Just think what we can do with these downtown blocks! Join us this Wednesday November 20th at 4:00PM or 7:00PM in the Missouri Room at the Great Falls Civic Center for the unveiling of development visions for attracting more great businesses and developers to invest in downtown Great Falls. After a charrette and online input from community members, LPW Architecture and AE2S took these ideas and created development visions that will be used to attract interest of developers and entrepreneurs – RSVP and be the first to see!
GFDA Top 10
Here is our Top 12 for last week, celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy.
1) Pitched the Great Falls region to a dozen site selectors at a private lunch in Chicago. We teamed up with Billings, Butte, Missoula, and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development to host the private luncheon. Ten of the twelve site selectors we had not yet met and got to introduce them to the Great Falls region.
2) Have family or friends coming home for Thanksgiving? Gather Round Great Falls! On Wednesday, November 27th (Thanksgiving Eve) we will be hosting former Great Fallsians encouraging them to take another look at their hometown by connecting them with local businesses with current employment opportunities. The event is free of charge, and we’ll even buy their first drink! Send them HERE to RSVP.
3) Personal income in the Great Falls MSA (Cascade County) increased 5.0% in 2018, well above inflation of 1.9%, according to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Per capita personal income grew by 4.9%.
4) Fifteen active duty airmen, veterans, and military spouses joined us for our final two-day Boots to Business workshop of 2019 at Malmstrom Air Force Base. We’ve now delivered 21 Introduction to Entrepreneurship workshops with 330 attendees since launching this partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration and Malmstrom Air Force Base since 2014. Up next is The LaunchPoint: A Pre-Business Workshop this Thursday, November 21st from 4-5 PM. Join us live in the GFDA office or from the comfort of your home or office via GoToMeeting. Please register here or contact Jason for more information at JNitschke@GrowGreatFalls.org.
5) Congratulations to the 26 high school students of Great Falls Public Schools who signed into the carpenter pre-apprentice program last week!
6) SBA 504 rates are still at low levels in November. The 25-year note came in at 3.740%, 20-year at 3.679%, 20-year refinance at 3.681% and the 10-year debenture at 3.852%. These rates are FIXED for the life of the loan and are inclusive of 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.
7) Helped score eight proposals in response to the Business Improvement District’s RFP for developing a wayfinding blueprint for the Great Falls area.
8) Rural Business Advisor Rich Gannon spent time in Conrad this week helping a business owner launch a website for a custom manufacturing business. In Cut Bank, he introduced an entrepreneur to Live Plan, the all in one business plan tool that GFDA offers to clients. He also helped a Cut Bank area rancher who is looking to diversify his operation by offering direct to consumer grass fed beef and pasture raised pork. If you are in the area north of Great Falls and need help starting or growing your business give Rich a call at 406-836-2078 or email RGannon@GrowGreatFalls.org.
9) Networked with producers and processors at Montana Pulse Days.
10) The Montana Department of Commerce is accepting applications for it’s State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) grants. This program reimburses for trade show expenses and travel stipends to attend and exhibit at international trade shows. For more information visit the ExportMontana website at https://marketmt.com/STEP/TradeshowExhibition. If you are considering exporting to international markets as a growth strategy for your business, contact Jason to step you through an export readiness exercise at JNitschke@GrowGreatFalls.org.
11) Attended the APTAC Conference for government contracting in Washington DC. The main focus was on helping small business with Set-Aside Certifications and the “hot button” topic of Cybersecurity. If your business is involved in government contracting and you access any DOD payment platforms such as WAWF, you need to have a security plan in place. For more information, contact Shannon Clancy at SClancy@GrowGreatFalls.org.
12) Worked with a local business that is looking to expand on a former gas station site. We are walking them through the assessment process so they can work on next steps to redevelopment of the site. Are you looking at a site or older building with perceived or actual environmental issues? Before you buy or give up on a property, give us a call to see what tools we can put to use that could make the site redevelopment work. Contact Lillian at LSunwall@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.
President & CEO
“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway. ”
GFDA Job Openings
GFDA has two great career openings. We are on Equal Opportunity Employer and encourage everyone interested to apply! See descriptions below or download all our position openings and help us spread the word!
Talent Attraction Director
Digital Content Marketing, Events, and Recruitment Services
Dynamic, self-motivated professional sought to join our passionate, creative, fast-paced, results-driven economic development team. We are looking for an experienced digital marketing leader who can learn and utilize best practices to design and implement a program with the goal of getting people to relocate in the Great Falls region. This public relations star will manage content on our website and social media platforms, engage partners and the community, conduct research, and implement PR campaigns to attract people to the Great Falls region. Requires excellent writing, computer, and communication skills. Live on the Missouri River along the Rocky Mountain Front and work with a great team! Salary range $35,000-45,000 with excellent benefits, professional development, growth opportunities, and flexible work environment. EOE. Cover letter and resume to Brett Doney, President, BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. Open until we find a great candidate.
Downtown Business Development Officer
Main Street Economic Development
Dynamic, self-motivated professional sought to join our passionate, creative, fast-paced, results-driven economic development team. We are looking for a super star to lead downtown economic revitalization in partnership with the Downtown Development Partnership of Great Falls (an accredited National Main Street program) and the Great Falls Business Improvement District. You will meet with existing downtown businesses to aid in their retention and expansion, conduct market research, work to attract businesses and developers to downtown, and provide overall aid in our downtown business development efforts. Involves coordination, cold-calling, networking, relationship building, project management, advocacy, marketing events, meeting with businesses, listening, and additional client business development services. Position may involve travel in region, U.S. and Canada. Looking for a star with demonstrated achievement in business development. Requires excellent writing, computer, and communication skills. Live on the Missouri River along the Rocky Mountain Front and work with a great team! Salary range $45,000-55,000 with excellent benefits, professional development, growth opportunities, and flexible work environment. EOE. Cover letter and resume to Brett Doney, President, BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. Open until we find a great candidate.
November SBA 504 Loan Rates
The 25-year loan effective rate came in at 3.74%; 20-year at 3.679%; 20-year refinance at 3.681%; and, 10-year equipment 3.852%. 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.
Cost-Effective Rail-Served Industrial Sites Available
If your company needs a rail-served, BNSF-Certified, shovel-ready site with all municipal services at your door, we have lots available for immediate construction in the Great Falls AgriTech Park. Contact Jolene Schalper at 1.406.750.4481 or JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org
Events, Business Training, and Opportunities
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 24 of our recorded monthly business strategy webinars are available online for viewing anytime, click them out here.
The Montana Manufacturing Extension Center is offering a PCQI Preventive Controls for Human Food Course, December 10-12 in Bozeman. The course will explain the regulatory requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). For more info and to register, click here.
The Montana Manufacturing Extension Center offers a great array of workshops and trainings for all sizes of manufacturing companies.
The Montana Department of Commerce’s Film Office is offering powerful new incentives to promote filming and production in Montana. Click here for details.