Links Calendar News    

Top Sixteen 6/15/15

Here's the GFDA Top 16 for this week, celebrating great things happening to move Great Falls Forward. It's been a busy week with three of us on the road pitching Great Falls in Alberta, California, and Washington.
1) Moody's released a new analysis of the Great Falls economy that substantially increases projected personal income growth since its winter analysis. Income grew 4.8% in 2014 and is projected to grow another 4.8% in 2015; both numbers are 14% higher than this winter's prediction. Income is projected to grow 6.3% in 2016, up 43% from the winter prediction; 5.7% in 2017, up 50% from winter; and, 5.1% in 2018, up 59% from winter. The report states that, "...average wages jumped more than 10% in 2014, making GRE [Great Falls] one of the fastest-growing metro areas in the U.S., the trend has continued in 2015."
2) Great Falls has 1,708 unique open job postings, according to Economic Modeling System's analysis. Imagine the economic impact on housing, retail, services, medical and other local industries if we recruit new residents to fill these job openings!
3) Networked with energy and industrial business leaders at the Global Petroleum Show in Calgary, in partnership with the Governor's Office of Economic Development.
4) Met at the out-of-state corporate headquarters of an existing Great Falls company looking to expand. Visited an out-of-state prospect considering Great Falls to locate a new agricultural processing plant.
5) Networked with industrial brokers and developers at NAIOP's I.CON industrial park conference in Long Beach, CA.
6) The Great Falls AgriTech Park and the Shelby Port of Northern Montana Multimodal Hub Center have both been selected to be among the first handful of rail industrial parks in the country to be part of BNSF's pilot park site-certfication program. This will boost national exposure and provide a marketing edge for the region.
7) Worked with a downtown property owner to discuss the results of a Phase 2 and options for removal of hazardous materials. Worked with the MDEQ Brownfields Petroleum Division on a site visit to evaluate a property for a potential purchaser. For more information on our Brownfields program, contact Lillian Sunwall at or 1-406-750-1253.
8) Great Falls ranked 6th amongst all U.S. metro areas in Aviation Support Activity Concentration or industrial cluster in a national study released by site selection consulting firm Garner Economics.
9) Met with a long-term small business client trying to enter international markets. Worked with another client planning expansion of an existing business. Started work with an entrepreneur on business plan revisions for the proposed purchase of commercial property. Reviewed the financial statements for an entrepreneur looking to address a decline in revenue. For assistance in starting or expanding your business venture, contact Jason Nitschke at
10) Did you know that energy efficiency renovations and new construction that includes a renewable energy feature are eligible for up to $5.5 million in SBA 504 loans that are not subject to the $5 million SBA loan or loan guarantee cap? To find our if your project qualifies, contact Jennifer Rogers at 1-406-350-1204 of The most recent SBA 504 loan interest rate was 5.062% fixed for 20 years.
11) Thank you to Central Plumbing and Heating which doubled its annual investment in the Forward Great Falls effort, becoming our newest top Advance Division Investor!
12) Registration ends Monday morning for Thought Patterns for High Performance. This is your last chance to secure your spot before September. Contact Rebecca Engum at or 1-406-771-9032 to learn more about this premier out-of-the-box leadership development experience.
13) Visited with a participant of Startup! Spark who was trying to identify suppliers for a new business concept. Our next two Spark sessions are scheduled for Wednesday, June 17 and Thursday, July 2, both at noon at GFDA. Contact Jason at
14) Workforce, workforce, workforce! That's our big issue. Join us for the Forward Great Falls  annual meetings of GFDA and High Plains Financial for the release of the Great Falls Labor Demand Survey, and a discussion about strategies to address our workforce challenges. Hopefully this week the registration link HERE will work. If not, or if you have any questions, call our office at 1-406-771-9020 or email to register.
15) Montana is rolling out its new eProdurement system this summer, eMACs. Learn about the system at an information meeting in Great Falls, 2:00 PM, June 30, at the University of Great Falls' McLaughlin Center. Click on this link for details and to register, or contact Lillian Sunwall at
16) Concerned about a level regulatory playing field for your small business? SBA, the Montana Chamber, Montana Manufacturing Extension Center, and GFDA are bringing a Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Roundtable to Great Falls on Thursday, July 23rd, 9:30 AM, in the Absolon Lounge at the University of Great Falls Student Center. Register by July 15 at
Hope to see you at the Great Falls Farmers Market or opening night at the Great Falls Voyagers this Saturday!
Have a profitable week and Untame your entrepreneurial spirit!


Signup to get news emailed to you



Home | Site Map | Policies | Employment | Contact Us Phone 406-771-9020
Fax 406-454-2995
Physical Address
300 Central Ave. Suite 406
Great Falls, MT 59401
Mailing Address
PO Box 949
Great Falls, MT 59403