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GFDA Top 16 May 3 2015

Here's the GFDA Top 16 for the this week, celebrating great things happening to move Great Falls Forward. 
1) Greenfield Wind LLC announced it will start construction on a 25-megawatt wind farm in Fairfield this summer. The $45-50 million project will include 15 of the largest wind turbines to be constructed in Montana so far. See more details in the Great Falls Tribune story.
2) Helped a client to determine working capital cash requirements for a proposed purchase of an existing Great Falls business. Helped two clients with questions about government contract regulations and worked to identify new state and federal contracting opportunities for the companies.
3) Helped organize, host and exhibit at the 6th annual Invest in Success statewide small business conference of the Montana Small Business Development Center network. 300 attendees participated in breakout sessions helping them start or grow their businesses. Two Shark Tank winners took home $7,500 in cash and prizes to help them develop their business ideas.
4) Moderated the Neighborhood Councils' 4 and 5 public forum to discuss retail and restaurant development in Great Falls with an emphasis on the East End Retail Center and what additional development could be spurred by that project. This was a wonderful and useful opportunity for citizens to share their thoughts and ideas as to what they would like to see in their city. The East End Retail Center will be built on a 26-acre site at the east end of 10th Avenue South at the intersection of 57th Street. The project will include an 189,000 square foot anchor retail store, a fuel station, and four spaces for restaurants or other retailers.
5) Based on the success of last month's first Downtown Development Showcase, we've decided to hold a second Showcase this fall. Thank you again to our partners the Downtown Development Partnership, Business Improvement District, NeighborWorks Great Falls and the Great Falls Association of Realtors. Today's Sunday Tribune ran a feature story about the successful Showcase event.
6) EPA approved a Targeted Brownfields Assessment (TBA) for a proposed downtown redevelopment project. The TBA will provide a free Phase 1 and Phase 2 hazardous waste assessment of the property. If you are interested in potentially developing a commercial property, but are not sure what contaminants may be present, we may be able to help. Contact Lillian Sunwall at 1-406-771-9024 or
7) Downtown volunteers donated 9,189 hours during the first quarter of 2015. Four new businesses opened and building permits were issued for 19 downtown renovations.
8) The Business Improvement District unveiled its newest downtown public art project, painted parking meters. Congratulations to all involved in a great Cruisin' the Drag!
9) GTF has the 95th lowest average air fare of all 459 commercial service airports in the country, according to data released by the U.S. Dept. of Transportation. In the 4th quarter of 2014, Great Falls had the lowest average fare of all the airports in Montana and Idaho, plus we had lower average fares than Spokane and Salt Lake.
10) Air Force TV has produced some excellent short videos that demonstrate the critical importance of the ICBM mission, and the hard work and dedication of the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom AFB. Take a few minutes to view these on YouTube - 
 or -
11) D. A. Davidson Companies became a $1,000 sponsor and Joseph Eve CPA's became a $500 sponsor of the Montana Economic Development Conference we'll be hosting starting Monday in Great Falls. Thank you to all our sponsors for making it possible to showcase Great Falls in this event, bring in several internationally-renowned speakers, and to hold the conference downtown in the Civic Center.
12) How can the Great Falls region become an event better magnate for entrepreneurs? Learn how other communities have boosted their economies by creating local Entrepreneurial Eco-Systems at a very special community workshop we're hosting this Monday, May 4, 3:00-5:00 PM in Heritage Hall at Great Falls College MSU. The workshop will be led by Della Rucker of I've had the opportunity to participate in Della's workshops at several national and international events. I guarantee you will have fun, get some great ideas, and leave inspired about the importance of supporting local entrepreneurs, attracting entrepreneurs to the Great Falls region, and downtown/riverfront revitalization. This is a free workshop made possible by the sponsorship of the Great Falls Tourism Business Improvement District. Don't miss this special opportunity -- just show up! Contact Jolene Bach if you have any questions at
13) Want to learn about a limited number of exclusive sponsorship opportunities with year-round exposure for 5 years, and support the exciting remake of the Great Falls Visitor Center? Want to support boosting tourism, attracting new residents, and economic development of Great Falls? Contact Jolene at 1-406-750-4481 or
14) Our next CEO Forum will be held on Thursday, May 21, 2:00 PM in the Absolon Lounge at the University of Great Falls. Our CEO Forums feature innovative Montana entrepreneurs who travel to Great Falls to share their passion and expertise. This Forum will feature James Stephen, Co-CEO and Chief Scientific Officer of Blue Marble Biomaterials in Missoula. His talk will focus on business adaptation strategies to succeed in an ever-changing business world. For more info, contact Jason Nitschke at
15) Our Entrepreneurial Spirit Tour 2015 makes its next stop in Shelby on Thursday, May 12 at the Marias River Electric Cooperative, 910 W Roosevelt Hwy. Arrive by 1:30 PM to network and start relationships with local bankers, US Small Business Administration, Montana Manufacturing Extension Center, Procurement Technical Assistance Center, Small Business Development Center, Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program, Montana Department of Commerce International Trade Bureau, Great Falls Development Authority, and More. Formal program starts at 2:00 PM. For more details and to RSVP, contact Rebecca at
16) Participated in Startup Fireup, a lead-up event to Startup Weekend Great Falls coming May 15-17. There's still time to join what is going to be a fun, challenging weekend. Details at
Congratulations to the Fairfield-Great Falls-Sun River Robotics Team on winning the world robotics competition!
Congratulations to the Sunburst students at North Toole County High School on sweeping the Montana State Chamber High School Business Challenge!
Watch your email for our Quarterly Index coming out on Tuesday. Untame your entrepreneurial spirit!


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