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GFDA Top 17 8/23/2016

GFDA Top 17
Here's the GFDA Top 17 for last week, celebrating great things happening to move Great Falls Forward.
1) We invite you to join us to celebrate the grand opening of the Great Falls AgriTech Park, Friday morning, September 9th at 9:00 AM at the Park. Look for the tent on 18th Avenue North at the new rail crossing.
2) The City of Great Falls has $875,206 in newly taxable revenue for FY 2017 according to the Montana Dept. of Revenue. Last year the newly taxable revenue was $822,535. Since the Forward Great Falls effort was started 14 years ago, the total increase in City mill levy due to newly taxable property totals $6,182,129. That's annual revenue for years into the future. Total taxable value has increased 40%. Not a bad return on investment for our public/private economic development partnership. Let's keep building our tax base, creating higher wage jobs, improving our quality of life, and growing/diversifying our economy! Great Falls is moving FORWARD!
3) Great Falls Public Schools is offering bus tours of school facilities so voters can see first hand how the proposed school facilities bonds would be used. Tours will be offered on August 29 from 1:00-4:15 PM, August 30 from 8:00-11:15 AM and August 31 from 4:00-7:15 PM. All tours start at the District Office Building at 1100 4th Street South. RSVP to Cindy by August 26 at 268-6001. GFDA's Board has unanimously voted to endorse this critical effort to address decades of deferred maintenance in our schools. 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.
4) Great Falls hosted Montana's first Young Professional Summit, creating an opportunity for over 100 young professionals from 17 Montana cities and towns to network and engage in our community. Thank you to everyone in the community who came together to pitch Great Falls!
5) Cascade County Commissioners approved a tax increment financing agreement to expand the Manchester Industrial Park.
6) Creative sector jobs in the Great Falls metro area increased by 15.3% from 2011 to 2016 according to a report released by Garner Economics.
7) $10 million in two solar projects were approved by the Cascade County Zoning Adjustments Board. These projects will provide great construction jobs and on-going tax revenue. 
8) Underwrote a bridge loan for a large new apartment construction project. Met with two new business startups in the Golden Triangle to determine if we could assist them with gap financing from our rural development loan funds. We have rural loan funds available for companies outside of the Great Falls city limits. 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 at

9) The Great Falls Planning & Community Development Dept. has issued its summer newsletter:
10) Re-engaged with a previous SBDC startup client planning an expansion to its local manufacturing operation. Continued work with an area business interested in converting to a cooperative. Began strategic planning discussions with a client receiving interest from a third-party investor to expand current operations. Initial business planning continued with two entrepreneurs looking at developing properties in rural communities. GFDA provides technical assistance and coaching to entrepreneurs at all stages of business. Ask Jason Nitschke which tools could best fit your entrepreneurial efforts at
11) Great Falls ranked top in Montana and 25th out of nearly 1,000 communities for best places for First Responders to locate. Good Call ranked communities based on four criteria: Affordability, Job Competition, Crime Rating, and Lifestyle. To view the full report click:
12) Hosted a State of Montana Contracting Workshop for local businesses to learn the new eMACS system and ways to submit successful bids.  For more information on federal, state and local contracting, contact Lillian Sunwall at or (406) 771-9024.

13) The Western United State Agricultural Trade Association (WUSATA) and the Montana State Dept. of Agriculture will hold a special seminar on exporting agricultural products on September 6, 2016 in Great Falls, 9:00 AM-Noon. You will learn about WUSATA's programs to support your export efforts and have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with WUSATA's management for a personalized consultation and the Montana Dept. of Agriculture to learn about their exporting resources. Cost: $10 per person. Registration Deadline: September 1st. Suitable Products: All agricultural food and beverages including but not limited to retail products, food service products, ingredients, natural / health products, produce, seafood; nutraceutical; pet food products; and nursery. TO REGISTER

14) Hosted five people for our monthly LaunchPoint workshop, a course dedicated to early stage entrepreneurs looking for direction and guidance. LaunchPoint for September is scheduled for Wednesday, September 7th at the GFDA offices. For more information or to RSVP, contact Jason Nitschke at or click here:
15) The Compete Smart Montana Manufacturing Conference will take place October 5-7 at the Fairmont Hot Springs. Celebrate 20 years of the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center: 25+ sessions, 3 multi-plant tours and networking with manufacturers from across the state. Learn more and register:
16) Montana ranked 4th as Best State for Families to Live a Richer Life in a report issued by the website GoBankingRates, assessing jobs and income, housing, lifestyle, healthcare and safety.

17) Montana ranked 3rd in Lowest Industrial Electricity Rates and 6th in Best Business Tax Climate in Business Facilities magazine's annual ranking of states.

Untame Your Entrepreneurial Spirit!

Brett Doney
President and CEO

"Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare."
Japanese Proverb


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