Top 10 – 9/14/2021

Great Falls, Montana’s Museum City, will soon have its 11th museum. The Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum will be located at 1300 1st Avenue North. The Karpeles Manuscript Library Museums are the world’s largest private holding of important original manuscripts. Check out all of our museums at the Great Falls Museums Consortium.

GFDA’s Top 10

Here is our Top 10 for last 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) Calumet announced it has selected Burns & McDonnell as its EPC Contractor for the Montana Renewables renewable diesel project in Great Falls.

2) Six active duty and retired military members participated in our quarterly Boots to Business: An Introduction to Entrepreneurship course in partnership with Malmstrom Air Force Base’s Transition Assistance Program. Special thanks to our two guest speakers for sharing their entrepreneurship journey: US Army veteran Bethany Blessing, a realtor with Re/Max in Great Falls, and retired US Air Force pilot Jeff Miser, owner of Mountain Wave Distilling opening Winter 2021 at 313 Central Avenue in Great Falls.

3) The National Association of Development Organizations announced that it is awarding GFDA two Impact Awards, one for our work on the West Bank Landing riverfront brownfield redevelopment and one for our COVID pandemic economic development response. Thank you to the clients, partners, and GFDA investors who made this work possible! Congratulations to Sweetgrass Development for also winning two NADO Impact Awards! The only Montana two economic development organizations to win awards this year are right here in the Golden Triangle!

WHEN: Next Wednesday, September 15th, 5:30-7:00 PM
WHERE: GF College MSU, Room B101 (South entrance, door 7)

GFDA invites you to give input into the start of developing a new strategic plan to grow and strengthen the economy of the region. The first step is to gather community input on the strengths and weaknesses of our current regional economy, an the opportunities and threats we will face. We want to tap into your knowledge and expertise. please join us on the 15th to give us your thoughts. If you can’t make it, please take a few minutes to fill out a brief survey here.

5) Upcoming GFDA entrepreneur/business convenient virtual trainings: Our popular Website Bootcamp: Website in a Day in Lewistown on Tuesday, September 28. The LaunchPoint, our catch all class for starting a business is back on Tuesday, October 5th. October’s webinar topic on Thursday, October 7 is Cybersecurity. And it may seem early, but on October 12th we are starting a new session of our Website Bootcamp specifically for your business to capitalize on the Online Holiday Shopping craze.

6) 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.

7) GFDA has two exciting career opportunities for Resource Director (grant writing) and Business Development Officer (food processing specialist). Download job postings and please help spread the word.

8) Invest Downtown Great Falls is quickly approaching. If you haven’t registered yet, head over to our registration page and sign up. We’re also looking for Developers and Retail/Restaurant targets to invite for Invest Downtown. If you have some great ideas on who to invite, send an email to Christian at or call at 406.836.0136.

9) We are searching for individuals or families who have recently (in the past 2 years) relocated to or moved back to the Great Falls area and LOVE their life here. We want to hear their stories! We have several media/marketing opportunities coming up (including the next issue of Great Falls Livability magazine) and we want to interview dozens of people who relocated to the Great Falls area. Email Soren at with their (or your own!) name/relevant information and we will do the rest.

10) Is your business opening, expanding, or doing something revolutionary? We want to hear about it and tell your story to the Great Falls regional business community! Our Announcement of the Week goes out to a captive audience of thousands in the Great Falls regional business community. Contact Tyler at to get started on your announcement.

Congratulations to the Great Falls Voyagers for their first session in the new independent Pioneer League!

Have a prosperous 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.

“It’s only by saying “No” that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.”
Steve Jobs

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 503

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 2021Q2 Quarter Index.

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

September SBA 504 Loan Rates
The 25-year loan effective rate came in at 2.973%; 20-year at 2.855%; 10-year equipment loan at 2.673%; and, 20-year refinance 2.898%; 25-year refinance 3.014%. 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

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 Here is a current list of our great investors.

Events, Business Training, and Opportunities

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.

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 to get the latest version anytime!

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.