Top 10 – 9/8/2021

GFDA Brownfields Assistance leads to Redevelopment Project
In 2016, GFDA completed a Brownfields Phase 1 Assessment for the owners of the Falls Construction site located along the Missouri River next to the 10th Street Bridge. After five years including a Phase 2, work with EPA, MT DEQ & consultants, and a land swap with the City of Great Falls, the project has come full circle and the first redevelopment on the site has begun. Independence Bank has started construction on a new branch that will include a True Brew Espresso first floor of the new building. An added bonus to this project is the connection of the River’s Edge Trail to the 10th Street pedestrian bridge. The location of the third True Brew is also exciting for GFDA because their first Drive-thru Espresso was the very first Brownfields cleanup site in downtown Great Falls back in 2010. For more information on how we can help with your project, contact Lillian Sunwall at or (406) 750-1253.

GFDA’s Top 10

Here is our Top 15 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) The C.M. Russell Museum announced the completion of their $25 million capital campaign and opened their new campus grounds. Congratulations!!! See Great Falls Tribune.

2) Great Falls was named the Best City for Foodies in Montana by Insurify! We have another new food truck in town. Robert Ibarra has opened Taqueria Ibarra; see KRTV. Brittany Riley has opened International Spice District in Great Falls; see KRTV. KRTV ran a story on a number of additional new businesses opening soon in Great Falls.

3) Congratulations to Curiously Artistic, a great store in Cut Bank that recently reopened their doors. Read the full story in the Cut Bank Pioneer Press.

4) Downtown Great Falls lands a NEW Teaching Kitchen! Check out the video announcement hereNourish’s new space is a gathering place for the community to share their love of food through cooking and nutrition classes, as well as the capacity to host and cater events.

5) The unemployment rate in the Great Falls MSA was 3.2% in July, according to the Montana Department of labor and Industry.

6) Ever wonder how you can help grow our community? There are many ways! One of the easiest is to share our social media posts. Another is to share what you love about our community with others. Think about the top three selling points you’d tell someone you really want to move to Great Falls. Share those on your social media, talk about them. When we are recruiting businesses to town they often ask around. What message do you want them to hear?

7) Upcoming GFDA entrepreneur/business convenient virtual trainings: Boots to Business, our workshop for active military personnel looking to transition to a life of entrepreneurship is back on Thursday and Friday, September 9 & 10. The LaunchPoint, our catch-all workshop for budding entrepreneurs is back on Thursday, September 9. And wrapping up the month is our popular Website Bootcamp: Website in a Day in Lewistown on Tuesday, September 28.

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.

9) Help us spread the word about the great things going on in Great Falls! Use your Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram accounts to engage with us – we’ll share your posts and great stories, and you share ours! If you’d like to receive an email notification every time @LiveinGreatFalls posts on social media so you can be one of the first to “like” or share it, email Soren at

10) Our local media partner KRTV is helping us spread the word about the ‘Live in Great Falls’ initiative and finding individuals/families to interview who have moved to Great Falls recently! Read or watch the story here.

11) Employers, never again lose out on a star candidate due to their significant other being unable to find work in Great Falls. Join the Trailing Partner Email Group made specifically for employers to share resumes of trailing spouses/partners across the Great Falls region with other employers looking to hire. Email Talent Attraction Director Soren Chargois Ebbasi at to opt-in.

12) We asked our Board members to tell us what advantages in doing business in Great Falls. Some of their responses: stable steady economy; community support; willing partners collaborating for common growth; access to business assistance; businesses supporting each other; genuine, honest, good people; hardworking employees; and loyal customers.

13) We participated in the International Economic Development Council’s Economic Development Research Partners (EDRP) Retreat. Some of the top economic development groups across the country gather as a think tank for research projects to benefit economic developers. We’re looking at a variety of issues facing communities like ours, for example supply chain disruption, real estate transformation, pandemic and natural disaster disruptions.

14) Is your business opening, expanding, or doing something revolutionary? We want to hear about it and help you tell the story. 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!

15) Still catching up on a few things for the Top 10 from the summer. I had the pleasure of speaking on a national webinar with the Economic Development Administration and another webinar on Accredited Economic Development Organizations hosted by the International Economic Development Council, participating in the Montana Economic Developers Association Board of Directors annual retreat, volunteering as an instructor for the Council of Development Finance Agency’s Introduction to Revolving Loan Funds, Designing Your Revolving Loan Fund, and Advanced Revolving Loan Funds virtual courses, serving on the Governor’s 8th District Judicial Nomination Advisory Committee, and testifying before the Montana Economic Transformation Commission.

Thank you to the Great Falls Voyagers for a fun season and to the Downtown Summer Jam concert producers!

Enjoy the late summer weather!

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.

“Anyone who thinks that they are too small to make a difference has never tried to fall asleep with a mosquito in the room.”
Christine Todd Whitman

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 502

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

August SBA 504 Loan Rates
The 25-year loan effective rate came in at 2.863%; 20-year at 2.744%; 10-year equipment loan at 2.591%; and, 20-year refinance 2.787%; 25-year refinance 2.904%. 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.

Check out August’s Hot Jobs in Great Falls, a collection of open jobs that we’re marketing to people in talent attraction target markets (Seattle, Portland, etc.). These are jobs that people would relocate for. If you have a particularly high-skill, high-salary or out-of-the-box job opportunity to include in September’s blog, email Soren at

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

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.

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.