Top 10 – 11/26/19

Rendering of the new showcase section of the River’s Edge Trail along the downtown Missouri River front that was approved by the Great Falls City Commission.

GFDA Top 10

Here is our Top 18 for last week, celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy. What an amazing week for Great Falls!

1) Congratulations to the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base on winning the Blanchard Trophy for best ICBM Missile Wing in America and, dare I say, the world!! The Great Falls based team also brought home another 10 awards. See for details.

2) The Great Falls Downtown Development Partnership hosted the unveiling of redevelopment visions for three targeted downtown half blocks, developed by LPW Architecture and AE2S Communications. Thank you to the Montana Main Street Program at the Montana Department of Commerce for funding the effort and for the gazillions of community members who have helped! See the Great Falls Tribune, KFBB and for details, and stay tuned when we publish the visions online.

3) Great Falls Public Schools and education supporters across the community celebrated the topping out of the new Longfellow Elementary School, part of $98 million in improvements of our local schools. See Tribune for details.

4) Kids coming home for Thanksgiving? Help us lure them back and tell them to Gather Round Great Falls! This casual networking event encourages our Great Falls expats to take a second look at their hometown and connect with local businesses that have current career opportunities. The event will take place at Elevation 3330 from 6:30-8:30 PM tomorrow night, Wednesday, November 27th (Thanksgiving Eve). For the best experience, we recommend an RSVP – it’s quick and simple and can be done HERE.

5) The University of Providence won a $441,357 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to install a distance learning system to deliver advanced classes for nurses and nursing students at its Lewistown campus. See KFBB for details.

6) We welcomed 10 participants in our monthly pre-business workshop, The LaunchPoint. Half participated from other parts of the state over the internet. Only four events remain on our 2019 Business Education Calendar. We’ve just added a new training event in December. Profit Mastery is our cash flow and profitability workshop for entrepreneurs. Save the dates of December 6th and December 18th for this two day workshop. For more information or to register to attend click here.

7) The Great Falls City Commission approved moving forward with a new showpiece downtown section of the River’s Edge Trail along the Missouri River. See details on KRTV, Tribune and

8) Asbestos, leaking fuel tanks, or other environmentally sensitive issues can really put a stop to a building purchase or potential development project.  GFDA has a great solution for entrepreneurs or developers who run across these daunting issues. With our Brownfield Loan Fund, we can provide funding for as low at 3% interest to remove the contamination and help bring the project to fruition. If you have a project or building that you would like to discuss, please contact Jill Kohles at or 406-590-1056.

9) A new unique business opened in downtown Great Falls, Rage Rooms of Montana. Check it out on KRTV.

10) After a successful launch of Triangle Pitch Night at Cut Bank Creek Brewery in October, our second Triangle Pitch Night has been set for Thursday, December 19th at 6 PM at the Coyote Club in Shelby. Triangle Pitch Night is designed to give Golden Triangle dreamers, thinkers, makers, innovators, entrepreneurs, and community members the space to share ideas, pitch crazy stuff, and meet like-minded peeps. If you have a business idea, want to meet other entrepreneurial-minded people, want to hear ideas and see how you can be part of something, network with does, or just sit back and have a good time, come participate in the second Triangle PITCH NIGHT on December 19th at 6 pm at the Coyote Club in Shelby. For more information contact Barnett at or visit to help spread the word.

11) Montana was ranked the 8th Best State for the middle class by SmartAsset. Montana was ranked the 5th Smartest State by SafeHome, see Tribune.

12) GFDA won a competitive $650,000 grant from the Community Development Financial Institution Fund of the U.S. Treasury! This award will enable us to continue to expand our loan capital to meet the gap and bridge financing needs of entrepreneurs, established businesses, developers and nonprofits across the Golden Triangle. THANK YOU to GFDA Investors who provided the 1:1 match to make this possible!!

13) There are 10 seats left for the Montana SBIR/STTR Innovation Summit being offered by the Montana Innovation Partnership on December 11 in Bozeman. More info and registration here.

14) Jolene finished the final course of the National Development Council’s Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) certification.

15) We are proud to announce that GFDA has signed on to the Risk Management Association‘s new Principles of Ethical Conduct for lending practices.

16) GFDA is excited to announce PayneWest Insurance as our exclusive sponsor of Ignite 2020, Great Falls’ high energy, premier event on January 10th from 7:30-10:30 AM at the Meadow Lark Country Club. Ignite allows all developers, entrepreneurs and businesses to ‘lift the curtain’ and publicly showcase their capital improvement projects before the regional Great Falls community. If you haven’t scheduled your project announcement, there’s still time! Contact Nathan Reiff at or 406.403.4937.

17) Met with Brent Donnelly SBA Deputy District Director and Shelby city officials to discuss Opportunity Zone investments in Shelby and Toole County.

18) Thank you to this week’s Investors in Economic Development, Benefis Health System, for their investment at the Executive Division, Jerry Hood & GPD Consulting Engineers for their Pacesetter Division investments, Hybrid Steel Design, KLJ and Grabofsky, Van Heel & Funderburk for their Community Division investments, and Morrison-Maierle, for their Supporter Division investment. Your investments provide our team, and our region, the resources we need to attain a vibrant and healthy economy. To continue to grow the Golden Triangle, contact or 406.781.9499.

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.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Brett Doney
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.

“Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.”
Dwight Eisenhower


GFDA Career Opportunity

GFDA has a great new career opening. We are on Equal Opportunity Employer and encourage everyone interested to apply! See description below or download all our position opening and help us spread the word!

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, Open until we find a great candidate.


November SBA 504 Loan Rates

The 25-year loan effective rate came in at 3.74%; 20-year at 3.679%; 20-year refinance at 3.681%; and, 10-year equipment 3.852%. 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

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


Events, Business Training, and Opportunities

2019 GFDA Business Education Calendar

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

The Montana Manufacturing Extension Center is offering a PCQI Preventive Controls for Human Food Course, December 10-12 in Bozeman. The course will explain the regulatory requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). For more info and to register, click here.

The Montana Department of Commerce is accepting applications for it’s State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) grants. This program reimburses for trade show expenses and travel stipends to attend and exhibit at international trade shows. For more information visit the ExportMontana website at

The Montana Innovation Partnership is offering trainings later this month on Market Research for Early Stage Technologies and on Writing Winning SBIR/STTR Proposals. See 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.