Top 10 – 6/28/2021

Congratulations to Cesar and Heidi Morales of Cut Bank, owners of the Los Tacos de Montana street taco business that has started selling authentic street tacos on the East Side of Glacier National Park! The business will operate on the Many Glacier Road near Babb during the summer and will also serve their tacos from time to time at the Cut Bank Creek Brewery.

GFDA’s Top 10

Here is our Top 28 for the last four weeks 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.

Apologies for such a long break in our Top 10’s. We’ve been incredibly busy with multiple prospect visits, helping clients get deals put together, and pursuing new opportunities.

1) Over the past several weeks, we have hosted visits from multiple primary sector prospects. It’s been my most exciting month since joining GFDA almost 15 years ago!

GFDA will be closed the week of July 5th. In recognition of the outstanding work our team has done this fiscal year, I’ve given our staff the week off so they can recharge and come back hard charging into our new fiscal year.

2) The proposed expansion of Downtown Tax Increment Financing eligible programs has raised questions on prevailing wage – or commonly referred to as Davis Bacon wages. Join us at 4 PM on Wednesday, June 30, via zoom as the Deputy City Attorney Jeff Hindoien helps us understand the implications. This half hour session will be recorded and shared for those unable to attend in person. Click here for the Zoom. Meeting ID 895 1998 6381 and passcode of 423225.

3) Did you miss the ground breaking of Arc last week? Check out the highlights here.

4) Heartland Forward ranked Great Falls as the 11th best metro area in the nation for Average Annual Pay Growth (based on 2013-2017 data). Montana was name the most patriotic state in the nation by Wallet Hub. Great Falls was once again named the most patriotic city in Montana by Insurify.

5) We closed a $316,420 gap loan package to The Newberry, the new state of the art entertainment and concert venture under construction in Downtown Great Falls. Many thanks to Ryan Fritz from Citizens Alliance Bank for partnering up to help make this happen. If your business needs assistance with financing to start, grow or innovate, please contact Jill Kohles at 406-590-1056 or JKohles@GrowGreatFalls.org.

6) Lifestyle’s Haute Hive Co-Working Space celebrated their grand opening. Check out the video announcement and see KRTV. Not only will the renovated building house Lifestyle Real Estate Firm’sexpanded office, but will also offer executive officers, semi-private offices, co-working space, conference rooms, and more in Downtown Great Falls. Looking to be a part of the revitalization in Downtown Great Falls? Call Jolene to discuss your project; (406) 750-4481.

7) Had a new Agri-processing client in town this week looking for a site. We have several manufacturing projects looking for industrial space between 5,000-50,000 square feet. That will be the topic of our next Development Coffee this Friday, July 2, at 7 AM. Click hereto Zoom In!

8) Virtual delivery of our training events continues to broaden the exposure of GFDA to wider and wider audiences. This month, military veterans from Atlanta, Austin (TX), Rhode Island, and Dallas joined our Boots to Business: An Introduction to Entrepreneurship training with transitioning service members from Malmstrom Air Force Base. Special thanks to our guest speakers, Beth Blessing of Beth Blessing Realty and Remax and Jeff Miser of Mountain Wave Distilling. Beth and Jeff are two military veterans who volunteered their time to share entrepreneurship experiences with workshop attendees.

9) Glacier Property Group announced the purchase of a large vacant commercial building in downtown Cut Bank and is under contract for another. The real-estate development company has plans to renovate and develop both properties. Read the full story at the Cut Bank Pioneer Press.

10) We have been busy helping small business learn the new SAM.GOV website and apply for certification with SBA as a Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB) and 8A Set-Asides. Are you ready for the upcoming MT PTAC Virtual GovMatch 2021 in July? Even though the registration in not open yet, make sure your company is ready to meet one on one with buyers from federal, state and local agencies in a virtual “booth.” So how do you get ready? Contact your Great Falls PTAC to make sure the action steps are finished in order to complete your VIRTUAL “profile” once registration is open.  Your PTAC Advisor is ready to assist with the action steps. Contact Shannon Clancy at SClancy@GrowGreatFalls.org or 406-590-1184. You don’t want to miss out on this great opportunity.

11) Worked with an agri-processing company who has been buying grain in the Golden Triangle for years but has realized it makes better business sense to also process here. They are seeking a 30k square foot food grade manufacturing facility. While we recommend they work with a broker, we routinely get these requests. Please make sure your properties and buildings are listed on LoopNet and with an area broker. Reach out to Jolene to discuss, 406.750.4481.

12) Jennifer Reed owner of Glacier Drip Coffee officially opened her mobile coffee trailer for business along the east entrance to Glacier National Park. Last summer, Jennifer applied for and won one of the highly competitive Indian Equity Fund Grants, which helped her with the purchase of her new coffee tailer.  Currently Glacier Drip is open on the corner of West Shore Drive and Highway 89 in St. Mary.  The Indian Equity Fund application for 2021 opens on July 1st. If you are an enrolled tribal member and need help applying, contact Rich Gannon at 406-836-2078 or email RGannon@GrowGreatFalls.org.

13) We have an entrepreneur interested in taking our cash flow and profitability workshop, Profit Mastery. So we are looking for at least a few more interested participants before scheduling the course. If you are professional seeking continuing education credits or are an entrepreneur wanting to get a better grasp on financial statements, this two-day course is worth considering. Every decision a business owner makes has a financial impact. We believe Profit Mastery provides excellent insight and tools into a business’ cash and profit cycles. Please contact Jason Nitschke to indicate your interest in participating in this course at JNitschke@GrowGreatFalls.org.

14) Image Jewelry Design, owned by Craig Williams, has officially launched. Based in Great Falls, Mr. Williams is designing, producing, and selling high quality jewelry through his e-commerce platform. Jason and Rich provided startup, financial planning, and website design assistance. Thank you to Matt McKamey at Opportunity Bank for this referral.

15) Working with several companies looking to located in the Golden Triangle. We work behind the scenes to help companies put the puzzle pieces in place for them to locate here. This includes connecting with local officials, building capital stacks, site location advising, working with local utilities, supply chain support, and overall business concierge services. Know a business that should be here? Call Jolene at 406.750.54481.

16) Attention, Contract Opportunity! We were contacted by a contracting officer with the US Forest Service who is having trouble getting businesses to bid on a contract for janitorial service at the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center. If this fits with your business, contact Lillian Sunwall for more information at LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org.

17) We hosted two webinars for Realtors called “Closing More Sales to Out of Town Homebuyers — Tools and Resources to Attract New Residents.” We shared some of our talent attraction tools and resources that could help this key group of people assist us in our mission to grow the population of Great Falls!

18) Governor Greg Gianforte has launched a remote worker talent attraction campaign! Visit the new Come Home Montana website. This state-wide campaign will perfectly complement our local talent attraction efforts here in Great Falls. Share the Come Home Montana website and the Live in Great Falls website with your family and friends!

19) SAM.Gov has merged with beta.SAM.gov as of May 24th. If you have tried to login to your registration at the new site and are having trouble, contact Shannon Clancy at SClancy@GrowGreatFalls.org. She can guide you through the new process and help keep you active.

20) Soren and I had a kickoff meeting with Livability Media regarding the upcoming year’s Great Falls Livability talent attraction marketing program. If our Livability Media representative John Waltz reaches out, we encourage you to have a conversation with him and see how your advertising support of the publication will help bring talented workers to Great Falls!

21) 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.

22) Our great city of Great Falls was mentioned several times in a Roadtrippers.com article, “An insider’s guide to exploring the Missouri River in Central Montana.” Read it, share it, and let’s get some excitement buzzing about our community!

23) Have you ever taken the time to identify your target consumer(s), or do you just guess and hope for the best? Our newest business technical brief, the Customer Discovery Checklist will walk you through a proven process to identify your target consumer(s). This and other technical briefs are available for download on our website with no strings attached, with more to come!

24) We hosted one of the project managers from our talent attraction consultant team DCI this month and she loved Great Falls! She was very impressed with the diversity our downtown entrepreneurs, great breweries and ACCESS to all types of outdoor adventures and left excited to keep helping us grow Great Falls.

25) Christian took the International Economic Development Council’s Marketing and Business Attraction course. He was able to connect with over 50 other industry professionals and learned some best practices we can implement here in our own market. We always encourage our team to pursue professional development and this course will count towards this team member becoming a Certified Economic Developer. I enjoyed teaching parts of the Council of Development Finance Agencies’ Revolving Loan Fund online course last week.

26) GFDA won a $1.28 million loan capital grant from the CDFI Fund’s Rapid Response Program. We also secured a $1 million loan capital loan commitment from CNote. NeighborWorks Montana has agreed to purchase a $250,000 participation in our bridge loan package for construction of The Arc 218-unit workforce housing development.

27) As we gear up for our new fiscal year that starts on July 1st, we have signed a renewal to our downtown business development partnership agreement with the Great Falls Business Improvement District, signed a two year agreement with the Montana Department of Agriculture for our Great Falls Food & Ag Development Center, signed a year extension of our business attraction account-based marketing lead generation work with DCI, and signed a year contract for lead generation with Global Site Selection Industries. We have also executed agreements with Common Goals Software to implement a new loan portfolio management system that will enable us to offer online loan applications and tracking, a contract with Friedman Associates to help us update our lending policies and procedures, and a contract with Barber Business Advisors to engage in a new economic development strategic planning initiative.

28) Staci Cambell started work as our newest Lending Associate. We are excited to announce that Jake Clark, current Dean of Students of the University of Providence, will be joining the GFDA team in July as a Business Development Officer. Welcome Jake!

I’ll catch up with more great stuff in our next Top 10 on Monday.

Stay cool and have a great week and a fantastic Independence Day!!!

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.

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”
Stephen Covey

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 496


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

June SBA 504 Loan Rates
The 25-year loan effective rate came in at 2.883%; 20-year at 2.764%; 10-year equipment loan at 2.612%; and, 20-year refinance 2.807%; 25-year refinance 2.924%. 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

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.

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.