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GFDA Top 15 12/8/14

Here's the GFDA Top 15 for last week, celebrating great things happening to move Great Falls Forward!

1) Congratulations to BE Aerospace... They now employee over 160 people in Great Falls and are continuing to grow since acquiring EMTEQ earlier this year!
2) Easter Seals-Goodwill celebrated the opening of their renovated facility at 4400 Central Avenue. Congratulations to all involved in such a successful project and Thank You to Easter Seals-Goodwill for everything you do! GFDA is proud to have helped play a part by providing a Brownfield clean-up grant.
3) Coached 5 area business owners, 2 of whom are looking to expand into new locations. To inquire about our coaching and technical assistance services, or to refer a client, contact Jason Nitschke at
4) Assisted a client to put together a Sources Sought RFI statement to submit to a federal agency for a potential contract in our area. Visited with a growing local manufacturer about opportunities for them. Discussed intellectual property, product line diversification and financing.
5) Held a public meeting to educate, update and listen to our partners and the public in regard to the EPA Brownfields Assessment grant application we will be submitting later this month. If successful, this will enable us to expand our Brownfields program to offer grants for pre-development hazardous waste assessment of downtown properties and throughout Cascade County. If you have a potential project that could move forward with this help, contact Lillian Sunwall at
6) Networked with agricultural producers and processors at the Montana Grain Growers Association annual convention and the Montana Organic Association annual conference. Exhibited and networked at Montana Pulse Day put on by the Northern Pulse Growers Association.
7) Learned at the Malmstrom AFB Community Partner meeting that a national developer has expressed an interest in the 42 acre RFI for potential development. Local and Montana developers are also exploring the opportunity.
8) GFDA's Board voted to support Medicaid expansion in Montana, dependent on continued federal funding. We rarely take a position on public policy issues, but decided to in this case because of its economic importance. We join the Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce and Montana State Chamber of Commerce in urging legislative approval of the expansion.
9) Help us with the Great Falls Visitor Center interior redesign! Join us to see preliminary designs and give us your thoughts on Thursday, December 11th, 9;00-10:30 AM at the Great Falls Realtors Association, 401 13th Avenue South. Contact Jolene Bach for more info at
10) The next Startup Spark! is scheduled for Tuesday, December 9th from 12:00-1:00 PM at GFDA, 4th floor of downtown US Bank building, 300 Central Avenue. Startup Spark! is an open office hour with Small Business Development Center Director Jason Nitschke, allowing entrepreneurs to ask questions and bounce ideas around. Let Jason know if you'd like to attend or participate online,
11) The annual Electric City Speech Meet needs volunteer judges this coming Friday and Saturday, December 12-13. Join the fun and watch our high school students shine! There will be a workshop for new judges Tuesday evening, 12/9. For more info and to sign up visit
12) The Montana Manufacturing Extension Center (MMEC) and Associated Employers (AE) are blending expertise and convenience in complementary services for companies interested in growth and sustainability. Blended services will include a 10% discount.
13) Great Falls College MSU is holding a Welding Open House this Tuesday evening, December 9th, 6:00-7:30 PM in Heritage Hall on campus. Please spread the word far and wide!
14) We'e excited to announce that another great international speaker, Barbara Wold, has been secured for the Montana Economic Development Conference we're hosting in Great Falls May 4-6 with the Montana Economic Developer's Association. Made possible with a sponsorship by Northwestern Energy, Barbara will present a workshop on Economic Revitalization: Strategies for a Changing World and a keynote talk on Unleashing Community and Business Leadership.
15) Save the date for Startup Weekend Great Falls, May 15-17, 2015 at the University of Great Falls! More details to follow. Contact to get involved.

Have a fantastic week and Untame your entrepreneurial spirit!


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Great Falls, MT 59401
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