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GFDA Top 14 for May 12, 2014

Here's the GFDA Top 14 for the last week, celebrating great things happening to move Great Falls Forward. 
1) Sletten Construction plans to build a 32,000 square foot building for the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management on 38th Street North at the intersection of River Drive North in Great Falls. The development will serve as a new gateway to the North Park industrial area.
2) The University of Great Falls received a $650,000 endowment for scholarships from Nancy Cameron. The University celebrated the graduation of 304 undergraduate and graduate students and 91 students in its registered nurse to bachelor's of science in nursing degree program. Great Falls College MSU graduated 330 students who obtained Associate's degrees or certificates.
3) The new community center opened at Malmstrom AFB. Northwestern Energy opened its new Great Falls customer service center.
4) The Great Falls Rotary Club will invest an estimated $220,000 to construct 4 new cabins this summer as part of its long-term effort to improve Camp Rotary. The Camp's 100 year anniversary is in 2016, by which time the Rotary Club plans to complete the remaining 5 cabins, capping a decade-long multi-million effort to rebuild the camp. Camp Rotary is used by dozens of youth organizations from throughout the region.
5) The Great Falls City Commission held a work session with GFDA and future tenants to discuss tax increment financing for the Great Falls AgriTech Park. We're wrapping up final details to move the first four companies into construction this year.
6) We hosted the Montana economic development conference in downtown Great Falls, as well as a community workshop on creating entrepreneurial ecosystems. Thank you to the sponsors, volunteers, vendors, and companies who opened their operations for tours to make the conference a great success. Special thanks to our lead sponsors the Great Falls Tourism Business Improvement District, Northwestern Energy, BNSF, and downtown Business Improvement District!
7) Hosted a statewide Brownfields workshop following the MEDA conference sponsored by MT DEQ and EPA Brownfields Region 8. The workshop included presentations by DEQ, DNRC and the Montana Petroleum Board focused on how to use Brownfield funds to clean-up and redevelop property.
8) Congratulations to Platinum Development who received a No Further Action letter from DEQ for the downtown True Brew Site that they cleaned up and redeveloped. This was the first project we financed from our EPA Brownfield loan fund, in partnership with DEQ and the MT Petroleum Board.
9) We also hosted the Montana Small Business Development Network for a two day meeting following the economic development conference. GFDA's SBDC was recognized as the Best Managed Center of 2014.
10) Published our Quarterly Index for the 1st quarter of 2015.
11) Three events later today, Tuesday, May 12. Our Entrepreneurial Spirit Tour 2015 stops in Shelby, 2-4 PM, at Marias River Electric Cooperative. Celebrate the SBA Montana Millenial Entrepreneur of the Year award to Jordan Husted at the Celtic Cowboy 5:30-7:30. Then head over to Mighty Mo from 7-8:30 to hear from Brewers and Distillers about how they got their businesses started.
12) Join us for a reception at the Great Falls Visitor Center this Thursday, May 14th, 4:30-6 PM to celebrate Tourism Week, thank Center volunteers, and hear about plans for the Center's make-over. In partnership with the Great Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau and Tourism Business Improvement District, we're offering 7 exclusive five-year sponsorship opportunities to support the Center's make-over and operations. Contact Jolene Bach for more info at 1-406-750-4481 or
13) We're offering two fun entrepreneurial events next week. Our next Startup Spark open discussion session will be Wednesday, May 20th, Noon at GFDA (300 Central Avenue, 4th floor, downtown Great Falls). CEO Forum featuring James Stephen of Blue Marble Biomaterials on Thursday, May 21st, 2 PM in the Absolon Lounge at the University of Great Falls' Student Center. Contact Jason Nitschke for more info at JNitschke@ or 1-406-750-0314. You can participate in our Startup Spark discussions by phone or Internet. Just arrange with Jason in advance.
14) The Downtown Chicks, part of the Downtown Great Falls Association, are hosting Military Appreciation Days Downtown Great Falls this Thursday May 14 through Saturday May 16. Over two dozen downtown businesses will be offering special military discounts.
Thank you to the many businesses, organizations, agencies, elected officials and community members who have offered to help in response to Asurion's announcement. Our first concern is to do everything possible to help employees who may be seeking new employment to find great jobs. Our next concern will be to market the facility and trained workforce to attract other employers.
Untame your entrepreneurial spirit!


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