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Top 14 for 4-29-2013

1) Great Falls Public Schools broke a 20 year trend of declining enrollment. Since 1994, we've lost an average of 145 students per year. This year we climbed by 56 students!

2) GFDA is forming a Team Alberta working group to increase our pursuit of Alberta business investment. If you would like to join, contact Jolene Bach at JBach@GFdevelopment.org
3) We assisted a Great Falls business with loan applications for a planned summer expansion and worked with a Montana business looking to expand into Great Falls, helping with cash flow projections and business strategy.
4) EPA approved our targeted Brownfields assessment request for the historic Rocky Mountain Building redevelopment downtown. EPA is sending a team in next week to conduct the assessment. GFDA has made 10 commitments to the Downtown Partnership that continue and increase our commitment to downtown revitalization.
5) The Montana Legislature wrapped up its work. The dust won't settle until the Governor acts on bills, but it looks like the Great Falls delegation succeeded in getting most of our priorities passed. Great Falls College MSU will get the funds it needs for much needed roof repairs and renovations, as well as matching funds for land acquisition. We were able to increase Primary Worker Training funds from $1 million to $1.4 million per year. Funding was increased for the  Ag Development Center Network which we hope to join. The Legislature also improved Montana's competitiveness for business investment, lowering top income tax rates and increasing business equipment tax exemptions.
6) We scheduled a meeting for the Great Falls real estate community to get ready for RECON 2013. If we can help you close Great Falls deals at RECON, join us for a strategy meeting April 30, 10:00 AM at GFDA (downtown US Bank Building, 300 Central Avenue, Suite 406).
7) Lodging tax revenue increased 7% in 2012 within the City and 8% in the Central Montana tourism district. The City has increased 99% since 2004.
8) Our lending partner, the Montana Community Development Corporation, won an allocation of another $65 million of New Market Tax Credits. If you're interested in using these powerful federal tax credits for your proposed project, contact Tamariel Christopher at TChristopher@GFdevelopment.org
9) The Great Falls annual unemployment rate for 2012 was 5.4%, down from 2011 when we peaked at 5.8%. Our rate puts us 36th best amongst the 372 US metro areas. Six of our benchmark metro areas were better than us and five in worse shape.
10) We completed scoring the responses to our web strategy RFQ, conducted interviews and selected a consultant to move forward with developing a new web strategy. We plan to launch our new site mid-summer.
11) Facilitated a business speed coaching session for 35 participants at the 4th Annual Montana Small Business Invest in Success Conference. Participated in the national Procurement Technical Assistance Center annual conference. Our VP of Business Strategy, Rebecca Engum, accepted a nomination by the US Small Business Administration to join Montana's export outreach team to improve the delivery of export support services to Montana companies.
12) Nate Weisenburger of AE2S was appointed as the final member of this year's GFDA Nominations Committee. The Committee met to begin identifying potential new investor Director candidates. High Plain Financial's Nominating Committee also met to identify potential new members and Directors. Committee members include Mandi Boutilier of JCCS, Robert Carette of the Bank of Glacier County and Sheila Rice of NeighborWorks Great Falls.
13) Our monthly Development Coffee is this coming Friday, 7:00 AM at TD&H Engineering. For more information, contact Jolene Bach at JBach@GFdevelopment.org
14) Montana ranked 1st for entrepreneurial activity in 2012 amongst all 50 states in the Kaufman Foundation's Entrepreneurial Index!

Congratulations to the Great Falls Symphony on a fantastic 54th season!

Kudos to the City Park and Recreation team and everyone involved in another successful Ice Breaker!

Untame your entrepreneurial spirit!

 

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Great Falls, MT 59401
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