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GFDA Top 14 for 7/14/16

Here's the GFDA Top 14 for the last week and a half, celebrating great things happening to move Great Falls Forward. The momentum keeps building!

1) Discussed opening pulse processing facilities in the Golden Triangle with targeted agricultural processing companies at the Canadian Pulse and Specialty Crops Convention in Toronto. Next step is to plan site visits. For more information contact Jolene Schalper at 406-750-4481.
2) The prospect who visited Great Falls last week came back this week and has found space. Stay tuned!
3) Personal Income per capita in the Great Falls metro area (Cascade County) grew 4.2% in 2014, confirmed by data released last week by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. This beat the national average of 3.6%, Montana at 2.6%, Billings metro area at 3.2% and Missoula metro area at 3.3%. Amongst the 12 metro areas in the mountain west that we benchmark against, Great Falls came in 4th.
4) A potential new major employer that we have been working with for quite some time and who has visited Great Falls multiple times signed a letter of intent for space downtown. We're working with the company and partners to win this deal!
5) GTF secured release of federal grant funds to move ahead with the important crosswinds runway project.
6) McDonald's opened its new west side restaurant. 31 Flavors held its grand re-opening.
7) We underwrite and approved a $35,000 gap loan to help an existing Great Falls business to purchase the property it has been leasing. Stockman Bank is the primary lender.
8) Benefis Health System and Mountain Plains Equity Group completed the addition of 16 units to the Cascade Ridge affordable senior apartment development.
9) Pulled JobsEQ wage data for a company trying to identify a competitive wage range for a new employee. Discussed appropriate and affordable financing options for an entrepreneur looking to acquire property. Updated progress on a liquidation sale strategy with a company that recently secured debt restructuring financing. Worked through the digital platform of a startup developing an online presence. Is your business listing claimed on Google? Ask Jason how to expedite the verification process and "Get Your Business on the Map" at
10) The Great Falls Design Review Board approved plans for Lithia Subaru to construct a new $3 million building downtown. Great to see another major downtown project, particularly on the east end of the Central Avenue central business district!
11) Construction started on the West Bank Park Rivers Edge Trail improvements.
12) Participated in the Montana Main Street Innovation Symposium in Billings.
13) Two new GFDA team members started work. We're excited to have Mike Archer as our new Loan Officer and Austin Walker as our new Business Development Leader. They are already hard at work on business start-ups, expansions, and attractions. You can reach Mike at or 1-406-771-9033. You can reach Austin at or 1-406-750-3285.
14) Great Falls Tourism has created an effort to promote Great Falls on social media. The new Great Friends League is a group of Great Falls Champions sharing their passion about Great Falls with others. The Tourism Team will look to the Great Friends League for information on upcoming events, unique features of our community, ideas for promoting Great Falls, and other hidden gems that would excite residents and non-residents alike. This information will then allow us to build connections with those lucky people who will have to decide how they want to experience Great Falls. We are asking you to join the Great Friends League, and there are a number of ways to participate:
  1. Add yourself, and other Great Falls Champions you know (with their permission) to the Facebook Group: Great Friends League
  2. Share your images and information using the hashtag #GreatFallsMontana #VisitGreatFalls socially or email images and information directly to
  3. Attend Great Friends League social gatherings. The first gathering is July 19th, 5 pm to 6:30 pm at Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art Cafe. You will have an opportunity to share Great Falls Stories, Weekend Itineraries, amazing Great Falls experiences and the Best of Great Falls.
We'd like to build our email distribution of the Top 10, so feel free to forward this to colleagues, friends and family. If you received this from a friend and want to sign up yourself, you can do so here or email

Untame Your Entrepreneurial Spirit!
Connect with me on LinkedIn to connect with other Great Falls business and community leaders.
Congratulations to CTA Architects and Engineers on being named Intermountain Design Firm of the Year by Engineering News Record!
Quote of the Week
"Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries."
James Michener

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 Brett Doney at 1-406-750-2119 or


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