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GFDA Top 12 12/22/13

Here's the GFDA Top 12 for this week, celebrating great things happening to move Great Falls Forward!

1) Exhibited at Montana Pulse Day and networked with agri-processing companies and industry professionals.
2) Met with a national commercial developer that visited Great Falls this week. Worked with a client proposing an exciting commercial expansion. Toured a downtown property with the new owner to discuss future plans. Help us spread the word about exciting developments in Great Falls! Download our one page Growth Highlights update.
3) Discussed potential financing assistance and heavy industrial sites with an existing primary sector manufacturer. Worked with an entrepreneur to review historic financials to structure a deal for a multi-unit business purchase.
4) Participated in a work session with the City Commission and staff to discuss the ADF Group project and infrastructure financing with the Montana Board of Investments.
5) Testified before the City Commission about the economic needs of low and moderate income residents. GFDA's Executive Committee approved a proposal to the City that if 10% of Community Block Grant Funds are allocated to economic development, GFDA will submit an application to create Montana's first City Small Business Champion to work with entrepreneurs and small businesses throughout the City to create new job opportunities. GFDA would assume all of the risk of the effort that would enable us to more than double our entrepreneurial job creation efforts in Great Falls.
6) The GFDA Executive Committee also approved creating a Board Chair Emeritus Cabinet and a Director Emeritus Council so that we can continue to tap into the knowledge and business networks of our past Board Chairs and Directors.
7) Our FY 2013 audit was completed this week. In FY 2013, our business loans increased 37% and the total amount of loan capital on our books increased 17%. No loans were written off and all loans were performing as scheduled at year end. Private investment increased 49%! Thank you GFDA investors!!
8) The Great Falls metro area added 240 jobs in November. Our unemployment rate increased from 4.1% in October to 4.3% in November because our labor force grew by 331. It was our best November for total employment since 2008, before we felt the brunt of the loss of the 564th Missile Squadron. Great Falls employers created 600 jobs from November 2012 to November 2013.
9) The Montana Manufacturing Center released a report on Challenges to Manufacturing Growth in Montana. Visit or download the report here.
10) Attended a refresher course on Baldridge Quality criteria for businesses. Worked through examples of how the criteria can be used to make business operations stronger. Contact Rebecca Engum to discover how Baldridge can make your business better. or 1-406-771-9032.
11) Make plans now to attend the 2014 Montana Small Business Development Center Network's Annual Conference, Invest in Success, April 16-17 in Butte. Workshops will include leadership, generations in the workplace and the impact of new technologies. More info available at
12) Lillian Sunwall, GFDA's Project Manager, was asked by EPA to be a speaker on a national EPA Brownfields webinar in January. I was asked to present an energy Ignite session at the International Economic Development Council's Leadership Summit in February.
Great Falls Means Business in 2014! Join Governor Steve Bullock and GFDA Investors for a sneak peek at what to expect for economic growth, diversification and high wage jobs in 2014. January 8, 8:30-10:00 AM at the Great Falls International Airport. RSVP to Jolene Bach at
Opening game for the Great Falls Voyagers is only 6 months away, June 21st! 
Untame your entrepreneurial spirit!
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a hearty Thank You for a wonderful year!!!


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Great Falls, MT 59401
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