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GFDA Top 11 for October 19, 2014

Here's the GFDA Top 11 for this week, celebrating great things happening to move Great Falls Forward!
1) Student enrollment in Great Falls Public Schools increased for the second year in a row, solidly breaking our previous 20 years of decline! The increase is in the number of elementary school students which bodes well for future years.
2) GFDA's Loan Committee approved two loans totaling $485,000 that will leverage an additional $2.8 million capital investment in the Great Falls trade area. More info on these deals to follow.
3) Our new Small Business Development Center Director, Jason Nitschke, started work by giving Start-Up Kits to several would be entrepreneurs. These kits give entrepreneurs the tools necessary to begin to determine the feasibility of their idea, start developing financing packages and get many questions answered regarding the start-up process.
4) Provided a financial analysis for an entrepreneur considering the purchase of an established area business. Helped the entrepreneur assess current business operations, potential collateral value and possible changes that could be made. If you're considering purchasing an established business, visit with Jason Nitschke to learn about services available to you,1-406-771-9022 or
5) The Great Falls Area Food Manufacturers Network met and held in-depth discussions regarding entering markets in Canada and input price increases. The group shared experiences, asked questions and took away ideas regarding enhancements to their operations. The next meeting will be on January 21st. Until then, if you have a need for HACCP training, contact Rebecca Engum at for details regarding an opportunity coming to Great Falls.
6) Issued an RFQ for consultant services to help us put together an EPA Brownfields Assessment plan and grant application. Contact Lillian Sunwall for more info at or 1-406-771-9024.
7) The Great Falls Tourism Business Improvement District hosted presentations and question/answer sessions about the market and feasibility study they commissioned to consider new multi-purpose event facilities in Great Falls. Download the study at
8) Nelson Architects is taking the lead as pro bono designer of the Great Falls Visitor Center interior make-over! We are excited to be working with their talented team on this important project. Thank You!
9) Gave a presentation on Great Falls growth and diversification to the Downtown Optimist Club. We LOVE spreading the word about recent Great Falls economic successes and the inside word on what's in the works. Contact Jolene Bach to schedule your group or business at 1-406-750-4481 or
10) The Montana Chamber of Commerce elected/re-elected four Forward Great Falls Investors to its Board of Directors. Congratulations to Greg Thayer of Montana Milling, who was elected Vice President of Finance, Rob Ferris of Vision Net, Erik Sletten of Sletten Construction, and Dr. Susan Wolff of Great Falls College MSU.
11) Are you interested in the Downtown Revitalization movement? Join the Downtown Development Partnership annual meeting on Wednesday, October 22nd, 9:00 AM at NeighborWorks Great Falls.
Congratulations to Nancy and Ian Davidson on receiving the C.M. Russell Museum Josephine Trigg Award!
Congratulations to all involved in the beautiful new towers at the east end of the Weissman Memorial Bridge on the River's Edge Trail!
Congratulations to two groups of impressive Great Falls High School students. The Debate Team earned recognition amongst the top 10% of schools nationwide in competition through the National Speech & Debate Association! 10 students from the theatre arts program earned induction into the International Thespian Society!
Untame your entrepreneurial spirit!


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Great Falls, MT 59401
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Great Falls, MT 59403