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GFDA Top Ten for November 2, 2015

Here's the GFDA Top 10 for last week, celebrating great things happening to move Great Falls Forward.

1) Prepared for an out-of-state prospect visit that will take place this week. The company visiting Great Falls is looking at potential cities in the Western United States to re-locate to. Met with entrepreneurs working on a start-up project in Great Falls and discussed GFDA financing assistance and learned more about their project. Discussed SBA 504 financing with an existing regional business that is looking at an expansion project that would include the purchase of real estate and improvements to their existing space.
2) Earthwork has started in the Great Falls AgriTech Park for the first two companies building facilities. Head out to 18th Avenue North to check out the activity, but drive carefully because there are contraction workers all over the place!

3) We made progress in getting ready to launch our new Brownfield assessment effort. We selected a team of NewFields, L'Heureux Page Werner, TD & H Engineering, and Boland Construction & Drilling to assist us with the overall project. We selected this team, and CTA and Weston Solutions to conduct site-specific hazardous waste assessments.

4) Montana Milling CEO Greg Thayer discussed how his company has added value to its customers by identifying niche markets and services at our quarterly CEO Forum.
5) We subscribed to Chmura Economics' online JobsEQ system to provide detailed current industry, demographic trends and targeted labor market information to our business clients, prospects, and site selection consultants. This powerful new tool will enable us to quickly provide data to help new and existing companies with very detailed information on every industry down to 6 digit NAICs code and for all 851 occupations.

6) Using the JobsEQ system, we were able to confirm that wage growth in the Great Falls metro area that we experienced in 2014 has continued in the first two quarters of 2015. Annual average weekly wages in 2015 Q2 increased 5.1% over the previous 12 months, our highest wage increase rate since 2007.

7) 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! Last quarter, 4 new businesses opened downtown, 20 renovation project building permits were issued totaling $6,586,751, and volunteers donated 2,193 hours to support downtown!  Register HERE for the lunch or email me at

8) The Montana Manufacturing Extension Center partnered with the Montana Department of Agriculture to add a food safety and manufacturing specialist to its team. Claude Smith, who has been instrumental in leading Pasta Montana's manufacturing operations in Great Falls for years, has accepted the new position. Claude has been part of the Great Falls Food Manufacturers Network and will be a great boost to agri-processing industry efforts statewide. GFDA has donated office space for Claude. You can reach him at 1-406-868-9474 or

9) 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

10) US Bank will host the next Forward Great Falls Investor Development Coffee this Friday, November 6, 7:00 AM in the second floor Board Room, 300 Central Avenue, downtown. Contact Jolene Bach for more info at


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