Top 10 – 5/16/2021

When you’re worked for years on a project, it’s even sweeter when it gets into construction!

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) We made the cut in the first round of a site selection process for a major manufacturing investment and started work on putting together data to submit for the next round. We hosted a prospect on its second visit to consider two downtown Great Falls projects.

2) Four fantastic community projects are moving with help from up to $205,000 in hazardous materials clean-up grants from our EPA Brownfields Loan Fund. We are excited to support the Great Falls Rescue Mission, Alluvion Health, and Great Falls Public Schools. Check out the video announcement. If you are considering a commercial property that may be contaminated, we have resources to ensure your project’s success – connect Lillian at 406-750-1253 or LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org.

3) Lots of upcoming GFDA entrepreneur/business convenient virtual trainings. Looking to increase sales and develop repeat customers? Sign up for a free one-on-one consultation with retail/restaurant/event business guru Barbara Wold. Take control of your business’s finances, increase profit, and improve your bottom line in our two-day Profit Mastery workshop May 17 & 24. The LaunchPoint, our catch-all workshop for those looking to start a business, is back on June 2. And June’s webinar is all about e-commerce: is your website laid out to generate maximum sales?

4) We’ve made great progress in Downtown Great Falls this week on new projects and projects that are in progress. We will have new announcements coming soon as well as more projects starting construction. We are always here to help keep projects moving, and one of the newest road blocks is construction costs. If you need Gap or Bridge financing to help get your project to the finish line, contact Christian at 406.836.0136 and let’s keep the momentum going Downtown.

5) We continue to hear from employers that hiring and retaining employees is one of their biggest challenges. In response, we created an ongoing series of webinars focused on connecting employers with local resources designed to help attract, develop, and retain their workforce. Head over to GrowGreatFallsMontana.org/Workforce to learn more and register for the remainder of the series.

6) The Indian Country Programs at the Montana Department of Commerce will begin accepting applications for the Indian Equity Fund (IEF) Small Business Grant starting July 1. Applications will be accepted through August 31. If you are an enrolled member of one of Montana’s eight federally recognized  tribes and would like help applying, contact Rich Gannon at 406-836-2078 or email RGannon@GrowGreatFalls.org.

7) The labor shed analysis was completed as part of the Great Falls child care market assessment we commissioned.

8) Congratulations to Melanie Racine who has purchased a vacant building in downtown Cut Bank and is moving and expanding her restaurant R’ Snack Shop. Read the full story at KRTV News.

9) Check out these upcoming training from our partners. Ever considered selling to the government? The US Forest Service will be hosting a Virtual Industry Day on May 20 where you can learn to do just that. The Prospera Business Network in partnership with One Valley Community Foundation are hosting a workshop entitled Power Up Your Nonprofit: Create your Business, Financial, Fundraising & Marketing Plan starting June 3.

10) I was able to network this week with western U.S. leaders on an infrastructure virtual discussion organized by the Milken Institute, Kinder Institute and the International Economic Development Council. And, I enjoyed networking with economic developers to our north by once again co-teaching the ethics workshop as part of the Alberta Economic Development Association’s annual conference.

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.

“Momentum is an amazing thing when it is working in your favour.”
Simon Mignolet

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 493


Here is our Menu of Services and Staff Team handout.

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

May SBA 504 Loan Rates
The 25-year loan effective rate came in at 2.933%; 20-year at 2.845%; 10-year equipment loan at 2.612%; and, 20-year refinance 2.887%; 25-year refinance 2.974%. 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 two great career opportunities. Investment Director (Fundraising). And, we’re expanding our lending team with either a Business Development Officer, a Commercial Credit Analyst, or a Loan Officer. Download pdf describing the openings in more detail. 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
Do you need additional working capital? The SBA has increased the EIDL loan limit to the lesser of 24 months of working capital or $500,000. If you have questions, contact Nathan Reiff at 406-403-4937 or NReiff@GrowGreatFalls.org.

Exhibitor applications for the 2021 Made in Montana Tradeshow will start being accepted at 9 AM on Wednesday, May 19. The online application will be available on the Tradeshow webpage. The show will take place September 10 and 11, 2021 at the Lewis & Clark County Fairgrounds in Helena. Only active members will be considered for the Tradeshow. Check to see if your membership is up to date by searching your business in the Product Directory. If you can’t find your listing, send an email to madeinmontana@mt.govwith your business name. Save the date for the 2022 Made in Montana Tradeshow — March 11-12, 2022 in Helena.

The Montana Emergency Rental Assistance program provides rent and utility assistance to Montanans who have been financially impacted by the pandemic. Landlords can apply on behalf of renters with the renter’s co-signature and other documentation.

Beginning July 1, the City of Great Falls will be accepting small works roster applications from contractors and vendors for several categories of work. A full list of service categories, the application and additional information ca be found at: https://greatfallsmt.net/planning/small-works-roster.

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.

The Montana Young Professional Summit will be held June 9-10 in Sydney. Montana Young Professional provides career development, networking, and community engagement opportunities aimed at professionals aged 21-39.

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.

The IRS’s Taxpayer Advocate Service launched a COVID-19 Business Tax Relief tool too help businesses determine if they are eligible for tax relief. There are a number of business tax relief options currently available. Your business may be eligible for the Employee Retention Credit (ERC). We strongly recommend that you work with a local CPA or tax adviser to investigate this new opportunity which is retroactive to 2020 and the first two quarters of 2021. It is possible your company could qualify for up to $14,000 per employee.

Job Service Great Falls is hosting online Job Fairs on the first and third Wednesdays of the month from 10-11 AM. Employers should contact a job Service Workforce Consultant at 406-791-5800 to participate.

Montana’s Incumbent Worker Training program just became easier to use. Employers can view the videos at their convenience to learn how to use these grants to fund skills-based training of existing employees. These grants area available to for-profit and non-profit employers with less than 50 employees in the state. We can help you with these if you run into a snag. Or contact the IWT program manager, michelle.robinson@mt.gov.

Attention all businesses doing government contracting: Are you aware of the regulations for Cybersecurity? Don’t know where to start? Check out this E-Book – Cybersecurity 101 for Government Contractors. By entering the promo code “4PTAC2020” at the checkout link, you can receive it for free. For more information and future trainings on cybersecurity or doing business with the government, contact our government contracting advisor Shannon Clancy at SClancy@GrowGreatFalls.org.

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.