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GFDA Top 15 August 11, 2014


Here's the GFDA Top 15 for the last two weeks, celebrating great things happening to move Great Falls Forward! 
1) We've been very busy the past two weeks working with business development prospects. Met and worked with consultants for a regional company considering opening a new processing facility in Great Falls. We're researching specific information relevant to their project needs. Continued working with two companies interested in purchasing lots in the Great Falls AgriTech Park. Worked with an out-of-state industrial prospect and GFDA partners to prepare for an upcoming visit to our market.
2) Worked with  a group that visited Great Falls to explore opportunities for residential real estate developments. Provided information and market data to several companies and developers who contacted us in regard to Great Falls opportunities.
3) Worked with real estate developers on potential financing options for a proposed residential development. Worked with the buyer and seller of an area business to develop cash flow projections based on the historic financials and seasonality of the business. Worked with an expanding business on various financing options that match each scenario of their growth plan.
4) Worked with an established business to develop an annual marketing schedule based on historic sales and current customer base. Reviewed the historic financials for a proposed business purchase and offered a suggested debt capacity for the future owner to provide a factual basis for purchase negotiations. Worked with a business using the GrowthWheel to determine what focus areas the company needs to pay the most attention to and helped develop a plan to move forward to better balance the company to sustain its growth.
5) Partnered with Malmstrom AFB and the U.S. Small Business Administration to deliver Boots to Business, a two-day intensive training that provides information and resources for departing airmen on the opportunities available in self-employment. Twenty-two potential entrepreneurs participated in this quarter's training.
6) Hosted a visit by EPA leaders to see first hand the success of our brownfield redevelopment efforts and to discuss potential future projects with local developers.
7) We've been working to prepare for an active fall pitching the Great Falls region at a number of out of town targeted industry events. Our line-up starts next week with an exhibit at the InterMountain Energy Summit in Idaho Falls, followed by an exhibit the week after at the Montana Petroleum Association annual meeting in Billings. In September, we'll exhibit up in Ft. McMurray at the Oil Sands Tradeshow. In October, we'll be exhibiting at the Compete Smart Manufacturing conference in Billings, networking with site selectors and meeting with companies in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area in conjunction with the International Economic Development Council's annual conference, networking with corporate real estate executives and site selectors at the Corenet Global Summit in DC and networking with site selectors at Area Development's Women in Economic Development Consultant Forum in Chicago. In December, we'll wrap up our 2014 focus on expanding our network of site selection consultants at the Consultant's Forum in Ft. Lauderdale. We're also working on at least one Midwest marketing trip to meet with specific companies.
8) Welcome and Thank You to three Forward Great Falls Investors who made new investment pledges to support economic growth, diversification and high wage jobs! Paradise Amusement reinvested at the Leadership Division level, Taylor's AutoMax at the Pacesetter Division level and McDonald's at the Community Division level! If your company is ready to step-up to invest in creating the future Great Falls economy, contact Jolene Bach at 1-406-750-4481 or
9) Courtney McKee of Headframe Spirits in Butte will present our next CEO Forum this Wednesday, August 13th, 2:00 PM in the Absolon Lounge of the Student Center at the University of Great Falls. Courtney and her husband, John, opened Headframe Spirits in 2012 and were selected by the Montana Ambassadors and Governor Steve Bullock as the 2013 Montana Entrepreneurs of the Year. During the CEO Forum, Courtney will discuss the impact social media has had on their business and how she engages customers both online and offline. She will offer you her secrets of how you too can create evangelists for your business through your marketing efforts. For more information or to let us know you'll be there, email Rebecca at
10) Spread the word to potential new entrepreneurs, as well as existing business owners, to join us for one of our fun weekly Start-Up Spark! sessions at GFDA, in the downtown US Bank building, 300 Central Avenue, 4th floor, at noon today, or on Wednesday 8/20, Tuesday 8/26 or Monday 9/4. Contact Rebecca Engum for more info at or 1-406-771-9032.
11) Interest rates are rising and equity requirements are still high for commercial real estate and equipment purchases and construction. A great option to combat these challenges is to lock in 20 year fixed low interest rates and lower your equity requirement to as low as 10% using an SBA 504 loan. Contact Jennifer Rogers to learn more: or 1-406-350-1204. We offer 504 loans statewide!
12) The Cable Advertising Bureau and Google Enterprise Connect are offering an Idea Summit this Wednesday, 8/14 from 10:45 AM to 1:00 PM at the Moonshine Grill. RSVP to Teresa Telles at 1-406-447-1428.
13) Labor productivity increased at a 2.5% annual rate in the second quarter of 2014 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Is your company keeping pace with your competitors? If you'd like to learn about the effective tools our business coach has available to help your company prosper and grow, contact Rebecca Engum at or 1-406-771-9032.
14) The Montana Legislature's Energy and Telecommunications Interim Committee just released Understanding Energy in Montana, produced by the Department of Environmental Quality. The report provides some interesting data about historical and current energy supply and demand, and Montana's electric transmission system.
15) Personal Consumption Expenditures in Montana grew by 4.4% in 2012, putting us in 9th place amongst states, tied with Colorado. On a per capita basis, we increased 3.6%, also tying for 9th.
Congratulations to Sletten Construction for its ranking as one of the top 400 contractors in the country by Engineering News-Record!
Congratulations to Crooked Tree Coffee and Cakes for being named Montana's Best Coffee Shop by Business Insider!

Enjoy this beautiful Great Falls summer weather and Untame your entrepreneurial spirit!


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Great Falls, MT 59401
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