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GFDA Top 18 11/30/14

Here's the GFDA Top 18 for this week, celebrating great things happening to move Great Falls Forward!

1) GFDA and High Plains Financial partnered to issue $151,000 in loan commitments to Bill Fenner to finance a new sawmill operation, expanding the family's timber and ranch operations near Babb.
2) The City Planning Advisory Board/Zoning Commission unanimously approved re-zoning for construction of a 12plex apartment building on the East end of town.
3) Completed analysis of historic financials for an area business owner considering the purchase of an existing business. Want to figure out where your business is performing well and where it can perform better? Contact Jsson Nitschke at
4) Here's another sign that our Great Falls momentum is building. City building permits through the end of October are up 59% over 2013!
5) We submitted a grant application to the Community Development Financial Institution Fund, part of the U.S. Treasury, seeking $1,120,787 to help us to keep growing our loan capital to keep pace with opportunities to grow and diversify our regional economy. THANK YOU to Forward Great Falls Investors who made this possible by providing a 1:1 match!!
6) We are seeking EQ2 or Program Related Investment loans from banks and foundations to leverage $703,000 in loan capital equity from our last CDFI Fund award. Contact Brett Doney for more info at 1-406-750-2119 or
7) Great Falls College MSU has issued a report card on itself titled, "Opportunities, Outcomes, and Outputs 2014-2016. The report documents some pretty amazing facts about the impact the College has on students' earning potential, state taxpayer return on investment, and the local economy. On average, students earn higher future income 4 times their college investment. Every dollar state taxpayers invest in the College returns $28.50 in overall benefits and $2.60 in state tax revenue.
8) The GF Visitor Center Makeover is moving forward! Join the design team of Nelson Architects for a Design Charrette on Thursday, December 11, 9:00-10:30 AM at the GF Association of Realtors, 401 13th Avenue South. See the draft redesign and share your ideas. Please RSVP to Jolene Bach at
9) The GF Business Improvement District (BID) is expanding its very successful Downtown beautification efforts by launching a Parking Meter Art Project. The BID has issued a Call to Artists that can be downloaded at or picked up at the BID, 13 5th Street North. Emerging artists are encouraged to apply.
10) Recreational Trails, Inc. has some ambitious plans for 9 River's Edge Trail improvement projects in 2015! These include the Sun River Connector Trail, West Bank Park, Giant Springs Loop Trail and the Overlook Drive Connection. Visit or call Doug Wicks at 1-406-788-3313 to learn more about these exciting projects.
11) GFDA is proud to host the 2015 Montana Economic Development Conference & Leadership Event, "Impact: Learning, Sharing & Partnering for High Performance," in Great Falls, May 4-6, 2015. The Montana Economic Developers Association event will bring outstanding national speakers on entrepreneurial economic development, manufacturing, exporting and cross-border initiatives, downtown revitalization, financing, real estate partnerships, community leadership and more. With the support of the GF Tourism Business Improvement District, we're pleased to announce that Della Rucker of and author of The Local Economy Revolution will be offering a workshop on Creating an Entrepreneurial Eco-System in Your Community. Della will also lead a special workshop for the Great Falls community. Mark your calendars and stay tuned for more exciting news!
12) GFDA has been invited to speak at the Alberta agri-processing and energy event in Edmonton next March, "Seeding the Bioeconomy: Growing Alberta BioClusters."
13) We've also been invited to present an Ignite presentation at the International Economic Development Council's 2015 Leadership Summit in January; great opportunities to market GF and develop new contacts!
14) We've received quite a bit of interest recently in SBA 504 Advantage Loans. These loans can help lower your downpayment and interest rates for commercial property purchases, construction, renovation, or leasehold improvements, as well as heavy equipment purchase. Contact Jennifer Rogers for more info at 1-406-350-1204 or
15) Join us this Friday, December 5 at 7:00 AM for our monthly Forward Great Falls Investor Development Coffee hosted by the Great Falls Clinic in the Specialty Center Conference Room, 3000 15th Avenue South. Please let Jolene Bach know if you are able to join us,
16) Keep those nominations coming for the 2015 The Fire Within Awards. Celebrate women business owners throughout the Great Falls trade area. Nominations for Inspire and Aspire awards are due by January 31st. Contact Jason Nitschke for more info at
17) The Montana State Fund will hold a Safety Workshop in Great Falls 8:30-Noon on December 19th. The workshop will cover First Report of Injury documentation, OSHA reporting changes coming in January, and an introduction to useful safety websites and social media outlets. Register at or call Kirk Smith at 1-800-332-6102.
18) The Montana Manufacturing Extension Center is offering ISO 9001:2008 Internal Quality Auditor Training on December 9-10 in Bozeman. Register here or contact the MMEC at 1-406-994-3812.

Untame your entrepreneurial spirit!


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300 Central Ave. Suite 406
Great Falls, MT 59401
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PO Box 949
Great Falls, MT 59403