|1) We hosted a second site visit for a major prospect. While most of our economic growth comes from existing businesses expanding, we work behind the scenes with new companies that would thrive in our community.
2) We are receiving Economic Development Administration (EDA) funding to move three strategic initiatives forward! The first is an energy assessment to assess current assets and demand, conduct a Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis, and develop a strategy to pursue identified opportunities. The second is a transportation and logistics assessment to summarize existing assets, assess demand and impact, conduct a SWOT analysis, and develop an economic development strategy. And the third is to develop a bioscience district strategy that will asses and develop a detailed plan. We will be releasing the Requests for Proposals (RFPs) soon.
3) Met with the new Montana Alberta Tie Line owners Berkshire Hathaway Energy (BHE) who gave us an overview of the merchant power line. BHE is looking to increase this asset and opportunities for businesses in Great Falls, Cut Bank, and Conrad. As of now the power line has 139MW of green power available and is bringing more green power online in the upcoming years. This is tremendous news as companies across the country are scrambling to find sites that can accommodate their power needs. This week we were able to utilize this information in response to a request for information from a major site selector.
4) We received three National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) Awards! The awards are for the Great Falls Region Procurement Technical Assistance Center (now APEX Accelerator) Program which is the tool we use to help regional businesses register in the government contracting database and aid them in being more competitive in bidding projects. We won a second award for our Great Falls Brownfields Program. This program allows us to work with businesses to assess, clean up, and redevelop contaminated properties. We won a third award for The Fire Within! Our annual recognition of female entrepreneurs. Congratulations to Bear Paw Development in Havre, the only other award recipient statewide, on receiving an NADO award for the Montana Meat and Poultry Intermediary Lending Program Coalition!
5) Congratulations to the men and women of the Montana Air National Guard’s 120th Arilift Wing on being selected as one of four preferred locations to receive the new C-130J Super Hercules cargo aircraft! Check out the press release here for more info.
6) This week Neighborworks Great Falls and Great Falls Public Schools broke ground on their 47th High School House. This program supports affordable housing in Great Falls as well as workforce development for students. Governor Greg Gianforte attended the event and presented long-time instructor in this program, Pete Pace, with the “Spirit of Montana” award. Read more from KRTV, and congratulations to Pete, Neighborworks, and Great Falls Public Schools!
7) Numerous ag business grant application windows are opening and closing! Are you a meat or poultry processor who has plans to expand your processing capacity in the upcoming year? If so, you may be eligible for the USDA’s most recent round of processing grants. The deadline for applications is fast approaching. Are you an agricultural producer looking to break into value-added processing or a food processor looking to expand your business? Pre-applications for the Montana Department of Agriculture’s Growth Through Agriculture opens on October 2nd and Anna can help determine your project’s eligibility for these exciting opportunities. Contact Anna Flies to discuss the details of the grant and your potential eligibility soon. You can reach her at 1-406-590-1301 or Anna@GrowGreatFalls.org
8) This week we traveled to the northwest corner of the state to meet with some new SBA 504 loan clients. SBA504 loans are a great option for gap financing and to lock in low interest rates long term. If you’d like to learn more about the loan products we carry please reach out to Tony at Tony@GrowGreatFalls.org or 406-750-2099.
9) Do you have a real estate project that needs to be assessed for contamination or cleaned up? Join us to learn more on September 21 from 4-5 PM at the City Bar. Help us celebrate EPA brownfields successes, explore new opportunities for brownfield redevelopment, and learn how low interest EPA funds can be used make your project happen.
10) Scheels donated $1m to Great Fall’s new recreation center now named the Scheels Aim High Big Sky Recreation Center! Thank you for investing in our community! Click here for the KRTV story.
11) Have you registered for Invest Downtown 2023 yet? Registration is open for Invest Downtown 2023. At this hybrid event learn what made our most popular downtown businesses succeed; hear about new development opportunities; and explore the vision for the future of Downtown Great Falls. Are you a developer, entrepreneur, business owner? Can’t make it in person? We have a Zoom option as well. Reach out to Chritian for more information, CLeinhauser@GrowGreatFalls.org.
12) Come learn about the Public Safety Levy and Bond at the upcoming Public Safety Town Hall September 18 at 6 PM at the Mansfield Theater.
13) We are making great progress on growing our economy. But we can’t do it alone, we rely on the continued support of our investors and public partners. Discover more about the champions in our community here. Recent investments include: Premier Division—Cascade County; Community Division—ERA Advantage Realty. They are contributing to growing the tax base and bringing more high wage jobs to our region. Thank you for your support of our mission & overall success of the community. To find out more about our initiatives and how you can be a part of the exciting growth , contact Investment Director Jenn Gallmeier at 1-406-781-9499 or Jenn@GrowGreatFalls.org. Your involvement makes a significant difference in our shared journey towards a thriving future.
Hope you have a great week!
Senior Vice President