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GFDA Top 22 6/19/14

Here's the GFDA Top 22 for last week, celebrating great things happening to move Great Falls Forward! Sorry this is so delayed -- its been good and hectic!. It's not too late to catch all or part of today's Housing Summit at the Holiday Inn. The Great Falls Association of REALTORS and partners have put together an excellent program. The event runs from 8:30-4:00.
1) Loenbro held a groundbreaking celebration of the first building on the company's new 52 acre expansion site, a 30,000 square foot steel pipe fabrication facility! With all the new announcements, we've updated our one sheet Great Falls Growth Highlights for you to use in your business development and recruitment efforts.
2) Local developers West Bank LLC bought the 12 acre riverfront redevelopment site from Cascade County with plans to continue the very successful West Bank One mixed-use development!
3) We exhibited and networked with energy-related companies and manufacturers at the Global Petroleum Show in Calgary which featured over 2,000 exhibitors and 80,000 industry representatives. 
4) Worked with several industrial and commercial development clients on potential expansions and new projects. Assisted a local business to get a briefing from a federal agency on a failed bid to figure out how the company can be more competitive in future bidding for federal contracts.
5) Worked with two businesses on SBA 504 loan applications for new construction projects. Explore the advantages of SBA 504 loans for your next business acquisition, expansion or new construction project. Contact Jennifer Rogers at 1-406-350-1204 or
6) Congratulations to Alison Fried, owner of Dragonfly Dry Goods in downtown Great Falls, one of 4 businesses honored at the annual SBA's Small Business Week Awards. Alison's commitment to an amazing store, her employees and community earned her the Montana Woman Business Owner of the Year!
7) Calumet Specialty Products Partners, owner of Calumet Montana Refining, was named to the Fortune 500 list or largest U.S. companies, ranking 467th!
8) Montana Farmers Union held a ribbon-cutting celebration of their purchase and planned revitalization of the downtown Times Square complex. The organization is offering the 13th month free rent, free parking and 24/7 hourly rate use of commercial kitchen facilities. Call 1-406-727-3332.
9) Pacific Steel & Recycling won the Most Improved Commercial Renovation award for its new corporate headquarters in downtown from NeighborWorks Great Falls. The Celtic Cowboy Restaurant & Pub won the Most Improved Downtown Commercial Property. Congratulations to all involved with these great projects!
10) The City Design Review Board approved plans for replacement of the west side McDonalds that will be built next year.
11) The Great Falls Clinic is investing in the future of Great Falls by rejoining as an Advance Division investor in the Forward Great Falls effort! Thank you for your support! To learn more about our shared vision for our community's future and the Forward Great Falls plan of action, contact Jolene Bach at 1-406-750-4481. Together we're changing the future of Great Falls.
12) Our June offering of Thought Patterns for High Performance is full. It's proven to be so popular and effective for Great Falls business owners and managers that we've scheduled another offering for September 23-24. These seats go quickly. Secure your spot now by registering at This unique workshop gives you tools and skills to uncover habits that are holding you and your company back, change the way you see problems, stop sabotaging success, eliminate negative and unproductive behavior, and transform your employees into positive productive partners. If you would like to learn more about the results local companies are seeing from this training, contact Rebecca Engum at 1-406-771-9032 or
13) As part of our new Manufacturing Partnership, we've subscribed to Industrial Info Resources' online market intelligence. As we roll the Partnership out over the next few months we'll be subscribing to more industry online supplier networks, industry databases and market research systems to strengthen the market research of our clients and our business attraction efforts.
14) The Convention and Visitors Bureau is looking for a fantastic part-time Visitor Center Director to recruit, train and support Center volunteers, secure sponsors and exhibitors, and manage what will become the best Visitor Center experience in Montana! Contact Carol Lindseth, CVB Executive Director, at
15) The Downtown Great Falls Association is accepting applications from artists, crafters, and food and merchandise vendors for the first Annual Street Fair and Sidewalk Sale to be held downtown on Saturday, July 26 from 8 AM to 2 PM, the first day of the State Fair. Spaces are $25 for DGFA members and $50 for non-members. Street musicians and performers can reserve performance space for free. Contact Sheila Rice at or 1-406-868-7933.
16) I've volunteered to be the Montana Government Relations Chair for the International Council of Shopping Centers.
17) Great Falls property taxes are one third lower than the average per capita property taxes of other Montana cities, according to an analysis published by the Missoulian! City revenues per capita (including property tax levy and all special district assessments) for fiscal year 2014 are $297 in Great Falls. The average in Missoula, Billings, Bozeman, Helena and Kalispell is $446, ranging from a low of $419 in Missoula to a high of $483 in Bozeman.
18) Nonresident visitor expenditures in central Montana were estimated to be $402 million in 2013, up from $344 million in 2012 and $263 million in 2011, according to the University of Montana's Institute of Tourism and Recreation Research. Cascade County's share of this was estimated to be $248 million in 2013.
19) Montana's GDP grew 3.0% in 2013, 11th amongst states, according to preliminary data released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Over a third of the state's growth came from nondurable goods manufacturing and just under a third from agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting. Montana's growth was higher than the national growth rate of 1.8%, but slower than surrounding states: Colorado 3.8%, Idaho 4.1%, North Dakota 9.7%, South Dakota 3.1%, Utah 3.8% and Wyoming 7.6%.
20) USA has returned to the top slot as Most Favorable Location for Foreign Direct Investment, according to A.T. Kearney's FDI Confidence Index.
21) European ethanol producers are expected to use 4.65 million metric tons of wheat and 540,000 metric tons of barley this year. Integrated food processing and biofuel plants extract protein and gluten from valuable grain crops to put into food and feed, using the leftover to produce fuels.
22) The downtown Quality Inn has been scheduled for auction on July 1st with a lower reserve of $1.2 million. The 105 room hotel includes a restaurant and bar, parking garage and meeting and event space. For details, contact Hilco Real Estate at 1-847-418-2700 or We would like to see this important downtown property renovated and operated in good hands. Contact us to see what financing incentives we can bring to the table to make this happen! Brett Doney at 1-406-750-2119 or
Congratulations to the Great Falls Realtors Association and supporters who have long cared for the Overlook Park American flag!
Congratulations to the Great Falls Disc Golf Association and everyone involved in the new Worden Park 18 hole disc golf course!
Untame your entrepreneurial spirit! 


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300 Central Ave. Suite 406
Great Falls, MT 59401
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Great Falls, MT 59403