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GFDA Top 14 9-14-14


Here's the GFDA Top 14 for this week, celebrating great things happening to move Great Falls Forward!
1) Discussed available heavy industrial sites including the Great Falls AgriTech Park, what our region has to offer and transportation routes to Canada with a national site selector working on a site location for a significant potential manufacturing project. Met with an area entrepreneur to discuss historic financials and put together projections for the next three years based on the market the company serves.
2) Exhibited in Fort McMurray, Alberta at the Oil Sands Trade Show, networking with industry professionals and discussing opportunities for state-side operations in the Great Falls trade area. Kudos to our two team members who drove through a snow storm to get there on Monday!
3) Our secret is out! As of this morning, there are 2,099 Great Falls area jobs posted on, 897 jobs posted at the Great Falls Job Service, 587 jobs posted on; 272 posted on, over 125 jobs posted just this week on, 67 on and 59 on, plus a whole bunch of great jobs in this morning's Great Falls Tribune classified section! Help us publicize these opportunities to bring Montanan's home, and attract anyone else who wants to work hard and enjoy life in one of the best places in the world!
4) Voices of Montana Tourism gave a presentation in Great Falls this week about the importance of the tourism industry to our economy. They estimate that in 2012-2013 the average spending in Central Montana by nonresident visitors totaled $403 million, supporting 4,690 jobs, a payroll of $115 million, proprietor income of $23 million, and state and local taxes of $23.5 million. We think there are market opportunities to significantly grow our tourism industry which also supports dining, retail, cultural and entertainment options enjoyed by all.
5) If you haven't had a chance to read the feasibility analysis of a potential events center in Great Falls that the Tourism Business Improvement District commissioned, here's a link to the study. The TBID is bringing the consultants back to town in October for briefings. Stay tuned for date and time details.
6) Met with leaders of the Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Tourism Business Improvement District to approve project steps for the re-make of the Great Falls Visitor Information Center. Stay tuned for an announcement of input sessions later this month. We want your ideas on what displays should be included in the Center to increase the length and enjoyment of visitor stays, bring visitors back more often, and attract new residents and entrepreneurs to our community.
7) Want a free design rendering for your downtown business, property or development project? The Downtown Development Partnership has just a few facade design grants left. Get up to $1,200 to design the facade for your new business, refresh the facade of your existing business or building renovation. Contact Joan Redeen at the Downtown BID at 1-406-727-5430 or, but better do it right away to snag the funds before they're all gone.
8) We'll be giving a presentation on downtown business incubation (and spreading the word about successes in downtown Great Falls) at the Montana Downtown Conference in Helena on September 24-26. More info and registration at
9) Talus Apartment Homes, being developed by The Farran Group, joined the Forward Great Falls movement this week as a Pacesetter Division Investor! Stockman Bank increased its investment to the Leadership Division level. Thank you both for helping to grow and diversify our economy! Join the team that's shaping the future of Great Falls, contact Jolene Bach at 1-406-750-4481 or Check out our current Investor Honor Roll.
10) The Montana Department of Revenue is holding informational sessions about the 2015 property reappraisal cycle in Havre on September 19th, 9:00-11:00 AM at the Hill County Courthouse, in Conrad on September 19th, 2:00-4:30 PM at the Pondera County Courthouse, in Great Falls on October 16th, 9:30-11:00 AM at the Holiday Inn, and in Ft. Benton on October 16th, 1:00-3:00 PM at the Public Library.
11) 5,850 acres of oil and gas leases in Lewis & Clark and Teton Counties were sold on September 3rd by the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation at prices ranging from $1.50 to $14.00 per acre.
12) Do you know a growing or start-up business that needs a 21 acre rail-served heavy industrial lot? We have companies interested in lots 3, 4 and 5 in the Great Falls AgriTech Park and have one lot left for spring construction. Contact Jeremiah Johnson at 1-406-750-3285 or
13) We've put our new Brownfield loan funds under contract with EPA and are ready to finance deals. If you have a proposed commercial real estate redevelopment with lead paint, asbestos or other hazardous materials contamination, contact Lillian Sunwall at 1-406-750-1253 or
14) Buying a business with real estate? Buying or building a property for your business? Want to finance with equity as low as 10% and lock in low interest rates for 20 years? An SBA 504 loan may be a great option for you. Contact Jennifer Rogers at 1-406-350-1204 or, or talk with your bank loan officer about the advantages of 504 loans.
Congratulations to Mindy and Morgan Leach and Bob Sherer who are opening Central Montana Eyecare in the Great Falls Marketplace, and congratulations to Jim Kuffel on opening Bolt and Anchor Supply in Great Falls! See today's Tribune Great Falls Business article for more details.

Untame your entrepreneurial spirit!


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Great Falls, MT 59401
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