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GFDA Top 12 8/10/2016


GFDA Top 12
Here's the GFDA Top 12 for last week, celebrating great things happening to move Great Falls Forward.
1) Congratulations to the partners of West Bank Landing on the approval of their TIF application! Thank you to the City Commission, Planning Advisory Board, and City Staff for your diligence and support of this great project! West Bank Landing is a multi-phase development on the West Bank of the Missouri River. This lifestyle development will offer a hotel, office, retail, residential and restaurant space.
2) Joined the Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, Mayor Bob Kelly and many other business and community leaders at the YES! for Great Falls Kids kick-off event supporting the facility improvement bonds for Great Falls Public Schools. GFDA's Board has unanimously voted to endorse this critical effort to address decades of deferred maintenance in our schools. We cannot retain and attract the talent our companies need if we have schools with failing boilers, leaking roofs, structural dangers, corroded pipes and such. This is not a Cadillac proposal. It is to cover basic repairs and replacement of long worn-out facilities. We urge everyone who cares about the current and future Great Falls economy, our property tax base, our workforce, and our kids to support these bonds. Visit Thank you to former GFDA Board Chair Gene Thayer for chairing this effort!
3) Worked on an exciting downtown project! Our role now is connecting the company with community leaders, resources, and securing state incentives to make the deal happen. Our standards are high. We want to provide the best customer service and insure we seal this deal. If you're wondering about how we help local and soon to be local businesses grow and prosper, contact Jolene Schalper at 406.750.4481. 
4) Great Falls' Young Professionals are hosting an inaugural Montana Young Professional Summit over the weekend of August 19th-21st in Great Falls. They invite Young Professionals (22 years old to late 30's & 40ish for the young at heart) to visit Great Falls to enjoy their community. It will be a weekend of networking and professional development to create more leads, garner more direct referrals, and build connections among working Montana professionals. Register your Young Professionals by AUGUST 12th  to network, exchange ideas and share why they choose Montana as the best place to live, work and connect. To register visit
5) Welcomed Über to Great Falls at their launch. They hope to help make an impact on Vision Zero's mission of reducing Montana's DUI-related accidents, while giving vehicle owners an opportunity to work for themselves in their spare time. Sign up to drive or ride by downloading the Über app for free.
6) Met with three prospective loan clients, one working on an affordable housing project, one a light industrial park and one an agricultural processing plant. High Plains Financial approved an SBA 504 loan for a new winery in Kalispell, and GFDA closed on a $50,000 Community Development Block Grant loan for the West Bank Landing Springhill Suites hotel. We have rural loan funds available for companies outside of the Great Falls city limits and SBA 504 interest rates are currently at historic lows: 4.09% for 20 years or 4.12% for 10 years, fixed for the term of the loan. For any questions about these, or our other gap and bridge loans, contact Mike Archer .
7) The Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce has refreshed web site as a one stop relocation guide for employers recruiting employees into Great Falls. Visit The Great Falls Job Service has 895 job openings listed for the Great Falls area. has 931 openings, 731 openings, and 615 jobs.
8) Helped a business on a contract opportunity with a federal agency by communicating with the contracting officer to resolve issues with posting the bid and to extend the due date. 
9) Dominos is opening a sit down and take-out restaurant on the west side of town.
10) Participated in a professional development seminar presented by Andy Commons, Internet marketing consultant of Missoula, on how businesses can use free online resources to increase return on advertising investment, specify which key words people actually use on web searches, and other re-marketing strategies. To find out more about digital analytics and strategies, contact Jason at
11) The Helena Small Business Development Center and Helena College are hosting an export certification training on August 18-19, 2016. Its main focus is to help business professionals take the next step in international trade certification and prepare them to pass the CGBP (Certified Global Business Professional) exam. The course will be presented by Jim Foley, author of The Global Entrepreneur, the leading text to develop global business skills, past president of NASBITE, national co-chair of the ASBDC International Trade Committee and director of the Turner Center for Entrepreneurial Operations and Illinois SBDC. The cost is $500 for the course which covers materials and lunch for both days. Register here:
12) Participated in and spoke at the Denver regional Economic Development Administration conference.
Untame Your Entrepreneurial Spirit!

Brett Doney
President and CEO

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

"The only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks."
Mark Zuckerberg
Economic Growth, Diversification and High Wage Jobs
Montana's first Accredited Economic Development Organization.
We provide SBA 504 Real Advantage loans statewide.
GFDA and High Plains Financial are Equal Opportunity Lenders.
Untame Your Entrepreneurial Spirit!
For more info, click to our website.


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