Top 10 – 8/25/19

Congratulations to the artists and organizers of the first ArtsFest Montana Great Falls for creating an amazing array of new murals downtown!

See KRTV and

GFDA Top 10

Here is our Top 9 for this week, celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy. We’re taking some big steps forward to take our economic development work to the next level with the goal of increasing impact in Great Falls and across our 13-county trade area.

1) The Great Falls Montana MSA (Cascade County) recorded its lowest level July unemployment rate last month at 2.8%, according to data released by the Montana Department of Labor.

2) We are launching a digital content talent attraction marketing effort to complement the Livability Media project. In a few days, we will be posting a position for Talent Attraction Director to lead this effort as part of our business development team. Thank you to our local investor support for making this possible.

3) We are expanding our Small Business Development Center team to increase business coaching and training in the rural communities of our vast trade area. In a few days, we will be posting a position for a Small Business Coach. We would love to have candidates who live, or would like to live, in one of the wonderful rural communities in Cascade, Glacier, Pondera, Teton or Toole counties. Thank you to the Montana Department of Commerce and our local investors for making this possible.

4) The downtown Great Falls Econo Lodge has been purchased by one of our clients and rebranded as a Travelodge by Wyndham property. Stay tuned for exciting developments.

5) The National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) has honored us with two Impact Awards, one for the first two years of our Great Falls Region Food & Ag Development Center and the other for our Bridge Loans. GFDA is the only economic development organization in the Rocky Mountain West to be recognized with NADO Impact Awards this year.

6) Ft. Benton is getting a new microbrewery, the Golden Triangle Brew Company; see the Great Falls Tribune. I can’t wait to try their brews!

7) The State of Montana Procurement Bureau along with MT DOT will be presenting a workshop on “How to Contract with the State of Montana.” This training will be held September 12th at 9:00 AM to noon at GFDA. For more information contact Lillian Sunwall at or Shannon Clancy at

8) We renewed our sponsorship of the Montana Associated Technology Roundtables web site and newsletter at If you don’t get this newsletter, you’re missing out on a great resource for leading edge technology, business, and economic development news and ideas.

9) Thanks to this week’s Investors in Economic Development, Mitchell Development & Investments, LLC, for their Advanced Division investment, Church, Harris, Johnson & Williams for their Leadership Division investment, Loucks & Glassley for their Pacesetter Division investment and Marshall Orthodontics, for their Community Division investment. Investment allows our team to achieve the GFDA mission of growing and diversifying the Great Falls regional economy, creating higher wage opportunities and improving market competitiveness throughout the Golden Triangle. As such, growth in this community is not possible without champions that are engaged in its success. If you would like to have a conversation about how you can be further engaged, 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.

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.


“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other.”

Walter Elliot

GFDA Job Openings

Commercial Loan Processor and Operations Assistant —

Economic Development — 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 $35,000-40,000 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.

Business Development Officer – 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 meet with existing businesses to identify needs, coordinate business development trips and events, and provide overall aid in our business development efforts. Involves coordination, event planning and management, market research, cold-calling, networking, relationship building, project management, advocacy, 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.


SBA 504 Loans

SBA 504 rates came in at insanely low levels in August. The 25-year note came in at 3.626%; 20-year at 3.526%; and, 20-year refinance at 3.559%. There was no 10-year equipment debenture sale this month but July’s sale came in at 3.922%. 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


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 Great Falls Tourism Business Improvement District is offering a major grant opportunity of up to $100,000 to spur creation of a new multi-day events that will attract visitors to the city during the non-summer September through mid-June season. New events are events that have not previously been and are not currently being held in Great Falls. Proposals submitted shall comply with the instructions and procedures outlined in the detailed Application Instructions available to download at Apply by submitting a proposal electronically in PDF format to by 5:00 PM on September 30.

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 Montana Department of Commerce’s Film Office is offering powerful new incentives to promote filming and production in Montana. Click here for details.