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GFDA Top 11 for October 25, 2015

Here's the GFDA Top 11 for this week, celebrating great things happening to move Great Falls Forward.

1) Loenbro held an open house to celebrate the completion of its headquarters office building on its new 53 acre complex. Congratulations to Loenbro and everyone involved in this great expansion!

2) The High Plains Finance board approved a $277,000 SBA 504 loan for a Cascade County business expansion.

3) The unemployment rate in September for the Great Falls metro area was 3.5%. We've updated our Great Falls Growth Highlights that you can use in your business development efforts. Here are also new copies of our Agri-Processing, Energy, Downtown Investment, Retail, and AgriTech Park flyers.

4) Renovations are underway on the Beckman Building downtown. The Great Falls Downtown Development Partnership will hold its annual celebration on Thursday, November 19th, 11:30 AM in the Darkhorse Banquet Hall under the Celtic Cowboy. Join us for a delicious pasta bar lunch and help celebrate downtown successes and hear about future revitalization plans! Register HERE.

5) Began work with an out-of-state business looking at the potential to expand their operation into other states in the western United States. Met with a Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business to assist with getting his business ready to explore the government contracting world. Spoke with a referral source who is working with a business that is looking to potentially purchase the building they lease. Discussed GFDA's gap financing as well as SBA 504 loans. Learn how we can package gap and bridge financing, contact Jeremiah Johnson at 1-406-750-3285 or
6) The Great Falls City Commission approved moving ahead with a comprehensive master planning process for city parks and recreation facilities. We signed a $50,000 Community Development Block Grant award from the City to help us build loan capital to finance the creation of jobs for low and moderate income residents.

7) Participated in a small but lively Great Falls Food Manufacturers Network meeting. Discussed opportunities in food manufacturing and processing and the agri-processing business cases we're developing to attract increased investment to grow this important regional industry. For more information on this effort or about the Network, contact Jeremiah Johnson, VP Business Development at 406-750-3285 or

8) Canola production in Montana is forecast to increase 58% this year according to USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Durham wheat seeding acres are estimated to be 41% greater than 2014. Barley production is up by 50,000 acres.

9) Join me in congratulating GFDA team member Jennifer Rogers who has been promoted to Loan Officer! Jennifer has underwritten 8 complex SBA 504 loans this year, as well as numerous gap and bridge financing deals. She has served as GFDA's Loan Portfolio Manager for several years. Contact Jennifer to learn how SBA 504 loans can help your business grow, or 1-406-350-1204.

10) Jason Nitschke, GFDA's Small Business Development Center Director, completed the final course in the National Development Council's Economic Development Finance Professional training, The Art of Deal Structuring. This four week series trains economic development professionals in business credit and real estate finance.
11) The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation ranked Montana 6th in Innovation and Entrepreneurship and 10th in Business Climate. See full report at

Team Great Falls Congratulations

Congratulations to Montana Farmers Union on its 100th Anniversary!

Congratulations to the Airmen of Maelstrom Air Force Base for winning the Blanchard Trophy for best missile wing!

Congratulations to YWCA 2015 Salute to Women Honorees: Susan Bliler (Creative Arts), Sara Harrell (Business or Entrepreneurship), Joan Trost (Volunteer & Community Service), Sharon Odden (Health & Human Services), Allie Nelson (Young Woman of Tomorrow), and Amy Langel-Braulick (Education)!

Upcoming Events

Our next CEO Forum is scheduled for October 27th from 5:30-7:30 PM. Montana Milling CEO Greg Thayer will present "Niche Thyself," discussing strategies to grow into untapped markets and how to drive new revenue into your business. To register for free, contact Jason Nitschke at or click here.


Our Entrepreneurial Spirit Tour will be in Great Falls and in Cascade on November 4th and in Belt on November 18th. Join us for a fun business event to learn about the local, state and federal resources available to help your business grow. For more details, click the community name, see the Facebook event page, or contact Jason Nitschke at


Amazing Job Opportunity

Join the GFDA business development team as our new Manufacturing Partnership Director. Help us to grow and diversify the Great Falls economy and create new higher wage jobs. Help existing companies to grow and create new entrepreneurial startups. Help attract global companies to invest in the Great Falls region. Help us improve Great Falls' web and social media presence. Fantastic opportunity to make a difference! Contact Brett Doney for more details at 1-406-750-2119 or


Untame your entrepreneurial spirit!




Manufacturers: 20 or 31.5 acre, rail-served heavy industrial lot in Great Falls AgriTech Park ready for immediate construction start! Gas, electric, water, sewer, fiber, and rail all to your lot line for $30,000/acre. Join Pacific Steel & Recycling, Montana Specialty Mills, Helena Chemical, and Ruedebusch Development in this new industrial park. Contact Jeremiah Johnson at 1-406-750-3285 or



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Great Falls, MT 59401
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Great Falls, MT 59403