Links Calendar News    

GFDA Top 17 10-13-13

1) We sold lot 2 in the Great Falls AgriTech Park to Montana Specialty Mills and loaned the company $600,000 for infrastructure improvements. The 20 acre site will allow the long-time Great Falls agri-processor to build a new oil seed manufacturing plant, clearing the way for further clean-up and redevelopment of the West Bank Urban Renewal Area. Many local, state and federal partners helped make this possible, but I'd like to give special recognition to the Cascade County Commission which worked hard to keep the company in Great Falls and Montana Specialty Mills for its patience in putting together a local rail-served heavy industrial site.

2) Renovation work started this week on Health Care Service Corporation's future location on 10th Avenue South.
3) Calumet Montana Refining Company secured the air quality permit needed for its major expansion in Great Falls.
4) Construction began on the $19 million Fairfield Wind farm. The 10 MW project will be operational next year.
5) NaturEner announced that is is finalizing preparations to begin delivering electricity over the newly commissioned MATL transmission line. The company will deliver up to 189 MW of electricity from the first phase of its Rim Rock wind farm, enough to power about 60,000 homes per year.
6) Easter Seals Goodwill opened its new multi-state headquarters and local service center in downtown Great Falls. We're very proud to have played a part in this project with our EPA Brownfields loan fund. If you have a contaminated commercial property, contact Lillian Sunwall at 1-406-771-9024 or
7) University of Great Falls enrollment is up another 8% this fall!
8) Facilitated the Entrepreneur Elite Roundtable where the group of high growth entrepreneurs worked on two pressing issues affecting business expansion.
9) Worked through the Marketing Mix worksheet with a member of The Growth Initiative. This worksheet provides an overview of various marketing media and has the business owners mark how relevant they find each media for their company right now. Worked with the company to focus on the highest priority media and identify customer groups the media should target, key messages, timing and cost.
10) Discussed cash flow projections and market analysis with another entrepreneur looking to buy a local business.
11) Participated in the International Economic Development Council's annual conference. Networked with site selectors at the conference.
12) With increased support from our GFDA investors, and using the string of successes Great Falls has put together, we're planning to expand our business investment attraction efforts next year with a focus on corporate site selectors. It's estimated that site selectors are involved in over 40% of new facility siting processes. It's difficult for small metro areas with limited resources to compete with much larger metro areas for the attention of site selectors. This week we signed up for two efforts that will help us do that. We were invited to join the Location Advisory Board of Consultant Connect, a new partnership of leading site selectors. We also signed up to participate in four site selector Consultant Forums in 2014.
13) We become an Ally of the Opportunity Financing Network, the leading organization of Community Development Financial Institutions.
14) Gave a presentation to the Leadership Montana class visiting Great Falls.
15) In its annual ranking of state business tax climate, the Tax Foundation bumped Montana's overall ranking from 8th to 7th. Our corporate tax ranked 16th, individual income tax 19th, sales tax 3rd, unemployment insurance tax 21st and property tax 8th. Neighboring states Wyoming and South Dakota ranked 1st and 2nd overall, with Idaho ranked 18th and North Dakota 28th. The full report is available at
16) Exports from the Great Falls metro area from 2005-2012 grew by 258%, ranking us 35th out of 357 U.S. metro areas, according to the U.S. International Trade Administration.
17) Our next Start-Up Spark! will be this Tuesday, October 15th at the SBDC Business Training Center at GFDA. Start-Up Spark! is an open office hour session where anyone can get basic information about starting or buying a business and get your questions answered. Everyone leaves with a free Business Start-up Kit.

With the federal government shutdown, all of our business strategy and lending services continue in full operation. We're processing EPA Brownfield and SBA 504 loan applications, but will need to wait for these agencies to re-open for final loan approval. All other loans we can approve and close in-house.

Have a great week and Untame your entrepreneurial spirit!


Signup to get news emailed to you



Home | Site Map | Policies | Employment | Contact Us Phone 406-771-9020
Fax 406-454-2995
Physical Address
300 Central Ave. Suite 406
Great Falls, MT 59401
Mailing Address
PO Box 949
Great Falls, MT 59403