or receive assistance with preparing your business for the event give Lillian a call (406) 750-1253 to set up an appointment.

Top 10 – 4/21/19

Plan showing new section of Rivers Edge Trail coming soon to downtown Great Falls!

GFDA Top 10

Here is our Top 19 for this week, celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy. Great to be back in town for Easter after a 12 day Denver-LA-DC trip. Kudos to the raid warriors, remote workers, gig freelancers, and entrepreneurs who live through the headaches of business travel to support our economy. Great Falls is such an easy and pleasant airport to fly in and out of!

1) Hosted a prospect visit by a company looking at potential sites in our region for re-shoring its manufacturing. Like many companies, they were enticed overseas for manufacturing 20 years ago but the business climate has changed and now their business will benefit from being back in the US. If you know of any companies looking for new locations, give us a call so we can work with you to put together a competitive proposal! Jolene Schalper 406.750.4481.

2) Employment in the Great Falls MSA (Cascade County) increased by 112 in March, bringing our unemployment rate to 4.0%. This still leaves 1,521 local residents actively seeking work and another 800+ we can draw back into the labor force just to get our labor participation rate to the state average. So, let’s get going on those business startups and expansions!

3) Congratulations to the City of Shelby and the Carousel Rest Area on winning the Public/Private Collaboration Award at the Governor’s Tourism and Outdoor Recreation Conference! See Great Falls Tribune story.

4) Our monthly pre-business workshop, The LaunchPoint, saw its largest attendance since we began this training in 2015. With those 16 attendees, GFDA has now trained over 150 people in 2019. We’ve also now trained over 250 aspiring entrepreneurs with The LaunchPoint since 2015. Up next on GFDA’s Business Education Calendar, Profit Mastery, on April 24-25. Profit Mastery makes managing a company’s financials easier and simplifies how to plan for growth. Every advisor and entrepreneur we’ve guided through Profit Mastery sings its praises. Join us by registering here.

5) The Great Falls City Commission approved using downtown tax increment financing funds to make capital improvements to the City’s parking garages. See Tribune. And, check out this story about the new Elevation 3330 Public House downtown. The Children’s Museum of Montana in downtown Great Falls held a public meeting to get input on planning for its future new facility. See KRTV for details.

6) Join us as we celebrate our own Raegan Breeden, owner of Play N Learn Academy, along with many other exemplary small business owners at the Montana Small Business Administration Awards on Thursday, May 2nd at the Meadow Lark Country Club. Spots are filling up, so reserve your spot today by clicking HERE. Thank you to our Premier Sponsor Northwestern Energy and Supporting Sponsor Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana for making this event possible.

7) We’d also like to invite our bank partners and economic developers in the state to a special Lender Training event in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration on May 1-2. This two-day course walks through the SBA 7(a) program, the SBA 504 program, USDA’s Rural Development programs, New Market Tax Credits, the Montana Board of Investments, and risk mitigation tools through the Montana Department of Commerce. Join us for the training and the SBA Awards ceremony.

8) MaltEurop’s Great Falls facility was featured in an article in Site Selection magazine about the globalization of malting barley. KFBB ran a nice story about Fresh Start Coop in Geraldine, click here.

9) Congratulations to the Downtown Great Falls Association and the Great Falls Business Improvement District (BID) on celebrating one year in their new downtown office. If you are looking at a downtown project we recommend working with Joan Redeen at the BID. She is incredibly knowledgeable and the BID has tools and resources that can help! info@greatfallsbid.com

10) SBA 504 interest rates were down yet again for April. The 25-year note came in at 4.527%, the 20-year note at 4.360% and the 20-year refi at 4.393%. The 10-year note funds every other month and came in at 4.616% in March. These interest rates are FIXED for the life of the loan and inclusive of all ongoing fees. In this interest rate environment it is hard to get a better deal. Add to that the SBA 504 program can get you a loan with a down payment as low as 10% and financing your commercial real estate or equipment purchases through with an SBA 504 loan becomes a no-brainer. If you’re curious about whether the SBA 504 program may work for you, please contact Mike Archer at 406-284-1789 or MArcher@GrowGreatFalls.org.

11) Housing is a critical component of our economic development strategy to grow and diversify the Great Falls regional economy while creating higher wage career opportunities. The Homebuilders Association of Great Falls is hosting David Logan, Lead Economist  for the National Association of Home Builders, for a discussion of the impact of housing on Great Falls, a report titled Brick by Brick. Be sure to get this on your calendar for May 6 from 3-5 PM in The Portage Building at West Bank Landing, 405 3rd St NW – second floor across from GFDA.

12) THANK YOU to the Montana Legislature for passing House Bill 52 which reauthorizes many of the core economic development programs that we use to implement our regional economic development strategy. And, THANK YOU to the businesses who supported the legislative effort. The bill reauthorizes the Small Business Development Centers, Montana Manufacturing Extension Center, Food & Ag Development Centers, Growth Through Agriculture, the Export program at the Montana Department of Commerce, support of the Montana Cooperative Development Center, and others.

13) THANK YOU to the Montana Legislature for approving funding to expand the Dental Hygiene program at Great Falls College MSU! Now we need to raise local money to make the project a reality. Check out the details of this great project here.

14) The Legislature also named the fourth Saturday in July to be National Day of the Cowboy, see Giddyup in Tribune.

15) Is exporting part of your company’s revenue? Should it be? The Montana Department of Commerce will be hosting an Export 101 training at the Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce on May 2nd from 2-4 PM. Exporting is an option to diversify revenue to stabilize through seasonal dips or when evaluating growth opportunities. Click here for more information.

16) Worked with a local small business helping them invoice on a project with the National Park Service. Assisted several businesses with their capability statements and elevator pitches in preparation for the upcoming GovMatch 2019 event in Billings this May. For more information on trainings, events and counseling in the government contracting area, contact Lillian Sunwall at LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org or (406)750-1253.

17) The second round of proposed Opportunity Zone regulations were released this week and we’re getting closer to having regulatory certainty around this new and exciting investment option. If you are looking to defer and reduce your capital gains by investing in an Opportunity Zone but aren’t sure what qualifies, or if your business or project is located in an Opportunity Zone and is seeking investment, please reach out to Mike Archer at 406-284-1789 or MArcher@GrowGreatFalls.org to discuss.

18) Networked with federal officials, financial leaders and Montana Congressional staff in Washington, DC. Spoke at the International Economic Development Council’s Federal Forum. Participated in the Council of Development Finance Agencies’ Federal Summit, in the Aspen Institute’s Opportunity Zone event, and the Fourth Economy’s Agents of Change event.

19) Thank you to this week’s Investor in Economic Development, the Cascade County Tavern Association, for their continued investment at the Community Division. When you invest in our community, not only are you helping us remain competitive, but you are ensuring that we adapt to the changing conditions involved in community development. Our dynamic team works hard to ensure that your investment dollars are utilized strategically and always with a growth mindset.  If you want to further discuss how investment works, please 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

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.

“The world needs many more dreamers. Unreasonable souls who fight the urge to be ordinary.” – Robin Sharma

Great Career Opportunity

The Montana Manufacturing Extension Center is looking for a Manufacturing Business Advisor to be based in Great Falls, working out of GFDA’s new office in West Bank Landing. See posting here.

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.

SAVE THE DATE! Discover new opportunities for your business! The MT PTAC has invited over 25 federal, state, and local government agencies to participate in a matchmaking event on May 29th in Billings. The event is designed to facilitate introductions between business owners and government buyers with the intention of possibly doing business together in the future. Business owners will be able to visit with the various government buyers to discuss what products or services they provide, learn more about how the different agencies do business and find out about upcoming projects. If you are interested in seeing what government opportunities may be out there for your business, contact Lillian Sunwall at LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org or register for GovMatch 2019! To learn more or receive assistance with preparing your business for the event give Lillian a call (406) 750-1253 to set up an appointment.