Four companies have bought lots in the Great Falls AgriTech Park and three of these have opened new facilities. We can provide rail-served heavy industrial lots with all utilities ranging in size from 7-300+ acres in this BNSF-certified Premier Park.
GFDA Top 10
Here is our Top 17 for this week, celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy.
1) The Great Falls City Commission approved the zoning and annexation of the Love’s Travel Stop location, a $12 million project that will include up to two fast food options and employ 30-40 people.
2) During our fiscal year that ended June 30th, GFDA undertook 18 out-of-state business development trips, provided free coaching to 224 would be entrepreneurs and existing businesses, offered 40 business trainings with 434 participants, and closed 16 gap and bridge loans totaling $6,413,751 that leveraged an additional $15,896,915 in private capital. We approved 3 loans totaling $821,558 that will close in our current fiscal year leveraging an additional $1,610,309, funded 8 brownfield assessments for potential downtown and riverfront redevelopment projects, and launched our new web site www.GrowGreatFallsMontana.org. Here is our two-page GFDA FY 2019 Highlights.
4) Developers are proposing to move forward with an $18 million mixed-use redevelopment of the riverfront Buffalo Crossing property and True Brew plans to open a second Great Falls location, see TheElectricGF.com. Learn more about the new downtown Let’s Play Games and Toys, see Great Falls Tribune. A new dance studio has opened in Great Falls, MT Elite All Star Dance Studio, see KRTV.
5) The next two events on the GFDA Business Education Calendar are The LaunchPoint: A Pre-Business Workshop on Tuesday, September 10th from 4-5 PM and How to Do Business with the State of Montana on Thursday, September 12th from 9 AM-12 noon. Space is limited to these events. Register for The LaunchPoint here. Register for How to Do Business with the State of Montana here.
6) Interested in seeing more great development and new businesses in downtown Great Falls? Hold the date for a special Downtown Block Visioning Charrette the evening of Wednesday, October 2, 5:30-7:30 PM in the Missouri Room of the Civic Center. Developers, entrepreneurs, businesses, residents, shoppers, eaters, drinkers….. EVERYBODY is welcome. Pizza will be served! More details coming soon.
8) We hosted a transload operator who visited to tour the Great Falls AgriTech Park.
10) Ten entrepreneurs and advisors to business participated in our September webinar, Rethinking Innovation in Montana. Our Food and Ag Center director, Barnett Sporkin-Morrison challenged participants to redefine their idea of innovation in order to apply it to businesses of all types and in all locations. All of our recorded webinars can be viewed here. To discuss this topic further, contact Barnett at Barnett@GrowGreatFalls.org.
11) Everyone interested in growing our tourism industry and boosting histories and cultural attributes of the region are encouraged to attend a public meeting about the efforts to create Montana’s first National Heritage Area, this Thursday, September 12, 6:00-8:00 PM at the Belt Performing Arts Center, 58 Castner Street, Belt. Light refreshments will be served. See more info at Great Falls Tribune.
12) GFDA was accepted into the membership of the Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), the nation’s largest Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) trade association. GFDA is the third CDFI to be accepted into OFN’s membership.
13) The Montana Downtown Conference will be held October 23-25 in Missoula. This is always a great conference with lots of idea sharing. More info here.
14) Jason attended the Association of Small Business Development Centers professional development conference in Long Beach, California along with 1,500 other business advisors from around the U.S. He attended trainings on best practices in software as a service to make businesses more efficient, human resource management, selling products on Amazon, business challenges in rural areas, the challenges women continue to face in the workplace and as entrepreneurs, resources available to food and agriculture producers and processors, and the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. He started the certification process in our newest business planning resource available to clients – LivePlan. If you’re interested in learning more about any of these topics, contact Jason at JNitschke@GrowGreatFalls.org.
16) We are growing! The Great Falls Development Authority (GFDA) is adding four new positions to expand our team, including Business Development Officer, Commercial Loan Processor and Operations Assistant, Rural SBDC Business Advisor, and Talent Attraction Director. See descriptions below or download here.
17) Thanks to this week’s Investors in Economic Development, including Cascade County, for their Premier Division Investment and Energy West for their Advanced Division Investment. Your investments assist in the ways in which we are able to bring everyone together for one mission: robust, resilient and healthy economic growth. We cannot do it alone and we need your support to be successful. So let’s keep working together. If you have questions about investment, contact Teresa Schreiner, Investment Director at 406.781.9449.
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.
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.
“There are no great limits to growth because there are no limits to human intelligence, imagination, and wonder.”
GFDA Job Openings
Business Development Officer
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, BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. Open until we find a great candidate.
Commercial Loan Processor and Operations Assistant
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 $35,000-45,000 with excellent benefits, professional development, growth opportunities, and flexible work environment. EOE. Cover letter and resume to Brett Doney, President, BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. Open until we find a great candidate.
Rural Business Advisor
Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
Motivated, innovative, and impact-driven professional to boost our entrepreneurship coaching and training efforts in rural North-Central Montana. Work with entrepreneurs, business owners, and stakeholders in the entrepreneurial ecosystem to address some of rural America’s economic challenges. This new position will coach, counsel, and advise existing rural businesses, stimulate startup activity, and deliver meaningful trainings primarily in rural Cascade, Glacier, Teton, Toole, and Pondera counties. Our mission is to stimulate innovation, increase collaboration within the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and deliver impact to employers and innovators. Day-to-day responsibilities will include providing advisory support to business owners, helping them identify and solve the problems that arise in entrepreneurship. Requires excellent communication skills. Prefer five to seven years’ experience in business management, entrepreneurship, finance, marketing, human resources, or related field. Bachelor’s degree required. Salary range $40,000-$50,000 with excellent benefits, professional development, and flexible work environment.EOE. We encourage candidates who live, or would like to live, in one of our wonderful rural communities to apply. Remote work available. Cover letter and resume to Brett Doney, President, BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. Open until we find a great candidate.
Talent Attraction Director
Digital Content Marketing
Dynamic, self-motivated professional sought to join our passionate, creative, fast-paced, results-driven economic development team. We are looking for an experienced digital marketing star who can create and implement a content-driven workforce recruitment effort for our community and region. Engage our business leaders and residents using Social Toaster and social media, help us use Linked In and other platforms to help our companies attract talent to relocate to Great Falls. 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 $35,000-45,000 with excellent benefits, professional development, growth opportunities, and flexible work environment. EOE. Cover letter and resume to Brett Doney, President, BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. 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 JKohles@GrowGreatFalls.org.
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 JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org
Events, Business Training & Opportunities
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 www.VisitGreatFallsMontana.org/Opportunities. Apply by submitting a proposal electronically in PDF format to Rebecca@VisitGreatFalls.org by 5:00 PM on September 30.
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.