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GFDA Top 13 2/13/14

Here's the GFDA Top 14 for last week, celebrating great things happening to move Great Falls Forward! Sorry for the delay in getting this out. That's what you get for taking a few days off then playing catch up!
1) Pitched Great Falls to a national tool manufacturer that is considering a western expansion. This lead came from an investor referral which we love to get! Worked with a Great Falls business on plans for expansion and potential financing options. Reviewed current company financials with a local business to assess options for financing further expansion. 
2) Talked with regional site selectors about available properties in Great Falls. We're preparing for the regional Mountain States commercial real estate event in a few weeks. Please get your available properties listed with a local broker and up on Loopnet or CoStar and let us know about them so we can help spread the word. Contact Jeremiah Johnson at We've found that most site selectors are doing ALL of their property screening on MLS, Loopnet or CoStar, so if your property isn't online, it's being missed.
3) GFDA's Board completed its return on investment analysis of our Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) that helps local companies to compete for government contracts. The Board voted unanimously to keep hosting the Center, continuing to use GFDA investor funds to pay for the required match of federal funds.
4) First Peoples Buffalo State Park leaders gave a presentation to GFDA's Board. We're considering supporting tourism growth by getting the Park in Ulm designated as a World Heritage Site and developing an outdoor powwow facility that would be used by the 20 tribes that hold the ground sacred. From 2009-2012, the Park had visitors from all 50 states and 46 countries.
5) Gave an Energy Ignite presentation about Great Falls energy development efforts at the International Council of Economic Development's annual Leadership Summit, detailing the $2.3 billion in energy-related capital investment that has taken place in the last few years or is underway in our region.
6) Partnered with MAFB and the SBA to offer a two day Boots to Business workshop for 17 airmen who are retiring and considering starting new businesses.
7) Great Falls College MSU hosted our monthly Development Coffee. Our next coffee for GFDA investors is on April 4th at 7:00 AM, location to be announced. We're taking March off because on the morning of March 7th the University System Board of Regents are going to be at Great Falls College MSU and many business leaders plan to be there to vocalize to the Regents how important Montana's two year colleges are in producing the technical-skilled workforce Montana companies need.
8) If you've known the struggles of attracting and retaining great employees, attend our first CEO Forum on February 20th, 2:00 PM at the Holiday Inn, to hear Bill Simmons of MasterLube in Billings talk about his success with recruiting high quality employees in a tight labor market. We promise you'll come away with some useful new ideas. RSVP for this free event to Rebecca Engum at
9) Wondered what's behind the "overnight" success in revitalizing Downtown Great Falls? The Downtown Development Partnership counted 4,085 hours of volunteer time on a host of downtown events and efforts just in the last quarter of 2013!
10) The Montana Board of Research and Commercialization Technology is accepting grant proposals for companies putting new technologies to work. The RFP can be found at Call Dave Desch for more info at 1-406-841-2760.
11) The Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce is bringing Steve Beck to town to deliver his excellent Exceptional Customer Service III training seminar on April 2nd. Sign up your employees for either a morning or afternoon session by calling Roxy Perez at 1-406-761-4434.
12) Great Falls College MSU is hosting a Health Sciences Job Connections Fair to give local employers first crack at recruiting exceptional graduation-ready students, February 27th 10-3 at Heritage Hall, GFC. Employers can sign up for a table by contacting Kristen Grue at or 1-406-771-4352.
13) We're holding upcoming Start-Up Spark! sessions for entrepreneurial-minded folks considering starting a new business, noon at GFDA, 300 Central Avenue, 4th floor (Downtown US Bank building) on Friday, February 21st, Monday February 24th and Thursday March 6th. For more info, contact Rebecca Engum at or 1-406-771-9032.
14) Congratulations to Dave Snuggs, creator of My Neighbor in Need, the Downtown Chicks and MAFB's Emergency Management Office for being recognized with 2014 Serve Montana awards for outstanding community service and volunteership! Great Falls won more awards than any other Montana community. Don't you wish the national news picked up stories like this! 
More good news this week so I'll be back with another Top 10 this weekend. Enjoy the Big Windy Melt and Untame your entrepreneurial spirit!


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Physical Address
300 Central Ave. Suite 406
Great Falls, MT 59401
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PO Box 949
Great Falls, MT 59403