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GFDA Top 15 for June 1, 2015


Here's the GFDA Top 15 for last week, celebrating great things happening to move Great Falls Forward. Help us spread good news about the growing Great Falls regional economy. Forward this to colleagues, friends, and family.
1) The first tenants moved into the Talus Apartments. Additional buildings will open throughout the summer. We're proud to have helped finance this beautiful 216 unit complex in partnership with Stockman Bank and NeighborWorks Great Falls.
2) Followed up on leads from the RECon event. Secured a meeting with an out of state manufacturer who has shortlisted Great Falls. Worked with a local company on their real estate needs for a proposed expansion. Connected a retailer with a local business person who is seeking a franchise opportunity.
3) The Roadhouse Diner opened at 613 15th Street North, financed by Stockman Bank and High Plains Financial. Stop by to try their wonderful fresh, locally sourced food!
4) Contacted a number of agricultural processing prospects, leads and targets to share information in our first draft business case for pulse crop fractionation. The business case details 8 market reasons that make the Great Falls trade area a highly competitive location for pulse fractionation manufacturing operations. For more info, contact Rebecca Engum at 1-406-771-9032 or
5) Construction started on the new wind farm in Fairfield and on the new retail redevelopment on 10th Avenue South that will house Mattress Firm.
6) The Great Falls metro area unemployment rate for April was 3.6%, our lowest month since September, 2007. Spread the word to out-of-towners that we have over 900 job openings posted at the Great Falls Job Service. GFDA was awarded a $5,000 grant from the United Way of Cascade County to launch a demonstration workforce effort to connect area residents with great jobs.
7) Embark Credit Union is offering low interest loans to pay for truck driver training being offered by Great Falls College MSU.
8) Helped a local business to learn about Montana Primary Workforce Training grants. This is a state-funded program that pays for up to 80% of the training costs for new full and part-time employees of growing primary sector firms (companies with over half of their revenues coming from out-of-state). The MT Dept. of Commerce also offers Big Sky Trust Fund grants to help with equipment, training and other needs of expanding primary sector companies. The next Big Sky Trust Fund deadline is June 24th. We can help you compete for these funds; contact Lillian Sunwall at
9) Scheduled appointments with energy and industrial companies who will be at the Global Petroleum Show in Calgary next week.
10) GFDA was awarded a $400,000 Brownfield Assessments grant from the EPA. This will enable us to help developers and businesses to assess contamination of potential redevelopment properties with a focus on downtown and riverfront areas. Contact Lillian Sunwall for more info at or 1-406-750-1253. Thank you to the Downtown Development Partnership, the City of Great Falls, MT DNRC, and Forward Great Falls Investors for helping to make this happen.
11) Worked with four entrepreneurs in the region. One is looking to improve profit margins. Another is trying to determine a fair sale price for the business. A third is an entrepreneur seeking guidance in preparing to purchase a business. A fourth is looking at the feasibility of launching a new venture. For assistance in starting, growing or diversifying your business, contact Jason Nitschke at
12) First Interstate Bank is hosting our Development Coffee this Friday, June 5, 7:00 AM at 2601 10th Avenue South.
13) We're committed to helping high-impact projects happen throughout the Golden Triangle. Do you have a project that will create high wage jobs? Grow or diversify our economy? Renovate a building? Clean up contamination? GFDA can partner with your bank to provide the financing you need for all sizes and kinds of projects. Contact Jennifer Rogers at or 1-406-350-1204. We offer SBA 504 Advantage loans statewide.
14) Join the ranks of over 50 local growth-focused business leaders who have benefited from participating in a Thought Patterns for High Performance workshop. Look at your business potential form a whole new perspective. Secure your spot now by contacting Rebecca Engum at 1-406-771-9032 or
15) Registration is OPEN for our annual meetings of GFDA and High Plains Financial. Forward Great Falls Investors and all who are interested in growing and diversifying the Great Falls regional economy are welcome to attend, Monday, June 29, 11:30 AM at the Hilton Garden Inn. This year's focus is on Workforce Recruitment, Retention and Training. Lunch and brief business meetings will be followed by the release of the new Great Falls Labor Demand Survey, a keynote by the MT Department of Labor and Industry, and a panel of local business leaders who are tackling our workforce challenge. The event is $25 to cover the cost of lunch. Register at
Congratulations to GFDA Director Nate Weisenburger of AE2S on being recognized by fellow engineers statewide with the George Warren Fuller Award!
Congratulations to the Great Falls Symphony's Chinook Winds Quintet for being invited to be featured in an hour-long PBS episode, and to perform at the International Horn Symposium in Los Angeles and the International Double Reed Society Conference in Tokyo! More info about taking Great Falls music to the world at
Untame your entrepreneurial spirit!


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Fax 406-454-2995
Physical Address
300 Central Ave. Suite 406
Great Falls, MT 59401
Mailing Address
PO Box 949
Great Falls, MT 59403