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GFDA Top 12 for 4/10/2016

Here's the GFDA Top 12 for this week, celebrating great things happening to move Great Falls Forward.


1) ABC News featured Great Falls in a story about Forbes' ranking of the Top 25 Places to Retire To. View the story at
2) The Great Falls City Commission unanimously approved the sale of the last 3 lots in the City's Med Tech Park to Great Falls College MSU. The land will provide for future expansion of the community college to continue to meet area workforce education and training needs. Once the sale closes, the City will recognize about a $770,000 net gain on the Park. See Tribune article for more details.

3) Talus Apartment Homes closed on its permanent financing, paying off the GFDA bridge loans we made to spur apartment construction. Congratulations to The Farran Group, local investors, construction lender Stockman Bank, and all involved in this great project! Thank you to NeighborWorks Great Falls for participating in the bridge loan package!

4) Enertech, a Blackfeet Tribe Chartered Corporation, announced plans to develop a $17 million bottled water plant on the Blackfeet Reservation. The new business will be called Mountain Chief Artesian Water Products.

5) I spent the week in Washington, DC, meeting with federal officials and fellow economic developers at the International Economic Development Council's annual Federal Forum, IEDC's Capital Hill Summit, and the Economic Development Administration's first national conference in 10 years. I was honored to represent Great Falls and Montana by moderating the Capital Access panel at the IEDC event and speaking on the Made in Rural America panel at the EDA event.

6) Worked through an SBA 504 application for a team working on purchasing an existing business in Cascade County. Helped a startup put the finishing touches on a loan package. Completed two financial reviews - one for a possible business sale; the other for a company looking to expand. Assisted two companies with financial projections for expansion projects. Performed a business valuation for a client wanting to make an offer to buy a local business. Worked on brand and message development for a startup. From financial analysis to market research assistance, contact Jason Nitschke at to figure out ways to better your business.

7) Food Manufacturers in North Central Montana will gather for the quarterly Food Manufacturers Roundtable on 4/14 at 4 PM at Mighty Mo. This is a free flowing discussion of current trends and topics. Claude Smith, Food and Process Specialist with the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center, just returned from gaining certification as a Lead Trainer for Preventive Controls for Human Food which is a required component of the Food Safety Modernization Act. He currently is the only person in MT with this certification. Contact Jolene Schalper for more information, 406-750-4481.

8) The 2016 Downtown Showcase will be held Friday, May 13th from 9:00-10:30 AM at the Dark Horse Hall in the Arvon Block. This year's showcase will feature presentations from developers, building owners and downtown groups, offering a mix of successful projects and opportunities for development. If you would like to be a presenter, please reply to this email with a brief summary of your presentation. You will be notified April 30th if your presentation has been chosen.  The 2016 Showcase will not include a walking tour of downtown; although individual presenters may offer tours of their development following the Showcase.

9) Lillian attended the 2016 Spring APTAC (Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers) Training and Membership Conference in St. Louis.  The trainings concentrated on FAR Regulations with information on upcoming Cyber Security requirements for small business contractors coming this June.  If you want more information on government contracting, contact Lillian Sunwall at or 1-406-771-9024.

10) Jeremiah completed the National Development Council's Economic Development 201: Business Credit Analysis course, the 2nd of 4 total courses to complete to earn Economic Development Finance Professional certification. We have loan funds available to fill financing gaps between what your bank can lend and your available equity. Contact Jeremiah at
11) Have you wondered what's the deal with Pulse Crops? Maybe you heard 2016 is International Year of the Pulse. Check out this great article in this month's Signature Montana Magazine. If you have questions about our recruitment of pulse crop processing companies, call Jolene at 406-750-4481.
12) We signed up to participate in the 3rd SelectUSA Investment Summit to be held this June in DC. SelectUSA, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, helps to attract foreign direct investment into the U.S. We will be partnering with the Governor's Office of Economic Development and the Montana Department of Commerce which plan to exhibit at the event. Great Falls has proven to be a successful location for manufacturing plants owned by Canadian, French and Japanese companies. We're seeking more!

Untame your entrepreneurial spirit!


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

Quote of the Week

"Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success."

Henry Ford

Great Falls AgriTech Park

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

Upcoming Events

Workshop regarding New Opportunities for Montana's Food Businesses highlighting changes in the state's food laws will be held in Great Falls on April 15. Registration is free and includes lunch. Register at or contact Corrie Williamson for more info at 1-406-443-7272 or


Montana Technology Innovation Partnership's Innovator Training Tour will be in Great Falls on Friday, April 15 at 3:00 PM, Great Falls College MSU. Learn about intellectual property, funding your innovation and going to market. Free, but must RSVP by emailing


Join GFDA for a celebratory reception on Wednesday, April 27th, 5:00-6:30 PM at Meadowlark Country Club to honor Greg Thayer, CEO of Montana Milling, the 2016 Montana SBA Small Business Person of the Year! Register to attend.


The Great Falls Area Chamber and The Center for Lifelong Learning at Great Falls College MSU are partnering to offer a training: Building a Culture of Legendary Customer Service. It will be on Thursday, April 28 from 7:30-9:30 AM on our campus in Heritage Hall. It is $30 for Chamber members and $35 for non-members. For more information visit:


Montana International Trade & Manufacturing Day will be held May 2nd in Missoula. More info and registration at Montana Chamber


Montana Equal Pay Summit will be held May 2-3 at MSU Bozeman. More info at



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