Top 10 – 6/1/2021

We launched a Bring a Friend to Great Falls campaign with the Great Falls Voyagers – keep an eye out this summer when you’re at the stadium! We also have an Out of Town Fan of the Game for every game. The purpose of this campaign is to engage the community in recruiting friends, family, and colleagues to relocate to Great Falls. Send a virtual postcard on the Live in Great Falls website.

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) We met with the Provost of Touro College to begin planning recruitment assistance for the Medical School’s faculty, staff and students. Touro has added a one-year 70 student Masters program to its Great Falls plan.

2) Seven businesses learned about Dr. Deborah Smith Cook’s tips for attracting remote workers in our weekly workforce webinar series. If you want to catch up on the series you can see our recaps on our website. You can also register for the entire series. Dr. Cook will be back on June 8th at 9 AM to discuss managing remote workers.

3) The entrepreneurs behind Great Falls’ wildly successful Tracy’s Diner are back at it with their newest venture Street Burgers. Check out the video announcement. By their grand opening on June 18th, they plan to employ 40 workers earning top wages in the food service industry. The Great Falls region is HUNGRY for new, innovative businesses, give Jolene a call to discuss your projects; (406) 750-4481

4) Our pipeline of deals is expanding weekly! This week our team worked on several project and leads. One new lead is a light manufacturer from Canada. This company specifically wants a location on the US side of the border in response to pandemic border closures and a growing US market.

5) Ulm School students and community leaders broke ground on the new BlueHawk Park; see KRTV. A movie called “The Ploughmen” featuring Robert Duvall, garret Hedlund and Amy Madigan is being filed in Ft. Benton; see KRTV.

6) How do we spark more housing development in Great Falls? That’s the focus for the June GFDA Development Coffee. Zoom in on Friday, June 4, at 7 AM. Click here for the Zoom Link. Meeting ID: 865 1217 4728 Pass: Maj9bz Questions? Call Jolene at 406.750.4481.

7) The Montana Department of Labor & Industry has Incumbent Worker Training Program funds available to help pay for workforce training. The current grant cycle will end with the state’s fiscal year; you have until June 20th to apply, and the training you are applying for must begin before June 30th. If your training begins after June 30th, you should wait until the next grant cycle to apply for funds.We can help work through the process.

8) We were notified late Friday that a catalyst Downtown Great Falls project will be moving forward. Progress had slowed down due to the pandemic, but the entrepreneur never gave up. We should see some new construction happening in Downtown Great Falls soon! If your project has stalled due to rising construction costs or some other speed bump, contact Christian at 406.836.0136 or CLeinhauser@GrowGreatFalls.org and lets discuss a game plan to move your project forward.

9) The quarterly cost of living index by C2ER placed Great Falls’ cost of living at 90.5% of the national average, a 0.7% increase over last quarter. We are still well below the national average and 19% less than Bozeman – 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.

10) 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. The LaunchPoint, our catch-all workshop for those looking to start a business is back on June 2. June’s webinar is all about e-commerce: is your website laid out to generate maximum sales? Boots to Business, our pre-business workshop for entrepreneurial military personnel is back on June 17th and 18th.

11) The 2.0 version of the LiveinGreatFalls.com website is live – if you haven’t had a chance to check it out, do so here. We average about 80 unique views per day and we want to keep that ever increasing, so share Great Falls with your friends and family!

12) Looking to buy or sell a business? Ever considered crowdfunding to jumpstart that venture? Needing to bring on employees, but not sure the correct way to do so? These are just some of the topics covered in our new business technical briefs. In the coming months we will be publishing a host of topics designed to make your business successful – available for download on our website with no strings attached.

13) Check out these upcoming training from our partners: Montana DPHHS is offering a course on Understanding the Cottage Food Law on June 3rd at 10:30 AM MST. 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.

14) Please welcome our new lending college intern, Kenadee Chartier. Kenadee is a Financial Engineering major at MSU Bozeman with a Agricultural minor and has an anticipated graduation date of May 2022. Kenadee is rooted in Montana with her family ranch in Centerville, MT and plans to stay in the area after graduation.

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.

“America is hope. It is compassion. It is excellence. It is valor.”
Paul Tsongas

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 495


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 a great career opportunities — Investment Director (Fundraising). Download pdf describing the opening 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 are open for the 2021 Made in Montana Tradeshow. 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.gov with your business name. Save the date for the 2022 Made in Montana Tradeshow — March 11-12, 2022 in Helena.

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.

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.