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GFDA Top 10 2/21/2016

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


1) Local contractors began erecting steel for the first buildings in the Great Falls AgriTech Park. Construction started on the new Super 1 grocery store on 10th Avenue South. The major crosswinds runway project at Great Falls International Airport went out to bid.

2) Deb Evans, Embark CU, and an entourage of media surprised our 2016 Fire Within Award winners. Congratulations to Heidi Reiste, of Electric City Coffee, this year's Aspire Award winner, and to Katy Duncan, of Happy Tails Lodge, this year's Inspire Award winner! These women business owners were chosen by a committee of peers for their business acumen and proven entrepreneurial success. Save the date for the 6th Annual Fire Within presented by Embark Credit Union 3/31, 6-9 PM to help us celebrate and encourage women entrepreneurs. Visit to enter the Fire Within Location Reveal contest!

3) Travelled to the Salt Lake area on our second business investment mission of 2016. Promoted Great Falls opportunities to dozens of retailers, developers and brokers at the ICSC Mountain States Idea Exchange. Held great meetings with three Utah-based commercial investors who own properties in Great Falls that are ripe for redevelopment.

4) Worked with City and community leaders to develop a creative competitive incentive package for an exciting primary sector prospect. We're experts in figuring out ways to make deals work. If you are looking to expand or diversify your business, contact Jolene at 1-406-750-4481 or Jeremiah at 1-406-750-3285 to learn about potential resources.
5) Heard from an out-of-state prospect we've been working that the company is sending additional team members to Great Falls on what will be their third visit. Thank you to the many community partners who have helped work this prospect!

6) Closed and funded a $120,000 bridge loan to Great Falls Apartments LLC to further support the completion of the first 216 units in the new Talus Homes apartment complex. GFDA provides gap and bridge financing for businesses of all sizes, non-profits and real estate development throughout the 13-county Great Falls trade area. We've helped companies from Babb, Havre, Choteau, Ulm, Conrad, Shelby, Browning, Black Eagle and more.

7) The City Commission approved a partnership with the Downtown Development Partnership and the Business Improvement District to have a mural of Charlie Russell painted on the North parking garage. The Partnership released 2015 downtown reinvestment numbers: 8 new businesses opened downtown; 75 renovations pulled building permits totaling $10,798,827; and, volunteers donated 36,627 hours to support downtown efforts.
8) Worked with two new clients to prepare loan packages. Worked with a third client to finalize its business plan and projections for a loan package. Reviewed an initial business plan for a proposed development. Began work on the financial feasibility for an entrepreneur evaluating post-retirement options. For guidance at any stage of business, contact Jason Nitschke at
9) We approved 3 more sites for Brownfields Assessments, including a Phase 3 clean-up planning assessment and two Phase 1 assessments.  If you know of a site that is not moving forward due to potential contamination, contact Lillian Sunwall at 771-9024 or

10) This month's SBA 504 rate for a 20 year loan is 4.324% fixed. SBA 504 loans can assist with fixed asset financing. To find out if your real estate or long term equipment project qualifies, please contact Jennifer Rogers at or 1-406-350-1204. 

Untame your entrepreneurial spirit!


Connect with me on LinkedIn to connect with other Great Falls business leaders.

Quote of the Week

"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader."

John Quincy Adams

Upcoming Events


Prosperity Matters! United Way of Cascade County is launching the Pathways to Prosperity initiative on March 1 at 8 AM at the Civic Center. Limited space is available. Please RSVP to Lacey at 727-3400 or


All are invited to the Montana Ambassador Annual Conference here in Great Falls on March 10-11. The theme this year is "Working Better Together for Montana." More info at Sponsorship opportunities still available!


Made in Montana Tradeshow wholesale buyer and retailer registration is open for the March 11-12 event in Helena. Visit


The Montana Chamber's Business and the Law Conference will be held on March 22nd in Helena. More info at


Great Falls Job Fair will be held Tuesday, March 29th from 11:30 AM to 5:00 PM at the Montana ExpoPark Exhibition Hall. Employer registration is now open. Visit the website or contact Barbara Hardy of the Great Falls Job Service at 791-5816 or


Montana Energy 2016 will be held in Billings March 30-31. Looks like a great conference. More info at  See you there!


Two Great GFDA Job Openings

Loan Officer. Exceptional professional sought for new Loan Officer position to support the growth of our commercial gap and bridge financing efforts. Join our fun, creative, fast-paced, results-driven team focused on growing and diversifying the Great Falls regional economy and supporting the creation of higher-wage jobs. Duties include business development, deal structuring, underwriting, closing, loan servicing, and reporting to a variety of funding sources. Requires the ability to work with a diverse clientele, banks, and partners to structure often complex financing for businesses, real estate projects and non-profits. Minimum 3 years of experience in commercial lending, economic development or the CDFI industry, and BA or equivalent additional experience. Salary dependent on capabilities and experience, excellent benefits, flexible work environment, professional development and growth opportunities. Send letter and resume to Brett Doney at EOE. Open until we find a great candidate!

Director of Development. Exceptional, positive fundraiser sought to join our dedicated, passionate, results-driven economic development team. Help us grow and diversify the Great Falls regional economy and support the creation of higher wage jobs. Help us engage existing investors, connect with new investors, and enhance our web and social media communications. You will be meeting with business leaders to listen to their challenges and opportunities, engage them in Forward Great Falls efforts, and secure their investment in the future of Great Falls. We're looking for a proven star with excellent speaking, writing and listening skills, social media savvy, tenacity, and integrity. BA/BS and relevant business, marketing, fundraising or communications experience. Salary range $45,000-55,000 with excellent benefits, professional development and growth opportunities, and flexible work environment. Work with a great team, help us move Great Falls Forward, and make a difference in people's lives! EOE. Cover letter and resume to Brett Doney, President, Open until we find a great candidate.


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