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GFDA Top 16 for May 25, 2015

Here's the GFDA Top 16 for last week, celebrating great things happening to move Great Falls Forward.
1) Networked with commercial brokers, property owners, retailers, and restaurant and hotel brands at the RECon Global Retail Real Estate Convention in Las Vegas. It was a very successful event with more positive buzz about Great Falls than we've ever experienced. We started work on following up with leads, providing detailed information and making connections.
2) Construction started on the 38-unit Voyagers apartments in Great Falls, an accessible and senior housing complex being developed by Accessible Space.
3) Efforts to construct hydro generation facilities at Gibson Dam moved closer to fruition. Congressional action is needed to allow the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to grant final license to the project. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on a bill introduced by Senator Daines and supported by Senator Tester and Rep. Zinke. The Gibson Dam project would benefit the Greenfield Irrigation District, Sun River Electric Cooperative, and Teton and Lewis and Clark Counties. Thank you to our Monatna delegation for moving this forward!
4) The Great Falls City Commission approved a tax increment financing agreement to help fund road, water and sewer infrastructure for the first part of the Great Bear Innovation Park adjacent to ADF and MaltEurop.
5) We received the first draft of our Pulse Fractionation Business Case, the first of 7 agricultural processing business cases we've commissioned from an industry consultant to help convince processing companies to expand or locate manufacturing operations in the Great Falls trade area.
6) Continued work with state environmental officials on important clean-up/redevelopment projects in Great Falls. Participated in a Brownfields workshop hosted by the Montana Dept. of Commerce.
7) Mandatory pre-bid meetings will be held for road, water and sewer construction bid opportunities for the Great Falls AgriTech Park -- May 28, 2:30 PM at TD&H. Pick-up your bid packet today. Contractors will have the flexibility of constructing the improvements anytime this season. BNSF officials came to town this week to finalize rail details. We expect to have the rail bid packet advertised soon.
8) Worked through business plan and cash flow revisions for an entrepreneur seeking licensing and market research support. Started work with a new client to identify appropriate pricing models for a new venture. Assisted a long-term client to enter international markets. Reviewed a marketing plan for a local business looking to grow its revenue. For assistance starting or growing your business, contact Jason Nitschke at
9) Thank you to James Stephen, CEO of Blue Marbles Biomaterials, for speaking at our CEO Forum! He talked about the company's pivot into the natural food additives market after a meeting with the owner of Mars Candy. Mark your calendar for our next CEO Forum on August 20th featuring Clint Peck, owner of Yellowstone Cellars and Winery of Billings,
10) MDT released the draft report of the Great Falls I-15 Corridor Study which covers all four interchanges in Great Falls and the roads that lead into the interchanges. Accident rates are up to 4 times the state average, including 105 crashes/year. The study identifies over two dozen substandard design elements. Some of the intersections already rate an F. The draft study recommends 12 improvements projects but notes that NO FUNDING exists for any of them. Completing Emerson Junction (interchange with the Northwest Bypass) is kicked down the road again by recommending further study, though the project has been in local transportation plans since 1968! A public hearing will be held this Thursday evening, May 28, 6:00 PM, in the Great Falls Civic Center Gibson Room. The draft study is available at
11) I had the opportunity on Saturday to drive around town to look at four of our loan clients under construction, including the Hotel Arvon, Margaret J. Maclean Animal Welfare Center, Talus Apartments and Elkin Family Dentistry. 
12) Join us for a special announcement this Thursday morning, May 28, 9:00 AM at the Celtic Cowboy to celebrate exciting news that will boost our city-wide redevelopment efforts.
13) The State of Montana is holding a vendor meeting in Great Falls to answer questions about its new eProcurement system called eMACs; June 30th, 2:00 PM in the Providence Forum Room at the University of Great Falls. Free but registration required at: Contact Lillian Sunwall for more info at or 1-406-771-9024.
14) Annual Meetings of GFDA and High Plains Financial will be held on Monday, June 29, 10:30 AM -1:30 PM at the Hilton Garden Inn in Great Falls. Watch for details and registration information.
15) Toured the Downtown Great Falls Incubator run by the Business Improvement District. For info about the benefits of an incubator and how it can help your business grow, contact Jason Nitschke at
16) New government policies in Alberta and California could create market opportunities for construction of more wind farms in the Golden Triangle. If the window of opportunity opens, let's be ready to act quickly so we don't miss out.
Untame your entrepreneurial spirit!


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Great Falls, MT 59401
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Great Falls, MT 59403