Top 10 – 4/8/19

An example of how we’re blending our business investment marketing of the Great Falls region with the visitor marketing undertaken by Great Falls Tourism. We used this graphic as the cover of a lead response this week. Check out Great Falls Tourism’s Top 27 things to do in Great Falls in April.

GFDA Top 10

Here is our Top 20 for this week, celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy. Watch for our Quarter Index coming soon.

1) Congratulations to David and Zachary Kelman on opening Great Falls Coins & More downtown at 508 1st Avenue North. See Great Falls Tribune. Brandon Cartwright, Joe Anderegg and Trever Ziegler have scheduled the grand opening of Elevation 3300 on April 12th. The new downtown public house is in the second story of Four Ten Central (the historic Strain Building). See

2) Networked with economic developers, and business and community leaders, at the Alberta Economic Development annual conference in Banff. Enjoyed three speaking opportunities to talk about Montana. Thank you to Great Falls Tourism for putting together a gift basket for their silent auction!

3) Pardue Grain was featured in a great article by the Cut Bank Pioneer Press. OutdoorsNW ran a bicycling article about Great Falls, “Raging Rivers, Raging Rides, Dam-Great Views.”

4) Fourteen entrepreneurs from across Montana participated in our fourth webinar of 2019, Reach Customers Online with Google. To view any of the 16 webinars GFDA has produced over the last three years, click here. Up next on the GFDA Business Education Calendar is The LaunchPoint: A Pre-Business Workshop on Wednesday, April 17th from 4-5pm. This workshop walks through best practices and primary elements of business ownership for entrepreneurs in the planning or early stages. To attend, please reserve your seat here.

5) It’s time to move forward with improvements to the Gore Hill – Interstate 15 intersection! Make your voice heard at a public open house being held by the Montana Department of Transportation from 4-7 PM on April 25 at Crystal Inn Hotel and Suites. See for details.

6) The Great Falls Tribune ran a wonderful story about this year’s The Fire Within event.

7) Congratulations to Great Falls Public Schools for its outstanding commitment to music education with a Best Communities for Music Education designation for the 8th year in a row! GFPS joins 623 districts across the country in receiving the prestigious distinction in 2019 from the NAMM Foundation.

8) The owners of Hybrid Steel Design in Geraldine, a new GFDA investor, attended a private session of our cash flow and profitability workshop, Profit Mastery. Ashley Clark, Chief Financial Officer at Hybrid Steel Design, says of Profit Mastery: “This course will be an invaluable tool to help us understand our cost structure, allowing us to have a more efficient cash flow and understanding of our future growth.” The next public session of Profit Mastery is April 24-25. Cost of the two-day course is $145. It’s open to entrepreneurs, business advisors, economic development professionals, accountants, and lenders.

9) Downtown Great Falls is getting national recognition. Joan Redeen of the Business Improvement District and Kellie Pierce of the Downtown Great Falls Association gave a presentation on downtown outdoor dining (pedlet) efforts at the National Main Street conference in Seattle. Nice work!

10) The Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, part of the US Treasury, released their Notice of Funds Availability this week. GFDA has been successful at obtaining grants from the CDFI fund in the past, having won four financial assistance awards since 2012, including awards in each of the last two years. We are currently in the process of writing a grant application for this year’s award and every dollar of local investment we receive increases the amount of grant funding we can request. If you would like to make an investment in GFDA, now is the time to act. Please contact Teresa Schreiner at 406-781-9499 or to make your investment today!

11) Event Marketing Grants are now available from the Montana Department of Commerce. If you have ever wanted to start a River Fest, Heritage Festival, Mural Festival, Dam Triathlon, Multi-Day Music Festival, Endurance Race, Makers Festival or any other large scale event – now is the time!

12) We are partnering with Livability Media in an opportunity to reach 11 million digitally, social media promotions, print magazine distribution, digital version of magazine to share in email/link/social media. This is part of our digital market efforts to promote Great Falls as a great location to live and work, building on the Great Falls Area Chamber’s efforts. Rachel Preston is working here on behalf of Livability Media to offer GFDA Investors the chance to take part in this talent attraction advertising opportunity. You can reach her at

13) The U.S. House passed a bill to federally recognize the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians. Hopefully, this time our Montana Congressional delegation can get it all the way through! See KRTV.

14) We are constantly pitching our region to companies, developers, entrepreneurs, media, prospective talent, and residents. We are proud of our history as a former copper smelting town that harvested the power of the Missouri River to drive early development. Today we are home to a leading Alzheimer’s research facility, a growing medical hub, and entrepreneurs pushing the bounds of what it means to live and work in Rural America. North Central Montana’s forward leaning push welcoming innovation is where doers can untame their entrepreneurial spirit. Help us share this powerful message. Please share the Top Ten through your LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter! Each week we post it on our new website check it out.

15) Great Falls Original Farmers Market is holding a Spring Craft Fair on Saturday, April 13 in the Mansfield Convention Center.

16) Hosted our first Development Coffee in our new space this week. Wonderful conversation and in case you missed it- mark your calendar for next month, May 3rd at the GFDA office at 7 AM.

17) Does your business hold a government contract? Do you know what your requirements are for cybersecurity? Does that word confusion or concern you?  Then your business may be interested in the following Cybersecurity Workshop. Northrop Grumman, in collaboration with the USC Center for Economic Development, is offering free cybersecurity training to small businesses through an Air Force Small Business Office Mentor Protégé Program. This workshop is open to all small businesses. Advance registration is required. The workshop will be held Tuesday, July 2, 2019 from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM in Bozeman. Here is the link to register. If you have any questions, contact Lillian Sunwall at or call (406) 750-1253.

18) U.S. Customs and Border protection is holding Global Entry Enrollment workshops in Great Falls. See press release for more info.

19) Thanks to this week’s Investors in Economic Development, K&K Trucking and Liberty Electric for your Community Division investments. Your investments allow us to continue economic growth and spur diversification in our thirteen area trade economy. We know that your investment translates into an economic multiplier of enhancing projects for riverfront and downtown revitalization, entrepreneurial assistance, and business development. As we say, great things continue to happen through sweat equity but we are nowhere near satisfied; so let’s continue to Grow Great Falls! For more information about investment, contact Teresa Schreiner at 406.781.9499.

20) The Great Falls Children’s Museum is seeking public comment immediately on their new building. They want to hear from the community how the new facility can best serve the community, their families and our state. The meeting is scheduled for April 16th at 5:30 PM at the museum. They are accepting comments by mail and email up until May 15, 2019. For any questions or concerns please call 406-452-6661or email to


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.

“Ambition is the path to success. Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in.”

Bill Bradley

Great Career Opportunities

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.


The Great Falls Youth Job Fair will be held on Wednesday, April 17, 3:00-6:00 PM at the Paris Gibson Education Center. For more info, contact Becky Nelson at

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.