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GFDA Top 15 for 12/28/14

Here's the GFDA Top 15 for the last two weeks, celebrating great things happening to move Great Falls Forward! On Tuesday, we'll email you our Top 10 for 2014 and then next Sunday our Top 10 for what's in the works for 2015.

1) NeighborWorks Great Falls announced that it's Board has approved a significant equity investment in the proposed downtown, historic Rocky Mountain Building redevelopment. This is a major step forward in a key downtown revitalization project. GFDA is assisting with brownfield clean-up assessments, and as the development team works through its planning and contingencies, we'll consider lending significant funds to support the project.
2) Worked with a growing local primary sector business on their future growth plans. Started work on a request for proposals we received for a sizable industrial manufacturing prospect looking to expand into the Western U.S. Worked with a Great Falls AgriTech Park prospect on plans to potentially expand into Great Falls. If you'd like to learn about heavy industrial, soon-to-be shovel ready, rail-served lots available for 2015 construction, contact Jeremiah Johnson at 1-406-750-3285 or (brokers protected).
3) Submitted a grant application to EPA to create a Brownfield Assessment program to support further redevelopment of properties in Great Falls with a focus on downtown. Thank you to the many community organizations who provided great support letters and helped us to make a strong case that we could work together to use these funds to redevelop more properties!
4) Helped a local manufacturer review results of its recent marketing campaign. Discussed campaign messaging, methodology for identifying potential targets, and resulting revenue for the past 3 years. If your manufacturing company could use an unbiased coach to bounce ideas off of, schedule some time with Rebecca Engum at or 1-406-771-9032.
5) Employment in the GF metro area went up by 156 in November and our labor force grew by 387. It was the first time our employment topped 40,000 in the month of November. Employment growth over the past 36 months has averaged 1.72% annual growth and our labor force has averaged 1.21% annual growth. Back in April 2012, Moody's projected that the GF metro area would lose 1,000 jobs in the 3 year period 2011-2014. With one month to go, instead of losing 1,000 jobs we've gained 2,322 jobs!
6) Worked with a local entrepreneur pursuing financing to open a new restaurant in GF. Discussed how to calculate sales estimates based on market demographics. Helped an area inventor to strategize about market identification, price point evaluation, and financial projections in preparation for starting production. For free business coaching and technical assistance, contact Jason Nitschke at
7) Mighty Mo Brewing Company began canning their beer in partnership with Spokes Mobile, marking the 2nd local brewery to bring Great Falls canned beer back to our grocery store shelves!
8) Worked with City officials and future tenants of the Great Falls AgriTech Park to prepare for spring construction. With the help and support of many public and private entities, in 2015 we're going to finally turn shovels and see companies start construction on new facilities!
9) Worked on our new Business Development plan for 2015. Began work on upgrading our CRM system to support our expanded business development, lending and coaching services. Shout out to Mike Rydell of McMeel Insurance and Kosmojo for volunteering time to lend his expertise for help with our Salesforce system! And, thank you to for continuing to grant us free use of its amazing online system!
10) This month's effective rates for SBA 504 loans are 4.78% for a 20 year loan and 4.55% for a 10 year loan. These rates are fixed for the life of the loan. Equity requirements are as low as 10%. Find out how an SBA 504 loan can help finance your next acquisition, expansion or new construction project. Contact Jennifer Rogers at 1-406-350-1204 or
11) We joined NAIOP, the leading North American commercial real estate development association, to boost our industrial and office business development efforts.
12) ADF International, Inc. joined the Forward Great Falls team as a new Leadership Investor! We're very proud to welcome the ADF family to our team! To learn more about joining the team of leading businesses, public entities and non-profit organizations who are working together to shape the future of Great Falls and our vast surrounding trade area, contact Brett Doney at 1-406-750-2119 or
13) The Montana Economic Development Conference will include a fantastic kick-off reception at the Celtic Cowboy Pub & Restaurant and Darkhorse Banquet Hall and Wine Snug thanks to the sponsorship of Willdan Financial Services! Mark your calendar for 3 days of outstanding speakers, workshops and events May 4-6, 2015, right here in GF.
14) Presented the GF Visitor Center interior design concept to the GF Realtors Board of Directors. Thank you for the great feedback! If you would like one of our team members to speak to your group about this or any of our other efforts, contact Jeremiah at
15) One last time before the end of the year, we've updated ourGreat Falls Growth Highlightshandout. Feel free to use this to help attract new investment, entrepreneurs, developers and, most importantly, great people to Great Falls! Today, even during the slow holiday period, there are 1,822 Great Falls area jobs listed on and 696 jobs listed with the Great Falls Job Service. Give your out of town friends and family the gift that will change their lives. Tell them about the excellent career, investment and lifestyle opportunities available here in Great Falls!
Congratulations to the Sletten family and Sletten Construction on your well-deserved Outstanding Corporation philanthropy award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals!
Congratulations and Thank You to retiring Fire Chief Randy McCamley on 31 years of service with GF Fire/Rescue!
Shout out to Doug Anderson of Water & Environmental Technologies. Congrats on your retirement and thank you for your assistance with our Brownfields program!
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