Top 10 – 4/28/19

Congratulations to David Oien and the Timeless Seeds team, which has grown to 18 employees, on installation of a 50KW solar system! See Great Falls Tribune for details.

GFDA Top 10

Here is our Top 15 for this week, celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy.

1) We closed a loan to Vernon’s Quality Carpentry for $131,211 to help them fulfill the carpentry contracts they’ve won across the state. There are a ton of local, state and federal programs designed to help small businesses borrow money with low down payments, and occasionally cheap interest rates. All of the programs come with their own set of rules and requirements and it can be overwhelming trying to figure out what is the best deal, and makes the most sense for your business. If you need help navigating these programs, please contact Mike Archer at 406-284-1789 or to find out how you can take advantage of these programs to get the money you need to start, grow and expand your company.

2) MDT presented preliminary plans for Gore Hill I-15 interchange improvements. See for details on this long overdue project. Let’s get it done! Infrastructure has faired well in the Montana Legislative session, including funding for a number of important rural projects in our region. See article in the Cut Bank Pioneer Press for details on few of these projects.

3) Join us as we celebrate our own Raegan Breeden, owner of Play N Learn Academy, along with many other exemplary small business owners at the Montana Small Business Administration Awards this Thursday, May 2nd at the Meadow Lark Country ClubReserve your spot today by clicking HERE. Thank you to our Premier Sponsor Northwestern Energy and Supporting Sponsor Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana for making this event possible.

4) The Cascade County Commission approved funding to do additional planning on the Montana ExpoPark grounds, following up on the events center study done in conjunction with Great Falls Tourism. See for story.

5) “Before taking any further steps on your business, I recommend above all taking this financial course,” Christian Stone, owner of Golden Rule Real Estate, LLC. in Great Falls said of our Profit Mastery: Creating Value and Building Wealth class.“Your business success depends on it.” Christian was one of four entrepreneurs to participate in Profit Mastery on April 24-25.

6) GFDA’s Business Education Calendar is busy the week of April 29th. In partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration, we will be hosting a lender training event on May 1-2. This lender training is designed for commercial bankers, economic developers, and business advisors. Register here. Our next webinar, Creative Labor Solutions, is May 2nd. Also on May 2nd, we are partnering with Export Montana and the Great Falls Chamber of Commerce to host Export 101 designed for current exporters and businesses considering revenue diversification and growth strategies. Contact Jason with questions about any of our training events;

7) Congratulations to Jim Meinert on being named Person of the Year by the History Museum of Great Falls! See story in Great Falls Tribune. The Montana Legislature approved a bill allowing for construction of a new Montana Heritage Center in Helena that will be another great day trip for visitors staying in Great Falls.

8) Lillian attended the EPA Brownfields Region 8 meeting and training conference where she spoke on a panel discussing “Advanced Topics in Grant Administration”. Talked with a potential Brownfields client about different ways to move their project towards redevelopment. To learn more about GFDA’s assessment and cleanup tools, contact Lillian Sunwall at (406)750-1253 or

9) Congratulations to the CMR High School students on having their newspaper, The Stampede, named best in the state! See KRTV for details.

10) We have engaged the company Livability to publish a paper and online magazine to showcase Great Falls for people considering relocating here. This will be a tool employers can use to boost your recruitment efforts. Livability stories frequently show up in news feeds and the exposure will be fantastic! The Top 100 Places to Live, the Top Affordable Communities, the Top Communities for People that Love the Outdoors, and more. This relocation publication can be used by all of us as we are speaking with companies and potential employees from outside the region. The publication is paid for through a limited number of advertising opportunities. If you are interesting in learning more, call Rachel Preston, Livability Media, at 1-615-850-0304.

11) Montana attracted 12.4 million out-of-state visitors in 2018 who contributed over $3.8 billion to Montana’s economy, according to a report issued by the University of Montana’s Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research. Click here for details.

12) We have two spaces remaining for our booth at the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) annual Food Expo in June. This is a great show for ingredient processors and companies in the food supply chain. If you are interested in learning more, contact Jolene at 406.750.4481 or

13) Housing is a critical component of our economic development strategy to grow and diversify the Great Falls regional economy while creating higher wage career opportunities. The Homebuilders Association of Great Falls is hosting David Logan, Lead Economist  for the National Association of Home Builders, for a discussion of the impact of housing on Great Falls, a report titled Brick by Brick. Be sure to get this on your calendar for May 6 from 3-5 PM in The Portage Building at West Bank Landing, 405 3rd St NW – second floor across from GFDA.

14) We are setting appointments with developers, commercial brokers, retailers, and restaurants for the annual RECON event in Las Vegas. This is an opportunity to tell the Great Falls story beyond the numbers. If you’re interested in discussing, contact Jolene at 406.750.4481 or

15) The Mighty Mo Brewing team has gained certification as official beer servers! See details on KRTV. The new Ace Hardware store on 10th Avenue South is looking great!

16) Join investors and potential investors next Friday, May 3rd at 7 AM for Development Coffee as we discuss new projects happening in our region. Come check out our new office space in The Portage Building at West Bank Landing, 405 3rd St NW, Great Falls. If you are interested in hosting Development Coffee next year, contact Teresa Schreiner at 406.781.9499 or

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.

Stay warm at the Ice Breaker!


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.

“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.”

John D. Rockefeller

Great Career Opportunity

The Montana Manufacturing Extension Center is looking for a Manufacturing Business Advisor to be based in Great Falls, working out of GFDA’s new office in West Bank Landing. See posting here.

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

Great Falls Events Weekly Email

Are you bored? There is always something to do in Great Falls! Check out this week’s listing of things going on and get ready to experience our community. Want the list emailed directly to you? Sign-up to get this weekly event notice. Thank you Great Falls Tourism for putting this together!

Events, Business Training & Opportunities

2019 GFDA Business Education Calendar

The Downtown Great Falls Association published an exciting Calendar of Events for 2019.

The Montana Manufacturing Extension Center offers a great array of workshops and trainings for all sizes of manufacturing companies.

SAVE THE DATE! Discover new opportunities for your business! The MT PTAC has invited over 25 federal, state, and local government agencies to participate in a matchmaking event on May 29th in Billings. The event is designed to facilitate introductions between business owners and government buyers with the intention of possibly doing business together in the future. Business owners will be able to visit with the various government buyers to discuss what products or services they provide, learn more about how the different agencies do business and find out about upcoming projects. If you are interested in seeing what government opportunities may be out there for your business, contact Lillian Sunwall at or register for GovMatch 2019! To learn more or receive assistance with preparing your business for the event give Lillian a call (406) 750-1253 to set up an appointment.