Top 10 – 10/11/2020

Invest Downtown Great Falls Montana is this Tuesday, October 13 at 9:00 AM! We will spend one hour featuring developers and entrepreneurs with projects – planned and completed – utilizing downtown development tools and resources! Can’t make it? Still register – this event will be recorded and sent to registrants so you can watch anytime. Are you a developer, entrepreneur, business owner? This is for you. We want you in Downtown Great Falls! Register here.

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) The Great Falls City Commission unanimously approved the annexations for the Little Shell Tribal Center and Turbo Transportation Group’s new truck wash facility. Two more great projects moving forward!

2) Congratulations to Mariah Gladstone of Babb for being selected to be part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) SOLVE Indigenouse Communities Fellowship for her work with Indigikitchen.

3) LaunchPoint: A Pre-Business Workshop, the all-you-need-to-know course to get your business up and running, is coming up on October 15th – register here. In addition to the trainings offered by GFDA, the Montana Small Business Development Centers have partnered with Grow With Google to present free webinars for Montana’s small businesses – Get Your Local Business on Google Search and Maps on October 21st at 11:00 AM and Make Better Business Decisions with Analytics will be on October 28th at 11:00 AM.

4) Our bridge loan gap financing work over the past decade was recognized with an 2020 Impact Award from the Montana Economic Developers Association.

5) Low interest locked in for 25 years and low equity injection sound good? Those are benefits of the SBA 504. We worked on three potential SBA 504 projects this week. If you are buying, building or renovating commercial real estate or purchasing machinery or equipment this may be a good option for you. We have a variety of financial tools to help make your projects happen. Learn more on our website or call Jolene to discuss your project, 406.750.4481.

6) Focus on your customer base and satisfaction in October with expertise from international business coach, Barbara Wold. Register for the one hour, zoom sessions Tuesdays and Thursdays in October offered at NO CHARGE to you. Can’t commit to these days/times? No problem! When you register we’ll send you a link so you can watch the sessions at your convenience.

7) We demoed LivePlan to businesses big and small this week – from an entrepreneur who just has an idea to a manufacturing company that is projecting millions of dollars in revenue. LivePlan is free to use for GFDA clients! If you’d like to get a demo of this great cloud based business planning software email Rich Gannon at

8) We signed a contract with Development Counsellors International (DCI) to create 8 videos that will assist in business attraction, talent attraction, and our business services marketing.

9) We are investing significant resources to attract businesses to the Golden Triangle, and businesses are looking at our market! Ever wonder how we get those businesses to take note of the advantages our region offers? Grab your favorite beverage and join us on a zoom chat, 4 PM on October 28. We’ll discuss our business attraction strategies and partnership with DCI. Register for meeting information.

10) We are scheduling another Destination Creation Course which helps businesses increase their revenue, sales, traffic, and profitability. The proven 14-point business success strategy developed by internationally-known business consultant Jon Schallert teaches techniques to increase your ability to attract customers who are willing to go out of their way and postpone buying until they can visit your business. The Destination Creation Course retails for $399, and we are offering it FREE (for now) to Montana businesses. If you are interested in taking the course complete this survey to help us tailor the course to your schedule. Or if you have questions, contact Nathan Reiff at 406-403-4937 or

11) Watch a recap of the Talent Attraction virtual event we hosted on October 1st on our talent attraction webpage. You can also explore the tools we’ve created to assist your recruiters.

12) The November 30th deadline to apply for Montana’s Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) grant and loan program is rapidly approaching. Applicants can request up to $50,000 in grants and $100,000 in low-interest loans. Food and Ag Development Center Director Barnett Sporkin-Morrison is available to support entrepreneurs interested in the funding opportunity by reviewing grant applications and helping to refine ideas. Contact Barnett at 406-750-3285 or

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

14) Thank you to this week’s Investors in Economic Development, Cogswell Insurance Agency, LLC, for their Pacesetter Division investment and Dustin Young & Company, for their Community Division investment. Investment in GFDA is directly tied to solutions for recovery planning and economic relief. If you haven’t invested in GFDA and have questions about how our team leverages dollars with the greatest economic impact, contact Teresa Schreiner or call at 406.781.9499.

Brett Doney
President & CEO

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

“It is not only what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are accountable.”

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

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

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

Cost-Effective Rail-Served Industrial Sites Available
If your company needs a rail-served, BNSF-Certified, shovel-ready site with all municipal services at your door, we have lots available for immediate construction in the Great Falls AgriTech Park. Contact Jolene Schalper at 1.406.750.4481 or

October SBA 504 Loan Rates
The 25-year loan effective rate came in at 2.582%; 20-year at 2.553%; 10-year equipment loan at 2.468%; and, 20-year refinance 2.596%. 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

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

Events, Business Training and Opportunities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.