Great Falls Development Authority Hires SBDC Rural Business Advisor

Welcome, Rich!

We are very pleased to announce that Rich Gannon has joined the Great Falls Development Authority team as our new SBDC Rural Business Advisor!

This position was made possible in-part through an additional $200,000 in funding provided to Montana’s SBDC network by the 2019 Legislature through HB 52. Read the full Department of Commerce release here.

Rich was raised on a farm and ranch in the Sun River Valley west of Great Falls. He earned a BS in Business Administration Management and Marketing from the University of Montana, then spent eight years in Alaska working as a staff accountant, comptroller and air taxi dispatcher. He and his wife moved to Cut Bank where Rich created a web consulting firm, Front Range Web, which he has run since 2008.

Rich will be on the front lines of the expansion of our business coaching and training services to existing businesses and startup entrepreneurs in Cascade, Fergus, Glacier, Judith Basin, Pondera, Teton, and Toole counties.

Do you own a business, or know of a business or startup venture that we should be in touch with in our rural counties, let Rich know! You can contact him via email at RGannon@GrowGreatFalls.org, or give him a call at (406) 836-2078.

Top 10 – 10/13/19

Matt and Abby Mills, Big Sky Managed Care, in front of their prescription sorting and packaging robot – one of just 30 world wide. The Mill’s motto is bridging the gap between patients and big pharmacies because, “Montanas should be taking care of Montanans.” We’re excited to support the company’s growth with an SBA 504 loan!

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) Great Falls is an entrepreneur hot spot! We were just ranked the 9th amongst all U.S. cities of under 150,000 population in the Top Cities Where Americans Start the Most Businesses report, and 23rd amongst U.S. cities of all sizes, as released by AdvisorSmith.

2) Developers announced plans to construct a $17 million riverfront restaurant, retail and housing development in the West Bank Urban Renewal Area along the urban Missouri River corridor in Great Falls. See Great Falls Tribune for details.

3) One of our startup entrepreneur clients secured financing to move a downtown project into construction in the near future. This is a project two years in the making that will add to a dynamic, vibrant, and growing Downtown Great Falls. If you know of an entrepreneur looking to start a business or has an idea to grow anywhere in the Golden Triangle, please let us know. Jason can be reached at JNitschke@GrowGreatFalls.org.

4) Congratulations to Great Falls College MSU on its 50th anniversary!

5) For our friends and partners in the Golden Triangle, join us this Thursday, October 17th from 6-8 PM at Cut Bank Creek Brewery for Triangle Pitch Night, designed to give dreamers, thinkers, makers, innovators, entrepreneurs, and community members the space to share ideas, pitch crazy stuff, and meet like-minded people. For more information, contact Barnett at Barnett@GrowGreatFalls.org or find our event page on Facebook.

6) Congratulations to Enbar on being named Best Cocktail Bar in Montana and Hempl’s on being named Montana’s Best Donut Shop by Big 7 Travel. Congratulations to the Sip ‘n Dip on being named one of the 50 Best Bars in the World! Five Loaves Too has a new owner, Beth McKinney. See details on all in TheElectricGF.com.

7) Hosted a visioning and input meeting with Kansas State TAB and DEQ for the Miracle Mile site and 2nd Ave North corridor with property owners, residents, state & local agencies, Malmstrom personnel and other interested parties. The next steps are to assemble the input gathered at the meeting and compile into a plan for redevelopment options moving forward. The draft will be completed within the next month and shared with the community. Thank you to all who attended, those who helped coordinate the event and to Kim Ray, principal at Loy Elementary for providing a space for us to use.

8) The Montana Chamber has launched a Montana Workforce Development Survey as part of the Chamber’s efforts to address workforce shortages across the state. Please take a few minutes to participate in the survey and share with your business colleagues.

9) The GFDA’s PTAC is accepting registrations for the upcoming training, Win the Bid: How to Prepare a Proposal on October 23rd from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. For more info, call Shannon Clancy (406) 590-1184.

10) Congratulations to Choteau County, City of Conrad, Town of Hobson, City of Shelby and thirteen additional rural communities and counties across the state for winning infrastructure planning grants from the Treasure State Endowment Program (TSEP) of the Montana Department of Commerce.

11) We signed up to network with Canadian companies interested in expanding in the United States at SelectUSA’s Canada Day in Montreal in December.

12) Resident and tourist outdoor recreational activities accounted for 5.1% of Montana’s GDP in 2017, ranking us second amongst states just behind Hawaii, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. We love to enjoy Montana’s amazing outdoors! See Daily Interlake story.

13) Our fall QuickBooks class is now taking registrations. This full-day training event on November 1st, presented by GFDA investor Wendy Weissman CPA PC, helps participants understand how QuickBooks can be used most effectively to manage financial statements. It is designed for users with basic to no knowledge of the tool as well as more advanced users to get more out of it. For more information or to register, click here.

14) Join us in welcoming Richard Gannon to GFDA’s team as our new Rural Business Adviser, part of the expansion of our Small Business Development Center. Rich was raised on a farm and ranch in the Sun River Valley west of Great Falls. He earned a BS in Business Administration Management and Marketing from the University of Montana, then spent eight years in Alaska working as a staff accountant, comptroller and air taxi dispatcher. He and his wife moved to Cut Bank where Rich created a web consulting firm, Front Range Web, which he has run since 2008. Rich starts work Monday to help us expand our business coaching and training services to existing businesses and startup entrepreneurs in Cascade, Fergus, Glacier, Judith Basin, Pondera, Teton, and Toole counties.

15) GFDA has another new career opportunity. We’ve partnered with the Great Falls Business Improvement District to create a Downtown Business Development Officer position. See description below or download all our position openings and help us spread the word!

16) Thank you to this week’s Investors in Economic Development, Pacific Steel and Recycling, for their Advanced Division investment, Vision Net, for their Leadership Division investment, and Cogswell Insurance Agency, LLC and AE2S for their for their Pacesetter Division investments. At GFDA we are a small yet vital team that works hard to accomplish our region’s economic future. Understanding that our efforts are only possible because of the contributions we receive from generous investors like you, we continue to strive for a more healthy and diverse economy. If you have questions about investment in the Golden Triangle, contact Investment Director Teresa Schreiner at 496.781.9499 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 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.

“Experience is not what happens to you; it’s what you do with what happens to you.”
Aldous Huxley

GFDA Job Openings

Downtown Business Development Officer 
Main Street Economic Development  

Dynamic, self-motivated professional sought to join our passionate, creative, fast-paced, results-driven economic development team. We are looking for a super star to lead downtown economic revitalization in partnership with the Downtown Development Partnership of Great Falls (an accredited National Main Street program) and the Great Falls Business Improvement District. You will meet with existing downtown businesses to aid in their retention and expansion, conduct market research, work to attract businesses and developers to downtown, and provide overall aid in our downtown business development efforts. Involves coordination, cold-calling, networking, relationship building, project management, advocacy, marketing events, meeting with businesses, listening, and additional client business development services. Position may involve travel in region, U.S. and Canada. Looking for a star with demonstrated achievement in business development. Requires excellent writing, computer, and communication skills. Live on the Missouri River along the Rocky Mountain Front and work with a great team! Salary range $45,000-55,000 with excellent benefits, professional development, growth opportunities, and flexible work environment. EOE. Cover letter and resume to Brett Doney, President, BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. Open until we find a great candidate.

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

Dynamic, self-motivated professional sought to join our passionate, creative, fast-paced, results-driven economic development lending team. Help us to keep growing our gap and bridge financing efforts to support entrepreneurs, businesses, developers and non-profit organizations throughout the Great Falls trade area and across Montana. This position receives,reviews and processes commercial loan documents, maintains loan application files and other duties related to the processing and servicing of the commercial loan portfolio.Reviews all gathered pending documents for accuracy, completeness, loan authority, lien position, insurance, flood insurance, collateral, appraisal, coding, risk rating, disbursements, etc. Reviews documents for compliance purposes, recognizes problems with documentation, and takes appropriate action. Requires the ability to maintain accurate records, work with a wide variety of clients, and have computer and communication skills. Experience with SBA 504 loan servicing and/or economic development loan funds a plus. Must be detail oriented and organized with flexibility to help achieve our overall team mission. Live on the Missouri River along the Rocky Mountain Front and work with a great team! Salary range $35,000-45,000 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.

Talent Attraction Director
Digital Content Marketing

Dynamic, self-motivated professional sought to join our passionate, creative, fast-paced, results-driven economic development team. We are looking for an experienced digital marketing leader who can learn and utilize best practices to design and implement a program with the goal of getting people to relocate in the Great Falls region. This public relations star will manage content on our website and social media platforms, engage partners and the community, conduct research, and implement PR campaigns to attract people to the Great Falls region. 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 $35,000-45,000 with excellent benefits, professional development, growth opportunities, and flexible work environment. EOE. Cover letter and resume to Brett Doney, President, BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. Open until we find a great candidate.

 

SBA 504 Loans

SBA 504 rates came in even lower in September. The 25-year loan effective rate came in at 3.44%; 20-year at 3.553%; and, 20-year refinance at 3.388%. There was no 10-year equipment debenture sale this month but July’s sale came in at 3.553%. These rates are FIXED for the life of the loan and are inclusive of all on-going fees. If you would like to find out how to get financing for commercial real estate and equipment at potentially lower rates than you’re paying for your home mortgage, please contact Jill Kohles at 406-590-1056 or JKohles@GrowGreatFalls.org.

 

Cost-Effective Rail-Served Industrial Sites Available

If your company needs a rail-served, BNSF-Certified, shovel-ready site with all municipal services at your door, we have lots available for immediate construction in the Great Falls AgriTech Park. Contact Jolene Schalper at 1.406.750.4481 or JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org

 

Events, Business Trainings, and Opportunities

2019 GFDA Business Education Calendar

The Montana Downtown Conference will be held October 23-25 in Missoula. This is always a great conference with lots of idea sharing. More info here.

The Montana Innovation Partnership is offering trainings later this month on Market Research for Early Stage Technologies and on Writing Winning SBIR/STTR Proposals. See more info here.

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

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

Top 10 – 10/9/2019

Two tanks were pulled at one of our Phase 2 sites in downtown Great Falls to test for potential contamination. If you would like more information on our Brownfields tools for assessment & clean up of properties, give Lillian Sunwall a call at (406) 750-1253 or LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org

GFDA Top 10

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

1) Let’s Play Games and Toys opened its new toy store in downtown Great Falls, see KRTV. Hayley and Schuler Mieyr announced plans to reopen the historic Missouri Inn located at Hardy Creek, see Great Falls Tribune.

2) Tyler Menzales presented our monthly webinar, Promote Your Business With LinkedIn, to 10 people around the state. Up next on GFDA’s Business Education Calendar is The LaunchPoint: A Pre-Business Workshop, TODAY, Wednesday, October 9th from 4-5 PM. If you are or know an entrepreneur considering starting a business, this free workshop steps through the frequently asked questions, basic structures, and best practices of business ownership. Space is limited. Please register to attend.

3) Join us this Thursday Night October 10th, 6:00 PM, at Loy Elementary for a strategic visioning and planning session for the Miracle Mile (from the gates of Malmstrom Airforce Base along 2nd Ave N to 57th St N). We are asking neighbors and interested citizens to help plan the future use of this stretch of land. During this process participants will be able to share their ideas and identify top priorities. Refreshments will be provided. For more information, contact Lillian Sunwall a call at (406) 750-1253 or LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org.

4) The Downtown Development Partnership hosted over 100 communities members for the Downtown Visioning Charette! Participants were asked what they want to see for additional private sector development in Downtown Great Falls. Groups identified the desire for additional venues, housing, food trucks and more. If you didn’t get to participate but would like to provide input on the top ten responses as well as add your own; check out the Follow-Up Poll here. Please share with friends. And save the date for Wednesday, November 20, when we release the community results and next steps in two repeat sessions, 4:00 and 7:00 PM in the Missouri Room of the Great Falls Civic Center. See TheElectricGF.com and Tribune for stories about the charette.

5) Talked with a Rural Banker who has a client that wants to purchase an existing business. This client has a gap financing need as well as questions on the working capital needs, equity contribution and the business valuation.  We were able to give the banker and client some options as well as connect them to the Small Business Development Center Director, Jason Nitschke for further coaching.  If you are running into a financing obstacle and want to discuss different options that GFDA may be able to provide please contact Jill Kohles at 406-590-1056 or JKohles@GrowGreatFalls.org.

6) Kids Education Yes met with GFDA’s Board to discuss the critical importance of winning voter support for mill levies to provide sufficient funds for Great Falls Public Schools.

7) Met with a local business to assist with invoicing for their federal contract.  Reviewed an RFP for a business owner looking to submit a bid to a State Agency. For more information on contracting with federal, state and local agencies, give Lillian Sunwall (406) 750-1253 or Shannon Clancy (406) 590-1184 a call. The GFDA PTAC office is accepting registrations for the upcoming training, Win the Bid: How to Prepare a Proposal on October 23rd from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM.

8) Our fall QuickBooks class is now taking registrations. This full-day training event on November 1st, presented by GFDA investor Wendy Weissman CPA PC, helps participants understand how QuickBooks can be used most effectively to manage financial statements. It is designed for users with basic to no knowledge of the tool as well as more advanced users to get more out of it. For more information or to register, click here.

9) We are planning Ignite 2020 and looking for capital investment projects that will start or open in 2020! Let’s kick off the calendar year with exciting announcements. Save the date of January 10th from 8 to 10 AM at Meadow Lark Country Club. Contact Jolene to discuss your project, 406.750.4481 or JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org.

10) I spent a great long weekend on the American Prairie Reserve learning more about their plans and progress, including their tourism, hunting, camping and recreation plans.

11) Nathan Reiff started work as our new Business Development Officer. Nathan will be boosting our business retention and expansion efforts, and assisting with our overall business development work. He can be reached at 406-403-4937 or NReiff@GrowGreatFalls.org. Welcome Nathan!

12) The International Economic Development Council announced that it reaccredited GFDA for another three years!

13) GFDA has another new career opportunity. We’ve partnered with the downtown Business Improvement District to create a Downtown Business Development Officer position. See description below or download all our position openings and help us spread the word!

14) Too often we hear that people feel disengaged or out of the loop regarding business development in our region. We need your help sharing the Top Ten. These weekly e-blasts are meant to inform and engage. If someone reads the top ten they are more aware of resources that exist to help businesses. As a community, the more awareness generated the more we grow! Please share this link on your social media or in an email to colleagues. Sign up for the Top Ten with this link https://bit.ly/2iedGXe. Thank you for sharing!

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.

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”
Zig Ziglar

GFDA Job Openings

Downtown Business Development Officer 
Main Street Economic Development  

Dynamic, self-motivated professional sought to join our passionate, creative, fast-paced, results-driven economic development team. We are looking for a super star to lead downtown economic revitalization in partnership with the Downtown Development Partnership of Great Falls (an accredited National Main Street program) and the Great Falls Business Improvement District. You will meet with existing downtown businesses to aid in their retention and expansion, conduct market research, work to attract businesses and developers to downtown, and provide overall aid in our downtown business development efforts. Involves coordination, cold-calling, networking, relationship building, project management, advocacy, marketing events, meeting with businesses, listening, and additional client business development services. Position may involve travel in region, U.S. and Canada. Looking for a star with demonstrated achievement in business development. Requires excellent writing, computer, and communication skills. Live on the Missouri River along the Rocky Mountain Front and work with a great team! Salary range $45,000-55,000 with excellent benefits, professional development, growth opportunities, and flexible work environment. EOE. Cover letter and resume to Brett Doney, President, BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. Open until we find a great candidate.

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

Dynamic, self-motivated professional sought to join our passionate, creative, fast-paced, results-driven economic development lending team. Help us to keep growing our gap and bridge financing efforts to support entrepreneurs, businesses, developers and non-profit organizations throughout the Great Falls trade area and across Montana. This position receives,reviews and processes commercial loan documents, maintains loan application files and other duties related to the processing and servicing of the commercial loan portfolio.Reviews all gathered pending documents for accuracy, completeness, loan authority, lien position, insurance, flood insurance, collateral, appraisal, coding, risk rating, disbursements, etc. Reviews documents for compliance purposes, recognizes problems with documentation, and takes appropriate action. Requires the ability to maintain accurate records, work with a wide variety of clients, and have computer and communication skills. Experience with SBA 504 loan servicing and/or economic development loan funds a plus. Must be detail oriented and organized with flexibility to help achieve our overall team mission. Live on the Missouri River along the Rocky Mountain Front and work with a great team! Salary range $35,000-45,000 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.

Rural Business Advisor
Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

Motivated, innovative, and impact-driven professional to boost our entrepreneurship coaching and training efforts in rural North-Central Montana. Work with entrepreneurs, business owners, and stakeholders in the entrepreneurial ecosystem to address some of rural America’s economic challenges. This new position will coach, counsel, and advise existing rural businesses, stimulate startup activity, and deliver meaningful trainings primarily in rural Cascade, Glacier, Teton, Toole, and Pondera counties. Our mission is to stimulate innovation, increase collaboration within the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and deliver impact to employers and innovators. Day-to-day responsibilities will include providing advisory support to business owners, helping them identify and solve the problems that arise in entrepreneurship. Requires excellent communication skills. Prefer five to seven years’ experience in business management, entrepreneurship, finance, marketing, human resources, or related field. Bachelor’s degree required. Salary range $40,000-$50,000 with excellent benefits, professional development, and flexible work environment.EOE. We encourage candidates who live, or would like to live, in one of our wonderful rural communities to apply. Remote work available. Cover letter and resume to Brett Doney, President, BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. Open until we find a great candidate.

Talent Attraction Director
Digital Content Marketing

Dynamic, self-motivated professional sought to join our passionate, creative, fast-paced, results-driven economic development team. We are looking for an experienced digital marketing star who can create and implement a content-driven workforce recruitment effort for our community and region. Engage our business leaders and residents using Social Toaster and social media, help us use Linked In and other platforms to help our companies attract talent to relocate to Great Falls. 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 $35,000-45,000 with excellent benefits, professional development, growth opportunities, and flexible work environment. EOE. Cover letter and resume to Brett Doney, President, BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. Open until we find a great candidate.

 

SBA 504 Loans

SBA 504 rates came in even lower in September. The 25-year loan effective rate came in at 3.44%; 20-year at 3.553%; and, 20-year refinance at 3.388%. There was no 10-year equipment debenture sale this month but July’s sale came in at 3.553%. These rates are FIXED for the life of the loan and are inclusive of all on-going fees. If you would like to find out how to get financing for commercial real estate and equipment at potentially lower rates than you’re paying for your home mortgage, please contact Jill Kohles at 406-590-1056 or JKohles@GrowGreatFalls.org.

 

Cost-Effective Rail-Served Industrial Sites Available

If your company needs a rail-served, BNSF-Certified, shovel-ready site with all municipal services at your door, we have lots available for immediate construction in the Great Falls AgriTech Park. Contact Jolene Schalper at 1.406.750.4481 or JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org

 

Events, Business Training, and Opportunities

2019 GFDA Business Education Calendar

The Montana Downtown Conference will be held October 23-25 in Missoula. This is always a great conference with lots of idea sharing. More info here.

The Montana Innovation Partnership is offering trainings later this month on Market Research for Early Stage Technologies and on Writing Winning SBIR/STTR Proposals. See more info here.

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

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

Top 10 – 9/30/19

Feel free to use this image as you share the Top Ten Sign up link through your social media!  https://bit.ly/2iedGXe  

GFDA Top 11

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

1) Join Neighbors, Developers, Property Owners, Resource Providers, and more on Wednesday, October 2nd at 5:30 PM for a visioning session on what we hope our downtown can be! We will focus our efforts on three blocks that have the most potential for private development. Pizza and non-alcoholic beverages will be provided. Please RSVP so we know how much to pizza to order, click here!

2) Jason is now a certified LivePlan Expert Advisor. LivePlan is our newest, cloud-based business planning tool. We’ve found LivePlan makes the planning process quicker by increasing collaboration, streamlining financial analysis and projections, and managing tasks. If any of our bank partners or other resource partners are interested in learning more about this high powered tool, please contact Jason at JNitschke@GrowGreatFalls.orgClick here to view LivePlan.

3) Congratulations to the University of Providence on the Grand Opening of the University Center! This is a beautiful addition to campus and features a 300 seat meeting room. Thank you for your capital investment in Great Falls!

4) Join investors and developers for Development Coffee Friday, October 4 at 7 AM in the NeighborWorks Learning Center 509 1st Avenue South. Thank you NeighborWorks for hosting!

5) We are planning Ignite 2020 and looking for capital investment projects that will start or open in 2020! Let’s kick off the calendar year with exciting announcements. Save the date of January 10th from 8 to 10 AM at Meadow Lark Country Club. Contact Jolene to discuss your project, 406.750.4481 or JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org

6) Received sign off from EPA & DEQ to begin testing on a site in downtown Great Falls that may facilitate cleanup/a purchase and redevelopment of the property.  Working with MT DEQ on a cleanup project that has been complicated by petroleum contamination for many years.  Do you have a building or site that may have potential or perceived contamination? Give us a call and see how we can work with you to move your project forward, Lillian Sunwall at 406-750-1253 or LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org.

7) The SBA approved a $200,000 SBA 504 loan as part of a $480,000 purchase of commercial real estate in Columbia Falls, MT! This new real estate will house Montana Build, Inc, a company that specializes in luxury custom homes locally and beyond. Thanks to the great and proactive work of their banker, Alex Hermann, of First Interstate Bank in Kalispell; Montana Build will now enjoy low, fixed interest rates on the SBA portion of their loan for 20 years and will only have to provide a down payment of 10%. Because of the low down payment the company will be able to complete renovations and maintain working capital, which is so important for growing businesses. If your business needs money to grow please contact Jill Kohles at 406-590-1056 or JKohles@GrowGreatFalls.orgto find out how we can help.

8) You’re invited to a strategic visioning and planning session for the Miracle Mile (the gates of Malmstrom Airforce Base along 2nd Ave N to 57th St N) on Thursday October 10th, 6:00 PM at Loy Elementary. During this process participants will be able to share their ideas and identify top redevelopment priorities. If you have questions reach out to Lillian Sunwall at 406-750-1253 or LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org.

9) Linkedin hosts over 590 million professionals who represent the largest group of influential, affluent, educational people anywhere. Find out what content to share, which products suit your needs, and how much time you’ll spend daily or weekly to ensure your brand stays in front of the people who matter most to your business. This is a 30-minute webinar presentedby Tyler Menzales will occur on October 3 from 11-11:30 AM Mountain Time. This training event will be presented online and archived for future reference click here to RSVP.

10) Thank you to this week’s Investors in Economic Development: General Distributing Company for their Advanced Division Investment, North 40 Outfitters and Talus Apartment Homes for their Leadership Division Investment, Hoven Equipment for their Pacesetter Division Investment, Macek Companies, Inc., K&K Trucking, Inc. & Mighty Mo Brewing Company for their Community Division Investments. Join our current investors, become a champion of the Golden Triangle. In doing so, you or your company will help bring new money to the region, improve your community’s downtown, and increase your skilled workforce. To join our Investors in Economic Development, email Teresa Schreiner or call (406) 781-9499.

11) Too often we hear that people feel disengaged or out of the loop regarding business development in our region. We need your help sharing the Top Ten. These weekly e-blasts are meant to inform and engage. If someone reads the top ten they are more aware of resources that exist to help businesses. As a community, the more awareness generated the more we grow! Please share this link on your social media or in an email to colleagues. Sign up for the Top Ten with this link https://bit.ly/2iedGXe. Thank you for sharing!

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.

Jolene Schalper
Vice President

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.

“Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world.”
Joel Barker

GFDA Job Openings

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

Dynamic, self-motivated professional sought to join our passionate, creative, fast-paced, results-driven economic development lending team. Help us to keep growing our gap and bridge financing efforts to support entrepreneurs, businesses, developers and non-profit organizations throughout the Great Falls trade area and across Montana. This position receives,reviews and processes commercial loan documents, maintains loan application files and other duties related to the processing and servicing of the commercial loan portfolio.Reviews all gathered pending documents for accuracy, completeness, loan authority, lien position, insurance, flood insurance, collateral, appraisal, coding, risk rating, disbursements, etc. Reviews documents for compliance purposes, recognizes problems with documentation, and takes appropriate action. Requires the ability to maintain accurate records, work with a wide variety of clients, and have computer and communication skills. Experience with SBA 504 loan servicing and/or economic development loan funds a plus. Must be detail oriented and organized with flexibility to help achieve our overall team mission. Live on the Missouri River along the Rocky Mountain Front and work with a great team! Salary range $35,000-45,000 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.

 

Rural Business Advisor
Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

Motivated, innovative, and impact-driven professional to boost our entrepreneurship coaching and training efforts in rural North-Central Montana. Work with entrepreneurs, business owners, and stakeholders in the entrepreneurial ecosystem to address some of rural America’s economic challenges. This new position will coach, counsel, and advise existing rural businesses, stimulate startup activity, and deliver meaningful trainings primarily in rural Cascade, Glacier, Teton, Toole, and Pondera counties. Our mission is to stimulate innovation, increase collaboration within the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and deliver impact to employers and innovators. Day-to-day responsibilities will include providing advisory support to business owners, helping them identify and solve the problems that arise in entrepreneurship. Requires excellent communication skills. Prefer five to seven years’ experience in business management, entrepreneurship, finance, marketing, human resources, or related field. Bachelor’s degree required. Salary range $40,000-$50,000 with excellent benefits, professional development, and flexible work environment.EOE. We encourage candidates who live, or would like to live, in one of our wonderful rural communities to apply. Remote work available. Cover letter and resume to Brett Doney, President, BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. Open until we find a great candidate.

 

Talent Attraction Director
Digital Content Marketing

Dynamic, self-motivated professional sought to join our passionate, creative, fast-paced, results-driven economic development team. We are looking for an experienced digital marketing star who can create and implement a content-driven workforce recruitment effort for our community and region. Engage our business leaders and residents using Social Toaster and social media, help us use Linked In and other platforms to help our companies attract talent to relocate to Great Falls. 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 $35,000-45,000 with excellent benefits, professional development, growth opportunities, and flexible work environment. EOE. Cover letter and resume to Brett Doney, President, BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. Open until we find a great candidate.

 

SBA 504 Loans

SBA 504 rates came in at insanely low levels in August. The 25-year note came in at 3.626%; 20-year at 3.526%; and, 20-year refinance at 3.559%. There was no 10-year equipment debenture sale this month but July’s sale came in at 3.922%. These rates are FIXED for the life of the loan and are inclusive of all on-going fees. If you would like to find out how to get financing for commercial real estate and equipment at potentially lower rates than you’re paying for your home mortgage, please contact Jill Kohles at 406-590-1056 or JKohles@GrowGreatFalls.org.

 

Cost-Effective Rail-Served Industrial Sites Available

If your company needs a rail-served, BNSF-Certified, shovel-ready site with all municipal services at your door, we have lots available for immediate construction in the Great Falls AgriTech Park. Contact Jolene Schalper at 1.406.750.4481 or JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org

 

Events, Business Training, and Opportunities

2019 GFDA Business Education Calendar

The Montana Downtown Conference will be held October 23-25 in Missoula. This is always a great conference with lots of idea sharing. More info here.

The Montana Innovation Partnership is offering trainings later this month on Market Research for Early Stage Technologies and on Writing Winning SBIR/STTR Proposals. See more info here.

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

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

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

Top 10 – 9/25/19

GFDA Top 10

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

1) Embark CU will be the Presenting Sponsor for the tenth annual Fire Within! Thank you to the forward thinking financial team at Embark CU for supporting women in business! Be sure to get the event on your calendar March 26, 2020, 5:30 – 7:30 PM at the Meadow Lark Country Club and share with any women you know that own a business or want to start one. Click here to join the Fire Within mailing list to get the nomination form and other information about the Fire Within delivered to you. 

2) Networked with commercial developers, brokers and retail/hospitality/dining brands at the International Council of Shopping Centers western division event in Los Angeles.

3) Jason presented to a Business 101 class at Great Falls College MSU – in partnership with the Montana Cooperative Development Center – on the Main Street Employee Ownership Act. This effort raises awareness of how the cooperative model can be used as a pathway to ownership for employees of existing companies. Employee Stock Ownership Plans and Worker Cooperatives may be excellent option for groups of people to come together to keep a business alive under new ownership. We are especially interested in helping maintain essential businesses in rural communities. For more information on buying or selling your business or using a cooperative model to purchase an existing business in the Golden Triangle, contact Jason at JNitschke@GrowGreatFalls.org or Marilyn Besich at Marilyn@mcdc.coop.

4) We need your help identifying primary sector businesses in the Golden Triangle. We are looking for companies that the majority of their revenue comes outside of the region. We want to learn and listen. A majority of a communities growth will come from existing businesses expanding. We’d hate for a business to lose out on opportunity if we can help! Reach out to Jolene with your ideas: JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org or 406.750.4481.

5) One of our key values is transparency. Another is return on investment for our investors. Our audited financial statements for fiscal year 2019, that ended on June 30, details how we put our investors’ funds to work towards accomplishing our mission of growing and diversifying the Golden Triangle of NorthCenteral Montana.  We are pleased to distribute our FY 2019 Audited Financial Statement, audited by Douglas Wilson & Company. We are excianother clean audit and positive financial year! We would like to thank our amazing GFDA staff team, our Board and volunteers, our investors, our agency funders, our partners, our auditors, and most importantly our clients for helping us achieve another great year.

6) We’d like to thank Mark Andrews, D.A. Davidson, for his service on the GFDA Board of Directors. We wish him the best as he relocates out of Great Falls. We are happy to welcome Jacquie Burchard as the new D.A. Davidson representative on our board!

7) We are excited to enter into a partnership with the Great Falls Business Improvement District to hire a Downtown Business Development Officer! The GFDA Downtown Business Development Officer will undertake economic development work to bring greater economic vitality to the Great Falls Downtown Master Plan area with an emphasis on the BID area. The work shall be guided by the principles of economic vitality of the National Main Street program and economic development best practices. The work will include business retention and expansion, market research, business and developer attraction, and investment marketing. This is an exciting step for Downtown Great Falls!

8) Thank you to this week’s Investors in Economic Development: Energy West Montana and Central Plumbing, Heating and Excavation for their Advanced Division investments. AT Klemens, Inc. and Northern Directory Publishing for their Pacesetter Division investments. Global Credit, LLC and Napa Auto Parts of Great Falls for their Community Division Investments. Morrison-Maierle, Inc. for their Supporter Division investment. GFDA values your investments and we work hard to leverage your dollars to ensure that you receive a bigger return. As such, we are working hard to bring you increased wages, more specialization and a diversified economy. If you haven’t invested this fiscal year or you have questions about investment, contact Teresa Schreiner at 406.781.9499.

9) Join Neighbors, Developers, Property Owners, Resource Providers, and more on Wednesday, October 2nd in the Missouri Room at the Civic Center for a visioning session on what we hope our downtown can be! We will focus our efforts on blocks that are ready to transform! Pizza and non-alcoholic beverages will be provided. Please RSVP so we know how much to bring!

10) Want to hear weekly about great events and entertainment, sign up for The Eventory, an enewsletter listing of events happening in Great Falls published by Great Falls Tourism.

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.

Jolene Schalper
Vice President

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.

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”
Paul Meyer

GFDA Job Openings

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

Dynamic, self-motivated professional sought to join our passionate, creative, fast-paced, results-driven economic development lending team. Help us to keep growing our gap and bridge financing efforts to support entrepreneurs, businesses, developers and non-profit organizations throughout the Great Falls trade area and across Montana. This position receives,reviews and processes commercial loan documents, maintains loan application files and other duties related to the processing and servicing of the commercial loan portfolio.Reviews all gathered pending documents for accuracy, completeness, loan authority, lien position, insurance, flood insurance, collateral, appraisal, coding, risk rating, disbursements, etc. Reviews documents for compliance purposes, recognizes problems with documentation, and takes appropriate action. Requires the ability to maintain accurate records, work with a wide variety of clients, and have computer and communication skills. Experience with SBA 504 loan servicing and/or economic development loan funds a plus. Must be detail oriented and organized with flexibility to help achieve our overall team mission. Live on the Missouri River along the Rocky Mountain Front and work with a great team! Salary range $35,000-45,000 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.

 

Rural Business Advisor
Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

Motivated, innovative, and impact-driven professional to boost our entrepreneurship coaching and training efforts in rural North-Central Montana. Work with entrepreneurs, business owners, and stakeholders in the entrepreneurial ecosystem to address some of rural America’s economic challenges. This new position will coach, counsel, and advise existing rural businesses, stimulate startup activity, and deliver meaningful trainings primarily in rural Cascade, Glacier, Teton, Toole, and Pondera counties. Our mission is to stimulate innovation, increase collaboration within the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and deliver impact to employers and innovators. Day-to-day responsibilities will include providing advisory support to business owners, helping them identify and solve the problems that arise in entrepreneurship. Requires excellent communication skills. Prefer five to seven years’ experience in business management, entrepreneurship, finance, marketing, human resources, or related field. Bachelor’s degree required. Salary range $40,000-$50,000 with excellent benefits, professional development, and flexible work environment.EOE. We encourage candidates who live, or would like to live, in one of our wonderful rural communities to apply. Remote work available. Cover letter and resume to Brett Doney, President, BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. Open until we find a great candidate.

 

Talent Attraction Director
Digital Content Marketing

Dynamic, self-motivated professional sought to join our passionate, creative, fast-paced, results-driven economic development team. We are looking for an experienced digital marketing star who can create and implement a content-driven workforce recruitment effort for our community and region. Engage our business leaders and residents using Social Toaster and social media, help us use Linked In and other platforms to help our companies attract talent to relocate to Great Falls. 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 $35,000-45,000 with excellent benefits, professional development, growth opportunities, and flexible work environment. EOE. Cover letter and resume to Brett Doney, President, BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. Open until we find a great candidate.

SBA 504 Loans

SBA 504 rates came in at insanely low levels in August. The 25-year note came in at 3.626%; 20-year at 3.526%; and, 20-year refinance at 3.559%. There was no 10-year equipment debenture sale this month but July’s sale came in at 3.922%. These rates are FIXED for the life of the loan and are inclusive of all on-going fees. If you would like to find out how to get financing for commercial real estate and equipment at potentially lower rates than you’re paying for your home mortgage, please contact Jill Kohles at 406-590-1056 or JKohles@GrowGreatFalls.org.

Cost-Effective Rail-Served Industrial Sites Available

If your company needs a rail-served, BNSF-Certified, shovel-ready site with all municipal services at your door, we have lots available for immediate construction in the Great Falls AgriTech Park. Contact Jolene Schalper at 1.406.750.4481 or JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org

Events, Business Training, and Opportunities

2019 GFDA Business Education Calendar

Join us at the third annual Montana Food Show! This tradeshow will provide opportunities for food buyers and food producers to connect and find ways to get more Montana foods on Montana plates. 100 Montana fresh produce, meat, food and beverage companies will be showcasing their products at theBrick Breeden Field House in Bozeman on Friday, September 27. Buyers can register and learn more at www.foodshow.mt.gov. Questions? Contact Marty Earnheart with the Montana Department of Agriculture at 406.444.9126 or mearnheart@mt.gov.

The Montana Downtown Conference will be held October 23-25 in Missoula. This is always a great conference with lots of idea sharing. More info here.

The Montana Innovation Partnership is offering trainings later this month on Market Research for Early Stage Technologies and on Writing Winning SBIR/STTR Proposals. See more info here.

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

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

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