Top Ten 10/29/23

Thank you again for everyone who worked hard to enable the groundbreaking of the Baatz Permanent Supportive Housing development. Great community and state partnering spurred by NeighborWorks Great Falls’ leadership!

1) On to our next critical affordable housing development! Congratulations to Community Preservation Partners for securing federal housing tax credits through the Montana Department of Commerce. The team, in partnership with Neighborworks Great Falls, is embarking on a substantial $4.9 million-dollar renovation of the 60-unit Elmore Roberts building in downtown Great Falls, encompassing energy-efficient and safety enhancements. Additionally, the building features commercial spaces on its ground floor. Read more about is at The Electric. Are you looking for your next downtown Great Falls redevelopment project? Call Christian at 1-406-836-0136 and let’s discuss the tools and resources available to help.

2) “Butcher’s Crossing” premiered at Glacier Cinemas in Cut Bank. The movie, based on the novel by John Williams, was filmed on the Blackfeet Reservation and involved many Blackfeet crew members. It features Nicholas Cage and Paul Raci. See Cut Bank Pioneer Press.

3) “Great Falls is our number one priority for our next project,” says a site selector planning site visits in Great Falls, one of two site visits we are hosting this week for projects in two different industry sectors. Want to know why Great Falls is might be the best place for your next project? Reach out to Jake Clark at or 1-406-403-4937.

4) GFDA’s Loan Committee approved a $100,000 permanent working capital loan to assist expansion of a high mission primary sector manufacturing company. This funding will allow the business to expand their business to include another nationwide retail store contract. GFDA will submit this loan to participate with the Montana State Small Business Initiative (SSBCI 2.0) program. If you have a new or existing Montana business that wants to start, stabilized, pivot, expand or re-start, please reach out to Jill Kohles at 406-590-1056 or to discuss your options.

5) Show your support for the Great Falls Public Safety Levy & Bond by attending a rally in Great Falls on November 1. There are two locations for the rally. We urge you to support the city’s public safety levy and bond. You can pick up signs at the Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce or at GFDA. Follow the Electric City Citizens for Public Safety Facebook’s page for updates and don’t forget to vote!

6) It is widely agreed upon that we are facing a childcare is in crisis across the US and our communities across North Central Montana are no different. Jolene was a presenter on a national panel through the International Economic Development Council discussing economic development strategies to aid in this crisis. We are working as business advisors to help existing home care providers and centers to expand their business models. We are also working with partners to expand non-traditional options for care. On the panel it was clear that employers are also presenting unique solutions that include childcare in their benefits packages. We cannot grow the workforce without child care. To join the discussion call Jolene at 1-406-750-4481.

7) Congratulations to the Great Falls Public Schools Board of Trustees on winning the Golden Gavel Award at the Montana Conference of Education Leadership. This week the Trustees approved applying for creation of an exciting new public charter school; see TheElectric. We were excited to submit a letter of support for the District’s application to the Montana Board of Education.

8) Christian and Lillian met with a business looking to expand and purchase a former gas station building with potential contamination issues. We shared our site research findings that the petroleum-related concerns had been successfully addressed, while also discussing how we can assist with any potential building-related issues. Jill also addressed their inquiries regarding the SBA 504 program and discussed various tools and resources available to support their project. Are you considering a property for expansion or redevelopment but uncertain if it’s a possibility? Reach out to Christian Nichols at

9) Great Falls Hospital has completed the first two phases of its $65 million expansion. The expansion includes completing the north hospital tower featuring a 10-bed ICU unit, an 18-bed inpatient medical and surgical suite, and more. Great Falls Hospital is hosting an open house on October 30. Learn more about Great Falls Hospital in our Announcement of the Week.

10) The Growth Through Agriculture grant pre-application window closed on Monday. Congratulations to all the food & ag businesses who worked with Anna to submit those pre-applications. If you would like to be kept abreast of food, ag and bio processing industry news, events, or resources, or for technical assistance for the USDA Rural Energy for America (REAP) applications or other grant and loan opportunities, connect with Anna at or 1-406-590-1301.

11) Full Circle Health opened in Great Falls; see KRTV. The Rib and Chop House opened and it’s delicious! See KRTV. Signage is up at the second Crooked Tree Coffee location at 4117 2nd Ave. N. The east-end location will feature drive-thru service and inside seating. We can’t wait for a second location to enjoy Crooked Tree pastries and coffees.

12) Our Great Falls Regional APEX Accelerator helped a local small business register in the Montana State Vendor marketplace and they won a contract! These contracts can be a great avenue for business growth, and they provide a steady source of revenue for many companies. If you would like more information on how you can find opportunities to showcase your products and services to all state agencies, contact Shannon Clancy at

13) Fairfield welcomes a brand new childcare center. Congratulations to Theresa Burgmaier on the opening of this new daycare. The Eagles Nest Daycare fills a large childcare void in this community. Childcare is a much needed resource across our region. If you have a childcare idea for your community and need assistance in starting that business please reach out to Tony at or 1-406-750-2099.

14) Downtown leaders reviewed the eight proposals we received for the Downtown Great Falls Market Assessment and Transformation Strategy. We plan to select finalists and schedule video interviews. We anticipate the project will provide us with valuable data to attract more private sector investment downtown and a blueprint for our downtown economic development work.

15) GFDA participates in the Montana State Small Business Initiative (SSBCI 2.0) program that helped provide a lower interest rate on 50% of the funding. We’ve been partnering with local banks and credit unions to put together some creative financing packages for business startups and expansions, but this low-interest money is vrey limited and first come, first serve so contact us today if you have a business startup or expansion planned that could benefit from a SSBCI 2.0 loan participation. Contact Jill at or 1-406-590-1056 or Brett at or 1-406-750-2119.

16) Jolene spoke with the Leadership Great Falls class about our new Great Falls Economic Strategy. We completed the strategy early this year and want to chat about it with as many community groups as possible.. Call, text, or email Jolene to schedule with your group, 1-406-750-4481 or

17) Tyler Menzales started work back on Team GFDA as our new Vice President Strategic Initiatives. Tyler is leading our efforts on seven of the actions in our Economic Development Strategy. Welcome Tyler! You can reach him at 1-406-217-7862 or

18) We were recognized with three Impact Awards from the Montana Economic Developers Association for the cumulative impact of our Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), now rebranded by DOD as an APEX Accelerator, that has helped hundreds of local companies compete for and win government contracts, our Brownfields Program that has helped assess and redevelop dozens of commercial properties, and The Fire Within celebrations and encouragement of outstanding female entrepreneurs.

19) GFDA actively pursues our mission to promote economic growth in North Central Montana through fostering connectivity, community development, business attraction, retention, and outreach efforts. The accountability and support from our investors and public partners are the cornerstones of our work. You can discover who these key stakeholders are and understand the motivations driving their support here. Recent investments include: Advance Division—North 40 Outfitters, Supporter Division—NewFields. These investments contribute to the strengthening of our local economy. To explore our initiatives and support the economic development of our region, reach out to Investment Director Jenn Gallmeier at 1-406-781-9499 or

I’m back on the road this morning flying to Los Angeles to network with housing and commercial developers at the Urban Land Institute fall summit. We’re hungry for more high quality real estate investment in Great Falls and the entire trade area.

Have a prosperous week!

Brett Doney
Great Falls Development Alliance

Curious to see how these projects pencil out?For each of the vision projects we have project analysis that includes Project Descriptions, Cash Flow Projections, and Rent Roll Summaries.