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GFDA Top 12 For The Week

Here is the GFDA Top 12 for this week:
1) Great Falls jumped above 32 other cities in the 2011 Milken Institute's Best Performing Cities index.  We scored 16th out of 179 metro areas with under 200,000 population, a jump from 48th in 2010. The Institute ranks cities on how well they are creating and sustaining jobs and economic growth. Scoring components include job, wage and salary, and technology growth. Against our 11 benchmark cities, we scored fourth, behind Logan (1st), Bismarck (2nd) and Fargo (7th). We scored ahead of Grand Forks (24th), Billings (37th), Coeur d'Alene (58th), Idaho Falls (59th), Rapid City (72nd), Missoula (86th), Yakima (91st) and Casper (92nd).
2) The Great Falls Real Estate Coalition encourages you to invest a few minutes to take our survey about City/County development and business challenges. The goal of the Coalition is to resolve challenges through communication, cooperation and negotiation with City and County officials. The Coalition is comprised of the Great Falls Association of REALTORS, GFDA, Great Falls Homebuilders Association, Great Falls Landlords Association, Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce and the Income Property Owners & Managers Association. Take the survey at:
3) Shelby won a $9.9 million federal grant for an intermodal facility that will benefit Great Falls companies, particularly processors that ship product overseas. GFDA has supported the project through the Diversification Transportation assessment and advocacy. Congratulations to Shelby and Toole County leaders!
4) Sweetgrass Physical Therapy opened in Cut Bank. We helped the new company with business strategy assistance and gap financing.
5) Montana approved permits for the Keystone Pipeline that will ship Montana and Alberta oil to gulf coast refineries.
6) GFDA's Nominations Committee has nominated four private investors for Board seats and ballots were mailed Friday to all private investor members. Nominees are: Deb Evans of Great Falls Teachers Federal Credit Union, Alan Funderburk of Grabofsky Van Heel & Funderburk, Shannon Hoiland of Greenup Lawn & Sprinklers, and Glenn Lambert of Cascade Farmers Mutual Insurance.
7) Congress approved Defense appropriations that include funds for 9 C27-J aircraft, including the 4 planned for the Montana Air National Guard.
8) We helped organize a statewide webinar that will be held on January 19th to update bankers on how to use SBA 504 loans to help business clients that need refinancing.
9) One of our business strategy clients secured all the bank financing needed to purchase an established Great Falls business. We helped the client with their business plan. We began work with another would be entrepreneur looking to buy an existing local business and yet another looking to start a business downtown.
10) MT Dept. of Commerce announced it has new grants available to help businesses with export marketing efforts. Up to $8,000 is available for foreign trade shows, materials and other export marketing. More info at:
11) A few booths are still available for the Made in Montana trade show March 23-24 in Great Falls. This successful show is produced each year by the City of Great Falls and the MT Dept. of Commerce. For booth info, go to:
12) Met with MT Board of Investments to discuss the second round of the State Small Business Credit Initiative. This low interest loan participation product with job creation incentives has proven to be very popular with businesses statewide. Companies benefit from the low interest and Great Falls benefits because the repayment funds will be used to leverage new gap financing loan capital. We expect the second round to disppear in a matter of weeks, so contact Jeremiah Johnson on our team right away if you want to see if your business or client is eligible: 
Congratulations to the Griz for a great season and exciting second half!
Enjoy the spring-like weather!


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Great Falls, MT 59401
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