Two tanks were pulled at one of our Phase 2 sites in downtown Great Falls to test for potential contamination. If you would like more information on our Brownfields tools for assessment & clean up of properties, give Lillian Sunwall a call at (406) 750-1253 or LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org.
GFDA Top 10
Here is our Top 14 for last week, celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy.
1) Let’s Play Games and Toys opened its new toy store in downtown Great Falls, see KRTV. Hayley and Schuler Mieyr announced plans to reopen the historic Missouri Inn located at Hardy Creek, see Great Falls Tribune.
2) Tyler Menzales presented our monthly webinar, Promote Your Business With LinkedIn, to 10 people around the state. Up next on GFDA’s Business Education Calendar is The LaunchPoint: A Pre-Business Workshop, TODAY, Wednesday, October 9th from 4-5 PM. If you are or know an entrepreneur considering starting a business, this free workshop steps through the frequently asked questions, basic structures, and best practices of business ownership. Space is limited. Please register to attend.
3) Join us this Thursday Night October 10th, 6:00 PM, at Loy Elementary for a strategic visioning and planning session for the Miracle Mile (from the gates of Malmstrom Airforce Base along 2nd Ave N to 57th St N). We are asking neighbors and interested citizens to help plan the future use of this stretch of land. During this process participants will be able to share their ideas and identify top priorities. Refreshments will be provided. For more information, contact Lillian Sunwall a call at (406) 750-1253 or LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org.
4) The Downtown Development Partnership hosted over 100 communities members for the Downtown Visioning Charette! Participants were asked what they want to see for additional private sector development in Downtown Great Falls. Groups identified the desire for additional venues, housing, food trucks and more. If you didn’t get to participate but would like to provide input on the top ten responses as well as add your own; check out the Follow-Up Poll here. Please share with friends. And save the date for Wednesday, November 20, when we release the community results and next steps in two repeat sessions, 4:00 and 7:00 PM in the Missouri Room of the Great Falls Civic Center. See TheElectricGF.com and Tribune for stories about the charette.
5) Talked with a Rural Banker who has a client that wants to purchase an existing business. This client has a gap financing need as well as questions on the working capital needs, equity contribution and the business valuation. We were able to give the banker and client some options as well as connect them to the Small Business Development Center Director, Jason Nitschke for further coaching. If you are running into a financing obstacle and want to discuss different options that GFDA may be able to provide please contact Jill Kohles at 406-590-1056 or JKohles@GrowGreatFalls.org.
6) Kids Education Yes met with GFDA’s Board to discuss the critical importance of winning voter support for mill levies to provide sufficient funds for Great Falls Public Schools.
7) Met with a local business to assist with invoicing for their federal contract. Reviewed an RFP for a business owner looking to submit a bid to a State Agency. For more information on contracting with federal, state and local agencies, give Lillian Sunwall (406) 750-1253 or Shannon Clancy (406) 590-1184 a call. The GFDA PTAC office 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.
8) 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.
9) We are planning Ignite 2020 and looking for capital investment projects that will start or open in 2020! Let’s kick off the calendar year with exciting announcements. Save the date of January 10th from 8 to 10 AM at Meadow Lark Country Club. Contact Jolene to discuss your project, 406.750.4481 or JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org.
10) I spent a great long weekend on the American Prairie Reserve learning more about their plans and progress, including their tourism, hunting, camping and recreation plans.
11) Nathan Reiff started work as our new Business Development Officer. Nathan will be boosting our business retention and expansion efforts, and assisting with our overall business development work. He can be reached at 406-403-4937 or NReiff@GrowGreatFalls.org. Welcome Nathan!
12) The International Economic Development Council announced that it reaccredited GFDA for another three years!
13) GFDA has another new career opportunity. We’ve partnered with the downtown 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!
14) Too often we hear that people feel disengaged or out of the loop regarding business development in our region. We need your help sharing the Top Ten. These weekly e-blasts are meant to inform and engage. If someone reads the top ten they are more aware of resources that exist to help businesses. As a community, the more awareness generated the more we grow! Please share this link on your social media or in an email to colleagues. Sign up for the Top Ten with this link https://bit.ly/2iedGXe. Thank you for sharing!
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.
“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”
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.
Rural Business Advisor
Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
Motivated, innovative, and impact-driven professional to boost our entrepreneurship coaching and training efforts in rural North-Central Montana. Work with entrepreneurs, business owners, and stakeholders in the entrepreneurial ecosystem to address some of rural America’s economic challenges. This new position will coach, counsel, and advise existing rural businesses, stimulate startup activity, and deliver meaningful trainings primarily in rural Cascade, Glacier, Teton, Toole, and Pondera counties. Our mission is to stimulate innovation, increase collaboration within the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and deliver impact to employers and innovators. Day-to-day responsibilities will include providing advisory support to business owners, helping them identify and solve the problems that arise in entrepreneurship. Requires excellent communication skills. Prefer five to seven years’ experience in business management, entrepreneurship, finance, marketing, human resources, or related field. Bachelor’s degree required. Salary range $40,000-$50,000 with excellent benefits, professional development, and flexible work environment.EOE. We encourage candidates who live, or would like to live, in one of our wonderful rural communities to apply. Remote work available. 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 star who can create and implement a content-driven workforce recruitment effort for our community and region. Engage our business leaders and residents using Social Toaster and social media, help us use Linked In and other platforms to help our companies attract talent to relocate to Great Falls. 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 Training, 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.