Top 10 – 12/1/19

One of the infill development visions for downtown Great Falls we’re putting together with the Downtown Development Partnership and our consultants LPW Architecture and AE2S Communications.

GFDA Top 10

Here is our Top 12 for this week, celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy.

1) Congratulations to Beehive Homes  on its remodel and reopening of an assisted living facility in Cut Bank; see Cut Bank Pioneer Press for details. Congratulations to Shelby Safari, an interactive place for kids to play that opened in downtown Shelby.

2) Held our first Gather Round event for family and friends visiting their hometown for Thanksgiving. Thank you to everyone for making it a memorable evening, including the great team at Elevation 3300! There are fantastic career opportunities here in Great Falls. Be sure to talk up our next Get Back to Great Falls Event to your family and friends that will be coming back to visit for the holidays! Hold the evening of December 26 from 6:30-8:30 PM.

3) The Cascade County Commission signed an agreement with the Department of Defense for the upgrade of 42 miles of county roads which DOD will pay for; see Great Falls Tribune for details.

4) Start Your Side Hustle is the topic of our monthly webinar this Thursday, December 5 at 11:00 AM. The webinar will address turning a hobby or passion into a side business, including a lean approach to business planning and innovating to solve your customers’ real world problems. Free registration and details here.

5) Two major aviation events will be held in Great Falls next year, a statewide meeting of airline executives to consider new flights and the Montana Department of Transportation’s aviation conference; see for details.

6) We’re offering Profit Mastery, our unique two-day cash flow and profitability workshop for entrepreneurs, on December 6th and December 18th. For more information or to register to attend click here.

7) GFDA investors and interested business and real estate leaders are invited to join us for our monthly Development Coffee this Friday, December 6, 7:00 AM at NeighborWorks Great Falls.

8) Last chance to register for the Montana SBIR/STTR Innovation Summit being offered by the Montana Innovation Partnership on December 11th in Bozeman. More info and registration here.

9) Our second Triangle Pitch Night has been set for Thursday, December 19th, 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, join us! For more information, contact Barnett at or visit to help spread the word.

10) Mark your calendars for Great Falls Ignite 2020, sponsored by PayneWest Insurance. Our annual high energy, kick-off the new year event will be held on January 10th, 7:30-10:30 AM, at Meadow Lark Country Club. Ignite allows developers, entrepreneurs and businesses throughout the Golden Triangle to publicly showcase their plans for new real estate projects, business startups and major business expansions planned in 2020. If you haven’t scheduled your five minute project announcement or showcase of an already announced project, contact Nathan Reiff at or 406.403.4937.

11) We are pleased to announce that we have hired Sarah Weaver as our new Lending Operations Specialist! Sarah grew up in Spokane and earned an Associates of Arts from Spokane Falls Community College and a BA double major in Finance and Economics from Eastern Washington University. Sarah brings considerable experience in business ownership and management to our team, as well as real estate construction and transactions. Sarah is relocating to Great Falls and starts work tomorrow! Thank you to the 91 excellent candidates who applied for the position. We hired our first talent Attraction Director this week and will announce who that is in next week’s Top 10. We are still interviewing for our new Downtown Business Development Officer position created through a partnership between the Great Falls Business Improvement District and GFDA; see position description below.

12) GFDA committed $2,000 to help fund an analysis of Montana’s Next Generation of Community and Economic Development Tools being commissioned by the Montana Economic Developers Association and the Montana Chamber Foundation.

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.

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.

“If you’ve got an idea, start today. There’s no better time than now to get going. That doesn’t mean quit your job and jump into your idea 100% from day one, but there’s always small progress that can be made to start the movement.”
Kevin Systrom


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.