Top Ten 4/30/23

We need to shoot new photos because Calumet Specialty Products announced this week that Montana Renewables’ sustainable jet fuel production line is fully operational! Congratulations to everyone involved in successful completion of Montana’s largest value-added agriculture project in state history! Montana Renewables is now the largest sustainable aviation fuel producer in North America! We are so proud and grateful to have you in Great Falls Montana!

GFDA’s Top 10

Here is our Top 23 for this week celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy — Montana’s Golden Triangle. And, sharing business resources and skill-building opportunities to empower your success.

1) The Great Falls Public Schools Foundation received an anonymous $1 million gift for the renovation of the auditorium at C.M. Russell High School; see TheElectric and KRTV. Whoever you are, thank you! Great Falls Public Schools are holding open houses this Monday, May 1 to celebrate completion of the $98 million in bonds for school facility improvements across the district; 5;30 PM at CMR and 7:00 PM at GFHS; see TheElectric. GFDA is proud to have supported these critical improvements.

2) The ATHENA Committee of the Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce announced that Becky Nelson, Community Connections Manager for Great Falls Public Schools, is being recognized with the 2022 ATHENA Award! Congratulations Becky! Well deserved for your passion and hard work on behalf of Great Falls students!

3) Select Great Falls Montana as your US location! That was the theme of our annual Select USA Spin Off Summit this week. This was the third year we were able to secure a US Select USA Spin Off event, the only one for Montana. This year we featured Tips US Business Banking with Erin Townsend, Bravera Bank; Legal Considerations 101, with Ron Nelson, Front Range Law; Small Business Start Up Tips with Rich Gannon, GFDA Small Business Advisor; and Why Montana is the Best Place to Open a Business, Frederick Van Den Abbeel, State of Montana. To see past Spin Off Summit content, click here.

4) Pasta Montana is expanding their short goods line. have you tried the best pasta in the world made in Great Falls Montana with durum wheat grown in North Central Montana? Special opportunity with a one day case sale at Pasta Montana this Tuesday, May 2, 2:00-6:00 PM; CASH ONLY; 20 pound case $20 (cavatappi, radiatore, gobetti, large ridged elbows, whole grain elbows, and whole grain rotini); 30 pound spaghetti case $30; egg noodles 10 pound case $20 (two case limit). Drive through sale.

5) Save the Date for our Talent Attraction Reception – The 2023 Great Falls Livability magazine is hot off the press! We will release the newest edition at a Talent Attraction reception on May 10 at Independence Bank in Great Falls from 4:30-6:30 PM. At the reception we will have team members to help recruiters produce short videos to use in recruitment efforts. This is an opportunity to tell your company’s story and highlight some open positions to be featured on social media in our talent attraction campaigns. Contact or at (406) 590-1539 to learn more about our talent attraction tools and resources.

6) Mountain View Coop opened its new location in Black Eagle; see KRTVKDS Fiber announced a new Fiber Optic Network expansion project that will reach almost 500 additional rural homes and businesses south of Dick Road just outside Great Falls; see press release. Chelsea Frehse opened Mama Tried and True clothing store in downtown Lewistown; see Lewistown News-Argus.

7) Katesha went to Billings for the Montana Meat Processors Association annual convention to share the opportunity for businesses to apply for funds that can be used to upgrade, expand, or purchase land or equipment for their processing operations. Are you a Meat Processor wanting to GROW? Get in contact with Katesha, 406.788.0860 or for more information.

8) MDT’s Small Business Enterprise Program is holding a free Highway Construction Bidding & Estimating Workshop and Small Business Office Hours; May 11 Helena, May 18 Bozeman; May 25 Missoula; see

9) Scollin Design is a home staging business in Great Falls. Owner Katie Scollin began as a realtor and has a keen ability to see the potential in homes, and the importance of staging to increase a home’s value. Katie Scollin is also a Fire Within Award winner. Learn more in our Announcement of the Week.

10) Networked with businesses at the Governor’s Montana Tourism Conference in Helena and continued to share information with area legislators on several key issues affecting Montana’s economic development competitiveness.

11) Jake will be presenting on opportunities in the Great Falls housing market to potential developers on Thursday, May 11 hosted by the Urban Land Institute. Register to attend the free webinar here.

12) Are you looking for Food and Alcohol safety training and certifications? The Montana Manufacturing Extension Center (MMEC) offers Safe Serve certification for the restaurant industry and those food vendors planning to scale up their operations. For more information click here or contact Katesha at 406.788.0860 or

13) With a population of about 81,663, Great Falls metro is just the right size – big enough to offer options in career and entertainment, yet small enough to feel like a tight-knit community. Check out these eight great reasons why making a move to Great Falls may be the right choice for you.

14) Have you been thinking about moving your business Downtown? We have a handful of buildings for sale from small to large, or if you prefer to lease, we have that too! We have tools to help purchase buildings as well. If you’ve been interested in Downtown Great Falls, call Christian at 406.836.0136

15) Are you in the Havre or Box Elder area? The Hill County Community Health Needs Assessment needs your quick survey response as they build their plan. Please forward to everyone you know in Hill County!

16) Congratulations to NeighborWorks Great Falls on an impactful annual meeting! In FY22, NeighborWorks efforts built or renovated 13 homes, helped 108 first time homebuyers, had 272 homebuyer education graduates, enrolled 367 neighbors in financial coaching, and much more.

17) Presented a national Food Systems Finance webinar for the Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA) on “Access to Capital Tools & Food Systems.”

18) The USDA’s Value-Added Producer Grants program is for farmers, ranchers, ag producers, and ag cooperatives that are starting or expanding processing operations or marketing processed ag products. Applications are due May 11. Contact Katesha Campbell on our team if you would like help with applying; or 1-406-788-0860.

19) GFDA supports the Great Falls Library Mill Levy going for a vote in the special election on June 6 and this week the Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce Board also voted to support the Library levy. The library is an important component of the health and vitality of the Great Falls community. We encourage you to spread the word and vote in favor of the levy on June 6. For more information and to join the effort, visit

20) Jake and I are headed to Las Vegas in May for the International Council of Shopping Centers conference. There will be national and regional brands, brokers, and retail industry professionals looking for their next move. If you have a space in mind for a business to locate in Great Falls, send Jake a marketing flier or reach out to If you have a retail, restaurant, or other company you think would be successful in our market, reach out to Jake as well!

21) Help put together the new transportation plan for the Great Falls region. The Great Falls Metropolitan Planning Organization is developing the 2023 Great Falls Area Long Range Transportation Plan. They have a survey open until May 10th to get your input. Take survey here. More info on TheElectric.

22) Excited to announce that Tracy Heggem will be joining the GFDA staff team as our first Executive Assistant. Tracy brings a wealth of skills and expertise that will help our entire team be more productive.

23) In order to be effective, GFDA requires collaboration and coordination among public partners, private sector, non-profits, and many other organizations. It also requires financial support from our INVESTORS. Learn more about them HERE. Recent investments include: Leadership Division—Gusto Distributing; Community Division—Cogswell Insurance Agency. Their ongoing support has had, and will continue to have, a significant influence on our local economy. We simply could not do what we do without them. Thank you! If you want to be a part of the team that is growing the region, contact Investment Director Jenn Gallmeier at 406-781-9499 or

Off to DC today to pitch the Great Falls Montana region to thousands of foreign business leaders at the SelectUSA Investment Summit.


Have a great week with wonderful weather!


Brett Doney

President & CEO

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.