Top 10 – 4/19/2020

Chef/Owner Matt Black of Harvest Craft Kitchen, downtown Great Falls’ newest restaurant. Excavation work for two new downtown houses.

GFDA’s Top 10

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

1) Congratulations to Chef/Owner Matt Black of Harvest Craft Kitchen, Great Falls’ newest farm to table restaurant, who opened his doors April 8th for take out and curbside service. Located downtown at 220 Central Ave across from DA Davidson. Check out what’s happening on the 200 block of 2nd Ave N downtown! Excavation has started on two houses being built by real estate developer, Andreas Geranios. We are very exited to see this project start and see some innovative infill residential development happening in downtown Great Falls. If you have interest opening a business or development downtown, contact Christian Leinhauser at 406.836.0136 or CLeinhauser@GrowGreatFalls.org.

2) For the ninth year in a row, Great Falls has been named a Top 100 Community for Music Education by the National Association of Music Merchants; see KRTV.

3) As plans progress for re-opening businesses, we’re hosting a Business Virtual Meetup this Tuesday at 2:00 PM to discuss what your business may need to re-open. Montana may be able to reopen in some fashion before many other states; see GeekWire article.

Topic: Re-Opening

Time: Apr 21, 2020 02:00 PM Mountain Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/94481068868?pwd=dWNpNE8wNzRDaXJ4WnlZdS9oc0dndz09

Meeting ID: 944 8106 8868
Password: 069778

While we recommend using computer audio, you can dial by phone here:

+13462487799
94481068868#
069778# US

4) We remain confident that the PPP loan window will re-open. What capital do you need to get through the shutdown and position your business for re-opening and future success? Join Jolene Schalper for a Business Capital Virtual Meetup this Thursday at 9:00 AM.

Topic: Capital Meet Up 
Time: Apr 23, 2020 09:00 AM Mountain Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/91485543788?pwd=d1Q4clg5QlBES1ZQN0hxclJCVWdzQT09

Meeting ID: 914 8554 3788
Password: 046598

While we recommend using computer audio, here is the phone dial in:
+13462487799
91485543788#
046598#

5) We published a Business Resiliency Guide offering some ways to make your business tougher and able to recover more quickly. Download the Resiliency Guide, or our Business Crisis Toolkit or Business Hibernation Toolkit, and lots more COVID-19 related resources on our website. Our Cut Bank-based Business Advisor, Rich Gannon, will present a webinar on the Business Resiliency Guide this Friday, April 24h at 11 AM. Register and/or get the recording sent to your inbox.

6) We hosted two webinars this week with 74 participants. GFDA’s Food and Ag Development Center Director, Barnett Sporkin-Morrison, presented a Business Hibernation webinar. View the webinar or any of our Small Business Development Webinar Series whenever you have time. Jason and Jolene presented a webinar on SBA and GFDA Disaster Loan Products, view the Zoom recording here. For more information on any of GFDA’s crisis tools, contact GFDA’s business advisors.

7) The US Chamber of Commerce Foundation is offering $5,000 grants to businesses with 3-20 employees who have been harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic and are located in select zip codes across the country, including our region. The grant applications go live at 1:00 PM MST this Monday, April 20, 2020. Click here to learn more. We don’t know how many grants will be given out, but may be worth a shot.

8) We’re working with a number of amazing small businesses in the Golden Triangle to help fill their immediate cash gaps due to COVID-19. EIDL loans are slowly rolling out with new applications currently frozen, and PPP is frozen, at least for now. Some of the smallest businesses in our region including self-employed entrepreneurs, as well as developers and nonprofits, are financially stretched. GFDA’s Business Stabilization & Recovery Loans are evaluated on a case by case basis. Call or message Jolene to talk about your needs, 406.750.4481 or JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org. We provide gap and bridge loans to entrepreneurs, businesses, nonprofits and developers in Blaine, Cascade, Choteau, Fergus, Glacier, Hill, Judith Basin, Liberty, Pondera, Meagher, Teton, Toole and northern parts of Lewis & Clark counties. And, we have a number of financing partners in the region and elsewhere to help.

9) Through last Thursday, 13,456 Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loans had been approved in Montana totaling $1,470,300,136. There have been complaints elsewhere that banks focused on larger businesses. Not here. Montana has the lowest average loan amount of any state or territory in the nation at $109,267. According to Bloomberg, these loans represent 72.2% of Montana’s eligible payroll. Montana ranks 10th highest state in percentage of eligible payroll included in approved PPP loans. Let’s hope the program re-opens soon so the remainder of our businesses and self-employed entrepreneurs can get some help.

10) Ballots for the Great Falls Public Schools elementary schools operating levy will be mailed this week. PLEASE VOTE and VOTE YES in this all-by-mail election. The school funding structure in Montana is that the state pays 80% and local taxpayers decide whether to pay the expected 20% local portion to fund teachers and school operations. Here in Great Falls we have not been funding our full 20% share. This has led to cuts over the last 10 years, cuts that have gone too deep. Federal CARES Act funds can only be used for COVID-19 related expenses, not regular operating expenses, so we need the levy more than ever. The Great Falls Development Authority’s Board, representing over 100 leading local businesses and organizations, urges support for this critical vote. If you have time to make get-out-the-vote phone calls, sign up at KidsEducationYes.com. Here is a great KEY video to share. Also check out KEY’s Facebook page.

11) If you are hiring right now, please let us know. We are sharing job links and employer career pages on our website to get the word out about open positions. Contact our Talent Attraction Director, Soren Chargois, at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org or (406) 836-0147 about your open positions. Feel free to take a look if you or someone you know is looking for work. See below for a great career opportunity with GFDA.

12) We closed a $214,647 brownfield loan this week to Andrews-Bundtrock, LLC for environmental cleanup of their property, known as the Miracle Mile, located just outside the main gate of Malmstrom AFB. The EPA Brownfield loan funds are providing the client low interest funding that will get the property ready for redevelopment. Thank you to the Montana Petroleum Tank Release Compensation Board for partnering on this project! If you want to discuss different financing options that GFDA may be able to provide, please contact Jill Kohles at 406-590-1056 or JKohles@GrowGreatFalls.org.

13) GFDA’s Executive Committee approved a brownfield clean-up grant of up to $12,000 to Cascade County to conduct an asbestos materials survey of the Old Cascade County Jail downtown. For info on our brownfield redevelopment services, contact Lillian at 406-750-1253 or LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org.

14) Although the pandemic downturn has negatively affected many businesses, there’s still economic opportunity lingering out there. Consumers nationwide are purchasing more food online than they have before and some speculate the trend could continue post the current downturn. If you’ve thought about developing a food brand or currently have one, now might be the time to try to sell more and capture subscription sales online. If you want to brainstorm or explore ideas, contact Barnett at 406-750-3285 or Barnett@GrowGreatFalls.org.

15) Want to double your voice and power in DC? The Montana Census count is way behind. If we end up being undercounted, we could lose our chance to get back a second seat in the House of Representatives. Last year’s Census estimate placed Montana with the highest population per House seat at 1,068,778. The lowest population house seats are the two in Rhode Island at 529,681 each. Let’s be sure everyone in Montana is counted so we have the best chance of grabbing that seat! It only takes a few minutes online at

https://my2020census.gov.

16) In the last month we’ve called over 400 businesses across the Golden Triangle to listen, connect, and advise. We know there are so many more businesses that need assistance, but we don’t know how to reach them. Please help us connect with more businesses. They can contact Jolene at 406.750.4481 or JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org.

17) We published our GFDA Quarter Index 2020Q1.

18) Hosted our weekly Golden Triangle Resource Provider discussion. This is a great opportunity for partners to share resources and ask questions of each other. These occur each Thursday at 2 PM. Let us know if you’d like to be part of the discussion, contact Nathan Reiff at NReiff@GrowGreatFalls.org. These partner discussions sprung out of an effort led by our Food & Ag Development Center last year, part of our efforts to improve the Golden Triangle’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Read about it here.

19) An innovate grass roots solution to small business funding is taking shape in Toole County. A group consisting of the City of Shelby, City of Sunburst, and Toole County officials and local business owners have initiated Toole County Forward. The group’s goal is to create a lending/grant pool from private and public investment to sustain Toole County businesses. In the last few weeks private business in Toole County have raised over $50,000 that will go to help businesses in Toole County. See KRTV story. Look for more information about Toole County Forward to be released soon.

20) Thank you to this week’s Investor in Economic Development, Wells Fargo, for their Advanced Division investment. As an economic development organization, GFDA has a crucial role to play in supporting the region’s recovery. This investment is vital to support ongoing project implementation, redevelopment, and business resiliency efforts. GFDA remains adaptable as we assess, plan, and leverage resources throughout the region. To discuss investment, contact Teresa Schreiner at 406.781.9499 or TSchreiner@GrowGreatFalls.org.

We are HUNGRY to Grow the Great Falls regional economy, create higher wage jobs, build our tax base, improve our market competitiveness, and enhance the quality of life and economic opportunity for residents of Great Falls, Cascade County, and the entire 13-county Great Falls trade area.

Brett 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.

“Always turn a negative situation into a positive situation.”
Michael Jordan

GFDA Career Opportunity — Commercial Lending Operations Specialist. Experienced, self-motivated lending operations professional sought for two-person lending team within 15-person nonprofit economic development Community Development Financial Institution. Help us to continue to grow our gap and bridge financing efforts to support entrepreneurs, businesses, developers and non-profit organizations throughout the Great Falls trade area and across Montana. Responsible for working with borrowers to put together thorough and accurate loan application packages, preparing loan documents, coordinating loans closings, managing our loan portfolio, maintaining digital loan files, preparing reports to public and private loan capital sources, and maintaining excellent relationships with clients and bank partners. Requires working familiarity with commercial loan documents and recording, insurance, appraisals, and lending practices. Requires the ability to maintain accurate records, work with a wide variety of clients and bank partners, and excellent computer and communication skills. Must be detail-oriented and organized with the flexibility to help achieve our overall team mission. Experience with EDA, USDA, CDFI, EPA and/or SBA 504 loans a plus. Live on the Missouri River along the Rocky Mountain Front and work with a great team! Salary range $45,000-55,000+ with excellent benefits, professional development, growth opportunities, and flex-time work environment. EOE. Cover letter and resume to Brett Doney, BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. Open until we find a great candidate.

Economic Development Services

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

Cost-Effective Rail-Served Industrial Sites Available

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

April SBA 504 Loan Rates

The 25-year loan effective rate came in at 3.029%; 20-year at 2.955%; and, 10-year equipment 2.839%. 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

If you don’t have a cybersecurity plan, you may not be able to win a federal government contract. On April 27th, we’re hosting a special training for businesses currently or planning to do business with federal agencies. Evolving Federal Contractor Cybersecurity Requirements, presented by nationally recognized contracting expert Adam Austin, will help contractors meet new cybersecurity planning benchmarks. Register here. Enter code “GFDA” at checkout to receive a $50 discount off the registration fee.

The Montana Department of Agriculture is offering a round of mini Growth Through Agriculture Grants. Projects will need to demonstrate how they expand Montana agriculture, but given the current public health situation with COVID-19 special attention will be paid to projects that strengthen and expand local food offerings, distribution, and infrastructure. Grant application deadline is May 22. See GTA website for more info. Contact Barnett Sporkin-Morrison-Morrison for assistance at Barnett@GrowGreatFalls.org or 406-750-3285.

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.

USDA has open grant rounds for the Value-Added Producer Grant, Rural Business Development Grant and Renewable Energy for America Programs. Visit www.rd.usda.gov/mt or contact Lea McGiboney for more info, 406-770-4291 or lea.mcgiboney@usda.gov. Let us know if we can help!

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.

2020 Q1 Index

 1st Quarter 2020 Index

Square feet of North 40’s second Great Falls store opened during quarter:  120,000

Number of people employed at North 40’s two city stores:  200+

Number of businesses that presented projects at Ignite 2020:  21

Age of youngest entrepreneur to present at Ignite:  14

Number of people who made business pitches at first River Pitch Night:  22

Construction investment for Malmstrom AFB new weapons storage facility:  $237 million

Increase in record median prices of houses sold in Great Falls during 2019:  8%

Great Falls’ ranking in Montana for closing the gender pay gap:  1st

Great Falls’ rank for closing gender pay gap amongst nearly 1,000 U.S. cities:  88th

Great Falls rank for Best City in Montana for Singles:  1st

Military-linked students served by Great Falls Public Schools:  838

Number of quick-response COVID outreach phone discussions with local businesses GFDA held by end of quarter:  218

Number of businesspeople who logged in to view our Crisis Toolkit webinar live:  280

Great Falls MSA average annual wage increase 2018Q4-2019Q4:  3.1%

Average annual wage earnings increase:  $1,096

Consecutive quarters Great Falls MSA has experienced average annual wage growth:  24

Total wage growth in Great Falls MSA (Cascade County):  $52 million

Business retention and expansion outreach visits during quarter:  23

New leads generated into our pipeline during quarter:  38

New active projects generated into our pipeline:  22

New companies added to our pipeline CRM:  208

Number of Great Falls employment recruiters met with to kick off Talent Attraction initiative:  31

Number of followers on talent attraction Choose Great Falls social media platforms:  4,756

Great Falls building permit valuation issued during quarter:  $10,497,562

Downtown building permits issued during 2019Q4:  11

Total value of downtown permits:  $1,815,120

New downtown businesses opened during 2019Q4:  1

Downtown volunteer hours donated:  11,381

Number of local entrepreneurs and businesses coached by GFDA during quarter:  145

Of these, number of new coaching clients:  37

Number of business training sessions offered during quarter:  17

Number of training participants:  460

Number of businesses bought or started by coached clients during quarter:  4

New capital secured by entrepreneur clients during quarter:  $971,000

Government contracts won by clients during quarter:  $471,990

Jobs supported by our Small Business Development Center during quarter:  468

New rural county clients coached by our Small Business Development Center since adding a rural-based business advisor in October:  32

Professional development webinars we’ve produced that are available for entrepreneurs to view 24/7:  32

Amount of loans funded during quarter:  $1,159,000

Private investment leveraged by these loans:  $2,249,757

Loan commitments issued during quarter:  $494,647

Most recent SBA 504 effective loan rate fixed for 20 years:  2.955%

Government contracts awarded in Montana in 2019:  $9.2 billion

Number of prime awards:  80,775

People per square mile in United States:  92.9

In Cascade County:  30.2

In Montana:  7.3

Montana rank for best financially prepared state for a recession:  5th

Manufacturing companies in U.S. that say the arts helps to recruit and retain employees:  55%

Corporate executives who say availability of skilled labor is important in site selection:  92.3%

Site selection consultants who say skilled labor is important:  100%

Executives who say quality of life is an important factor:  82.2%

Executives who say shovel-ready pre-certified sites are important:  59%

Newspapers lost in U.S. since 2004:  1,800

Number of dailies lost:  62

Weeklies:  1,749

U.S. towns that are now “news deserts” devoid of local news media outlets:  1,300

Percent of 295,000 companies in U.S. that exported in 2015 that were small businesses:  97.6%

Percentage of cyberattacks that target small business:  43%

Percent of global gross domestic product lost to cyber theft each year:  1%

Amount lost:  $600 billion

Increase in number of amusement arcades in U.S. 2012-2017:  38%

Percent of U.S. restaurant interactions for pickup or delivery in 2019:  60%

Percent in 2016:  37%

For info contact Jolene Schalper at JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org or 1-406-750-4481 or Brett Doney at BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org or 1-406-750-2119

Top 10 – 4/12/2020

Belt rancher Joel McCafferty of McCafferty Ranch delivering first Montana beef to Central Avenue Meats in downtown Great Falls. Owner Drew Hicks and shop manager Stanley Waddell celebrating!

GFDA’s Top 10

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

1) Congratulations to Mountain Valley Irrigation for moving into their new 7,200 square foot building in the Manchester Industrial Park. See TheElectricGF.com. Demolition started at site of the future Benefis Women’s and Children’s Center.

2) Affiliated Developers secured $3.6 million to acquire and preserve 60 affordable homes at Oakwood Village in Havre thanks to the Montana Boar of Housing and the Multifamnily Coal Trust Homes Program at the Montana Department of Commerce; see more details.

3) The Great Falls City Commission approved rezoning and a street vacation for expansion of the C.M. Russell Museum; see Great Falls Tribune. The Commission also approved updates to the city landscaping code that gives businesses and developers more flexibility. The City earned another Aa3 credit rating from Moody’s; see Tribune.

4) Cassie Campbell opened Spices N Spurs Catering & Food Truck in Great Falls; see KRTV. The Montana DEQ approved permit for Tintina’s Black Butte copper mine project north of White Sulpher Springs; see Tribune and KRTV.

5) We published a Hibernation Toolkit for businesses going through some level of hibernation to survive the COVID crisis; download it here. Join us this Friday, April 17 at 11:00 AM for a webinar on steps you can take to hibernate your business. In this brief, 30-minute webinar we are hoping to give business owners guidance on how to put a business to bed during the COVID-19 crisis. For some, taking the time to hibernate a business properly is an opportunity to start strategic planning to come out the other end. To register for this webinar click here.

6) We have gap and bridge financing available to help businesses, self-employed entrepreneurs, non-profits and real estate developers whether the storm. Our loan capital is limited so if you have other resources, please use those first. Contact Jolene Schalper at JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org or 406-750-4481. She will ask you these questions by phone.

7) Now more than ever we need to support our local schools. We still have a few lawn signs available for pick-up outside our office door or email me your address and I’ll put one up. If you have time to make get-out-the-vote phone calls, sign up at KidsEducationYes.com.

8) Hosted another discussion for Golden Triangle Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Service Providers. These weekly Zoom Chats help us learn what’s going on across the region and aid in bringing more resources to the table. Our next one will be on Thursday April 16 at 2 PM. Contact Jolene to learn more at JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org.

9) We have been fielding a large number of questions regarding unemployment. The CARE act opened up unemployment benefits to sole proprietors and entrepreneurs but the system isn’t ready to process those as of now. We’ve been told that applicants should start and go as far as they can, save their log in information, and check in with the local Workforce Center. The one located in Great Falls that serves the region can be reached at: 406.791.5800.

10) The Montana Department of Labor is holding town hall meetings for businesses via zoom Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 11AM to Noon. The link of the zoom meeting and recordings of previous meetings are located here. You can find additional links to labor and employment questions on our website.

11) GFDA hosted a Government Contracting webinar on Friday. We covered the basics of getting your business registered to do business with the federal government. A recording of the webinar can be found here.

12) Spring forward with your business start-up or expansion by utilizing the SBA 504 loan program. Effective interest rates came in at 3.029% for the 25-year term, 2.955% for the 20-year term, and the 10-year term came in at 2.839%. With down payments as low as 10% the 504 is hard to beat for small business financing. Contact Jill Kohles at 406-590-1056 or JKohles@GrowGreatFalls.org to get started on your SBA 504 loan today!

13) Calling all Food Trucks! The Heritage Inn has extended an offer to all area food trucks to utilize their parking lot as a place to set up shop. If you have a food truck that you would like to set up, please contact the hotel at 406-761-1900 and ask for extension #192 to get started. If you have questions about starting a food truck we recommend reaching out to our Small Business Development Center. Email Jason Nitschke at JNitschke@GrowGreatFalls.org.

14) The Montana Cooperative Development Center is offering a webinar, Meeting our Economic Needs Together:Understanding the Cooperative Leverage, on Tuesday, April 14 at 2:00 PM. This webinar will provide an overview of Cooperatives in Montana and how cooperatives can be built to address the needs of businesses and communities now and through the recovery of the COVID-19 crisis. More info and registration.

15) NeighborWorks Great Falls seeks nominations for Most Improved Properties of the Year. Make your nomination here.

16) Anxiety and depression are running high amid this crisis and Montana State University is helping Montanans access help for free! THRIVE is a confidential, online program that teaches people cognitive behavioral therapy skills. Click here to access the tool.

17) Thank you to this week’s Investors in Economic Development, Veolia North America, for your Community Division investment. Your investment allows our communities to devise strategies for support and revitalization during these difficult times. Whether it is through our crisis toolkits, securing capital, recovery workshops, or other industry-specific considerations, GFDA has the data tools and resources available. Thank you to all of our investors and to the businesses working together to get through this pandemic. If you have questions about investment or would like to invest in GFDA, please contact Teresa Schreiner at 406-781-9499.

18) FUN FACTS ABOUT MONTANA: Did you know that infamous sheriff and outlaw Henry Plummer constructed the first jail in Montana? Also, Montana holds the record for the most dramatic temperature change to occur over a 24-hour period. In 1972 in Loma, the temperature rose from -54˚F to 49˚F.

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.

Happy Easter!

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.

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”
Charles Swindoll

Support Local Education!

The Great Falls Development Authority’s Board of Directors unanimously voted to support the Great Falls Public Schools elementary schools operating levy. Join us in supporting the critical efforts of Kids Education Yes!

GFDA Career Opportunity — Commercial Lending Operations Specialist. Experienced, self-motivated lending operations professional sought for two-person lending team within 15-person nonprofit economic development Community Development Financial Institution. Help us to continue to grow our gap and bridge financing efforts to support entrepreneurs, businesses, developers and non-profit organizations throughout the Great Falls trade area and across Montana. Responsible for working with borrowers to put together thorough and accurate loan application packages, preparing loan documents, coordinating loans closings, managing our loan portfolio, maintaining digital loan files, preparing reports to public and private loan capital sources, and maintaining excellent relationships with clients and bank partners. Requires working familiarity with commercial loan documents and recording, insurance, appraisals, and lending practices. Requires the ability to maintain accurate records, work with a wide variety of clients and bank partners, and excellent computer and communication skills. Must be detail-oriented and organized with the flexibility to help achieve our overall team mission. Experience with EDA, USDA, CDFI, EPA and/or SBA 504 loans a plus. Live on the Missouri River along the Rocky Mountain Front and work with a great team! Salary range $45,000-50,000+ with excellent benefits, professional development, growth opportunities, and flex-time work environment. EOE. Cover letter and resume to Brett Doney, BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. Open until we find a great candidate.

Economic Development Services

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

Cost-Effective Rail-Served Industrial Sites Available

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

April SBA 504 Loan Rates

The 25-year loan effective rate came in at 3.029%; 20-year at 2.955%; and, 10-year equipment 2.839%. 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

If you don’t have a cybersecurity plan, you may not be able to win a federal government contract. On April 27th, we’re hosting a special training for businesses currently or planning to do business with federal agencies. Evolving Federal Contractor Cybersecurity Requirements, presented by nationally recognized contracting expert Adam Austin, will help contractors meet new cybersecurity planning benchmarks. Register here. Enter code “GFDA” at checkout to receive a $50 discount off the registration fee.

The Montana Department of Agriculture is offering a round of mini Growth Through Agriculture Grants. Projects will need to demonstrate how they expand Montana agriculture, but given the current public health situation with COVID-19 special attention will be paid to projects that strengthen and expand local food offerings, distribution, and infrastructure. Grant application deadline is May 22. See GTA website for more info. Contact Barnett Sporkin-Morrison-Morrison for assistance at Barnett@GrowGreatFalls.org or 406-750-3285.

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.

USDA has open grant rounds for the Value-Added Producer Grant, Rural Business Development Grant and Renewable Energy for America Programs. Visit www.rd.usda.gov/mt or contact Lea McGiboney for more info, 406-770-4291 or lea.mcgiboney@usda.gov. Let us know if we can help!

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 – 4/5/2020

Construction underway on the Eastridge subdivision in Great Falls by Woith Engineering and United Materials.

GFDA’s World Famous Top 10

Here is our Top 24 for this week celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy — Montana’s Golden Triangle. Many thanks to the multitudes of community heroes who are helping us get through this crisis!

1) Western Art Week has been rescheduled for September 10-12. The C.M. Russell Museum events will be co-located with the OutWest Art Show & Sale and The Great Western Living & Design Show. See TheElectricGF.com.

2) FedEx plans to buy its 81,000 square foot facility at the Great Falls International Airport. GTF’s Board approved the sale this week. See TheElectricGF.com.

3) Businesses have been applying for Payroll Protection Program loans through their bank or credit union. We also recommend going directly to the SBA for your questions and to learn more. Friday evening the SBA posted another interim rule giving more flexibility for affiliates. Give your banker some slack. They are inundated with applications and the rules they have to deal with are evolving. The President vowed to put more money into the PPP if it reaches the cap approved in the CARES Act.

4) If your business cannot get all the cash it needs from your bank and/or the $10,000 advance on an SBA Disaster EIDL is not enough, we may be able to fill the gap or bridge you until the SBA loans fund. We will put every dime we have of loan capital to work to help businesses throughout the Golden Triangle. Our loan capital is limited so if you have other resources, please use those first. Contact Jolene Schalper at JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org or 406-750-4481. She will ask you these questions by phone.

5) The IRS has posted updated FAQs on the tax credits provided to employers in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The Act provides small businesses with refundable tax credits to reimburse employers for the cost of providing paid sick and family leave related to COVID-19. The U.S. Department of Labor issued its temporary rule for paid leave under the Act. Here is a copy of the required employer poster.

6) We’ve gotten a lot of great feedback on our Crisis Toolkit and other resources on our website. We are working on two more situation specific crisis tool kits, How to Successfully Hibernate Your Business, and Maintaining Operations for Essential Businesses. We’ll also be providing deeper dives into the Payroll Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Assistance Loan (EIDL). Email Jolene and let her know what information/topics you’re interested in, JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org.

7) GFDA approved a brownfield cleanup grant of up to $55,000 to the C.M. Russell Museum to remove asbestos from the ceiling of the museum galleries. If you would like more information on our Brownfield tools, contact Lillian Sunwall at (406) 750-1253 or LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org.

8) Now more than ever we need to support our local schools. We still have a few lawn signs available for pick-up outside our office door or email me your address and I’ll put one up. If you have time to make get-out-the-vote phone calls, sign up at KidsEducationYes.com.

9) Ten entrepreneurs joined our first virtual QuickBooks training this week. Another 10 logged onto our previously scheduled webinar, Using Opportunity Zones to Start or Grow Your Business, presented by Ben Hobbs, Special Assistant to President Trump on the Domestic Policy Council. The recording of this webinar is available for viewing.

10) Up next is The LaunchPoint: A Pre-Business Workshop this Thursday, April 9th from 4-5 PM. This will be a virtual training. Please register to attend. Join us for a webinar this Friday, April 10th 11:00 AM on Preparing for Government Contracting During COVID-19. In this brief, 30-minute webinar we will give businesses guidance on how to prepare to do business with government agencies during the COVID-19/coronavirus crisis. Our goal is to get businesses not currently set up into the appropriate systems and then search for solicitations. Hear experts provide an overview of small business development topics and phone in or type or chat questions or comments. All webinars are free and open the public and will be recorded and archived. Register here.

11) If you are hiring right now, please let us know. We are trying to get news stories published on TV, newspaper and radio to let the entire region know about your opportunities. Contact our Talent Attraction Director, Soren Chargois at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org or (406) 836-0147 about your open positions.

12) Local journalism is critical during times of community need. The publishers of the Cut Bank Pioneer Press, Glacier Reporter, Shelby Promoter and The Valierian have combined the publications into one to weather the COVID crisis. Visit them at cutbankpioneerpress.com.

13) We hosted virtual meet ups to connect small businesses and resource partners. We will be hosting an additional Zoom for our Golden Triangle Resource Providers this Thursday at 2 PM. We’re facilitating a private FaceBook Group for small businesses to share experiences and resources. Contact Jolene for more information, JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org.

14) Are you a young professional? Did you recently relocate to Great Falls? Do you appreciate all that Great Falls has to offer and want to share it with the world? If any of the above apply to you and if you are interested in being featured in the next publication of the Great Falls Livability Magazine, please email Soren Chargois at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org.

15) Not to be lost amongst the chaos of the current crisis, the GAO issued a very important report that emphasizes the need to not delay in replacing our nation’s ICBMs; see Air Force Magazine.

16) The Montana Department of Agriculture is offering a round of mini Growth Through Agriculture Grants. Projects will need to demonstrate how they expand Montana agriculture, but given the current public health situation with COVID-19 special attention will be paid to projects that strengthen and expand local food offerings, distribution, and infrastructure. A conference call will be held this Thursday, April 9 at 10 AM. Grant application deadline is May 22. See GTA website for more info. Contact Barnett Sporkin-Morrison-Morrison for assistance at Barnett@GrowGreatFalls.org or 406-750-3285.

17) Great Falls College MSU will kick off their first virtual information session to learn about everything the College has to offer; see KFBB. Read about the whole series in the Great Falls Tribune. The College’s Career and College Readiness Center can assist with the self-discovery process of finding a new career pathway. You can access their tools here or contact Veronica Griffith at veronica_griffith@gfps.k12.mt.us.

18) The University of Providence opened applications for its Accelerated or Second Degree Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program; see details here.

19) The Montana World Trade Center and the Montana District Export Council invite all Montana firms engaged in international business to a virtual happy hour this Tuesday, April 7, 4 PM. Discussion topics will include issues being faced by exporters and importers. RSVP here.

20) The Census count is way behind. If you have not done yours it only takes a few minutes online at www.2020census.gov or by phone 844-330-2020. If our Golden Triangle communities are undercounted, it will cost us millions over the next decade.

21) If you know of someone who has been laid off and has some time on their hands, there is a great series of podcasts about mid-career people who decided to start new businesses in troubled times. Visit SecondActStories.org.

22) If you don’t have a cybersecurity plan, you may not be able to win a federal government contract. On April 27th, we’re hosting a special training for businesses currently or planning to do business with federal agencies. Evolving Federal Contractor Cybersecurity Requirements, presented by nationally recognized contracting expert Adam Austin, will help contractors meet new cybersecurity planning benchmarks. Register here. Enter code “GFDA” at checkout to receive a $50 discount off the registration fee.

23) Is your association, chamber, economic development organization, club, or other group a GFDA Partner? We hope so and we want to hear from you. How have you/your members been affected by COVID19? Call or email Nathan to share your member experience, NReiff@GrowGreatFalls.org or 406.781.2523.

24) Thank you to the Montana Board of Investments which approved a $500,000 loan to GFDA this week that we will use to try to secure a matching loan from the Community Development Financial Institution Fund of the U.S. Treasury. We will use both loans to augment our available loan capital to put to work in the Golden Triangle.

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.

Whether your business has had to go into some level of hibernation to survive or you are struggling as an essential business to stay open, THANK YOU! We will get through this and come out stronger, hungrier and more united.

Take care,

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.

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”
Henry Ford

Support Local Education!

The Great Falls Development Authority’s Board of Directors unanimously voted to support the Great Falls Public Schools elementary schools operating levy. Join us in supporting the critical efforts of Kids Education Yes!

GFDA Career Opportunity — Commercial Lending Operations Specialist. Experienced, self-motivated lending operations professional sought for two-person lending team within 15-person nonprofit economic development Community Development Financial Institution. Help us to continue to grow our gap and bridge financing efforts to support entrepreneurs, businesses, developers and non-profit organizations throughout the Great Falls trade area and across Montana. Responsible for working with borrowers to put together thorough and accurate loan application packages, preparing loan documents, coordinating loans closings, managing our loan portfolio, maintaining digital loan files, preparing reports to public and private loan capital sources, and maintaining excellent relationships with clients and bank partners. Requires working familiarity with commercial loan documents and recording, insurance, appraisals, and lending practices. Requires the ability to maintain accurate records, work with a wide variety of clients and bank partners, and excellent computer and communication skills. Must be detail-oriented and organized with the flexibility to help achieve our overall team mission. Experience with EDA, USDA, CDFI, EPA and/or SBA 504 loans a plus. Live on the Missouri River along the Rocky Mountain Front and work with a great team! Salary range $45,000-50,000+ with excellent benefits, professional development, growth opportunities, and flex-time work environment. EOE. Cover letter and resume to Brett Doney, BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. Open until we find a great candidate.

Economic Development Services

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

Cost-Effective Rail-Served Industrial Sites Available

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

March SBA 504 Loan Rates

The 25-year loan effective rate came in at 2.878%; 20-year at 2.804%; 25-year refinance at 2.88% and 20-year refinance at 2.806%; and, 10-year equipment 2.839%. These rates are FIXED for the life of the loan and are inclusive of all fees. If you would like to find out how to get financing for commercial real estate and equipment at potentially lower rates than you’re paying for your home mortgage, please contact Jill Kohles at 406-590-1056 or JKohles@GrowGreatFalls.org.

Invest in Great Falls Regional Economic Development

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

Events, Business Training, and Opportunities

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

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

USDA has open grant rounds for the Value-Added Producer Grant, Rural Business Development Grant and Renewable Energy for America Programs. Visit www.rd.usda.gov/mt or contact Lea McGiboney for more info, 406-770-4291 or lea.mcgiboney@usda.gov. Let us know if we can help!

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 – 3/29/2020

Normont Equipment’s new building on 9th Avenue NW in Great Falls has gone vertical!

GFDA Top 10

Here is our Top 27 for this week celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy — Montana’s Golden Triangle!

1) Congratulations to Jamie Cole Foster who will be opening Foster’s Farmacy in Choteau on April 7th. In spite of the coronavirus crisis, this entrepreneur is taking the leap to start her business to be part of the solution in the food supply chain in rural Montana. Foster’s Farmacy is a natural grocer, filling the void left following the closure of Mountain Front Market. Jamie utilized our LivePlan business planning software, our Small Business Development Center, and our Food and Ag Development Center during her planning. Foster’s Farmacy’s press release announcement can be found on their Facebook page along with photos of the renovation of the building they’re purchasing at 714 Main Avenue North in Choteau. Read more in the Choteau Acantha.

2) For COVID-related business resources and ideas, visit the Disaster Toolkit section of our website. We will continue to send our blasts and social media posts as more resource information becomes available. Please share with us any good resources you come across so that we can share with businesses throughout the region. We continued to make outreach calls to businesses throughout the region to check on how they are navigating the crisis and see if they need help.

3) Congress passed the CARES Act and the President has signed the bill. It will take sometime, hopefully very short, for many of the details to be worked out. We’ll share the business aspects as various agencies roll out resources. The US Chamber put together a pretty good summary of the act.

4) If your business needs immediate cash to get through this crisis, and you do not have the resources, turn to your bank first. If they can’t help you yet, we may be able to help. Contact Jolene at JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org or 406-750-4481. Existing GFDA or High Plains Financial borrowers contact Jill at JKohles@GrowGreatFalls.org or 406-590-1056. We will use every resource we can get to help previously profitable companies in the Golden Triangle survive this crisis and prosper long-term.

5) Our business coaches are working night and day to help with business strategies. Contact Jason at JNitschke@GrowGreatFalls.org or 406-750-0314, or Rich at RGannon@GrowGreatFalls.org or 406-836-2078. Food and Ag businesses, contact Barnett at Barnett@GrowGreatFalls.org or 406-750-3285. If you are having issues with government contracts, contact Shannon at SClancy@GrowGreatFalls.org or 406-590-1184.

6) NorMont Equipment is working on their new building located at 2101 9th Avenue NW in Great Falls. The 12,000 structure is scheduled to open later this spring. They are moving from their 3,500 square foot space which will enable them to hire more employees and greatly expand their business. You can see a 360 degree video of the progress on the new building here.

7) Over 60 businesses joined us for Retail/Restaurant and Downtown Peer Virtual Meet Ups. Entrepreneurs voiced concerns about supply chain disruption, employees safety, financial well being, business continuity, and debt.

8) Congratulations to Father Oliver Doyle on being named President of the University of Providence this week! See TheElectricGF.com.

9) Presented a webinar titled, Marketing, Communications, and Sales During the COVID-19 Crisis. Click here to watch the webinar. Our next webinar, Prepare for Government Contracting During COVID-19, will be this Friday, April 3, 11:00-11:30 AM. We will give business owners guidance on how to prepare to do business with government agencies during the COVID-19 crisis. Register here.

10) If you would like a Kids Education lawn sign put up in your yard at home and/or business to show support for the Great Falls Public Schools elementary school levy, please email me, BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. If you have time to make get-out-the-vote phone calls, sign up at KidsEducationYes.com.

11) Congratulations to the organizations in our region who won grants from the Montana History Foundation including the J.C. Adams Stone Barn in Sun River, the Cascade County Historical Society (the History Museum) and the C.M. Russell Museum in Great Falls, the Fort Benton Community Improvement Association (I.G. Baker House), the Central Montana Metis Oral History Project (Snowy Mountain Development) in Lewistown, the Glacier County Historical Museum in Cut Bank, the Old Trail Museum in Choteau, and the Two Medicine Dinosaur Center in Bynum! See Great Falls Tribune and TheElectricGF.com.

12) Golden Triangle Resource Providers gathered virtually to share tools and resources to help businesses. We’ll be meeting again this week as the tools and resources available are changing dramatically. If you are a business resource provider in the Golden Triangle, join us! Call or email Jolene 406-750-4481 or JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org.

13) Business Insider ranked Montana as the 5th best financially prepared state for a recession; see article here.

14) Concerns about Supply Chain Disruption? Join other businesses for a Supply Chain Disruption Virtual Meet Up, Tuesday, March 31, 2 PM; register here. We want to hear from businesses across the Golden Triangle whose supply chain has been disrupted and what you’re doing about it. We’d like to hear from you in advance. Contact Barnett at Barnett@GrowGreatFalls.org.

15) Share with and learn from other small businesses at a Small Business Virtual Meet Up, Wednesday, April 1, 2 PM; register here.This is a peer to peer discussion for small businesses across the Golden Triangle. Our business situation is changing daily. What is of most concern to your business right now and for your continued operations. We’ll have Coaches on the line and encourage you to submit questions in advance to Jolene at JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org.

16) Do you provide technical assistance to entrepreneurs across the Golden Triangle? We’re holding another Resource Partner Meet Up on Thursday, April 2, 2 PM; register here. This Zoom meet up is for our resource partners across the Golden Triangle who provide assistance to entrepreneurs to share knowledge and best practices.

17) We are still moving ahead with brownfield assessments and cleanups for redevelopment projects. Did some research for a potential property owner to clarify status on a property that once had a leaking underground storage. We were able to confirm with our partners at MT DEQ that the tank was removed, and they received a no-further corrective action letter. The potential purchaser was happy that we were able to update him on the positive outcome. Do you have questions on a site or building? Contact Lillian before you purchase to see how we can help; LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org or 406-750-1253.

18) Keeping in touch and hearing about projects is crucial for GFDA Investors and future investors. Join us this Friday, April 3rd at 7:00 AM for Virtual Development Coffee. This meeting will be conducted via Zoom. Look for the invitation in your email this week. If you have any questions about Development Coffee, contact Teresa Schreiner at 406.781.9499 or TSchreiner@GrowGreatFalls.org. We cannot wait to see you!

19) Early Stage Montana is offering Virtual Mentorships to Tech-Leveraged Businesses. Innovative ideas and a strong workforce keep Montana moving forward. In uncertain times, it’s important to seek advice from experienced mentors. That’s why Early Stage MT is offering virtual training to Montana’s tech entrepreneurs. Please visit www.earlystagemt.org to submit a request for mentorship.

20) Montana’s representation and federal funding is determined by our population. Typically by this point the Census should be over 50% complete. Unfortunately we are at less than 25% complete in Montana. Please take a moment to complete the Census. You can do it online at www.2020census.gov or via telephone, 844-330-2020.

21) The Montana Nonprofit Association is offering a series of Virtual Town Halls this week every day at 2:00 PM, Q & A with Congressman Gianforte on Monday, Navigating Federal Relief on Tuesday, Applying for SBA Loans on Wednesday, Concrete Steps to Stabilize Your Fundraising Platforms on Thursday, and State of the Sector — End of Week Wrap Up on Friday. Register here.

22) We received proposals from seven consulting firms across the country to provide lead generation services to boost our business attraction efforts. We issued the RFP before the current crisis. Many companies will be changing their strategies and supply chains in response to current events which may create opportunities for the Great Falls and the Golden Triangle.

23) It’s time to innovate! The Montana Innovation Partnership is offering a DOD SBIR/STTR Phase 1 Virtual Proposal Lab on April 7 from 8:30 AM-4:30 PM. Register here. Contact Ann Peterson at the MSU Techlink Center for more info, 406-994-7788 or techlinksbir@montana.edu.

24) GFDA’s Executive Committee held a special virtual meeting during which it approved our applying to several public agencies and banks for a significant amount of additional loan capital to meet the gap and bridge financing needs of companies in the region.

25) JobsEQ released preliminary economic data for 2019Q4. Total wages in the Great Falls MSA (Cascade County) grew by $52 million in 2019. Average wages were up 3.1%, above the inflation rate of 2.3%. The average annual wage increased $1,096 during the year, reaching $42,262.

26) Thank you to this week’s Investors in Economic Development, North 40 Outfitters for their Leadership Division investment, and Cascade Electric and Tyree Investment Group for their Community Division investments. With so much uncertainty in the coming weeks, know that our team is working diligently to maximize your investment. Whether it is through virtual meetups, tailored to suit company business needs, crisis toolkits, or individualized consulting, GFDA is here for businesses. To continue discussing how an investment works in times like this, or to talk about your investment, contact Teresa Schreiner at 406. 781.9499 or TSchreiner@GrowGreatFalls.org.

27) USDA is seeking applications for grants to make housing repairs for low- and very-low-income rural residents. The grants are being provided through USDA’s Housing Preservation Grant program. Eligible applicants include town or county governments, public agencies, federally recognized Indian tribes, and nonprofit and faith-based organizations. USDA does not provide funding directly to individual homeowners under this program. For additional eligibility information, see Federal Register. Applications are due by 5:00 PM MST on May 7. More info at USDA Montana state office.

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.

Take care,

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.

 

“God bless perseverance. Because it’s not easy.”

Junot Diaz

Support Local Education!

The Great Falls Development Authority’s Board of Directors unanimously voted to support the Great Falls Public Schools elementary schools operating levy. Join us in supporting the critical efforts of Kids Education Yes!

GFDA Career Opportunity — Commercial Lending Operations Specialist. Experienced, self-motivated lending operations professional sought for two-person lending team within 15-person nonprofit economic development Community Development Financial Institution. Help us to continue to grow our gap and bridge financing efforts to support entrepreneurs, businesses, developers and non-profit organizations throughout the Great Falls trade area and across Montana. Responsible for working with borrowers to put together thorough and accurate loan application packages, preparing loan documents, coordinating loans closings, managing our loan portfolio, maintaining digital loan files, preparing reports to public and private loan capital sources, and maintaining excellent relationships with clients and bank partners. Requires working familiarity with commercial loan documents and recording, insurance, appraisals, and lending practices. Requires the ability to maintain accurate records, work with a wide variety of clients and bank partners, and excellent computer and communication skills. Must be detail-oriented and organized with the flexibility to help achieve our overall team mission. Experience with EDA, USDA, CDFI, EPA and/or SBA 504 loans a plus. Live on the Missouri River along the Rocky Mountain Front and work with a great team! Salary range $45,000-50,000+ with excellent benefits, professional development, growth opportunities, and flex-time work environment. EOE. Cover letter and resume to Brett Doney, BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. Open until we find a great candidate.

Economic Development Services

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

Cost-Effective Rail-Served Industrial Sites Available

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

March SBA 504 Loan Rates

The 25-year loan effective rate came in at 2.878%; 20-year at 2.804%; 25-year refinance at 2.88% and 20-year refinance at 2.806%; and, 10-year equipment 2.839%. These rates are FIXED for the life of the loan and are inclusive of all fees. If you would like to find out how to get financing for commercial real estate and equipment at potentially lower rates than you’re paying for your home mortgage, please contact Jill Kohles at 406-590-1056 or JKohles@GrowGreatFalls.org.

Invest in Great Falls Regional Economic Development

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

Events, Business Training, and Opportunities

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

Protect Your Business An estimated 25% of businesses don’t open again after a major disaster, according to the Institute of Business and Home Safety. Protect your small business by identifying risks relevant to your location both natural and man-made. Smart planning can help you keep your business running if disaster strikes. Potential flooding is a genuine concern in Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota in 2020. Participate in this webinar to find out the right steps to prevent and prepare for disaster, and where to get aid if disaster strikes. SBA is offering a webinar to help you prepare, It’s Your Small Business, Protect It! on Mar 31, 2020 11:00 AM MDT. Register here.

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

USDA has open grant rounds for the Value-Added Producer Grant, Rural Business Development Grant and Renewable Energy for America Programs. Visit www.rd.usda.gov/mt or contact Lea McGiboney for more info, 406-770-4291 or lea.mcgiboney@usda.gov. Let us know if we can help!

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.