Top Ten July 24

Tony Peres met with MSU Extension Ag Agent Kim Woodring at the Marias Fair in Shelby to discuss economic educational offerings for entrepreneurs and small businesses across the Highline.

GFDA’s Top 10

Here is our Top 15 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) With our partners from the Montana Department of Commerce and the Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, GFDA hosted a visit from an exciting Aerospace company looking for big skies of opportunity. This company has unique needs, which may be best served by partnerships in multiple Montana cities. We have incredible resources at the state level and a strong sense of team with other economic developers throughout the state, which can help us make Great Falls the best place to land for large innovative companies. Do you know of a company looking to expand or locate in the West? Reach out to Jolene at 

2) Congratulations to Jeremiah Johnson Brewing on the opening of the Blackstar Brew Pub in Whitefish! Jeremiah Johnson Brewing is brewing all the beer in-house. See KRTV.

3) Our Downtown Business Development Officer completed his 1,500 mile journey through Idaho and Montana, visiting six communities, networking with over 20 people, and meeting with seven developer and restaurant groups while leaving plenty of shoe leather along the way. He was able to attend the grand opening of the Warehouse Food Hall in downtown Boise and spent some one-on-one time with the CEO of Hendricks Commercial Properties who is the developer on the project. He toured all six community downtowns and received inspiration and new targets along the way to bring back to Downtown Great Falls. We’ve already started receiving emails from developers that heard we were in their town. If you have a great company you think would make a great fit in Downtown Great Falls, contact Christian at 406.836.0136 or

4) Carter Commons, an affordable senior housing development next to Carter Park, is in the running for Montana Board of Housing federal tax credits. We spoke in support at the Great Falls City Commission meeting. They are collecting letters of support through August. This is a highly competitive process. Carter Commons is the only Great Falls project and one of just seven finalists. Three to four projects across the state will receive funding. If you’d like to submit a letter of support for this much needed senior housing project, contact Jake Clark,

5) Great Falls Clinic is expanding hospital operations. The $58 million dollar project will bring 125 new jobs to the community and expand healthcare services. Learn more about the expansion in the Announcement of the Week. 

6) Calling female business owners of growing companies! We are seeking participants for our new peer-to-peer mentoring program, PeerSpectives, designed specifically for growing, second stage companies. We are halfway to our applicant goal, but most of the applicants are men. If your company is facing growing pains and meets the definition of “second stage,” learning from the shared experiences of others may help you navigate those challenges more efficiently. To join our initial PeerSpectives cohort, please contact Jason at to complete an application.

7) Great Falls College MSU is offering four industrial technology courses this fall. Industrial Safety & Rigging and Fundamentals of Mechanical Systems begin on August 22nd. Fundamentals of Hydraulics & Pneumatics and Machine Shop begin on October 24th. Email Karry Hardman at or call him at 406-771-4366.

8) KFBB ran a great story about the importance of housing development efforts in Great Falls. Montana Housing of the Montana Department of Commerce announced a new Multifamily Loan Program that can be used for new construction, or an acquisition with substantial rehabilitation. Eligible applicants include for-profit, non-profit, and government entities.

9) Participated in the Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce Future of Ag Tour. This event gave citizens in the Great Falls area the opportunity to see agriculture production and manufacturing in the Great Falls region. Stops on the tour included seeing crop fields of industrial hemp, yellow peas, and barley. Ag businesses that hosted stops on the tour included Sustainable Oils (Great Falls), IND Hemp (Fort Benton), Golden Triangle Brewing (Fort Benton), EGT grain shuttle loading facility (Carter), Jeremiah Johnson Brewing (Great Falls), and MT Pints (Great Falls). For information on opportunities to expand and diversify the region’s food, ag and bio processing industries, contact Justin at 406-590-1301 or

10) Congratulations to Western Feed Corral who recently moved into their new building and location at 2502 Vaughn Road in Great Falls. The Western Feed Corral offers livestock feed for all species along with farm and ranch supplies.

11) This week Tony Peres, our Small Business Navigator, traveled north to Choteau, Conrad, and Shelby to meet with city officials, chamber members, port authority officials, and agricultural agents across the region to forge relationships and identify needs in rural communities that will help create and further economic development through collaborative efforts within the Golden Triangle. Connect with Tony at 406-750-2099 or

12) Avmax’s leasing arm, Avmax Aircraft Leasing, announced that it has placed an order with Universal Hydrogen Co. to convert 20 regional aircraft to run on green hydrogen. See story in North American Clean Energy.

13) Two more GFDA team members finished their Economic Development Finance Professional 101 course last week. Jake and Christian finished the course and will now join Jill in the next course on their way to becoming certified Economic Development Finance Professionals.

14) Montana is the Best State to Start a Farm or Ranch, 4th Best State to Live Off the Grid, and 18th Best State for Female Farm Producers, according to LawnLove.

15) Investing in GFDA is investing in the community. Every dollar we receive is put into helping our economy grow! Recent investment include: Leadership Division: Pepsi of Great Falls/Admiral Beverage; Pacesetter Division: McDonald’s of Great Falls; Community Division:  Culligan Water Great Falls and Great Falls BID. Without these INVESTORS, our work wouldn’t be possible. If you want to join the team that is helping our economy grow, contact Investment Director Jenn Gallmeier at 406-781-9499 or

Great to be back in Great Falls after spending time on the islands of Saipan, Tinian and Rota helping the economic development recovery efforts of the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands.

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.