Top 10 – 10/4/2020

Citizens Alliance Bank has broken ground in West Bank Landing! The fifth project in the mixed-use riverfront development, this three story building with beautiful river views and access will be home to the bank on the first two floors and is looking for a tenant for the third floor. Congratulations and welcome to the neighborhood!

GFDA’s Top 10

Here is our Top 13 for this week celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy — Montana’s Golden Triangle. And, sharing business resources and skill-building opportunities to empower your success.

1) Great Falls was nationally recognized by LendEDU as one of the most affordable cities for veteran homebuyers amongst 25,000 American cities. 15.09% of Great Falls’s population is comprised of veterans and active military members, and only 22.98% of the houses in Great Falls have a mortgage that costs 30% or more of the household income.

2) Now is the time to Invest in Downtown Great FallsRegistration is open for our virtual Invest in Downtown Great Falls event on October 13 at 9 AM. Learn what made some of our most popular downtown businesses succeed; hear about new development opportunities; and explore the vision our community has for the future of Downtown Great Falls. Are you a developer, entrepreneur, business owner? This is for you. We want you in Downtown Great Falls!

3) Entertainment businesses, retailers, and restaurants you’ll want to pay attention to this! We have contracted with international business coach for one on one coaching sessions. Instead of an in-person conference we changed the format and that means individual sessions we are bringing to you at no cost to you. We only have 16 spots available. Sign up with Nathan Reiff, NReiff@GrowGreatFalls.org.

4) Forty investors and potential investors attended our Talent Attraction virtual event yesterday! Weren’t able to make it to the event? No worries. You can watch the event replay and view the slides. Please note, due to some technical difficulties, the first five minutes of the presentation weren’t recorded.

5) LaunchPoint: A Pre-Business Workshop, the all-you-need-to-know course to get your business up and running is coming up on October 15th – register here. In addition to the trainings offered by GFDA, here are a few offered by our partners: Montana Procurement and Technical Assistance Center is offering a free webinar on Contracting with the State of Montana, October 7th at 9:00 AM, and The Montana Small Business Development Centers have partnered with Grow With Google to present three free webinars for Montana’s small businesses. Connect with Customers and Manage Your Business Remotely on October 7th at 1:00PM, Get Your Local Business on Google Search and Maps on October 21st at 11:00 AM, and finally Make Better Business Decisions with Analytics will be on October 28th at 11:00 AM.

6) What happens when your project costs exceed your capital? You come to GFDA to fill that GAP! A group of local entrepreneurs did that this week – stay tuned for their AWESOME announcement! If your project has a GAP, call Jolene 406.750.4481 to discuss.

7) The new Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund Workforce Recovery program will reimburse a business for the wages of full-time, permanent jobs that are created and retained for at least six months – up to $7,500 per job up to a maximum of 25 jobs per business. Businesses apply directly to the program. Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis until all funds have been committed. For assistance with your application, contact Nathan Reiff at (406) 403-4937 or NReiff@GrowGreatFalls.org.

8) Met with a local business to talk about the benefits of the Brownfields Assessment tool when looking to purchase an existing building in downtown Great Falls. For more information on how to leverage Brownfields funding for your next project, contact Lillian Sunwall at LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org or (406) 750-1253.

9) Businesses are looking at our market. We’ve submitted two proposals in the past two weeks. Ever wonder how are we attracting businesses to the Golden Triangle? Grab your favorite beverage and join us on a zoom chat, 4 PM on October 28. We’ll discuss our business attraction strategies and partnership with DCI. Register for meeting information.

10) Four of GFDA’s business advisors participated in the 40th Annual America’s Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC) professional development conference along with 2000 other advisors from around the U.S. Keynote speakers at this year’s virtual conference included the principal U.S. economist from VISA, executives from Google and Intuit, the ranking member of the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza, and Daymond John of Shark Tank fame. Our SBDC team also participated in dozens of professional development seminars designed to keep our skills current. To learn more about how to start, grow, or expand your business with the help of one of our advisors, please contact Jason at JNitschke@GrowGreatFalls.org.

11) Registration for QuickBooks on November 18 is live. QuickBooks Pro Advisor Wendy Weissman will take you through the basic elements of QuickBooks Accountant 2019 so you’re more efficient in entering revenue and expenses, and better able to communicate with your accountant come tax time. This course always sells out, so don’t wait – register today!

12) Save the date for the virtual Montana Main Street annual conference November 11-13.

13) We released our audited Financial Statement for FY 2020 that ended June 30th.

Let’s MASK UP to keep our people safe and our economy moving forward!

Brett Doney
President & CEO

Connect with me on LinkedIn to network with the Great Falls Montana region. Forward the GFDA Top 10 to friends and colleagues. You can join our distribution list HERE or text GFDA to 22828.

“There is a way to do it better – find it.”
Thomas Edison

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.


Economic Development Services
See our updated Great Falls Economic Development Menu of Services which includes our expanded staff team. We provide award-winning and internationally-accredited economic development services throughout Montana’s Golden Triangle, and SBA 504 loans statewide.

Great GFDA Career Opportunities
We are boosting our lending team with Loan Officer and Lending Specialist positions. Download position posting or visit our website. GFDA is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer and Lender. We encourage all qualified candidates to apply! Please help us spread the word.

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

September SBA 504 Loan Rates
The 25-year loan effective rate came in at 2.406%; 20-year at 2.361%; 10-year equipment loan at 2.274%; and, 20-year refinance 2.363%. These rates are FIXED for the life of the loan and are inclusive of all fees. If you would like to find out how to get financing for commercial real estate and equipment at potentially lower rates than you’re paying for your home mortgage, please contact Jill Kohles at 406-590-1056 or JKohles@GrowGreatFalls.org.

Invest in Great Falls Regional Economic Development
Contact Teresa Schreiner at 406.781.9499 or TSchreiner@GrowGreatFalls.org. Here is a current list of our great investors.


Montana has many grant opportunities to help address the COVID crisis. Visit https://commerce.mt.gov/Coronavirus-Relief.

The Montana Chamber if offering a COMMIT Foundation Becoming Veteran-Ready Employers virtual training on October 13 at 9:00-10:00 AM — register here.

The Montana Business of Outdoor Recreation Virtual Summit will be held October 13-15; more info here.

There are many documented benefits of remote working and there are unique stressors. We explored these stressors and management techniques with Erin Butts, GFPS, and the Stop the Stigma Team on a workforce focused webinar. In case you missed it, here are the slides which include contact information for Erin if you want to follow up.

Has your business incurred expenses to keep employees or customers safe? This could be extra personal protective equipment, a computer or office furniture to help an employee work remotely, or remodeled for curbside pickup. The Montana Business Adaptability Grant will reimburse you for these expenses. See this video for more information and how other businesses have used the funds. You can apply online, or if you want help contact Nathan Reiff at NReiff@GrowGreatFalls.org.

The new relocation website LiveInGreatFalls.com is officially LIVE! This website was the #1 request we got from local recruiters and HR professionals for aiding in attracting talented workers to Great Falls. The Great Falls At-A-Glance two-pager is a great complementary resource that highlights Great Falls for people unfamiliar with our community. The Great Falls Livability relocation magazine is a new tool to help you recruit talent from out of town to relocate to the Great Falls trade area. For printed copies or to have a conversation about best practices for recruiting employees, email Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org. Let’s talk Talent Attraction!

The Montana Department of Commerce’s Office of Tourism and Business Development has launched the “Montana Aware” campaign to promote safe and responsible behavior among those who are traveling in the state. Through the formal “Montana Aware” campaign, 17 of Montana’s Convention and Visitors Bureaus and six tourism regions share $5 million to promote the initiative. To download the partner toolkit visit MARKETMT.COM.

The Great Falls Livability relocation magazine is a new tool to help you recruit talent from out of town to relocate to the Great Falls trade area. Here is the online link to the magazine. For printed copies, and to have a conversation about best practices for recruiting employees, email Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org. Let’s talk Talent Attraction!

We have Brownfield Clean-Up money that we want to put to work! Our low interest Brownfield Loans can be used to clean up hazardous materials including but not limited to lead paint, asbestos, etc. Are you working on a project that could use some clean up? Call Lillian today to discuss eligibility 406.750.1253 or LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org.

The Montana Cooperative Development Center has put together a free online Montana Cooperatives 101 course. This self-paced resource includes recorded presentations, activities and custom videos that will help you learn about the cooperative business model and successful Montana coops.

Northrup Grumman is working to gather subcontractors for the missile upgrade project. This is a long process and they expect to gather information for three to four years. If you are a small business interested in doing business with Northrop Grumman, please complete the Supplier Information form at https://oasis-sbeforms.myngc.com/.

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 State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) is offering grants to help businesses pay for translation of marketing materials to boost exports. The program also offers trade show grants and assistance. MDOC’s Film Office is offering powerful new incentives to promote filming and production in Montana. Click here for details.

Of our online business planning tool, LivePlan, one said: “LivePlan is Awesome!” The LivePlan tool is helping her streamline her strategy in preparation for presenting to bank partners. We offer LivePlan licenses for free to active clients. Learn more about LivePlan on our website.

All of our recorded monthly business strategy webinars are available online for viewing anytime, click them out here.

Top 10 – 9/28/2020

Congratulations to the Great Falls Clinic Legacy Foundation for breaking ground on the Harold & Carmen Poulsen Legacy Housing Facility! The facility will provide free, temporary patient housing. Thank you to all who made this great project happen!

GFDA’s Top 10

Here is our Top 16 for last week celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy — Montana’s Golden Triangle. And, sharing business resources and skill-building opportunities to empower your success.

1) October is just around the corner and we’ve got a fresh new slate of opportunities to expand your entrepreneurial skillset. LaunchPoint: A Pre-Business Workshop, the all-you-need-to-know course to get your business up and running is September 30th. Join us for a webinar on October 1st about How COVID is Affecting Communities. Couldn’t make the September 30th LaunchPoint, there is another one October 15th – register here.

2) The Montana Business Stabilization Grant closes Wednesday September 30th. Businesses are eligible for an addition $20,000 in Business Stabilization funds per EIN through the State of Montana. This week we helped several businesses complete the grant and several others reported receiving the money. If you haven’t applied or if you have a second EIN and thought it wasn’t eligible you can still apply. If you need help with the application reach out to Nathan Reiff at NReiff@GrowGreatFalls.org or 406-403-4937.

3) Join us for a 1-hour Talent Attraction Virtual Event on October 1st at 1:00 PM – register here – this is a great opportunity to learn more about why we’re investing in Talent Attraction and how other communities have achieved success. We’ve invited place marketers DCI and 3 other communities investing in Talent Attraction (Fargo-Moorhead, Upstate SC and Northern VA) to present.

4) We completed a private session of our cash flow and profitability workshop, Profit Mastery, with a Great Falls business owner and his accountant. The goal was to increase the business owner’s financial literacy in order to communicate better with his financial advisors and bankers. Additional tools like break-even will also be used by the business moving forward to make more comprehensive, well informed decisions as the company grows and expands. If you’re interested in this powerful financial literacy course, contact Jason at JNitschke@GrowGreatFalls.org.

5) We won a $657,000 financial award from the Community Development Financial Institution Fund! The new loan capital will allow us to make more loans to help start, grow and expand businesses throughout the Golden Triangle. Our gap and bridge loans can be used for almost anything business related including the purchase of a new buildings or equipment, working capital to support ongoing or startup operations, inventory, environmental cleanup and more. Thank you to the businesses, agencies and organizations that invest in our economic development efforts. Without you, we wouldn’t have the required match for grants like this.

6) Join Investment Director Teresa Schreiner and President/CEO Brett Doney for Development Coffee this Friday, October 2nd at 7:00 AM where we discuss ways to move development projects throughout the region forward and into construction. This month’s development coffee will take place via Zoom. For login details, please register. For questions, contact Teresa at TSchreiner@GrowGreatFalls.org or call 406.781.9499

7) The latest video in our Doing Business in the Golden Triangle series features Brenda Wrigley, owner of Great Falls Gymnastics Academy in Downtown Great Falls. Be sure to like us on Facebook and hit that share button to help us spread the word that the Golden Triangle is a great place to live, work, and do business!

8) Now is the time to Invest in Downtown Great Falls! Registration is open for our virtual Invest in Downtown Great Falls event on October 13 at 9 AM. Learn what made some of our most popular downtown businesses succeed; hear about new development opportunities; and explore the vision our community has for the future of Downtown Great Falls. Are you a developer, entrepreneur, business owner? This is for you. We want you in Downtown Great Falls!

9) Businesses are looking at our market. We’ve submitted two proposals in the past two weeks. Ever wonder how are we attracting businesses to the Golden Triangle? Grab your favorite beverage and join us on a zoom chat, 4 PM on October 28. We’ll discuss our business attraction strategies and partnership with DCI. RSVP here.

10) There are many documented benefits of remote working and there are unique stressors. We explored these stressors and management techniques with Erin Butts, GFPS, and the Stop the Stigma Team on a workforce focused webinar. In case you missed it, here are the slides which include contact information for Erin if you want to follow up. Do you have additional workforce topic issues we can dive into? Call or email Jolene, 406.750.4481 or JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org.

11) Has your business incurred expenses to keep employees or customers safe? This could be extra personal protective equipment, a computer or office furniture to help an employee work remotely, or remodeled for curbside pickup. The Montana Business Adaptability Grant will reimburse you for these expenses.See this video for more information and how other businesses have used the funds. You can apply online, or if you want help contact Nathan Reiff at NReiff@GrowGreatFalls.org.

12) If you’d like FREE copies of this year’s Great Falls Livability magazine for your recruiters to share with candidates and potential candidates, request them at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org and Soren will deliver them to your office.

13) Registration for QuickBooks on November 18 is live! QuickBooks Pro Advisor Wendy Weissman will take you through the basic elements of QuickBooks Accountant 2019 so you’re more efficient in entering revenue and expenses, and better able to communicate with your accountant come tax time. This course always sells out, so don’t wait – register today!

14) The Great Falls Library announced several new and ongoing resources this week. They will now have 50 internet Hotspots they will be checking out starting October 1. If you need help getting a job they have Great Falls Job Service employees working in the library 2-4:45 PM Tuesday through Friday. You can read more about the updates to services and the building in here.

15) Welcome to our new Malmstrom Air Force Base liaison member of the GFDA Board, Vice Wing Commader Col. Russell Williford. Download an updated GFDA and HPF Board and Staff list here.

16) Thank you to this week’s Investors in Economic Development, Cascade County for their Premier Division investment, Farran Realty Partners, LLC. for their Leadership Division investment, and Ron and Becky Nelson for their Supporter Division investment. As a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) your dollars are doubled, sometimes tripled, as GFDA helps finance business opportunities that might not otherwise happen. This year, we know projects will need additional support. You are creating this future. If you want to discuss investment, email Teresa at or call 406.781.9799.

Have a fantastic week!

Brett Doney
President & CEO

Connect with me on LinkedIn to network with the Great Falls Montana region. Forward the GFDA Top 10 to friends and colleagues. You can join our distribution list HERE or text GFDA to 22828.

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
Leonardo Da Vinci

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.


Economic Development Services
See our updated Great Falls Economic Development Menu of Services which includes our expanded staff team. We provide award-winning and internationally-accredited economic development services throughout Montana’s Golden Triangle, and SBA 504 loans statewide.

Great GFDA Career Opportunities
We are boosting our lending team with Loan Officer and Lending Specialist positions. Download position posting or visit our website. GFDA is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer and Lender. We encourage all qualified candidates to apply! Please help us spread the word.

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

September SBA 504 Loan Rates
The 25-year loan effective rate came in at 2.406%; 20-year at 2.361%; 10-year equipment loan at 2.274%; and, 20-year refinance 2.363%. These rates are FIXED for the life of the loan and are inclusive of all fees. If you would like to find out how to get financing for commercial real estate and equipment at potentially lower rates than you’re paying for your home mortgage, please contact Jill Kohles at 406-590-1056 or JKohles@GrowGreatFalls.org.

Invest in Great Falls Regional Economic Development
Contact Teresa Schreiner at 406.781.9499 or TSchreiner@GrowGreatFalls.org. Here is a current list of our great investors.


Events, Business Training, and Opportunities

Montana has many grant opportunities to help address the COVID crisis. Visit https://commerce.mt.gov/Coronavirus-Relief.

Two business resources from our friends at the Montana Chamber. The COMMIT Foundation is offering Becoming Veteran-Ready Employers virtual training (great training that only takes an hour) on September 30th at 9:00-10:00 AM — register here — or October 13 at 9:00-10:00 AM — register here. The Chamber is offering a succession planning webinar, “Planning and Executing Successful Montana Business Transitions,” on September 30th from 12:00-1:30 PM — register here.

The Montana Business of Outdoor Recreation Virtual Summit will be held October 13-15; more info here.

The new relocation website LiveInGreatFalls.com is officially LIVE! This website was the #1 request we got from local recruiters and HR professionals for aiding in attracting talented workers to Great Falls. The Great Falls At-A-Glance two-pager is a great complementary resource that highlights Great Falls for people unfamiliar with our community.

The Montana Chamber hosted a webinar helpful for businesses interested in learning more about the Montana Loan Deferment Program. See recording of webinar here.

The Montana Department of Commerce’s Office of Tourism and Business Development has launched the “Montana Aware” campaign to promote safe and responsible behavior among those who are traveling in the state. Through the formal “Montana Aware” campaign, 17 of Montana’s Convention and Visitors Bureaus and six tourism regions share $5 million to promote the initiative. To download the partner toolkit visit MARKETMT.COM.

The Great Falls Livability relocation magazine is a new tool to help you recruit talent from out of town to relocate to the Great Falls trade area. Here is the online link to the magazine. For printed copies, and to have a conversation about best practices for recruiting employees, email Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org. Let’s talk Talent Attraction!

We have Brownfield Clean-Up money that we want to put to work! Our low interest Brownfield Loans can be used to clean up hazardous materials including but not limited to lead paint, asbestos, etc. Are you working on a project that could use some clean up? Call Lillian today to discuss eligibility 406.750.1253 or LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org.

The Montana Cooperative Development Center has put together a free online Montana Cooperatives 101 course. This self-paced resource includes recorded presentations, activities and custom videos that will help you learn about the cooperative business model and successful Montana coops.

Northrup Grumman is working to gather subcontractors for the missile upgrade project. This is a long process and they expect to gather information for three to four years. If you are a small business interested in doing business with Northrop Grumman, please complete the Supplier Information form at https://oasis-sbeforms.myngc.com/

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 State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) is offering grants to help businesses pay for translation of marketing materials to boost exports. The program also offers trade show grants and assistance. MDOC’s Film Office is offering powerful new incentives to promote filming and production in Montana. Click here for details.

Of our online business planning tool, LivePlan, one said: “LivePlan is Awesome!” The LivePlan tool is helping her streamline her strategy in preparation for presenting to bank partners. We offer LivePlan licenses for free to active clients. Learn more about LivePlan on our website.

The 4th annual Montana Food Show will be held in Missoula on October 26. Learn more at https://agr.mt.gov/MTFoodShow. The Montana Beverage Show will be held in Helena on November 9. Visit www.beverageshow.mt.gov for more information. The Export Montana team is hosting Riddle of the Exporter training in Billings on July 28 and Kalispell on July 30. The training is free and will help you learn about and prepare for export markets. Learn more here.

All of our recorded monthly business strategy webinars are available online for viewing anytime, click them out here.

As increased focus is placed on meat production and marketing amidst COVID-19, Montana State University Extension, in conjunction with Oregon State University, will offer a new agriculture business development course on direct marketing of meat. The Western Meat School, Montana Edition, is a six-week online/hybrid course that will meet on Wednesday evenings beginning Nov. 4th. The course will cover key topics in the production, processing, and marketing of high-quality meat. online registration. For more info and to ask about possible course discounts, contact Tommy Bass at MSU Extension, tmbass@montana.edu or 406-994-5733.

Top 10 – 9/20/2020

The City of Great Falls won a $10 million DOD grant to construct a $20 million aquatic and recreation center in partnership with Malmstrom Air Force Base. Congratulations to all involved in the Aim High Big Sky Recreation Center project! See Great Falls Tribune and KRTV.

GFDA’s Top 10

Here is our Top 18 for this week celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy — Montana’s Golden Triangle. And, sharing business resources and skill-building opportunities to empower your success.

1) Congratulations to the C.M. Russell Museum on holding its auction online with over $4 million in art sold!

2) There is a NEW opportunity for more Business Stabilization funds through the State of Montana. Need assistance with your application? We’ve got an open discussion on Tuesday, September 22nd at 12:00 PM on that very topic. Register here.

3) Ten active duty Air Force service members participated in our Boots to Business: An Introduction to Entrepreneurship workshop at Malmstrom Air Force Base. The U.S. Small Business Administration and the Region VIII Veteran’s Business Outreach Center are working to create a live, online Boots to Business training specifically for military spouses in the community. Stay tuned for dates when they are announced.

4) The Great Falls City Commission approved an ordinance that gives more flexibility for where new establishments that serve alcohol can locate. See KRTV and TheElectricGF.com.

5) We held a webinar this week to share ideas and comments on the 2nd Ave North Corridor associated with the Miracle Mile site brownfields cleanup. Our partners with MT DEQ, Kansas State University and local stakeholders participated in the visioning process, answering poll questions and sharing thoughts on how to improve the area. For more information on this project or how we can help move contaminated properties into redevelopment, contact Lillian Sunwall at LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org or (406) 750-1253.

6) Looking to expand your business skills? Improve your bottom line and take control of your business’ finances with Profit Mastery, a two-day course September 23-24 – register NOW to secure your spot. LaunchPoint: A Pre-Business Workshop closes out the month on September 30th – designed for the budding entrepreneur, this is an all-you-need-to-know course to get your business up and running.

7) Farmers Daughter Fibers has expanded their business and will be opening a new storefront in Downtown Great Falls. Candice English will be opening the doors Thursday, September 24th at 10 AM. Come by and congratulate her and check out her new space! See more in Great Falls Tribune. Have you been thinking about expanding or opening a new business in Downtown Great Falls? Call Christian at 406.836.0136 or CLeinhauser@GrowGreatFalls.org to discuss the possibilities.

8) Now is the time to Invest in Downtown Great Falls! Registration is open for our virtual Invest in Downtown Great Falls event on October 13 at 9 AM. Learn what made some of our most popular downtown businesses succeed; hear about new development opportunities; and explore the vision our community has for the future of Downtown Great Falls. Are you a developer, entrepreneur, business owner? This is for you. We want you in Downtown Great Falls!

9) The Montana State Fund declared a $20 million dividend to businesses across the state. Workers compensation dividends returned to businesses totaled $165 million in the last five years. See Tribune.

10) It’s getting to the end of the Federal Fiscal Year and agencies are awarding a lot of contracts. That means that our government contracting advisors are busy helping small businesses with invoicing on the WAWF platforms. Do you have questions on how to get setup and invoice in WAWF? Give us a call and we can walk you through the process. For more information, contact Lillian Sunwall at LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org or (406) 750-1253.

11) The latest video in our Doing Business in the Golden Triangle series features John Chapman, owner of Tacticality Workwear in Great Falls. Be sure to like us on Facebook and hit that share button to help us spread the word that the Golden Triangle is a great place to live, work, and do business!

12) The new challenges of working remotely can present daily stress that effects your team. On September 25 at 8 AM via Zoom, GFDA is partnering with Stop the Stigma in a work force focused session on COVID-19 and Survival of the Quarantined: Workplace Stress and Wellbeing. This session, presented by Erin Butts, will increase your strategies and tools to aid your employees. Register here.

13) We will be dropping off Great Falls Livability magazines around town this week. If your business wants a few copies of this great talent attraction tool, contact Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org or call/text (406) 836-0147.

14) Mark your calendars for a one-hour Talent Attraction Virtual Event on October 1st at 1:00 PM. If you are wondering, “What is Talent Attraction and why are we doing it in Great Falls?” this event is for you! We are putting our local investor dollars to work to attract new skilled employees with the help of Development Counsellors International (DCI). They will give a presentation about what talent attraction is and why it’s important. We will also hear from other communities on the success of their talent attraction initiatives. For more information on our Talent Attraction Initiative, contact Soren Chargois at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org or (406) 836-0147.

15) Great Falls College MSU will be expanding its apprenticeship efforts, including respiratory therapy, in partnership with other Montana colleges and universities. See details in Havre Daily News.

16) Montana Aware is a statewide effort designed to help Montana’s tourism partners and local businesses slow the spread of COVID-19 by promoting safety measures for those traveling in the state. As part of this initiative, the Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development has developed a toolkit of resources to help you educate residents and visitors on safe travel best practices. Download the toolkit here.

17) Registration for QuickBooks on November 18 is live! QuickBooks Pro Advisor Wendy Weissman will take you through the basic elements of QuickBooks Accountant 2019 so you’re more efficient in entering revenue and expenses, and better able to communicate with your accountant come tax time. This course always sells out, so don’t wait – register today!

18) Thanks to this week’s Investors in Economic Development, General Distributing Co. for their Advanced Division investment, Marshall Orthodontics, PC for their Pacesetter Division investment, and NAPA Auto Parts – 4 New Beginnings for their Community Division investment. Now, more than ever, your investment fights for competition during an economic disruption. In this time of unpredictability, we continue to look out for opportunities and threats, while also offering support, tools, and resources for local businesses. If you would like to discuss how we leverage your resources, email Teresa or call 406.781.9499.

Have a great week!

Brett Doney
President & CEO

Connect with me on LinkedIn to network with the Great Falls Montana region. Forward the GFDA Top 10 to friends and colleagues. You can join our distribution list HERE or text GFDA to 22828.

“The only difference between success and failure is the ability to take action.”
Alexander Graham Bell

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.


Economic Development Services
See our updated Great Falls Economic Development Menu of Services which includes our expanded staff team. We provide award-winning and internationally-accredited economic development services throughout Montana’s Golden Triangle, and SBA 504 loans statewide.

Great GFDA Career Opportunities
We are boosting our lending team with Loan Officer and Lending Specialist positions. Download position posting or visit our website. GFDA is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer and Lender. We encourage all qualified candidates to apply! Please help us spread the word.

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

September SBA 504 Loan Rates
The 25-year loan effective rate came in at 2.406%; 20-year at 2.361%; 10-year equipment loan at 2.274%; and, 20-year refinance 2.363%. These rates are FIXED for the life of the loan and are inclusive of all fees. If you would like to find out how to get financing for commercial real estate and equipment at potentially lower rates than you’re paying for your home mortgage, please contact Jill Kohles at 406-590-1056 or JKohles@GrowGreatFalls.org.

Invest in Great Falls Regional Economic Development
Contact Teresa Schreiner at 406.781.9499 or TSchreiner@GrowGreatFalls.org. Here is a current list of our great investors.


Events, Business Training, and Opportunities

Montana has many grant opportunities to help address the COVID crisis. Visit https://commerce.mt.gov/Coronavirus-Relief.

Two business resources from our friends at the Montana Chamber. The COMMIT Foundation is offering Becoming Veteran-Ready Employers virtual training (great training that only takes an hour) on September 30th at 9:00-10:00 AM — register here — or October 13 at 9:00-10:00 AM — register here. The Chamber is offering a succession planning webinar, “Planning and Executing Successful Montana Business Transitions,” on September 30th from 12:00-1:30 PM — register here.

The Montana Business of Outdoor Recreation Virtual Summit will be held October 13-15; more info here.

The new relocation website LiveInGreatFalls.com is officially LIVE! This website was the #1 request we got from local recruiters and HR professionals for aiding in attracting talented workers to Great Falls. The Great Falls At-A-Glance two-pager is a great complementary resource that highlights Great Falls for people unfamiliar with our community.

The Montana Chamber hosted a webinar helpful for businesses interested in learning more about the Montana Loan Deferment Program. See recording of webinar here.

The Montana Department of Commerce’s Office of Tourism and Business Development has launched the “Montana Aware” campaign to promote safe and responsible behavior among those who are traveling in the state. Through the formal “Montana Aware” campaign, 17 of Montana’s Convention and Visitors Bureaus and six tourism regions share $5 million to promote the initiative. To download the partner toolkit visit MARKETMT.COM.

The Montana Indian Equity Fund (IEF) will begin accepting applications for the small business grant program starting August 1st. Applications will be accepted through September 30th. If you are a Native American entrepreneur looking to start a business or expand an existing business, check out this grant opportunity. For help applying, contact Rich at 406-836-2078 or RGannon@GrowGreatFalls.org. He can assist with the application process and help you connect with a local Native American Business Advisor.

The Great Falls Livability relocation magazine is a new tool to help you recruit talent from out of town to relocate to the Great Falls trade area. Here is the online link to the magazine. For printed copies, and to have a conversation about best practices for recruiting employees, email Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org. Let’s talk Talent Attraction!

We have Brownfield Clean-Up money that we want to put to work! Our low interest Brownfield Loans can be used to clean up hazardous materials including but not limited to lead paint, asbestos, etc. Are you working on a project that could use some clean up? Call Lillian today to discuss eligibility 406.750.1253 or LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org.

The Montana Cooperative Development Center has put together a free online Montana Cooperatives 101 course. This self-paced resource includes recorded presentations, activities and custom videos that will help you learn about the cooperative business model and successful Montana coops.

Northrup Grumman is working to gather subcontractors for the missile upgrade project. This is a long process and they expect to gather information for three to four years. If you are a small business interested in doing business with Northrop Grumman, please complete the Supplier Information form at https://oasis-sbeforms.myngc.com/

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 State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) is offering grants to help businesses pay for translation of marketing materials to boost exports. The program also offers trade show grants and assistance. MDOC’s Film Office is offering powerful new incentives to promote filming and production in Montana. Click here for details.

Of our online business planning tool, LivePlan, one said: “LivePlan is Awesome!” The LivePlan tool is helping her streamline her strategy in preparation for presenting to bank partners. We offer LivePlan licenses for free to active clients. Learn more about LivePlan on our website.

The 4th annual Montana Food Show will be held in Missoula on October 26. Learn more at https://agr.mt.gov/MTFoodShow. The Montana Beverage Show will be held in Helena on November 9. Visit www.beverageshow.mt.gov for more information. The Export Montana team is hosting Riddle of the Exporter training in Billings on July 28 and Kalispell on July 30. The training is free and will help you learn about and prepare for export markets. Learn more here.

All of our recorded monthly business strategy webinars are available online for viewing anytime, click them out here.

As increased focus is placed on meat production and marketing amidst COVID-19, Montana State University Extension, in conjunction with Oregon State University, will offer a new agriculture business development course on direct marketing of meat. The Western Meat School, Montana Edition, is a six-week online/hybrid course that will meet on Wednesday evenings beginning Nov. 4th. The course will cover key topics in the production, processing, and marketing of high-quality meat. online registration. For more info and to ask about possible course discounts, contact Tommy Bass at MSU Extension, tmbass@montana.edu or 406-994-5733.

Top 10 – 9/13/2020

A long awaited groundbreaking! Flanked by the dental hygiene students at the groundbreaking for the dental wing at Great Falls College MSU, locals Bill Stott with Guy Tabacco Construction and Ryan Smith with Nelson Architects celebrate with Dean Dr. Susan Wolff.

GFDA’s Top 10

Here is our Top 21 for this week celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy — Montana’s Golden Triangle. And, sharing business resources and skill-building opportunities to empower your success.

1) Great Falls College MSU broke ground on expansion of its dental wing. The college has the only dental hygiene program in the state. This addition will provide an additional 11,000 square feet to increase the number of students the program can train for these much needed high wage career opportunities. Watch the Facebook Live video. Read more about project in Great Falls Tribune.

2) We sent a preliminary incentives package to a manufacturing lead considering future expansion in Great Falls.

3) USAF awarded a $13.3 billion contract to Northrup Grumman to design a new intercontinental ballistic missile system. The Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent will extend Malmstrom AFB’s largest mission for decades to come. Read more in Air Force Magazine.

4) Want to expand your skills as an entrepreneur or business manager? Last chance to register for The Website Boot Camp: Converting to Online Sales starting this Tuesday September 15th. Boots to Business for entrepreneurial service members, veterans and family members will be held at Malmstrom Air Force Base September 17th-18th – register hereProfit Mastery is back by popular demand on September 23rd-24th – register to learn how to take control of your business’ finances. Closing out the month is LaunchPoint: A Pre-Business Workshop on September 30th.

5) Steel is going up for the new Benefis Women’s and Children’s Center, see KRTV. Benefis Health System purchased land in Helena to open a new clinic, see KRTV. P. Gibson’s Sports Grill opened in Great Falls, see KRTV. The new European-style coffee shop, Luna Coffee, is scheduled to open in downtown Great Falls at the end of the month, see KRTV.

6) We are hosting short 30-min discussions on topics designed to help businesses survive and thrive in the wake of COVID-19. This Wednesday, September 16th at 2:00 PM the topic is Social Media, Websites, and Messaging – register here. Tuesday, September 22nd at 12:00 PM we’ll offer Accessing State COVID Relief Resources – register here. Contact Nathan Reiff at NReiff@GrowGreatFalls.org or (406) 403-4937 for more information.

7) The Montana District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will be formally presenting Levi Clark, owner of Hybrid Steel Design of Geraldine, with the 2020 Young Entrepreneur Owned Business of the Year on Wednesday, September 16th at 11:00 AM. The ceremony will take place at the INDHemp facility in Fort Benton. INDHemp is one of the numerous facilities throughout the Golden Triangle fabricated by Hybrid Steel Design.

8) Great Falls has the second lowest residential total utility bill rates in Montana (for systems serving over 5,000 households) according to the 2020 Utility Rate Survey released by AE2S. The combined utility bill rate assessment includes water, sewer and stormwater charges based on an average of 6,000 gallons.

9) Mark your calendars for a one-hour Talent Attraction Virtual Event on October 1st at 1:00 PM. If you are wondering, “What is Talent Attraction and why are we doing it in Great Falls?” this event is for you! We are putting our local investor dollars to work to attract new skilled employees with the help of Development Counsellors International (DCI). They will give a presentation about what talent attraction is and why it’s important. We will also hear from other communities on the success of their talent attraction initiatives. For more information on our Talent Attraction Initiative, contact Soren Chargois at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org or (406) 836-0147.

10) Congratulations to Central Avenue Meats in downtown Great Falls on winning the Most Improved Commercial Property of the Year Award from NeighborWorks Great Falls! See all the award winners here.

11) Governor Bullock announced additional funds will be committed to the Montana Meat Processing Infrastructure Grant Program. The program was initially funded at $2 million and received more interest than anticipated. Governor Bullock added additional funding to the program to award $7.5 million in grants. The Montana Department of Agriculture will review existing applications that have not yet been funded to determine additional awards through the program. GFDA’s Food and Ag Development Center Director Barnett Sporkin-Morrison is available as a resource for entrepreneurs working on projects within the livestock and meat production sector. Barnett can be reached at 406-750-3285 and Barnett@GrowGreatFalls.org.

12) The Governor also announced an expanded nonprofit stabilization grant program of up to $150,000. See info about all state CARES Act grants here. Contact our COVID “survive and thrive” specilist, Nathan Reiff, for help, NReiff@GrowGreatFalls.org or 406-403-4937.

13) SBA 504 loan rates (fixed including all fees) for September came in at 2.406% for 25 year loans, 2.361% for 20 year loans, and 2.274% for 10 year loans. Contact Jill Kohles to learn how these loans can combine with your bank to lower your rates and required equity, JKohles@GrowGreatFalls.org or 406-590-1056.

14) Rural communities in the Golden Triangle are seeing more home purchases from out of state, see Cut Bank Pioneer Press.

15) As increased focus is placed on meat production and marketing amidst COVID-19, Montana State University Extension, in conjunction with Oregon State University, will offer a new agriculture business development course on direct marketing of meat. The Western Meat School, Montana Edition, is a six-week online/hybrid course that will meet on Wednesday evenings beginning Nov. 4th. The course will cover key topics in the production, processing, and marketing of high-quality meat. online registration. For more info and to ask about possible course discounts, contact Tommy Bass at MSU Extension, tmbass@montana.edu or 406-994-5733.

16) Two business resources from our friends at the Montana Chamber. The COMMIT Foundation is offering Becoming Veteran-Ready Employers virtual training (great training that only takes an hour) on September 30th at 9:00-10:00 AM — register here — or October 13 at 9:00-10:00 AM — register here. The Chamber is offering a succession planning webinar, “Planning and Executing Successful Montana Business Transitions,” on September 30th from 12:00-1:30 PM — register here.

17) We received a nice unsolicited client testimonial this week. “All I have to say is that if it wasn’t for the program and Mr. Rich Gannon, I would not have received this wonderful opportunity to receive this grant. Much, much, much kudos to the program and the awesome help and guidance from Rich! Thank you” Mary Ann Harwood – recipient of a Toole County Forward business grant.

18) The Montana Business of Outdoor Recreation Virtual Summit will be held October 13-15; more info here. Export Montana is offering webinars for Montana Exporters: September 16 – Supporting Montana Exports in Challenging Times; September 17 – Montana Online Global Programs & Grants; September 22 – Website Globalization Three Part Series; and, November 3 – International Market Research Three Part Series. STEP grants may be available to cover the costs for your business, more info here.

19) Registration for our QuickBooks training on November 18 is live! QuickBooks Pro Advisor Wendy Weissman will take you through the basic elements of QuickBooks Accountant 2019 so you’re more efficient in entering revenue and expenses, and better able to communicate with your accountant come tax time. Due to social distancing requirements the enrollment for this class is reduced to 12 persons – register today!

20) GFDA has two fantastic career opportunities for a Loan Officer and a Commercial Lending Specialist. Download a description of this positions here. Please send resume and cover letter to me, Brett Doney, BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. GFDA is proud to by an Equal Opportunity Employer and Lender. Please help us spread the word so we can grow our great team!

21) Thanks to this week’s Investors in Economic Development, Dick Anderson Construction for their Leadership Division investment and Loucks & Glassley for their Pacesetter Division investment. With your support GFDA is able to respond to businesses quickly, offering creative and tailored solutions and supports. If you have questions about investing, contact Teresa Schreiner at TSchreiner@GrowGreatFalls.org or 406.781.9499.

Brett Doney
President & CEO

Connect with me on LinkedIn to network with the Great Falls Montana region. Forward the GFDA Top 10 to friends and colleagues. You can join our distribution list HERE or text GFDA to 22828.

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”
Arthur Ashe

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.


Economic Development Services
See our updated Great Falls Economic Development Menu of Services which includes our expanded staff team. We provide award-winning and internationally-accredited economic development services throughout Montana’s Golden Triangle, and SBA 504 loans statewide.

Great GFDA Career Opportunities
We are boosting our lending team with Loan Officer and Lending Specialist positions. Download position posting or visit our website. GFDA is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer and Lender. We encourage all qualified candidates to apply! Please help us spread the word.

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

September SBA 504 Loan Rates
The 25-year loan effective rate came in at 2.406%; 20-year at 2.361%; 10-year equipment loan at 2.274%; and, 20-year refinance 2.363%. These rates are FIXED for the life of the loan and are inclusive of all fees. If you would like to find out how to get financing for commercial real estate and equipment at potentially lower rates than you’re paying for your home mortgage, please contact Jill Kohles at 406-590-1056 or JKohles@GrowGreatFalls.org.

Invest in Great Falls Regional Economic Development
Contact Teresa Schreiner at 406.781.9499 or TSchreiner@GrowGreatFalls.org. Here is a current list of our great investors.


Events, Business Training, and Opportunities

Montana has many grant opportunities to help address the COVID crisis. Visit https://commerce.mt.gov/Coronavirus-Relief.

The new relocation website LiveInGreatFalls.com is officially LIVE! This website was the #1 request we got from local recruiters and HR professionals for aiding in attracting talented workers to Great Falls. The Great Falls At-A-Glance two-pager is a great complementary resource that highlights Great Falls for people unfamiliar with our community.

The Montana Chamber hosted a webinar helpful for businesses interested in learning more about the Montana Loan Deferment Program. See recording of webinar here.

The Montana Department of Commerce’s Office of Tourism and Business Development has launched the “Montana Aware” campaign to promote safe and responsible behavior among those who are traveling in the state. Through the formal “Montana Aware” campaign, 17 of Montana’s Convention and Visitors Bureaus and six tourism regions share $5 million to promote the initiative. To download the partner toolkit visit MARKETMT.COM.

The Montana Indian Equity Fund (IEF) will begin accepting applications for the small business grant program starting August 1st. Applications will be accepted through September 30th. If you are a Native American entrepreneur looking to start a business or expand an existing business, check out this grant opportunity. For help applying, contact Rich at 406-836-2078 or RGannon@GrowGreatFalls.org. He can assist with the application process and help you connect with a local Native American Business Advisor.

The Great Falls Livability relocation magazine is a new tool to help you recruit talent from out of town to relocate to the Great Falls trade area. Here is the online link to the magazine. For printed copies, and to have a conversation about best practices for recruiting employees, email Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org. Let’s talk Talent Attraction!

We have Brownfield Clean-Up money that we want to put to work! Our low interest Brownfield Loans can be used to clean up hazardous materials including but not limited to lead paint, asbestos, etc. Are you working on a project that could use some clean up? Call Lillian today to discuss eligibility 406.750.1253 or LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org.

The Montana Cooperative Development Center has put together a free online Montana Cooperatives 101 course. This self-paced resource includes recorded presentations, activities and custom videos that will help you learn about the cooperative business model and successful Montana coops.

Northrup Grumman is working to gather subcontractors for the missile upgrade project. This is a long process and they expect to gather information for three to four years. If you are a small business interested in doing business with Northrop Grumman, please complete the Supplier Information form at https://oasis-sbeforms.myngc.com/

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 State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) is offering grants to help businesses pay for translation of marketing materials to boost exports. The program also offers trade show grants and assistance. MDOC’s Film Office is offering powerful new incentives to promote filming and production in Montana. Click here for details.

Of our online business planning tool, LivePlan, one said: “LivePlan is Awesome!” The LivePlan tool is helping her streamline her strategy in preparation for presenting to bank partners. We offer LivePlan licenses for free to active clients. Learn more about LivePlan on our website.

The 4th annual Montana Food Show will be held in Missoula on October 26. Learn more at https://agr.mt.gov/MTFoodShow. The Montana Beverage Show will be held in Helena on November 9. Visit www.beverageshow.mt.gov for more information. The Export Montana team is hosting Riddle of the Exporter training in Billings on July 28 and Kalispell on July 30. The training is free and will help you learn about and prepare for export markets. Learn more here.

All of our recorded monthly business strategy webinars are available online for viewing anytime, click them out here.

Top 10 – 9/8/2020

Congratulations to local entrepreneur, Dave Snuggs, who has developed the first of its kind in the country mobile drive-thru restaurant. Carnivorium will be located around Great Falls in a new location each day; see KRTV and Great Falls Tribune.

GFDA’s Top 10

Here is our Top 10 for last week celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy — Montana’s Golden Triangle.

1) Congratulations to owner Johnny Deng on opening Hokkaido Ramen & Sushi Bar in Great Falls! They serve authentic Japanese Ramen, as well as sushi and boba tea. They are located in the Great Falls Marketplace next to Cold Stone Creamery. See KRTV.

2) The state announced a new COVID recovery business working capital loan program with a forgiveness feature. Several businesses we helped to secure stabilization grants reported getting the $20,000 in funds from the state. The business stabilization program is now wait listed. Our COVID business recovery specialist can help you access resources and connect you with our business advisers for your business to “survive and thrive”, contact Nathan Reiff at NReiff@GrowGreatFalls.org or 406-403-4937.

3) The downtown Great Falls Metropolitan Building renovation received a boost as the City Commission approved tax increment financing funds to support the project. The Commission also approved TIF funding for the final dollars needed to complete the Great Falls Wayfinding Plan. See Tribune and TheElectricGF.com.

4) Looking to expand your skills as an entrepreneur or business manager? We’ve got free resources for that! The next Website Boot Camp: Converting to Online Sales starts September 15th – register here. Boots to Business for entrepreneurial service members, veterans and family will be held at Malmstrom Air Force Base September 17-18 – register hereProfit Mastery is back by popular demand on September 23-24 – register to learn how to take control of your business’ finances. Closing out the month is LaunchPoint: A Pre-Business Workshop on September 30th.

5) NeighborWorks Great Falls and Great Falls Public Schools students broke ground on the 43rd High School House construction; see KRTV.

6) The latest video in our Doing Business in the Golden Triangle series features Millie Whalen, owner of Cassiopeia Books in Downtown Great Falls. Be sure to like us on Facebook and hit that share button to help us spread the word that the Golden Triangle is a great place to live, work, and do business!

7) Groundbreaking for the new Montana Heritage Center in Helena was held; see Tribune. This project will boost Great Falls Tourism’s strategy for making Great Falls a base for amazing day trips. GFDA was proud to support the Montana Infrastructure Coalition’s work in the last legislative session to help make this project happen, along with important infrastructure improvements throughout the state.

8)We are hosting three 30-minute digital discussions over the coming weeks to help businesses in the region: Accessing State Grants – Thursday, September 10th at 10:00AM o r Tuesday, September 22nd at 12:00 PM, and Social Media and Websites – Wednesday, September 16th at 2:00 PM. To RSVP and for Zoom login information, contact Nathan Reiff at NReiff@GrowGreatFalls.org or call (406) 403-4937.

9) Registration for QuickBooks on November 18 is live. QuickBooks Pro Advisor Wendy Weissman will take you through the basic elements of QuickBooks Accountant 2019 so you’re more efficient in entering revenue and expenses, and better able to communicate with your accountant come tax time.This course always sells out, so don’t wait – register today!

Belated Happy Labor Day! Have a great week,

Brett Doney
President & CEO

Connect with me on LinkedIn to network with the Great Falls Montana region. Forward the GFDA Top 10 to friends and colleagues. You can join our distribution list HERE or text GFDA to 22828.

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.”
Frederick Douglass

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.


Economic Development Services
See our updated Great Falls Economic Development Menu of Services which includes our expanded staff team. We provide award-winning and internationally-accredited economic development services throughout Montana’s Golden Triangle, and SBA 504 loans statewide.

Great GFDA Career Opportunity
We are boosting our lending team with a new Loan Officer position. Download position posting or visit our website. GFDA is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer and Lender. We encourage all qualified candidates to apply! Please help us spread the word.

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

August SBA 504 Loan Rates
The 25-year loan effective rate came in at 2.266%; 20-year at 2.210%; 10-year equipment loan at 2.387%; and, 20-year refinance 2.211%. These rates are FIXED for the life of the loan and are inclusive of all fees. If you would like to find out how to get financing for commercial real estate and equipment at potentially lower rates than you’re paying for your home mortgage, please contact Jill Kohles at 406-590-1056 or JKohles@GrowGreatFalls.org.

Invest in Great Falls Regional Economic Development
Contact Teresa Schreiner at 406.781.9499 or TSchreiner@GrowGreatFalls.org. Here is a current list of our great investors.


Events, Business Training and Opportunities

Montana has many grant opportunities to help address the COVID crisis. Visit https://commerce.mt.gov/Coronavirus-Relief.

The new relocation website LiveInGreatFalls.com is officially LIVE! This website was the #1 request we got from local recruiters and HR professionals for aiding in attracting talented workers to Great Falls. The Great Falls At-A-Glance two-pager is a great complementary resource that highlights Great Falls for people unfamiliar with our community.

The Montana Chamber hosted a webinar helpful for businesses interested in learning more about the Montana Loan Deferment Program. See recording of webinar here.

The Montana Department of Commerce’s Office of Tourism and Business Development has launched the “Montana Aware” campaign to promote safe and responsible behavior among those who are traveling in the state. Through the formal “Montana Aware” campaign, 17 of Montana’s Convention and Visitors Bureaus and six tourism regions share $5 million to promote the initiative. To download the partner toolkit visit MARKETMT.COM.

The Montana Indian Equity Fund (IEF) will begin accepting applications for the small business grant program starting August 1st. Applications will be accepted through September 30th. If you are a Native American entrepreneur looking to start a business or expand an existing business, check out this grant opportunity. For help applying, contact Rich at 406-836-2078 or RGannon@GrowGreatFalls.org. He can assist with the application process and help you connect with a local Native American Business Advisor.

The Great Falls Livability relocation magazine is a new tool to help you recruit talent from out of town to relocate to the Great Falls trade area. Here is the online link to the magazine. For printed copies, and to have a conversation about best practices for recruiting employees, email Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org. Let’s talk Talent Attraction!

We have Brownfield Clean-Up money that we want to put to work! Our low interest Brownfield Loans can be used to clean up hazardous materials including but not limited to lead paint, asbestos, etc. Are you working on a project that could use some clean up? Call Lillian today to discuss eligibility 406.750.1253 or LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org.

The Montana Cooperative Development Center has put together a free online Montana Cooperatives 101 course. This self-paced resource includes recorded presentations, activities and custom videos that will help you learn about the cooperative business model and successful Montana coops.

Northrup Grumman is working to gather subcontractors for the missile upgrade project. This is a long process and they expect to gather information for three to four years. If you are a small business interested in doing business with Northrop Grumman, please complete the Supplier Information form at https://oasis-sbeforms.myngc.com/

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 State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) is offering grants to help businesses pay for translation of marketing materials to boost exports. The program also offers trade show grants and assistance. MDOC’s Film Office is offering powerful new incentives to promote filming and production in Montana. Click here for details.

Of our online business planning tool, LivePlan, one said: “LivePlan is Awesome!” The LivePlan tool is helping her streamline her strategy in preparation for presenting to bank partners. We offer LivePlan licenses for free to active clients. Learn more about LivePlan on our website.

The 4th annual Montana Food Show will be held in Missoula on October 26. Learn more at https://agr.mt.gov/MTFoodShow. The Montana Beverage Show will be held in Helena on November 9. Visit www.beverageshow.mt.gov for more information. The Export Montana team is hosting Riddle of the Exporter training in Billings on July 28 and Kalispell on July 30. The training is free and will help you learn about and prepare for export markets. Learn more here.

All of our recorded monthly business strategy webinars are available online for viewing anytime, click them out here.