Matt and Abby Mills, Big Sky Managed Care, in front of their prescription sorting and packaging robot – one of just 30 world wide. The Mill’s motto is bridging the gap between patients and big pharmacies because, “Montanas should be taking care of Montanans.” We’re excited to support the company’s growth with an SBA 504 loan!
GFDA Top 10
Here is our Top 16 for this week, celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy.
1) Great Falls is an entrepreneur hot spot! We were just ranked the 9th amongst all U.S. cities of under 150,000 population in the Top Cities Where Americans Start the Most Businesses report, and 23rd amongst U.S. cities of all sizes, as released by AdvisorSmith.
2) Developers announced plans to construct a $17 million riverfront restaurant, retail and housing development in the West Bank Urban Renewal Area along the urban Missouri River corridor in Great Falls. See Great Falls Tribune for details.
3) One of our startup entrepreneur clients secured financing to move a downtown project into construction in the near future. This is a project two years in the making that will add to a dynamic, vibrant, and growing Downtown Great Falls. If you know of an entrepreneur looking to start a business or has an idea to grow anywhere in the Golden Triangle, please let us know. Jason can be reached at JNitschke@GrowGreatFalls.org.
4) Congratulations to Great Falls College MSU on its 50th anniversary!
5) For our friends and partners in the Golden Triangle, join us this Thursday, October 17th from 6-8 PM at Cut Bank Creek Brewery for Triangle Pitch Night, designed to give dreamers, thinkers, makers, innovators, entrepreneurs, and community members the space to share ideas, pitch crazy stuff, and meet like-minded people. For more information, contact Barnett at Barnett@GrowGreatFalls.org or find our event page on Facebook.
6) Congratulations to Enbar on being named Best Cocktail Bar in Montana and Hempl’s on being named Montana’s Best Donut Shop by Big 7 Travel. Congratulations to the Sip ‘n Dip on being named one of the 50 Best Bars in the World! Five Loaves Too has a new owner, Beth McKinney. See details on all in TheElectricGF.com.
7) Hosted a visioning and input meeting with Kansas State TAB and DEQ for the Miracle Mile site and 2nd Ave North corridor with property owners, residents, state & local agencies, Malmstrom personnel and other interested parties. The next steps are to assemble the input gathered at the meeting and compile into a plan for redevelopment options moving forward. The draft will be completed within the next month and shared with the community. Thank you to all who attended, those who helped coordinate the event and to Kim Ray, principal at Loy Elementary for providing a space for us to use.
8) The Montana Chamber has launched a Montana Workforce Development Survey as part of the Chamber’s efforts to address workforce shortages across the state. Please take a few minutes to participate in the survey and share with your business colleagues.
9) The GFDA’s PTAC is accepting registrations for the upcoming training, Win the Bid: How to Prepare a Proposal on October 23rd from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. For more info, call Shannon Clancy (406) 590-1184.
10) Congratulations to Choteau County, City of Conrad, Town of Hobson, City of Shelby and thirteen additional rural communities and counties across the state for winning infrastructure planning grants from the Treasure State Endowment Program (TSEP) of the Montana Department of Commerce.
11) We signed up to network with Canadian companies interested in expanding in the United States at SelectUSA’s Canada Day in Montreal in December.
12) Resident and tourist outdoor recreational activities accounted for 5.1% of Montana’s GDP in 2017, ranking us second amongst states just behind Hawaii, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. We love to enjoy Montana’s amazing outdoors! See Daily Interlake story.
13) Our fall QuickBooks class is now taking registrations. This full-day training event on November 1st, presented by GFDA investor Wendy Weissman CPA PC, helps participants understand how QuickBooks can be used most effectively to manage financial statements. It is designed for users with basic to no knowledge of the tool as well as more advanced users to get more out of it. For more information or to register, click here.
14) Join us in welcoming Richard Gannon to GFDA’s team as our new Rural Business Adviser, part of the expansion of our Small Business Development Center. Rich was raised on a farm and ranch in the Sun River Valley west of Great Falls. He earned a BS in Business Administration Management and Marketing from the University of Montana, then spent eight years in Alaska working as a staff accountant, comptroller and air taxi dispatcher. He and his wife moved to Cut Bank where Rich created a web consulting firm, Front Range Web, which he has run since 2008. Rich starts work Monday to help us expand our business coaching and training services to existing businesses and startup entrepreneurs in Cascade, Fergus, Glacier, Judith Basin, Pondera, Teton, and Toole counties.
15) GFDA has another new career opportunity. We’ve partnered with the Great Falls Business Improvement District to create a Downtown Business Development Officer position. See description below or download all our position openings and help us spread the word!
16) Thank you to this week’s Investors in Economic Development, Pacific Steel and Recycling, for their Advanced Division investment, Vision Net, for their Leadership Division investment, and Cogswell Insurance Agency, LLC and AE2S for their for their Pacesetter Division investments. At GFDA we are a small yet vital team that works hard to accomplish our region’s economic future. Understanding that our efforts are only possible because of the contributions we receive from generous investors like you, we continue to strive for a more healthy and diverse economy. If you have questions about investment in the Golden Triangle, contact Investment Director Teresa Schreiner at 496.781.9499 or TSchreiner@GrowGreatFalls.org.
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.
President & CEO
Connect with me on LinkedIn to network with the Great Falls region.
Forward the GFDA Top 10 to friends and colleagues. You can join our distribution list HERE or text GFDA to 22828.
“Experience is not what happens to you; it’s what you do with what happens to you.”
GFDA Job Openings
Downtown Business Development Officer
Main Street Economic Development
Dynamic, self-motivated professional sought to join our passionate, creative, fast-paced, results-driven economic development team. We are looking for a super star to lead downtown economic revitalization in partnership with the Downtown Development Partnership of Great Falls (an accredited National Main Street program) and the Great Falls Business Improvement District. You will meet with existing downtown businesses to aid in their retention and expansion, conduct market research, work to attract businesses and developers to downtown, and provide overall aid in our downtown business development efforts. Involves coordination, cold-calling, networking, relationship building, project management, advocacy, marketing events, meeting with businesses, listening, and additional client business development services. Position may involve travel in region, U.S. and Canada. Looking for a star with demonstrated achievement in business development. Requires excellent writing, computer, and communication skills. Live on the Missouri River along the Rocky Mountain Front and work with a great team! Salary range $45,000-55,000 with excellent benefits, professional development, growth opportunities, and flexible work environment. EOE. Cover letter and resume to Brett Doney, President, BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. Open until we find a great candidate.
Commercial Loan Processor and Operations Assistant
Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI)
Dynamic, self-motivated professional sought to join our passionate, creative, fast-paced, results-driven economic development lending team. Help us to keep growing our gap and bridge financing efforts to support entrepreneurs, businesses, developers and non-profit organizations throughout the Great Falls trade area and across Montana. This position receives,reviews and processes commercial loan documents, maintains loan application files and other duties related to the processing and servicing of the commercial loan portfolio.Reviews all gathered pending documents for accuracy, completeness, loan authority, lien position, insurance, flood insurance, collateral, appraisal, coding, risk rating, disbursements, etc. Reviews documents for compliance purposes, recognizes problems with documentation, and takes appropriate action. Requires the ability to maintain accurate records, work with a wide variety of clients, and have computer and communication skills. Experience with SBA 504 loan servicing and/or economic development loan funds a plus. Must be detail oriented and organized with flexibility to help achieve our overall team mission. Live on the Missouri River along the Rocky Mountain Front and work with a great team! Salary range $35,000-45,000 with excellent benefits, professional development, growth opportunities, and flexible work environment. EOE. Cover letter and resume to Brett Doney, President, BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. Open until we find a great candidate.
Talent Attraction Director
Digital Content Marketing
Dynamic, self-motivated professional sought to join our passionate, creative, fast-paced, results-driven economic development team. We are looking for an experienced digital marketing leader who can learn and utilize best practices to design and implement a program with the goal of getting people to relocate in the Great Falls region. This public relations star will manage content on our website and social media platforms, engage partners and the community, conduct research, and implement PR campaigns to attract people to the Great Falls region. Requires excellent writing, computer, and communication skills. Live on the Missouri River along the Rocky Mountain Front and work with a great team! Salary range $35,000-45,000 with excellent benefits, professional development, growth opportunities, and flexible work environment. EOE. Cover letter and resume to Brett Doney, President, BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. Open until we find a great candidate.
SBA 504 Loans
SBA 504 rates came in even lower in September. The 25-year loan effective rate came in at 3.44%; 20-year at 3.553%; and, 20-year refinance at 3.388%. There was no 10-year equipment debenture sale this month but July’s sale came in at 3.553%. These rates are FIXED for the life of the loan and are inclusive of all on-going 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.
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
Events, Business Trainings, and Opportunities
The Montana Downtown Conference will be held October 23-25 in Missoula. This is always a great conference with lots of idea sharing. More info here.
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 Film Office is offering powerful new incentives to promote filming and production in Montana. Click here for details.