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GFDA Top 16 3/5/15

Here's the GFDA Top 16 for this week, celebrating great things happening to move Great Falls Forward.
1) The University of Great Falls started construction on its new 36 unit apartment complex that will house 144 students in an innovative on-campus complex. Sletten Construction is the general contractor.
2) Worked with an in-state real estate developer to provide information and insight about the Great Falls market for a potential national retailer considering our city. Provided Great Falls Growth Highlight info for a local business working on putting together a financing package for potential expansion.
3) Bill Fenner's new sawmill operation is featured in the Great Falls Tribune in today's edition. If you need rough-cut lumber this season, give Bill a call! If you need help financing your start-up or expansion, contact Jason Nitschke at
4) The City Community Development Council voted to recommend that the City Commission allocate $50,000 in Community Development Block Grant Funds to GFDA to enable us to continue to provide gap financing for Great Falls businesses.
5) Worked through financial projections with a primary sector manufacturing start-up company to determine working capital needs and the feasibility of the business concept. Helped a growing company develop strategic plans to sustain continued growth. Take your manufacturing operations to a new level, contact Rebecca Engum at or 1-406-771-9032.
6) The Most fun, most informative networking event Ever will happen this Wednesday, March 11th at 5:30 PM at the O'Haire Motor Inn! Register here today! The O'Haire Team is providing appetizers! Here's what you can expect to get: All the glorious reasons to network! Why networking is usually awkward with a demonstration of two very weird people trying to network. Learn the basics of how to prepare successfully for any networking opportunity. Develop a pitch that will blow people away! How to make seamless transitions from one fabulous person to another. Tips on the Do's and Don'ts of networking. Master tips for following up. This is going to be fun! Sign- up at
7) This week's networking event is a great lead-in to The Fire Within presented by Embark Credit Union on March 26th! RSVP to Lillian Sunwall by March 19th,
8) The Great Falls City Commission approved the use of $460,000 of tax increment funds to help pay for an exciting array of improvements to West Bank Park scheduled for this year and next in collaboration with Recreational Trails, Inc.
9) Received notice that a small business client has been approved for an Incumbent Worker Training grant when funds become available in the program.
10) Worked with Neighborhood Council 4 and 5 leaders to plan a future meeting to give residents an opportunity to brainstorm ideas about what kind of new retail and restaurant development they would like to see on the east side of Great Falls.
11) Our next CEO Forum will feature James Stephen, Co-CEO and Chief Scientific Officer of Blue Marble Biomaterials in Missoula. James will talk about how your company can be become ready to adapt to pursue new opportunities. Mark your calendar for this special event on May 21st, 2:00 PM at the University of Great Falls Absolon Lounge.
12) SBA 504 loan rates for March are 4.799% for 20 year real estate loans and 4.401% for 10 year equipment loans, fixed for the life of the loan. These loans take second position behind your bank, enabling you to finance the purchase of real estate and equipment for your business with as little as 10% equity. New construction and renovations also qualify. Contact Jennifer Rogers at 1-406-350-1204 or, or ask your bank loan officer to give us a call.
13) Entrepreneurs and would-be business owners, join us for our next Startup Spark open discussion session this Tuesday, March 10th, noon at GFDA. Contact Jason for more info at or call 1-406-750-0314.
14) Did you know that the federal government buys nearly $400 billion worth of goods and services from small businesses every year? In 2014, the feds purchased over $480 million from Montana small businesses. If you want a piece of the action, sign-up for a free small business matchmaking event the SBA is hosting March 16th, 9:30 AM - 3:00 PM at the Red Lion Colonial in Helena. One-on-one meetings with contracting officers from 18 federal and state agencies will be there, as well as representatives of large contractors looking for small businesses. The Montana National Guard, Bureau of Reclamation, BLM, USAF, Forest Service, MDOT, GSA and CDM Smith will be there. For more info or for help in navigating government opportunities, contact Lillian Sunwall at 1-406-771-9024 or
15) On-Farm Food Safety Workshops are being offered by the International Organic Inspectors Association, March 26 in Chico Hot Springs, March 30 in Great Falls, April 1 in Helena. For more info visit or contact Jonda Crosby at 1-406-227-9161 or
16) Montana's employment grew 1.2% in 2014 according to data released this week by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The labor force grew by 0.4%, bringing the unemployment rate to 4.7% from 5.4% in 2013.
Let's keep the momentum going. Let us know if we can help in any way with your real estate development, business start-up or expansion.
Untame your entrepreneurial spirit!


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