Top Ten 9/4


Photo Captions
1) Touro grand entry with two story windows, atrium, and student common area. Sletten Construction is the contractor with 20 subs.
2) Rabbi Krupka describing student activity in the atrium.
3) Student apartments under construction.

 Are you ready for medical students in Great Falls? Touro College of Medicine Montana is getting ready! The building is well under construction as we saw when Touro Executive Vice President University Ombudsman Rabbi Krupka gave us a tour and made the college come to life sharing Touro’s vision! Hopefully the Council on Accreditation (COA) gives a green light for the school to begin accepting applicants soon. Construction is set to be completed in December.

GFDA’s Top 10
1) Local developer Silver Stone Enterprises plans to build a 432-unit apartment complex in Great Falls at the intersection of 2nd Avenue North and 38th Street North. GFDA is excited to be working with Trace Timmer and his team in support of the project. See TheElectric. The Housing Market Assessment we commissioned last year in partnership with NeighborWorks Great Falls and the Great Falls Association of Realtors documented market demand for 1,880 new rental units and 2,540 new for-sale housing units in the Great Falls commute shed. Those figures did not include demand stemming from the Touro College of Montana Medicine, the USAF Ground Based Strategic Deterrent mission, or population growth over the last year.

2) Cost of Living in the Great Falls metro remained competitive in 2022Q2 at 87.8% of the national average, according to the C2ER (the Council for Community and Economic Research). Compare our local rate to Bozeman’s 121.8%, Denver’s 111.0%, Boise’s 109.3%, or Spokane’s 102.7%. Use our Cost of Living Calculator when trying to recruit new employees from our of town.

3) GFDA was happy to assist a long-time client, Ox & Son Towing & Recovery, LLC with a bridge loan in the amount of $708,000. This bridge loan is allowing time for their bank to finish its permanent financing package without interrupting the client’s expansion plans. If your business has a need or capital hurdle that may need some creative thinking and financing please reach out to Jill Kohles at to discuss your different options.

4) The Great Falls region is gearing up for the decade of construction starting as early as 2025 for the major USAF Ground Based Strategic Deterrent mission. The Air Force projects that the construction on base at Malmstrom AFB and in missile fields in the region will create 7,201 direct and indirect jobs with project labor income of $540 million and total economic output in the region of $1,080 million.

5) THIS WEEK we are launching a new low interest loan participation product in partnership with the Montana Department of Commerce that will provide 50/50 loan participations with your bank or credit union. We are already processing potential deals to move projects forward that otherwise could not. These funds are limited and will be put to work very quickly to help our economy recover and come back stronger than ever. If you have a business startup or expansion planned that could benefit from a loan participation, contact Jill at or 1-406-590-1056.

6) Thirty four business professionals and entrepreneurs joined the September presentation of our Small Business Webinar Series. Managing the Human Side of Change explored the cycles of employee engagement and the triggers leading to job satisfaction or turnover. Special thanks to our presenter, Robert Farmer, Senior Vice President of People Solutions at Clearwater Credit Union in Missoula, as well as our collaborating partners at the University of Montana and MSU-Extension. Our Small Business Webinar Series originally launched in September 2017 and has compiled a recorded library of 62 topics, training 1,165 people statewide during the live presentations.

7) Great Falls is home to a new Mexican restaurant, La Cocina Restaurante in the former Fox Farm Diner building. First time entrepreneurs Antonio Verbera and Josefa Davis have made their dream of business ownership a reality. Learn more in the Announcement of the Week.

8) Reconnected with European Site Selectors at the Transatlantic Business Council’s annual meeting. Is our community ready for more foreign direct investment? We think so but learned a lot from the companies making these decisions. Call Jolene for further discussion, 1.406.760.4481.

9) Our Health and Bioscience Economic Development Strategy consultants will be back in town for a working retreat on September 28th. The Tripp Umbach team will join us in-person to share the results of their study and facilitate working groups with key players in our local Health Bioscience and education community. If you and your business would like to be part of the conversation and/or the retreat, please contact Jake Clark at Jake@GrowGreatFalls.orgRetreat registration is available here.

10) The planning for Invest Downtown Great Falls is in full swing. Keep your calendars open for October 20th from 10 AM to Noon and be on the lookout for registration coming soon. If there’s a Downtown business that you think would be a great success story or if you have an opportunity for a new business Downtown, contact Christian at 406.836.0136 or

11) Our team of INVESTORS are driving growth in the region. Without their commitment to support GFDA, we wouldn’t have the resources to continue working towards our mission. Recent investments include: Leadership Division—Church, Harris, Johnson & Williams, P.C., Guy Tabacco Construction; Community Division—406 Attorneys. They are invested in growing Great Falls. If you want to find out how you can invest in the community, reach out to Investment Director Jenn Gallmeier at 406-781-9499 or

Hope you enjoyed a wonderful Labor Day Weekend!

Brett Doney

President & CEO

Growth Highlights for the Great Falls Montana Trade Area. Our Menu of Services and Staff Team handout. Here is our GFDA 2022Q2 Quarter Index. In case you missed it at Ignite 2022, we unveiled our new We Are Great Falls video!
Great GFDA Career Opportunity!We’re adding a second Business Development Officer to focus on growing the Food, Ag & Bio Processing Industries in the region. Download Career Opportunity.

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

August SBA 504 Loan Rates

The 25-year loan effective rate (including all fees) came in at 4.977%; 20-year at 4.886%; 10-year equipment loan at 4.962%; and, 20-year refinance 4.900%; 25-year refinance 4.990%. These rates are FIXED for the life of the loan and are inclusive of all 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

Events, Business Training, and Opportunities
The third in a series of STAR (Strategic Teaming Alliance Roundtable) Roundtables with Northrup Grumman and other Prime contractors will be held September 15th at 8:00 AM (MST). This roundtable is designed to be a resource for small businesses to learn how to team up and/or bid on government contracts available on or near the missile wing Air Force bases and beyond. For more information on this event, contact or register here.

We have nine great companies ready to launch our next PeerSpectives Roundtable cohort. If your company is growing and experiencing the pains of growth, perhaps the insights of others who are going through the same thing could be beneficial. The PeerSpectives Roundtable for second stage companies will meet 10 times per year, share experiences, and work problems in real time. TWe have room for one or two more companies, contact Jason at

The Montana Department of Agriculture has recently started accepting applications for the annual Growth Through Ag program. Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) is a grant and loan program designed to strengthen and diversify Montana’s agricultural industry. There is a basic “pre-application” process that applicants must submit by September 12th. For more information visit the GTA page, or contact Rich Gannon at 406-836-2078 or email

A new $300 million program, the Organic Transition Initiative designed to help Ag producers transition land into organic status, was rolled out this week by USDA.  By transitioning to Organic producers have a chance to capture other markets that in many cases can yield a higher premium for their commodities.  The initiative will deliver wrap-around technical assistance, including farmer-to-farmer mentoring; provide direct support through conservation financial assistance and additional crop insurance assistance, and support market development projects in targeted markets.  For more information on this initiative please visit the USDA website or contact Justin Loch at 406-590-1301 or

Early Stage Montana presents the2022 Montana Startup Summit September 29-October 1 in Bozeman, a three-day weekend celebrating Montana’s innovation.

Do you have open government contracts? Is your registered due to renew in the next few months? continues to have issues with the transition of the new validation process. It is recommended that businesses start early to renew their registration to keep from going inactive. If you are having trouble getting through the process, contact Shannon Clancy at for assistance.

Invest Downtown 2022 will be held on October 20th from 10 AM-Noon at The Newberry and planning is currently underway. If you know of a great Downtown businesses to highlight or if you have an opportunity that is ripe for development, please email Christian at or call 406.836.0136.

The new CDL truck driver training program at Great Falls College MSU will launch in August. Eight local employers are partnering to get it started, but more are needed. Thank you to Sysco, Meadow Gold Dairy Farmers, Gusto Distributing, City of Great Falls, REIC – Midway, Warden Paper, Holman Aviation, Hoven Equipment for partnering with the college! See CDL Business Partnership Framework. Congratulations to the College, Great Falls Job ServiceGreat Falls Area Chamber of Commerce and industry leaders for putting this together! Contact Tammie Hickey for more info at 406-771-5104 or

We’re co-hosting the Montana Economic Development Conference at The Newberry in downtown Great Falls November 14-16; see Montana Economic Developers Association. The Building a Winning Montana Team conference will feature exciting panels discussing key Montana economic development issues such as housing, business attraction, talent attraction, tourism and economic development, tribal economic development, and value added agriculture. Keynotes will bring perspectives from other states and provinces, and from leading Montana industry associations and state leaders. Workshops include economic development ethics, new financing collaborations, and supporting local entrepreneurs and existing businesses. Download preliminary agenda. Sponsor a session! Contact Rebecca Myers at or me at

The Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce announced the inaugural Worlds of Work! (WOW). WOW is a career expo pioneered by West Alabama Works. Though NOT a typical job fair, this event opens new avenues of opportunity for middle school students they never knew were possible. The Chamber’s goal this first year is to have sixteen Worlds, each representing one of Montana’s sixteen recognized career pathways. On October 18th, 2022, WOW will be held at Great Falls College – MSU and the University of Providence (inside and outside) from 7:30 AM – 6:00 PM. Area 8th graders will be divided into groups and will have a navigator who will guide them to each of the worlds, where they will explore for approximately 20-25 minutes before traveling to the next world. WOW Varsity, the block for high school students, will be in the late afternoon, and will include sophomores only for this first year. Check out the West Alabama WOW. Contact Scott Wolff for more info at

The Montana Innovation Partnership is offering a number of trainings and an accelerator program for companies interested in pursuing Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants.

The Montana Food & Beverage Show will be held November 7th in Missoula. Register at: AGR.MT.GOV/FOOD-AND-BEVERAGE-SHOW.

Montana STEP grants can pay for 75% of your international export marketing efforts up to $10,000. The Montana TechLink Center at MSU is offering a new round of workshops on how to win Small Business Innovation Research funding.

What’s it like to live in Great Falls Montana? Get a glimpse through the Great Falls 2022 Livability Magazine! Livability Great Falls is a tool for recruiting people from outside our community and is one of the tools for our Talent Attraction campaign. We also have a Email List to share resumes of trailing partners and others and we promote Hot Jobs – jobs that would entice people to move here. If you are recruiting people from outside Great Falls, click here to join our recruiter email list and learn more.

We have migrated our pre-business workshop for early stage and pre-venture startups to a self-paced, video-facilitated, online format. Business Basics for Startups is now live and ready for beta testing. If you’d like to check out the content and provide feedback, we’d appreciate it. Click here to check out the new modules and resources. Please direct feedback to Rich at

Montana Rapid Retraining funds are available to help more people enroll in workforce training programs and expand industry-driven accelerated workforce training courses. The Great Falls Job Service can assist with Rapid Retaining Efforts. Contact Beth Schmidt at 406-791-5869 or For business strategy/planning help to take advantage of this one-time opportunity, contact our Small Business Development Center (SBDC) regional director, Jason Nitschke at

Attention Veteran-Owned Businesses! In less than a year the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE) will transfer to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). As of January 1, 2023, all functions of VA’s CVE will be handled by the SBA. To help make this a seamless transition, we encourage all self-certified SDVOSBs to complete the verification process through the VA now before the transfer becomes effective. Please start the verification process at For more information on starting the verification process, contact Lillian Sunwall at

The best resource we scan daily to stay abreast of business and community innovation is (Montana Associated Technology Roundtables) which we are proud to help sponsor. Sign up for their free newsletter.

We’ve released the Great Falls Childcare Demand Assessment that shows a need for additional childcare facilities to serve 580 children in Great Falls. For assistance with childcare facility business planning, contact Jason Nitschke at

Join the Trailing Partner Email Group specifically for employers to share resumes of trailing spouses/partners across the Great Falls region with other employers looking to hire. “Your (Live in Great Falls) website is very impressive and helpful! Great Falls looks amazing, and we love what we’ve seen real estate-wise, and business-wise.” This quote was from an email sent to us from a couple considering relocation to Great Falls. We will be sharing their resumes (with their permission) on the Trailing Partner Email Group.

We’ve released the Great Falls Housing Market Assessment that shows a need for over 450 new housing units per year in the immediate Great Falls area. For assistance with housing development, contact Jake Clark at or 1-406-403-4937.

Looking to take control of your business’s financials, increase profit, and improve your bottom line? We have had interest from businesses in scheduling a Profit Mastery course. These courses are scheduled by demand. If you are interested in taking this two-day workshop, contact Jason Nitschke at or call (406) 750-0314.

Visit our relocation website This website was the #1 request we got from local recruiters and HR professionals for aiding in attracting talented workers to Great Falls. The Great Falls At-A-Glance two-pager is a great complementary resource that highlights Great Falls for people unfamiliar with our community.

We have Brownfield Clean-Up money that we want to put to work! Our low interest Brownfield Loans can be used to clean up hazardous materials including but not limited to lead paint, asbestos, etc. Are you working on a project that could use some clean up? Call Lillian today to discuss eligibility 406.750.1253 or

Of our online business planning tool, LivePlan, one said: “LivePlan is Awesome!” The LivePlan tool is helping her streamline her strategy in preparation for presenting to bank partners. We offer LivePlan licenses for free to active clients. Learn more about LivePlan on our website.

All of our recorded monthly business strategy webinars are available online for viewing anytime, click them out here.

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.