Top 10 – 9/8/2021

GFDA Brownfields Assistance leads to Redevelopment Project
In 2016, GFDA completed a Brownfields Phase 1 Assessment for the owners of the Falls Construction site located along the Missouri River next to the 10th Street Bridge. After five years including a Phase 2, work with EPA, MT DEQ & consultants, and a land swap with the City of Great Falls, the project has come full circle and the first redevelopment on the site has begun. Independence Bank has started construction on a new branch that will include a True Brew Espresso first floor of the new building. An added bonus to this project is the connection of the River’s Edge Trail to the 10th Street pedestrian bridge. The location of the third True Brew is also exciting for GFDA because their first Drive-thru Espresso was the very first Brownfields cleanup site in downtown Great Falls back in 2010. For more information on how we can help with your project, contact Lillian Sunwall at LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org or (406) 750-1253.

GFDA’s Top 10

Here is our Top 15 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) The C.M. Russell Museum announced the completion of their $25 million capital campaign and opened their new campus grounds. Congratulations!!! See Great Falls Tribune.

2) Great Falls was named the Best City for Foodies in Montana by Insurify! We have another new food truck in town. Robert Ibarra has opened Taqueria Ibarra; see KRTV. Brittany Riley has opened International Spice District in Great Falls; see KRTV. KRTV ran a story on a number of additional new businesses opening soon in Great Falls.

3) Congratulations to Curiously Artistic, a great store in Cut Bank that recently reopened their doors. Read the full story in the Cut Bank Pioneer Press.

4) Downtown Great Falls lands a NEW Teaching Kitchen! Check out the video announcement hereNourish’s new space is a gathering place for the community to share their love of food through cooking and nutrition classes, as well as the capacity to host and cater events.

5) The unemployment rate in the Great Falls MSA was 3.2% in July, according to the Montana Department of labor and Industry.

6) Ever wonder how you can help grow our community? There are many ways! One of the easiest is to share our social media posts. Another is to share what you love about our community with others. Think about the top three selling points you’d tell someone you really want to move to Great Falls. Share those on your social media, talk about them. When we are recruiting businesses to town they often ask around. What message do you want them to hear?

7) Upcoming GFDA entrepreneur/business convenient virtual trainings: Boots to Business, our workshop for active military personnel looking to transition to a life of entrepreneurship is back on Thursday and Friday, September 9 & 10. The LaunchPoint, our catch-all workshop for budding entrepreneurs is back on Thursday, September 9. And wrapping up the month is our popular Website Bootcamp: Website in a Day in Lewistown on Tuesday, September 28.

8) PUBLIC MEETING ANNOUNCEMENT
WHEN: Next Wednesday, September 15th, 5:30-7:00 PM
WHERE: GF College MSU, Room B101 (South entrance, door 7)

GFDA invites you to give input into the start of developing a new strategic plan to grow and strengthen the economy of the region. The first step is to gather community input on the strengths and weaknesses of our current regional economy, an the opportunities and threats we will face. We want to tap into your knowledge and expertise. please join us on the 15th to give us your thoughts. If you can’t make it, please take a few minutes to fill out a brief survey here.

9) Help us spread the word about the great things going on in Great Falls! Use your Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram accounts to engage with us – we’ll share your posts and great stories, and you share ours! If you’d like to receive an email notification every time @LiveinGreatFalls posts on social media so you can be one of the first to “like” or share it, email Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org.

10) Our local media partner KRTV is helping us spread the word about the ‘Live in Great Falls’ initiative and finding individuals/families to interview who have moved to Great Falls recently! Read or watch the story here.

11) Employers, never again lose out on a star candidate due to their significant other being unable to find work in Great Falls. Join the Trailing Partner Email Group made specifically for employers to share resumes of trailing spouses/partners across the Great Falls region with other employers looking to hire. Email Talent Attraction Director Soren Chargois Ebbasi at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org to opt-in.

12) We asked our Board members to tell us what advantages in doing business in Great Falls. Some of their responses: stable steady economy; community support; willing partners collaborating for common growth; access to business assistance; businesses supporting each other; genuine, honest, good people; hardworking employees; and loyal customers.

13) We participated in the International Economic Development Council’s Economic Development Research Partners (EDRP) Retreat. Some of the top economic development groups across the country gather as a think tank for research projects to benefit economic developers. We’re looking at a variety of issues facing communities like ours, for example supply chain disruption, real estate transformation, pandemic and natural disaster disruptions.

14) Is your business opening, expanding, or doing something revolutionary? We want to hear about it and help you tell the story. Our Announcement of the Week goes out to a captive audience of thousands in the Great Falls regional business community. Contact Tyler at TMenzales@GrowGreatFalls.org to get started on your announcement!

15) Still catching up on a few things for the Top 10 from the summer. I had the pleasure of speaking on a national webinar with the Economic Development Administration and another webinar on Accredited Economic Development Organizations hosted by the International Economic Development Council, participating in the Montana Economic Developers Association Board of Directors annual retreat, volunteering as an instructor for the Council of Development Finance Agency’s Introduction to Revolving Loan Funds, Designing Your Revolving Loan Fund, and Advanced Revolving Loan Funds virtual courses, serving on the Governor’s 8th District Judicial Nomination Advisory Committee, and testifying before the Montana Economic Transformation Commission.

Thank you to the Great Falls Voyagers for a fun season and to the Downtown Summer Jam concert producers!

Enjoy the late summer weather!

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.

“Anyone who thinks that they are too small to make a difference has never tried to fall asleep with a mosquito in the room.”
Christine Todd Whitman

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.

Edition 502


Here is an updated Growth Highlights for the Great Falls Montana Trade Area. Our Menu of Services and Staff Team handout. Here is our our Quarterly Investor Letter and our GFDA 2021Q2 Quarter Index.

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 2.863%; 20-year at 2.744%; 10-year equipment loan at 2.591%; and, 20-year refinance 2.787%; 25-year refinance 2.904%. 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.

GFDA has launched a College Intern Program starting with five paid internship opportunities. Download application. Help us spread the word!

Invest in Great Falls Regional Economic Development
Contact Brett Doney at 406-750-2119 or BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. Here is a current list of our great investors.


Events, Business Training, and Opportunities

Looking to take control of your business’s financials, increase profit, and improve your bottom line? We have had interest from businesses in scheduling a Profit Mastery course. These courses are scheduled by demand. If you are interested in taking this two-day workshop, contact Jason Nitschke at JNitschke@GrowGreatFalls.orgor call (406) 750-0314.

Check out August’s Hot Jobs in Great Falls, a collection of open jobs that we’re marketing to people in talent attraction target markets (Seattle, Portland, etc.). These are jobs that people would relocate for. If you have a particularly high-skill, high-salary or out-of-the-box job opportunity to include in September’s blog, email Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org.

Pro-tip: Post positivity! When you’re using Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn and share something positive about Great Falls, tag @LiveinGreatFalls or @GrowGreatFallsMontana. We will like and share your posts. Follow our talent attraction effort, Live in Great Falls, on InstagramFacebook and YouTube, and follow the Great Falls Development Authority to help us attract entrepreneurs and business investment on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn, and YouTube.

You are facing tough decisions right now. We’ve developed toolkits to help you decide what is best for your business. Toolkits include: Crisis Toolkit, Hibernation Toolkit, Business Resiliency Guide, Re-Opening Toolkit, and a Child Care Whitepaper. All of these can be found on our website.

We deliver print copies of the Great Falls Livability talent attraction magazine around town every Friday – if you would like copies of this great recruitment tool, email Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org

version anytime! Visit our relocation website LiveInGreatFalls.com. 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.

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.

Manufacturers, if you’re not engaged with the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center hosted by MSU, you’re missing out on powerful resources, services, and networking. MMEC clients report cost savings of $160.3 million, new investment of $328.4 million, $1.3 billion in new and retained sales, and 6,186 new and retained jobs since 2000. We’re proud to host an MMEC business adviser who covers the Golden Triangle region. Contact Doug Roberts at richard.roberts4@montana.edu or (937) 489-3985.

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.

Top 10 – 8/31/2021

Exciting new businesses on their way to downtown Great Falls, including our first micro distillery: entrepreneur Jeff Miser in front of the upcoming home of Mountain Wave Distilling!

GFDA’s Top 10

Here is our Top 11 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) Team Great Falls hosted a large manufacturing prospect visit. Thank you to the many partners, departments, and agencies who worked together providing the information the company needs to make their decision.

2) Calumet‘s Renewable Diesel Conversion Produces New Jobs! Check out the video announcement here! This will not only create 200-300 construction jobs through 2022, but permanent employment is expected to grow by 10-20 new high wage positions, as well as several professional staff positions. This project creates a tremendous opportunity to attract a large oil seed crush plant to help meet this new, local demand!

3) The cost of living in Great Falls is 88.6% of the national average, according to 2021Q2 data released by the Council for Community and Economic Research. We are well below the national average – let’s work to keep it that way! To see a cost of living comparison of Great Falls to other US cities, check out the Cost of Living Calculator on the new Live in Great Falls talent attraction website. By the way, Bozeman’s cost of living is 113.5% of the national average so your dollar goes 25% further living in Great Falls!

4) Upcoming GFDA entrepreneur/business convenient virtual trainings for September: Model Canvas/Value Proposition Design is the topic of our monthly webinar on Thursday, September 2nd. Boots to Business, our workshop for active military personnel looking to transition to a life of entrepreneurship is back on Thursday and Friday, September 9 & 10. The LaunchPoint, our catch-all workshop for budding entrepreneurs is back on Thursday, September 9. And wrapping up the month is our popular Website Bootcamp: Website in a Day in Lewistown on Tuesday, September 28.

5) The Downtown Development Partnership (DDP) approved the TIF application from the Business Improvement Districts (BID) Wayfinding project to go forward for final approval at the City Commission. This will be scheduled in the next few weeks and we look forward to seeing these Wayfinding signs installed. You can read more about the Wayfinding project and see sign examples over at KRTV.

6) The Great Falls Planning and Zoning Board unanimously approved the a TIF application for the two wayfinding signs that will be located within the West Bank Urban Renewal Distric district. These signs will help direct visitors and residents towards more than 40 points of interest in our City. Wayfinding has been proven to boost customer satisfaction and repeat business within a community and we are very excited to see this project become a reality.

7) We are searching for individuals or families who have recently (in the past 2 years) relocated to or moved back to the Great Falls area and LOVE their life here. We want to hear their stories! We have several media/marketing opportunities coming up and we want to interview dozens of people who relocated to the Great Falls area. Email Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org with their (or your own!) name/relevant information and we will do the rest.

8) The U.S. Small Business Administration announced on August 25 a moratorium on the requirement that participants in SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program must establish a bona fide place of business in a specific geographic area in order to be awarded any construction contract through the 8(a) Program due to the ongoing challenges of COVID-19. The moratorium is effective August 25, 2021, and applies to all 8(a) construction contracts offered to the 8(a) Program between August 25, 2021, and September 30, 2022. “The SBA is committed to finding innovative ways to assist small businesses, particularly small disadvantaged businesses that have been historically underserved,” said Bibi Hidalgo, Associate Administrator for SBA’s Office of Government Contracting and Business Development. “This change to the SBA’s 8(a) program — our flagship contracting program born out of the Civil Rights movement — will help small businesses continue to drive our economic recovery and position themselves at the forefront of our nation’s reimagined economy.”

9) During the moratorium, any 8(a) Program participant seeking an 8(a) construction contract (either on a sole source or competitive basis) will not be required to have or establish a bona fide place of business in any specific geographic location. For purposes of 8(a) construction procurements, a bona fide place of business means a location where a participant regularly maintains an office that employs at least one full-time individual within the appropriate geographical boundary. The term does not include construction trailers or other temporary construction sites. The SBA believes this modification to the 8(a) Program will make it easier for small disadvantaged businesses to be eligible to be awarded 8(a) construction contracts.

10) The US Small Business Administration (SBA) has opened a supplemental round of funding for previous recipients of the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG). Eligible applicants for the supplemental award will have already “received an initial grant and have illustrated a 70% loss when comparing 2021’s first-quarter revenues to the same in 2019.” The SVOG program was designed to help offset losses of businesses in the performing arts and live entertainment venue industry. Previous awardees will receive invitations to apply via email. For more information, please visit the SBA’s COVID-19 relief website.

11) Is your business opening, expanding, or doing something revolutionary? We want to hear about it and help you tell the story. Our Announcement of the Week goes out to a captive audience of thousands in the Great Falls regional business community. Contact Tyler at TMenzales@GrowGreatFalls.org to get started on your announcement!

Go forth and prosper!

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.

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
Samuel Beckett

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.

Edition 501


Here is an updated Growth Highlights for the Great Falls Montana Trade Area. Our Menu of Services and Staff Team handout. Here is our our Quarterly Investor Letter and our GFDA 2021Q2 Quarter Index.

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 2.863%; 20-year at 2.744%; 10-year equipment loan at 2.591%; and, 20-year refinance 2.787%; 25-year refinance 2.904%. 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.

GFDA has launched a College Intern Program starting with five paid internship opportunities. Download application. Help us spread the word!

Invest in Great Falls Regional Economic Development
Contact Brett Doney at 406-750-2119 or BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. Here is a current list of our great investors.


Events, Business Training, and Opportunities

Looking to take control of your business’s financials, increase profit, and improve your bottom line? We have had interest from businesses in scheduling a Profit Mastery course. These courses are scheduled by demand. If you are interested in taking this two-day workshop, contact Jason Nitschke at JNitschke@GrowGreatFalls.orgor call (406) 750-0314.

Check out August’s Hot Jobs in Great Falls, a collection of open jobs that we’re marketing to people in talent attraction target markets (Seattle, Portland, etc.). These are jobs that people would relocate for. If you have a particularly high-skill, high-salary or out-of-the-box job opportunity to include in September’s blog, email Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org.

Pro-tip: Post positivity! When you’re using Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn and share something positive about Great Falls, tag @LiveinGreatFalls or @GrowGreatFallsMontana. We will like and share your posts. Follow our talent attraction effort, Live in Great Falls, on InstagramFacebook and YouTube, and follow the Great Falls Development Authority to help us attract entrepreneurs and business investment on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn, and YouTube.

You are facing tough decisions right now. We’ve developed toolkits to help you decide what is best for your business. Toolkits include: Crisis Toolkit, Hibernation Toolkit, Business Resiliency Guide, Re-Opening Toolkit, and a Child Care Whitepaper. All of these can be found on our website.

We deliver print copies of the Great Falls Livability talent attraction magazine around town every Friday – if you would like copies of this great recruitment tool, email Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org

version anytime! Visit our relocation website LiveInGreatFalls.com. 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.

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.

Manufacturers, if you’re not engaged with the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center hosted by MSU, you’re missing out on powerful resources, services, and networking. MMEC clients report cost savings of $160.3 million, new investment of $328.4 million, $1.3 billion in new and retained sales, and 6,186 new and retained jobs since 2000. We’re proud to host an MMEC business adviser who covers the Golden Triangle region. Contact Doug Roberts at richard.roberts4@montana.edu or (937) 489-3985.

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 – 8/22/2021

Just a few of the great new murals added to downtown Great Falls during the 2021 Artsfest Montana. Congratulations to all involved!

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. And, sharing business resources and skill-building opportunities to empower your success.

1) Welcomed the CEO of Calumet and Governor Gianforte to celebrate delivery of the first trainload of canola oil for the Montana Renewables project in Great Falls. The canola oil was produced by Montana Specialty Mills in the Great Falls AgriTech Park.

2) Worked with a technology company and Cascade County to submit a broadband infrastructure application to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

3) The Great Falls Clinic Legacy Foundation hosted the Grand Opening of The Harold & Carmen Poulsen Housing a non-profit temporary housing facility for patients and their families traveling for medical treatment to Great Falls, Montana. Check out the video announcement here! Poulsen Housing is the only patient housing facility in Great Falls that allows all patients to stay, free of charge to all guests receiving medical treatment in the Great Falls community.

4) The Great Falls Business Improvement District approved the bid for construction of the Great Falls Wayfinding Plan.

5) Congratulations to all involved in the Special Edition Western Art Week!

6) We are already planning GFDA entrepreneur/business convenient virtual trainings for September! Model Canvas/Value Proposition Design is the topic of our monthly webinar on Thursday, September 2nd. Boots to Business, our workshop for active military personnel looking to transition to a life of entrepreneurship is back on Thursday and Friday, September 9 & 10. The LaunchPoint, our catch-all workshop for budding entrepreneurs is back on Thursday, September 9. And wrapping up the month is our popular Website Bootcamp: Website in a Day in Lewistown on Tuesday, September 28.

7) Congratulations to Steve L’Heureux of LPW Architecture on his retirement!

8) Participated in the quarterly meeting of the Great Northern Corridor Coalition, a partnership we are part of that works to improve rail infrastructure across northern western states.

9) Gave a presentation on C-Pace energy efficiency financing to the Montana Facility Finance Authority board.

10) Received four proposals for Great Falls Housing Market Demand Assessment and five proposals for web design services.

11) GFDA’s Board made appointments to our Executive Committee for FY 2022. In addition to our officers, the Board appointed Joe Briggs, Cascade County Commissioner, Rebecca Engum of Great Falls Tourism who will chair our Loan Committee, Ted Lewis of First Interstate Bank who will co-chair our Investment Committee, Eric Hinebauch of Hinebauch Insurance who will chair our Brownfields Advisory Committee, and Nate Weisenberger of AE2S Engineers who will serve as board liaison to the AgriTech Park Tenants Association.

Hope you enjoyed our 500th GFDA Top 10! 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.

“It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.”
Muhammad Ali

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.

Edition 500


Here is an updated Growth Highlights for the Great Falls Montana Trade Area. Our Menu of Services and Staff Team handout. Here is our our Quarterly Investor Letter and our GFDA 2021Q2 Quarter Index.

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 2.863%; 20-year at 2.744%; 10-year equipment loan at 2.591%; and, 20-year refinance 2.787%; 25-year refinance 2.904%. 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.

GFDA has launched a College Intern Program starting with five paid internship opportunities. Download application. Help us spread the word!

Invest in Great Falls Regional Economic Development
Contact Brett Doney at 406-750-2119 or BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. Here is a current list of our great investors.


Events, Business Training, and Opportunities

Looking to take control of your business’s financials, increase profit, and improve your bottom line? We have had interest from businesses in scheduling a Profit Mastery course. These courses are scheduled by demand. If you are interested in taking this two-day workshop, contact Jason Nitschke at JNitschke@GrowGreatFalls.orgor call (406) 750-0314.

Check out August’s Hot Jobs in Great Falls, a collection of open jobs that we’re marketing to people in talent attraction target markets (Seattle, Portland, etc.). These are jobs that people would relocate for. If you have a particularly high-skill, high-salary or out-of-the-box job opportunity to include in September’s blog, email Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org.

Pro-tip: Post positivity! When you’re using Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn and share something positive about Great Falls, tag @LiveinGreatFalls or @GrowGreatFallsMontana. We will like and share your posts. Follow our talent attraction effort, Live in Great Falls, on InstagramFacebook and YouTube, and follow the Great Falls Development Authority to help us attract entrepreneurs and business investment on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn, and YouTube.

You are facing tough decisions right now. We’ve developed toolkits to help you decide what is best for your business. Toolkits include: Crisis Toolkit, Hibernation Toolkit, Business Resiliency Guide, Re-Opening Toolkit, and a Child Care Whitepaper. All of these can be found on our website.

We deliver print copies of the Great Falls Livability talent attraction magazine around town every Friday – if you would like copies of this great recruitment tool, email Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org

version anytime! Visit our relocation website LiveInGreatFalls.com. 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.

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.

Manufacturers, if you’re not engaged with the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center hosted by MSU, you’re missing out on powerful resources, services, and networking. MMEC clients report cost savings of $160.3 million, new investment of $328.4 million, $1.3 billion in new and retained sales, and 6,186 new and retained jobs since 2000. We’re proud to host an MMEC business adviser who covers the Golden Triangle region. Contact Doug Roberts at richard.roberts4@montana.edu or (937) 489-3985.

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 – 8/15/2021

A look back to reflect on progress — the Hotel Arvon and Celtic Cowboy “before” photo in 2012 of the historic Arvon Block; GFDA exhibiting at Alberta energy trade show in 2013 to attract the attention of Canadian companies; and, exhibiting at food industry trade show in Chicago in 2014 to attract the attention of food processing companies. Perseverance produces results!

GFDA’s Top 10

Here is our Top 14 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) With the perseverance of great partners, the Downtown Development Partnership of Great Falls has been working hard since 2011. Through 2020, the partnership, a fully accredited National Main Street organization, has helped produce real results. From 2011-2020, 119 businesses opened downtown, $ 61,334,106 in building permits were issued in the downtown master plan area, and volunteers donated 267,991 hours to downtown organizations. From 2010-2019 property values in the Business Improvement District increased 61%. Coins for a Cause, the Downtown Safety Alliance, the pedlet program, ArtsFest Montana, and Music on the Mo are just a few of the many programs that have helped makes things happen downtown. GFDA is proud to have been able to provide $2,572,559 in gap and bridge loans downtown, over 20 free brownfield property assessments, and over $800,000 in brownfield cleanup grants downtown. THANK YOU to the entrepreneurs, businesses, developers, and fantastic partners who have made this possible! As we all like to say, we’re just getting started! Save the date for Invest Downtown Great Falls, October 28 from 10:00 AM – Noon in The Newberry!

2) This week we submitted two proposals for new business attraction projects and continued to work on several others. When businesses look at our community, we help them asses the fit and gather details they might not be able to ascertain from a google search. This year we are seeing a higher level of inquiry than we’ve ever seen before. In FY 21, we generated 169 new leads, 213 new projects, and 583 companies to our pipeline.

3) How important is the Cascade County population growth announced by the U.S. Census this week? From 1970-2010 the population in Cascade County shrunk by 477. Yes, it went up and down over those 40 years, but the net growth was negative. From 2010-2020 the population in Cascade County (which is the Great Falls MSA) grew by 3,087. The 3.8% decade growth was a modest 0.4% average annual growth rate. We’d like to get this up to 1.0% per year. We may already be there. The census count was through April 1, 2020. Join us in the Live in Great Falls marketing effort!

4) Our Loan Committee approved a $300,000 working capital loan to support the expansion of a business that has been in Cascade County for over 20 years. If your business needs assistance with financing to start, innovate or expand please contact Jill Kohles at 406-590-1056 or at JKohles@GrowGreatFalls.org.

5) Town Pump Reinvests in Great Falls Market with New Express Carwash. Check out the video announcement here! Town Pump employs over 325 team members in the Great Falls community and operates seven Town Pump Convenience Stores, eight casinos, and the Sleep Inn/MainStay Suites Hotel.

6) We had a great turn out discussing the new Downtown Great Falls TIF (Tax Increment Financing) Program with a representative from the city and several business/building owners. Read about the three programs here and view a video recording with Deputy City Attorney, Jeff Hindoien about Prevailing Wages and how that applies to the Program. If you have questions going forward with your application, please contact Christian at 406.836.0136 or CLeinhauser@GrowGreatFalls.org.

7) A couple of new Great Falls businesses are in the news. The N Thai food truck sounds delicious; see TheElectric. Carlson Q plans to open next month. Montana Apothecary and Compounding is building a 3,887 square foot building. Nourish food truck has opened a teaching kitchen and small event space downtown; see TheElectric. The electric scooter company Bird has come to Great Falls; see KRTV.

8) We are already planning GFDA entrepreneur/business convenient virtual trainings for September! Model Canvas/Value Proposition Design is the topic of our monthly webinar on Thursday, September 2nd. Boots to Business, our workshop for active military personnel, veterans and military families looking to transition to a life of entrepreneurship is back on Thursday and Friday, September 9 & 10. The LaunchPoint, our catch-all workshop for budding entrepreneurs is back on Thursday, September 9. And wrapping up the month is our popular Website Bootcamp: Website in a Day in Lewistown on Tuesday, September 28.

9) Great Falls College MSU and Montana State University Northernsigned an agreement that enables student to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Education in Great Falls; see more info. The University of Providence partnered with the Catholic Health Association of the United States to create a Community Health Investment Certificate Program, the first of its kind in the country; see more info.

10) Last few days to help us assess market demand for more child care services in the Great Falls area. Take this brief survey then send the survey link to your employees, colleagues and friends.

11) The Montana Department of Agriculture opened a new round of Growth Through Agriculture grants and loans. This year they are using a two-step process. Initial applications are due by October 4th; finalists will submit full applications in January. We’re happy to help you walk through the process.

12) We have issued an RFP for a Housing Market Demand Assessment and an RFQ for Web Design Services. Our reach is limited, so please pass these along to personal connections and prospective consultants.

13) Congratulations to Northern Transit Inter-local (NTI) on being named the Montana Rural Transit System of the Year! See Shelby Promoter. Racine’s R Snack Shop reopened in downtown Cut Bank; see Cut Bank Pioneer Press.

14) The High Plains Financial Board elected Dave Fink of US Bank to its board. Thank you to Amanda Boutilier of JCCS, Erin Townsend of Embark FCU, and Mike Hawthorne of First Montana Bank for their many years of service on the Board! High Plains Financial is the affiliate we created to offer SBA 504 loans statewide.

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.

“For organisations, flexibility is a must to cope with fluctuations in demand and remain competitive, and people must be able to develop adaptable attitudes to quickly embrace evolving business conditions, new business opportunities, and shifting strategies.”
Alain Dehaze

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.<

Edition 499


Here is an updated Growth Highlights for the Great Falls Montana Trade Area. Our Menu of Services and Staff Team handout. Here is our our Quarterly Investor Letter and our GFDA 2021Q2 Quarter Index.

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 2.863%; 20-year at 2.744%; 10-year equipment loan at 2.591%; and, 20-year refinance 2.787%; 25-year refinance 2.904%. 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.

GFDA has launched a College Intern Program starting with five paid internship opportunities. Download application. Help us spread the word!

Invest in Great Falls Regional Economic Development
Contact Brett Doney at 406-750-2119 or BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. Here is a current list of our great investors.


Events, Business Training, and Opportunities

Looking to take control of your business’s financials, increase profit, and improve your bottom line? We have had interest from businesses in scheduling a Profit Mastery course. These courses are scheduled by demand. If you are interested in taking this two-day workshop, contact Jason Nitschke at JNitschke@GrowGreatFalls.orgor call (406) 750-0314.

Check out August’s Hot Jobs in Great Falls, a collection of open jobs that we’re marketing to people in talent attraction target markets (Seattle, Portland, etc.). These are jobs that people would relocate for. If you have a particularly high-skill, high-salary or out-of-the-box job opportunity to include in September’s blog, email Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org.

Pro-tip: Post positivity! When you’re using Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn and share something positive about Great Falls, tag @LiveinGreatFalls or @GrowGreatFallsMontana. We will like and share your posts. Follow our talent attraction effort, Live in Great Falls, on InstagramFacebook and YouTube, and follow the Great Falls Development Authority to help us attract entrepreneurs and business investment on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn, and YouTube.

You are facing tough decisions right now. We’ve developed toolkits to help you decide what is best for your business. Toolkits include: Crisis Toolkit, Hibernation Toolkit, Business Resiliency Guide, Re-Opening Toolkit, and a Child Care Whitepaper. All of these can be found on our website.

We deliver print copies of the Great Falls Livability talent attraction magazine around town every Friday – if you would like copies of this great recruitment tool, email Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org

version anytime! Visit our relocation website LiveInGreatFalls.com. 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.

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.

Manufacturers, if you’re not engaged with the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center hosted by MSU, you’re missing out on powerful resources, services, and networking. MMEC clients report cost savings of $160.3 million, new investment of $328.4 million, $1.3 billion in new and retained sales, and 6,186 new and retained jobs since 2000. We’re proud to host an MMEC business adviser who covers the Golden Triangle region. Contact Doug Roberts at richard.roberts4@montana.edu or (937) 489-3985.

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 – 8/8/2021

“The value of an idea lies in the using of it.“ – Thomas Edison
Entrepreneur Jeff Meiser, Owner of Mountain Wave Distillery, shows off the custom made inside/outside bar and custom front windows that open toward Central Avenue in Downtown Great Falls. The window glass should be installed soon, and work is diligently being completed on the interior.

GFDA’s Top 10

Here is our Top 18 for the last five weeks 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) Joined site selection consultants for a focus on logistics at the Logistics Development Forum in Colorado. We are interested in mapping out imports/exports and mode of transportation to look at expanded transportation systems. We want to lower shipping costs for the Golden Triangle by making it possible for more services and better logistics facilities. If you’re also interested in this topic, call Jolene 406-750-4481. Two of our strategic planning consultants were speakers at the event.

2) Business Facilities ranked Montana as having the 5th best business tax climate amongst U.S. States. GFDA testified in support of the Gianforte Administration’s four areas of focus for the Economic Transformation Commission — business innovation, value-added agriculture, workforce training, and affordable housing.

3) Published our GFDA 2021Q2 Quarter Index. In our fiscal year that ended June 30th, our new business attraction lead generation account-based-marketing campaign generated 23,207 sessions on our website from 111 metro areas around the globe. It led to numerous web chats with companies interested in investing in our region. In July we added 7 new leads, worked on 11 existing leads and added 18 new companies to our CRM database. We added 7 new projects and worked on 18 existing projects. Our continued Thank You to the Salesforce Foundation for providing us free use of the outstanding Salesforce CRM platform!

4) Check out August’s Hot Jobs in Great Falls, a collection of open jobs that we’re marketing to people in talent attraction target markets (Seattle, Portland, etc.). These are jobs that people would relocate for. If you have a particularly high-skill, high-salary or out-of-the-box job opportunity to include in September’s blog, email Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org.

5) Thank you to NeighborWorks Montana for purchasing a $250,000 participation in our bridge loans that enabled The Arc Apartment Homes to move into construction! This week we received $1.28 million in CDFI Fund Rapid Response Program monies that will very quickly be loaned into another local project that has a financing gap challenge. We help banks and credit unions get deals done by filling gaps and providing bridges they can’t fill.

6) Fifteen building permits totaling $5,859,156 were issued last quarter for investments in downtown Great Falls. Two new businesses opened. Volunteers donated 8,845 hours downtown. There has been great movement this week on more upper-level development in Downtown Great Falls. With the completion of the Northern Lofts at 412 Central Ave, 18 more higher-end apartments in Downtown and so many more opportunities are available. If you would like to inquire about these opportunities, contact Christian at CLeinhauser@GrowGreatFalls.org or 406.836.0136.

7) The new Downtown TIF program went live this week! We will be hosting In-Person Q&A sessions on the three new downtown redevelopment Tax Increment Financing (TIF) programs: Environmental Safety, Facade Improvement, and Life-Safety Code Compliance. Tuesday, August 10, from 7:30-8:30 AM at Al Banco, 202 2nd Ave S. You can Register here, and if you have questions, please call Christian at 406.836.0136. You can view the programs and download the application at https://growgreatfallsmontana.org/downtown-tif/

8) Fiber and high speed broadband are critical infrastructure for landing deals. We had several companies participate in our monthly Development Coffee focused on broadband connectivity. If you’re interested in being part of this ongoing discussion, connect with Jolene JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org. Thank you NeighborWorks Great Falls for hosting!

9) This fire season has really put pressure on resources this year. The US Forest Service Northern Rockies Coordinating Group is looking for additional equipment to add to their Vendor Resource List. If you have this type of equipment (water tender trucks, dozer, heavy equipment), you can sign up your resources without a current contract. You have to be registered in SAM and PTAC can help get you ready. For more information, contact Shannon Clancy at SClancy@GrowGreatFalls.org for the Vendor Source Memo or with any questions.

10) Do you know anyone who recently (in the past couple years) relocated to Great Falls or came back to Great Falls and absolutely LOVES their life here? We want to hear their story! We have several media/marketing opportunities coming up and we want to interview dozens of people who relocated to Great Falls. Email Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org with their name and contact info.

11) Ten entrepreneurs from around Montana, including one from Texas, participated in our monthly Small Business Webinar Series presentation, Financing and Grants. If you know of someone interested in the topic of accessing capital or other previous subjects, check out the recordings posted here. In July, our Small Business Development Center (SBDC) advisors assisted clients to launch three new businesses and supported clients with 147 existing jobs throughout the region. During the last 12 months, 57% of our SBDC clients are led by women and 30% are lead by veterans. Participation in our training events is up 50%.

12) We are already planning GFDA entrepreneur/business convenient virtual trainings for September! Model Canvas/Value Proposition Design is the topic of our monthly webinar on Thursday, September 2nd. Boots to Business, our workshop for active military personnel looking to transition to a life of entrepreneurship is back on Thursday and Friday, September 9 & 10. The LaunchPoint, our catch-all workshop for budding entrepreneurs is back on Thursday, September 9. And wrapping up the month is our popular Website Bootcamp: Website in a Day in Lewistown on Tuesday, September 28.

13) Help us assess market demand for more child care services in the Great Falls area. Take this brief survey then send the survey link to your employees, colleagues and friends. The survey closes this Friday, and we want as many responses as possible to add breadth and depth to our data!

14) We deliver print copies of the Great Falls Livability talent attraction magazine around town every Friday – if you would like copies of this great recruitment tool, email Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org

version anytime!

15) Check out RFP for a Housing Market Demand Assessment and an the RFQ for Web Design Services we have posted. Our reach is limited, so please pass these along to personal connections and prospective consultants.

16) We have four brownfield cleanups and three hazardous material property assessments underway. Contact Lillian Sunwall if you need help assessing a property for redevelopment in Cascade County; LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org.

17) As part of our efforts to increase entrepreneurship in the Great Falls region, we joined with 24 other economic development organizations across the country to partner with the International Economic Development Council to submit an application for the SBA Navigator pilot program. GFDA was accepted into membership in the Angel Capital Association. Connecting entrepreneurs, businesses, and real estate developers with the equity they need will be an increasing part of our work.

18) GFDA Investors elected Roy Alexander of VisionNet to the Board of Directors. Dr. Stephanie Erdmann, Dean and CEO of Great falls College MSU joined the Board. The GFDA Board elected officers for the new fiscal year: Chair, Mark Macek of Macek Properties; Vice Chair, Errol Rice of Transystems; Treasurer, Mark Cappis of Cappis Consulting & Tax; Secretary, Forrest Ehlinger of Benefis Health System; and, Immediate Past Chair, Len Watkins of Gusto Distributing.

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.

“Success is where preparation and opportunity meet.”
Bobby Unser

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.

Edition 498


Here is an updated Growth Highlights for the Great Falls Montana Trade Area. Our Menu of Services and Staff Team handout. Here is our our Quarterly Investor Letter.

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 2.863%; 20-year at 2.744%; 10-year equipment loan at 2.591%; and, 20-year refinance 2.787%; 25-year refinance 2.904%. 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.

GFDA has launched a College Intern Program starting with five paid internship opportunities. Download application. Help us spread the word!

Invest in Great Falls Regional Economic Development
Contact Brett Doney at 406-750-2119 or BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. Here is a current list of our great investors.


Looking to take control of your business’s financials, increase profit, and improve your bottom line? We have had interest from businesses in scheduling a Profit Mastery course. These courses are scheduled by demand. If you are interested in taking this two-day workshop, contact Jason Nitschke at JNitschke@GrowGreatFalls.orgor call (406) 750-0314.

Pro-tip: Post positivity! When you’re using Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn and share something positive about Great Falls, tag @LiveinGreatFalls or @GrowGreatFallsMontana. We will like and share your posts. Follow our talent attraction effort, Live in Great Falls, on InstagramFacebook and YouTube, and follow the Great Falls Development Authority to help us attract entrepreneurs and business investment on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn, and YouTube.

You are facing tough decisions right now. We’ve developed toolkits to help you decide what is best for your business. Toolkits include: Crisis Toolkit, Hibernation Toolkit, Business Resiliency Guide, Re-Opening Toolkit, and a Child Care Whitepaper. All of these can be found on our website.

The Great Falls Livability 2021 digital workforce recruitment magazine has been released. If you’d like some print versions of this awesome talent attraction tool, contact Talent Attraction Director Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org or (406) 836-0147. Visit our relocation website LiveInGreatFalls.com. 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.

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.

Manufacturers, if you’re not engaged with the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center hosted by MSU, you’re missing out on powerful resources, services, and networking. MMEC clients report cost savings of $160.3 million, new investment of $328.4 million, $1.3 billion in new and retained sales, and 6,186 new and retained jobs since 2000. We’re proud to host an MMEC business adviser who covers the Golden Triangle region. Contact Doug Roberts at richard.roberts4@montana.edu or (937) 489-3985.

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.