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GFDA Top 16 for October 26, 2014

Here's the GFDA Top 16 for this week, celebrating great things happening to move Great Falls Forward!
1) The Great Falls metro area unemployment rate dropped to 3.5% in September with employers adding 280 jobs in the month. Employment set another historic record for the month of September. We've set monthly employment records every month this year.
2) Responded to a Request for Information for a potential production plant through the Governor's Office of Economic Development.
3) Worked with area musician Joel Corda on marketing plans in preparation for the release of his second album of original music. The folk-rock album will be released on iTunes, and a limited edition CD that will be available through Amazon. Congratulations Joel!
4) Connected with an area food manufacturer about their growth strategy over the next five years. Discussed the resources they're using, challenges faced and opportunities they want to take advantage of. Reviewed financing structures for two different business purchases in the region, discussing various tools available and requirements for financing packages. Answered questions about financial projections, collateral, and equity requirements.
5) Assisted a local entrepreneur with market research on specific industry data, identifying competitors, customer profiles, market demographics and start-up costs for a new endeavor. GFDA provides no-cost coaching and assistance to entrepreneurs and existing business owners. Contact Jason Nitschke for more info at 1-406-771-9022 or
6) Presented a pitch about Great Falls team work at the International Economic Development Council's annual conference, hosted a town hall panel discussion about economic development in 2024, and met with a prospect and site selectors while in Ft. Worth.
7) Buffalo Wild Wings opened in Great Falls!
8) Exhibited and networked at the Montana Farmers Union State Convention in Great Falls.
9) The City Commission unanimously approved a property tax abatement for redevelopment of the historic downtown Rocky Mountain building.
10) We published the GFDA Quarterly Index for the 3rd Quarter of 2014. Here is a PDF of the Index that you can forward to colleagues, friends and families, especially if they live far from home and are ready to come find a great job and life in Great Falls!
11) Nominations just opened up for The Fire Within Inspire and Aspire awards that will be presented at the 5th Annual The Fire Within event March 26, 2015. These awards celebrate area women business owners who motivate others by their success or have recently achieved their goal of starting a business. Nominees will be evaluated on professional achievement, leadership, community involvement, impact and the entrepreneurial flame within! Contact Jason Nitschke at for a nomination form and submit your nominations by January 15th. Mark your calendars for this great event celebrating all women entrepreneurs! The Fire Within is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the US Small Business Administration and the Montana Department of Commerce. If you would like to help sponsor The Fire Within, please contact Jolene Bach at 1-406-750-4481 or
12) Connect Great Falls enriches our community by connecting young professionals through leadership development, volunteerism and networking. The group organizes monthly networking events to bring the city's young professionals together through its speaker series, volunteering opportunities, or socials. To get involved, email or follow CGF on Facebook:
13) The City seeks qualified applicants to serve on its Planning Advisory Board. The Board advises the City Commission on many aspects of Great Falls growth and development including amendments to the Growth Plan, zoning, land subdivision, annexation, transportation planning, roadway improvements and specific projects. To apply, go to
14) Self-employment in the Great Falls metro area is trending upward, bucking a state and national trend downward. According to data released this week by the US Census, estimated self-employed in Great Falls increased from 7.1% in 2008-2010 to 7.5% in 2011-2013. The state dropped from 9.8% to 8.9% and the nation dropped from 6.4% to 6.1% in the same time periods. So we're catching up to the state average.
15) Montana agricultural producers increased production by 59% from 2007 to 2012, 20 points higher than the national average, according to the MT Dept. of Agriculture based on data from the US Ag Census. More details in today's Tribune story here.
16) If you have a business expansion or start-up, or real estate development that needs more financing than your bank can provide, contact Jennifer Rogers on our team to see if we may be able to help. We provide gap and bridge financing throughout the multi-county Great Falls trade area and SBA 504 loans statewide. or 1-406-771-9033.
Untame your entrepreneurial spirit!


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