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GFDA Top 9 3/16/14


Here's the GFDA Top 16 for this week, celebrating great things happening to move Great Falls Forward!
1) Allegiant Air announced it will add a direct flight from Great Falls to Los Angeles (LAX) this summer starting in June! Congratulations to GTF, the Tourism Business Improvement District and supporting businesses and organizations for continued success in lowering air fares, boosting flights and attracting visitors to Great Falls!
2) The City Commission gave final approval for the Talus apartments, a new 216 unit complex with club house and pool that will soon be built in Great Falls. Rental property owners: the Malmstrom team has compiled a comprehensive database of housing rentals in and around Great Falls. If you haven't put your available properties on the database, contact Rhonda Corkin to learn more at You can access the database at
3) We met with several employers this week that have voiced a need to expand our available workforce. We've also joined a team led by the United Way of Cascade County focused on workforce development. We're looking for additional employers to provide input regarding your workforce needs. A recent survey of economic developers across the country ranked skilled workforce availability as the single greatest site selection criteria of recent company prospects. 87% said workforce availability has become more important in the last 2 years. If your company has unmet workforce needs, contact Jolene Bach at or 1-406-750-4481.
4) It's not too late for employers to sign up for the Great Falls Job Fair being held on April 1st from Noon-6:00 PM at the Montana ExpoPark Exhibition Hall. Register at or contact Barb Hardy at the Great Falls Job Service, 1-406-791-5816 or
5) Worked with a national design/build firm on a potential SBA 504 financing structure for a proposed Montana hotel project. SBA 504 is a FANTASTIC financing tool for fixed asset projects including purchase, new construction, expansions and long-term equipment. The key benefits for the borrower are lower equity and below market fixed interest rate for 20 years. Call Jeremiah Johnson at 1-406-750-3285 or Tamariel Christopher at 1-406-771-9026 today.
6) Assisted the US Forest Service contracting office to find local small businesses to bid on service contracts. If your company would like help to do more government contracting, contact Lillian Sunwall at or 1-406-771-9024.
7) We're getting ready for 4 upcoming industry trade shows and we're looking for companies in the Great Falls region who could benefit from joining us. We'll be exhibiting at the Global Petroleum Show in Calgary in June, targeting energy development, logistics and support. We'll be exhibiting in May and June at two agri-processing events, the annual American Oil Chemists Society conference and the annual Institute of Food Technologists Expo. We'll be networking at RECON in May, the International Council of Shopping Center's annual commercial real estate event. Contact Jeremiah Johnson for more info at or 1-406-750-3285.
8) As part of our effort to boost business attraction cooperative marketing amongst Montana economic development organizations, we've drafted a Montana Business Attraction Code of Ethics, using the Denver Metro area's successful code as a model. Check out the draft and let us know what you think: Draft Montana Business Attraction Code of Ethics
9) Half of the spots for the June 18-19 Thought Patterns for High Performance are already full. To insure your seat at this leadership training that will help you uncover habits that hold you back, register today:
10) The Montana World Trade Center is conducting a survey of businesses interested in expanding charter air service, particularly connecting Montana cities with the Bakken. Take the survey at
11) Don't forget to spread the word about our new Manufacturing Partnership Director position!
12) Two budding entrepreneurs attended this week's Start-up Spark! Tell your entrepreneurial friends and colleague about our upcoming Spark sessions on March 10th, 21st and 26th, all at Noon at GFDA, 300 Central Avenue, Suite 406 (downtown US Bank building 4th floor). Learn about starting a business, get a free start-up kit, ask all your questions, and have fun!
13) Montana has the second highest self-employment rate in the country at 9.7%, according to data compiled by Economic Modeling Systems. However, our state is falling behind in new business establishments. In 2009-2012 we ranked 31st with a negative 0.2% net new business establishment rate.
14) Gallup reported this week that Montana has the lowest obesity rate in the nation!
15) Having a hard time finding teenage employees? A new study of federal labor data published by Challenger, Gray & Christmas shows that since the nationwide pre-recession employment peak in July 1006, labor participation amongst the 16-19 age group has dropped 43%.
16) Keystone or no Keystone, new capital investment in the Alberta oil sands in 2014 is estimated to total $25 billion, about the same as in 2012 and 2013. Calgary-based US Oil Sands Inc. has announced that it has secured financing for its first Utah oil sands project.
Congratulations to Great Falls College MSU for winning the state College and Career Readiness award from ACT!!!
More good news is on the way for the Great Falls economy so stay tuned and Untame your entrepreneurial spirit! 
Thank you GFDA INVESTORS for making what we do possible!


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Fax 406-454-2995
Physical Address
300 Central Ave. Suite 406
Great Falls, MT 59401
Mailing Address
PO Box 949
Great Falls, MT 59403