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Top Fourteen 2/9/15

Here's the GFDA Top 14 for this week, celebrating great things happening to move Great Falls Forward!
1) We closed loans totaling $450,000 to The Animal Foundation of Great Falls to finance the purchase of equipment to open the Margaret J. Maclean Animal Welfare Center. Bank partners First Interstate Bank, US Bank and Prairie Mountain Bank have stepped up to complete the construction financing package. Congratulations to the board, staff, volunteers and donors of the Animal Foundation in raising the matching funds! Opening the Center later this year will mark another great step forward for Great Falls!
2) Scheduled an out of state visit to an agri-processing prospect that is considering an expansion into Great Falls. Continued work with several soon-to-be-announced prospects. Only one lot that can be ready for construction start this year remains in the Great Falls AgriTech Park. 4 more lots can be readied for construction starts in 2016. These are rail-served heavy industrial zoned lots with municipal water and sewer, gas, electric, and telecommunications. Spring water is also available to be piped to your lot. Contact Jeremiah Johnson at 1-406-750-3285 or
3) Taught the Boots to Business workshop at Malmstrom Air Force Base. 14 transitioning Airmen learned the basics of becoming an entrepreneur.
4) The City Commission approved rezoning of downtown property on 2nd Avenue South that will enable an important project to move forward. Stay tuned this week for details!
5) Worked with a local business having trouble using the federal WAWF system to receive payment on products sold to MAFB. For government contracting assistance, contact Lillian Sunwall at or 1-406-771-9024.
6) Formed a partnership with the Governor's Office of Economic Development to present one, expanded Montana exhibit at the SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington, DC in March.
7) SBA 504 loan rates continue to get lower! The effective FIXED interest rate for February is 4.546% on 20 year loans. Finance your fixed commercial real estate and equipment with as low as 10% down. Contact Jennifer Rogers at 1-406-350-1204 or
8) The City of Great Falls and Cascade County signed a community partnership agreement with Malmstrom AFB and the Montana Air National Guard. The goal is "to sustain and increase the military value of MAFB and to support the economic vitality and quality of life of the surrounding region."
9) Make the commitment now to get to the root cause issues that result in individual and organizational under-performance. Join growth-oriented leaders in a focused two-day live facilitated training where you will get the tools to eliminate negative and unproductive behaviors, uncover habits that hold you back, and stop sabotaging your success. Though Patterns for High Performance will be offered February 24-25 here in Great Falls. Secure your spot now by emailing Rebecca at
10) The new Moody's Analytics' forecast for the Great Falls metro area was released this week with some good news for Great Falls. Moody's predicts that the Great Falls Gross Metro Product will grow 4.0% in 2015, faster than 2.4% growth in 2014, and increase to 5.5% growth in 2016. Moody's predicts employment will also grow at a faster clip in 2015 and 2016. Personal income will continue growing at 4.2% in 2015 and 4.4% in 2016.
11) Moody's also forecasts good news for the Great Falls metro housing market. The average sale price of existing homes is predicted to increase by 5.0% in 2015, 3.9% in 2016, and 3.9% in 2017.
12) Our next Startup Spark  for new and would-be entrepreneurs will be held this Thursday, February 12 from 12-1 at GFDA, 300 Central Avenue (US Bank building), 4th floor. Contact Jason Nitschke at if you would like to attend.
13) City taxes in Great Falls are 23% less than the average of Montana's 6 largest cities, according to a study published by the University of Montana's Bureau of Business and Economic Research. The study showed that Real City Property Taxes per Person (3 year average of 2011-2013) were the lowest in Great Falls compared to Billings, Bozeman, Helena, Kalispell and Missoula. Great Falls was 44% less than the highest city, Missoula.
14) The GFDA Board is holding a special meeting this Wednesday, February 11, 8:30 AM in the Providence Forum at the University of Great Falls (inside the McLaughlin Center -- the gym building). You are invited to join us for this special meeting to hear a presentation on the recent Great Falls Tourism Assessment reported by Vicky Soderberg of Cygnet Strategies. Come hear about the trip planning and visit experiences of 4 tourists from the U.S. and Canada.
If you know of a business or developer who could use help getting their plans off the ground, PLEASE refer them to our team. We're here to help you make things happen!
Untame your entrepreneurial spirit!


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Great Falls, MT 59401
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Great Falls, MT 59403