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GFDA Top 19 for May 17

Here's the GFDA Top 19 for the this week, celebrating great things happening to move Great Falls Forward. Job openings posted at the Great Falls Job Service topped 900 this weekend and dozens of people were hired at the youth job fair this week so we're off to a great summer season!
1) Walmart announced that's it's the anchor tenant for the East End Retail Center. The company plans to break ground later this year and open it's second Great Falls store in late 2016 with 300 employees. Take a look at our new Retail Flyer that we'll use at the RECon retail, dining and hospitality show that starts today in Las Vegas.
2) Road and Water/Sewer construction bid opportunities for the Great Falls AgriTech Park were advertised in the legal notice section of today's Great Falls Tribune. Mandatory pre-bid meetings will be held on May 28. Bids are due on June 3rd. Contact TD&H Engineering for a set of contract documents. The Tribune ran stories today about the Park and our Agricultural Processing efforts.
3) The High Plains Financial board approved an SBA 504 loan for a new downtown retail business, including building purchase and renovation. We're financing the project in partnership with First Interstate Bank. The fixed 20 year rate for SBA 504 loans this month was 4.850%. Contact Jennifer Rogers to see how you can construct, purchase or renovate property for your business statewide with as little as 10% equity. or 1-406-350-1204. The Board also elected Erin Townsend of Wells Fargo as a new Director.
4) Worked with a long-term small business client to review revenue for the first quarter and compare margins to industry standards. For business coaching support, contact Jason Nitschke at
5) Delivered Boots to Business with our partners, Malmstrom AFB and U.S. Small Business Administration, to departing Airmen considering untaming their entrepreneurial spirit. This is an intensive two day workshop on the business startup process.
6) Several downtown property owners have contacted us seeking ideas for vacant land and building space. If you have viable ideas for new downtown businesses, contact Jeremiah Johnson at
7) Submitted a MT DEQ site eligibility request for a petroleum redevelopment site to qualify it for EPA Browfield loan funds for a business that wants to purchase the property. For info on low interest financing for environmental cleanup, contact Lillian Sunwall at
8) Our Entrepreneurial Spirit Tour stopped in Shelby, where entrepreneurs, bankers and partners learned about business resources and made new networking connections. Thank you to Lorette Carter, the City of Shelby, Marias River Electric Cooperative and all participants! Stay tuned for upcoming tour stops in Choteau, Fairfield and Browning! For details, contact Jason at
9) The City Planning Advisory Board endorsed annexation for CHS to enable its expansion in Great Falls. The Board also endorsed an annexation and subdivision that will allow for 88 new houses, including 60 for the NeighborWorks Great Falls self-help home building program.
10) The City Design Review Board approved plans proposed by Sletten Construction for a new 30,000 square foot building for BLM and the U.S. Forest Service.
11) The Great Falls Job Service hosted a workforce partners meeting to discuss resources that can help Asurion employees who will not be staying with the company. Thank you to Great Falls College MSU, Rural Dynamics, Great Falls Public Schools Adult Education, United Way and others for joining us in this important effort.
12) Registered to pitch Great Falls at the I.CON industrial real estate national conference next month in Long Beach. Rejoined the Industrial Asset Management Council to network with national and global manufacturers. We had to cut this from our budget a few years ago and are glad that we will again have access to this valuable network.
13) Over 13,000 visitors will stop at the Visitor Information Center this year. We expect this number to grow significantly after the Center's makeover. We're looking for a limited number of exclusive sponsors to help fund the makeover and next 5 years of operations. Help us boost tourism, attract new residents, and attract new entrepreneurs and business investment. Contact Jolene Bach for details at or 1-406-750-4481.
14) We invite all former GFDA Directors to our quarterly Board Emeritus Coffee this Friday, May 22nd, 7:30 AM at Faster Basset.
15) Get this on your schedule now! Thought Patterns for High Performance will be June 17th and 18th in Great Falls. This is a premier live-facilitated leadership training that provides tools to eliminate negative and unproductive behaviors, uncover habits that hold you back, and stop sabotaging your own success. Secure your spot now by contacting Rebecca Engum at 1-406-771-9032 or and join the ranks of the over 50 local growth-focused leaders who are implementing these tools!
16) The popular Great Falls CEO Forum is this Thursday, May 21, 2:00 PM in the Absolon Lounge at the University of Great Falls Student Center. The Forum will feature James Stephen of Blue Marble Materials. Contact Jason to RSVP;
17) Tell your entrepreneurial friends to come to our next Startup Spark open discussion session this Wednesday, May 20, Noon, at GFDA.
18) Need well-trained truck drivers? Sponsor an employee or prospective-employee for the new CDL truck driver training being offered by Great Falls College MSU. The first session is scheduled June 8-July 17 and only costs $3,000 per trainee. Contact Linda McNeil for info at 1-406-454-3217 or
19) The Great Falls Farmers Market is looking for interested new vendors for this summer's Wednesday and Saturday markets in downtown Great Falls. Applications can be found at

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