Top 10 – 11/28/2021

The Arc Apartment Homes are rising from the ground! Farran Realty Partners’ 216-unit development will be a big boost to Great Falls housing availability.

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) Met with an ag business entrepreneur from Washington who is considering a new project in the Great Falls region.

2) We published an updated Great Falls Growth Highlights. We retained AD Creative Group to help us update our web sites. Hold the morning of January 7th for Ignite 2022 to be held at the Meadow Lark Country Club!

3) Our QuickBooks Desktop course, presented by Wendy Weissman, CPA PC. is coming up on December 7th. For more information or to register, click here. Contact Jason with questions at

4) Participated in the Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce’skickoff meeting of its Workforce Coalition that will tackle critical workforce development needs.

5) We are working with numerous food and agriculture processing businesses, large and small, to take advantage of Montana Department of Agriculture grants. Learn more about the ARPA Agriculture Infrastructure Grant program here. The deadline for this grant is December 15. Questions? Call Rich Gannon at 406.836.2078.

6) The Great Falls International Airport will get $9.5 million over the next five years thanks to the federal Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act and will be put toward several projects. See KRTV.

7) The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has released updated guidance and deadlines for applicants of the COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Supplemental Advances. Click here to read the release and learn more. For anyone having difficulty applying for COVID EIDL relief funds, contact Jason at

8) Outdoor recreation accounted for 4.3% of Montana’s GDP in 2020, the largest percentage of any state, according to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. We have many opportunities in our region to increase the outdoor recreation industry. We’re eager to help, just contact us!

9) December 15 is the deadline for Big Sky Trust Fund Planning Grants that can assist with engineering and design in the planning phase of a project and Big Sky Trust Fund Primary Sector Job Creation grants. You can find more information here. Questions about utilizing these programs? Call Jolene at 406.750.4481.

10) A number of state special business programs using American Rescue Plan funds are rolling out. The Workforce Training Grant Program has been launched by the Montana Department of Commerce and has up to $3,000 per eligible employee available for training expenses by businesses. The Apprenticeship Training Grant Program will be able to reimburse construction-related apprenticeship expenses up to a limit of $3,000. Track all state ARPA economic programs on the state’s ARPA website.

11) Attention female entrepreneurs. The 56Strong Montana Mentorship Program is accepting applications; due December 17. This is a free mentorship program being offered by the Women’s Business Center hosted by the Prospera Business Network in Bozeman.

12) The University of Montana’s startup incubator MonTEC has received an $850,000 grant from the Impact Challenge for Women and Girls to support Indigenous women looking to start or grow a business in Montana. MonTEC will use the funds in collaboration with Salish Kootenai College and Blackfeet Community College to develop online programming in a variety of subjects to support new and existing female-owned businesses.”

13) Joined Economic Developers Alberta to strengthen our partnering with economic development organizations north of the border. Invited to upgrade to full membership in the Urban Land Institute which will enhance our networking with great real estate developers.

14) We are incredibly THANKFUL for the continued support of our investors. They are the reason we can keep doing what we love, which is supporting businesses in Great Falls and the surrounding areas. Recent investments include: Leadership Division—Great Falls Public Schools. We THANK YOU so much for believing in the community and being part of the team that is helping to Grow Great Falls! If you are interested in being part of that team, contact Investment Director Jenn Gallmeier at 406-781-9499 or

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.

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“Fortune favors the audacious.”
Desiderius Erasmus

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 512

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 2021Q3 Quarter Index.

GFDA Career Opportunities
We have two exciting career opportunities for Content Marketing Director/Small Business Adviser, and Resource Director (grant writing). Download job postings and please help spread the word. GFDA has a year-round College Intern Program with five paid internship opportunities. Download application. 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

November SBA 504 Loan Rates
The 25-year loan effective rate came in at 2.922%; 20-year at 2.775%; 10-year equipment loan at 2.793%; and, 20-year refinance 2.789%; 25-year refinance 2.936%. 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 Jenn Gallmeier at 406-781-9499 or Here is a current list of our great investors.

Events, Business Training, and Opportunities

Attention Small Business doing Government Contracting:  There has been an update to the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC). The plans for the next iteration of CMMC which is being call CMMC 2.0 has been released. Like the initial CMMC (which was pilot tested but never implemented) this version has to go through the public comment and rulemaking process and nobody knows what changes will occur to the proposed CMMC 2.0 during those processes. A few proposed changes included in CMMC 2.0 include decreasing certification levels from 5 to 3 and increasing opportunities for (no-cost) self-assessments. While the rulemaking efforts are ongoing, the Department intends to suspend the current CMMC Piloting efforts and will not approve inclusion of a CMMC requirement in any DoD solicitation. The Department encourages contractors to continue to enhance their cybersecurity position during the interim period while the rulemaking is underway.  Please visit the CMMC website and to learn more.

The Montana Department of Agriculture has launched the Agriculture Infrastructure Grant funded by ARPA (the American Rescue Plan Act). The goal of the grant program is to assist with the development of innovative agricultural business improvements. The first step of the grant funding process is to complete to a project proposal. If you’d like help reviewing your proposal before submitting please contact Rich Gannon at The project proposal deadline is December 15th.

The best resource we scan daily to stay abreast of business and community innovation is (Montana Associated Technology Roundtables) which we are proud to help sponsor. Sign up for their free newsletter.

The Montana Department of Commerce launched an investment matchmaking website for Montana business projects. The Opportunity Exchange’s – Montana Investment Portal is a website where investors can easily view and connect to projects in the state. Click here to view listed projects. Click here to get your investment project listed on the portal. For help posting your project or property on the Montana Investment Portal, contact Kristian Richardson at 406-841-2032 or

The Made in Montana Tradeshow for Food & Gifts is scheduled for March 11-12, 2022 in Helena at the Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds.

We’ve released the Great Falls Childcare Demand Assessment that shows a need for additional childcare facilities to serve 580 children in Great Falls. For assistance with childcare facility business planning, contact Jason Nitschke at

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

Montana DPHHS will be accepting one-time Child Care Stabilization grant applications from now until December 31! These funds are meant to stabilize your business coming out of the public health emergency. The process is not competitive and licensed centers are eligible for up to 80-100% of their operating expenses. Go to and click on “Grants for Licensed & Registered Child Care Programs (Stabilization).”

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced changes to the COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). Changes include increases to maximum loan amount and expansion in the uses of funds for paying and prepaying existing business debt. If your business is still struggling to stabilize and recover from the pandemic or are seeing new challenges related to the Delta variant, GFDA’s business advisors are here to help. Connect with Jason at Apply for COVID EIDL on the SBA’s website.

Join the Trailing Partner Email Group specifically for employers to share resumes of trailing spouses/partners across the Great Falls region with other employers looking to hire. Connect with Talent Attraction Director Soren to learn about more great talent attraction tools for employers. “Your (Live in Great Falls) website is very impressive and helpful! Great Falls looks amazing, and we love what we’ve seen real estate-wise, and business-wise.” This quote was from an email sent to us from a couple considering relocation to Great Falls. We will be sharing their resumes (with their permission) on the Trailing Partner Email Group.

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 toolkitsto 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.

A new access to capital option for businesses has launched. Crowdfund Montana is an investment crowdfunding platform, affiliated with the national platform Crowdfund Mainstreet, to bring people together to fund good business projects. Unlike traditional crowdfunding, investment crowdfunding allows funders to receive a financial return on their contribution, and in some cases own shares in the companies they are funding. NBC Montana has published this story about the platform’s launch.

Visit our relocation website 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

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 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.

Curious to see how these projects pencil out?For each of the vision projects we have project analysis that includes Project Descriptions, Cash Flow Projections, and Rent Roll Summaries.