Top 10 – 9/8/2020

Congratulations to local entrepreneur, Dave Snuggs, who has developed the first of its kind in the country mobile drive-thru restaurant. Carnivorium will be located around Great Falls in a new location each day; see KRTV and Great Falls Tribune.

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.

1) Congratulations to owner Johnny Deng on opening Hokkaido Ramen & Sushi Bar in Great Falls! They serve authentic Japanese Ramen, as well as sushi and boba tea. They are located in the Great Falls Marketplace next to Cold Stone Creamery. See KRTV.

2) The state announced a new COVID recovery business working capital loan program with a forgiveness feature. Several businesses we helped to secure stabilization grants reported getting the $20,000 in funds from the state. The business stabilization program is now wait listed. Our COVID business recovery specialist can help you access resources and connect you with our business advisers for your business to “survive and thrive”, contact Nathan Reiff at or 406-403-4937.

3) The downtown Great Falls Metropolitan Building renovation received a boost as the City Commission approved tax increment financing funds to support the project. The Commission also approved TIF funding for the final dollars needed to complete the Great Falls Wayfinding Plan. See Tribune and

4) Looking to expand your skills as an entrepreneur or business manager? We’ve got free resources for that! The next Website Boot Camp: Converting to Online Sales starts September 15th – register here. Boots to Business for entrepreneurial service members, veterans and family will be held at Malmstrom Air Force Base September 17-18 – register hereProfit Mastery is back by popular demand on September 23-24 – register to learn how to take control of your business’ finances. Closing out the month is LaunchPoint: A Pre-Business Workshop on September 30th.

5) NeighborWorks Great Falls and Great Falls Public Schools students broke ground on the 43rd High School House construction; see KRTV.

6) The latest video in our Doing Business in the Golden Triangle series features Millie Whalen, owner of Cassiopeia Books in Downtown Great Falls. Be sure to like us on Facebook and hit that share button to help us spread the word that the Golden Triangle is a great place to live, work, and do business!

7) Groundbreaking for the new Montana Heritage Center in Helena was held; see Tribune. This project will boost Great Falls Tourism’s strategy for making Great Falls a base for amazing day trips. GFDA was proud to support the Montana Infrastructure Coalition’s work in the last legislative session to help make this project happen, along with important infrastructure improvements throughout the state.

8)We are hosting three 30-minute digital discussions over the coming weeks to help businesses in the region: Accessing State Grants – Thursday, September 10th at 10:00AM o r Tuesday, September 22nd at 12:00 PM, and Social Media and Websites – Wednesday, September 16th at 2:00 PM. To RSVP and for Zoom login information, contact Nathan Reiff at or call (406) 403-4937.

9) Registration for QuickBooks on November 18 is live. QuickBooks Pro Advisor Wendy Weissman will take you through the basic elements of QuickBooks Accountant 2019 so you’re more efficient in entering revenue and expenses, and better able to communicate with your accountant come tax time.This course always sells out, so don’t wait – register today!

Belated Happy Labor Day! 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.

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.”
Frederick Douglass

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.

Economic Development Services
See our updated Great Falls Economic Development Menu of Services which includes our expanded staff team. We provide award-winning and internationally-accredited economic development services throughout Montana’s Golden Triangle, and SBA 504 loans statewide.

Great GFDA Career Opportunity
We are boosting our lending team with a new Loan Officer position. Download position posting or visit our website. GFDA is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer and Lender. We encourage all qualified candidates to apply! Please 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

August SBA 504 Loan Rates
The 25-year loan effective rate came in at 2.266%; 20-year at 2.210%; 10-year equipment loan at 2.387%; and, 20-year refinance 2.211%. 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 Teresa Schreiner at 406.781.9499 or Here is a current list of our great investors.

Events, Business Training and Opportunities

Montana has many grant opportunities to help address the COVID crisis. Visit

The new relocation website is officially LIVE! 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 Montana Chamber hosted a webinar helpful for businesses interested in learning more about the Montana Loan Deferment Program. See recording of webinar here.

The Montana Department of Commerce’s Office of Tourism and Business Development has launched the “Montana Aware” campaign to promote safe and responsible behavior among those who are traveling in the state. Through the formal “Montana Aware” campaign, 17 of Montana’s Convention and Visitors Bureaus and six tourism regions share $5 million to promote the initiative. To download the partner toolkit visit MARKETMT.COM.

The Montana Indian Equity Fund (IEF) will begin accepting applications for the small business grant program starting August 1st. Applications will be accepted through September 30th. If you are a Native American entrepreneur looking to start a business or expand an existing business, check out this grant opportunity. For help applying, contact Rich at 406-836-2078 or He can assist with the application process and help you connect with a local Native American Business Advisor.

The Great Falls Livability relocation magazine is a new tool to help you recruit talent from out of town to relocate to the Great Falls trade area. Here is the online link to the magazine. For printed copies, and to have a conversation about best practices for recruiting employees, email Soren at Let’s talk Talent Attraction!

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

The Montana Cooperative Development Center has put together a free online Montana Cooperatives 101 course. This self-paced resource includes recorded presentations, activities and custom videos that will help you learn about the cooperative business model and successful Montana coops.

Northrup Grumman is working to gather subcontractors for the missile upgrade project. This is a long process and they expect to gather information for three to four years. If you are a small business interested in doing business with Northrop Grumman, please complete the Supplier Information form at

The Montana Manufacturing Extension Center offers a great array of workshops and trainings for all sizes of manufacturing companies.

The Montana Department of Commerce’s State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) is offering grants to help businesses pay for translation of marketing materials to boost exports. The program also offers trade show grants and assistance. MDOC’s Film Office is offering powerful new incentives to promote filming and production in Montana. Click here for details.

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.

The 4th annual Montana Food Show will be held in Missoula on October 26. Learn more at The Montana Beverage Show will be held in Helena on November 9. Visit for more information. The Export Montana team is hosting Riddle of the Exporter training in Billings on July 28 and Kalispell on July 30. The training is free and will help you learn about and prepare for export markets. Learn more here.

All of our recorded monthly business strategy webinars are available online for viewing anytime, click them out here.