Top Ten for June 19

GFDA hosts a delegation of seven Japanese business professionals from Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO).

We hosted a delegation of seven Japanese business professionals from Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO). The delegation was in Montana to explore bioprocessing and bioscience opportunities. Thank you to Pasta Montana, MRI, and Sustainable Oils for being such great hosts and sharing your organization with our guests! PHOTO: The JETRO delegation learning about Pasta Montana. Pasta Montana’s produces 85 million pounds of pasta annual that is shipped globally right out of Great Falls Montana!

GFDA’s Top 10

Here is our Top 12 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) Please help businesses, workers and residents affected by this week’s flooding in several Montana communities. Let them know about these resources:

From the SBA: U.S. SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION DISASTER LOAN ASSISTANCE. The SBA issued a Notice of the Presidential declaration of a major disaster for Public Assistance Only for the State of MONTANA | Disaster Declaration. Federal Disaster Loans for Businesses, Private Nonprofits, Homeowners, and Renters | Public Assistance Fact Sheet. MORE information.

From the Montana Department of Labor and Industry: Resources for Flooding Victims–
Unemployment Insurance
Individuals who have lost work due to flooding may be eligible for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. To file a claim online, visit You can also call the Unemployment Insurance Division’s Claims Processing Center at (406) 444-2545 if you have questions.

Job Service Montana
Job Service Montana locations can help provide a range of resources to those out of work or seeking work due to this disaster. Individuals impacted can contact Job Service Billings at (406) 652-3080.
We encourage you to share this information with individuals you may know in the impacted areas.

The Department of Labor & Industry continues to work to respond and provide services to those impacted by the disaster. Stay tuned to the Department’s website and Facebook page for additional updates in the days to come.

Governor Gianforte urges Montanans to support local businesses affected by the floods as they reopen. We agree!!

2) Big Iron Truck and RV Wash, located south of I-15 at Exit 277, is now officially open after hosting their grand opening and ribbon cutting event with the Great Falls Chamber of Commerce on Friday, June 17th. Partners Curt Runia and Aaron Corbett started work on the project nearly three years ago. Congratulations and thank you to Curt and Aaron for investing in our region as well as Opportunity Bank for financing the project!

3) The Cascade County Commission voted unanimously to issue $60 million in bonds for the Touro Montana Medical School in Great Falls. These bond carry no risk to the County or taxpayers yet offer a great lower interest rate benefit to businesses and institutions. See The Electric.

4) TECH Companies – this is for you! Join us at an Early Stage Montana reception on June 22 at 5:30 PM to learn more about the Montana Tech Accelerator Program. The Tech Accelerator is developed for emerging Montana tech-sector startups who want to scale quickly, create jobs, and succeed. Please email Jenni Graff, Early Stage MT, to RSVP and for details.

5) The Cascade County Zoning Board of Adjustment voted unanimously to approve a special use permit for Friesen Nutrition to develop a 17,000 square foot premix facility to produce vitamin, trace mineral and other mixes to supplement on-farm feeds for livestock. See TheElectric.

6) Great Falls native Andrew Brown and his wife Lyla opened Magpie in Machinery Row at 202 2nd Ave South in Great Falls. Learn more about Magpie in our announcement of the week. See KRTV story.

7) Join us to celebrate the first seven graduates of our new Accelerate Your Startup program at a Business Pitch In event on Tuesday, June 28th from 11 AM – 1 PM at The Wild Hare (located at 518 Central Avenue in Great Falls). Save the date and join us to hear the pitches of these new businesses and enjoy opportunity to buy a great lunch.

8) Congratulations to Big Sky Pottery on their plans to open a gallery in Bynum. See Fairfield Sun Times for story here. Ortho Rehab physical therapy has opened in Great Falls; see KRTV. Craig Taphouse opened in Craig; see TheElectric Business Bites.

9) 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

10) Congratulations to Spika Design & Manufacturing on earning the SHARP (Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program) designation from the Montana Safety and Health Bureau.

11) Great Falls Public Schools is adding baseball as a high school sport in 2024; see TheElectric. In a story about Registered Apprenticeships, KRTV featured Great Falls High School’s Madison Hewitt who completed an apprenticeship program and earned her Child Development Associate Credential.

12) Complimented area banks and credit unions for the help they gave small businesses in the Great Falls trade area at a town hall event held by the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at Great Falls College MSU, and urged him to advocate within the Federal Reserve to provide loan capital to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI’s) and to fix tribal reservation commercial credit issues that prevent the support of entrepreneurship on tribal reservations.

Have a great week!


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.