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Top Twelve 6/22/15

Here's the GFDA Top 12 for this week, celebrating great things happening to move Great Falls Forward.
1) The annual average weekly wage in the Great Falls metro area grew 60% more than the national average and 49% more than the Montana average in 2014, according to data released this week by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Great Falls metro grew 5.2%, compared to Montana 3.5% and the U.S. 3.1%. Total annual wages grew 4.9% in the Great Falls metro area.
2) The Great Falls metro area unemployment rate dropped to 3.2% in May, our lowest month's unemployment rate since May of 2007.
3) Here's a factoid from the Great Falls Labor Demand Certification that we'll release at our annual meeting on June 29th. 47% of the employers surveyed expect to grow employment in the next year, 50% expect to remain stable, and only 3% expect to shrink. The only employers who expect to shrink are government employers. 100% of the private employers who responded to the survey expect to remain stable or grow.
4) The Great Falls City Commission approved the first use of the new Downtown Tax Increment Financing District funds to provide match towards an extensive downtown streetscape improvement project. The Downtown Development Partnership Board had unanimously recommended this to the City Commission.
5) Site work started on the new U.S. Forest Service complex in Great Falls.
6) The Great Falls Rescue Mission was awarded a $450,000 grant form the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, allowing the Mission to schedule groundbreaking on July 1st for the new Cameron Family Center in downtown Great Falls.
7) We continued work on our new pulse crop fractionation business case, the first of 7 business cases we are developing this year to detail market-driven reasons for agricultural processing companies to build manufacturing operations in the Great Falls region. Check out the Great Falls Tribune story that describes why our region is a very competitive location for pulse fractionation.
8) Great Falls is one of the Top 100 Best Small Cities in America, according to Nerd Wallet. The company ranked 1,300 cities with less than 75,000 residents based on economic health, affordability, and quality of life. See the entire ranking at
9) Montana Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC's) have helped farmers and ranchers to secure over $59 million in federal farm conservation funds since 2012. To learn how GFDA's PTAC counselor can help your business with government contracts, contact Lillian Sunwall at 1-406-771-9024 or
10) Great Falls was named the 16th Best Small City for Prime Workforce by Area Development magazine in its annual ranking of all U.S. metro areas.
11) Reviewed historic financials for a client looking to purchase an existing business in the region. Worked with two other clients planning to purchase existing businesses. Assisted a company with cash flow projections to help plan for a proposed expansion project.
12) GFDA and HPF Annual Meetings will be held on Monday, June 29th, 11:30 AM at the Hilton Garden Inn. Register now at or call us at 1-406-771-9020.
Have a great week and Untame your entrepreneurial spirit!


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