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GFDA Top 10 9/04/2016


GFDA Top 10
Here's the GFDA Top 10 for the week, celebrating great things happening to move Great Falls Forward.
1) Montana Eggs has started site work on a new $6.6 million facility in Great Falls that will enable the company to significantly expand egg processing. This will lead to a huge increase in egg production on 30 Montana Hutterite colonies. Another big step forward in growing and diversifying our agricultural processing industry! See Tribune story for more details.
2) Published the GFDA Index for 2nd Quarter 2016Submitted a Big Sky Trust Fund application to the Montana Dept. of Commerce for a Job Creation grant in support of a major new employer looking to locate in downtown Great Falls. Worked with a service-disabled veteran to begin the process of certifying his business with the VA through the Certified Veterans Enterprise (CVE) program.

3) Cascade County expects to receive an increase of about $1.3 million in property tax revenue this fiscal year, mostly due to new business investment. Apricot Lane is opening a 3,000 sure foot Great Falls store in October. The new downtown mural of Alma Smith Jacobs on the front corner of the Great Falls Public Library is nearly completed. Downtown streetscape, sidewalk and storm drain work is just about done and looks great. 

4) Presented "Startup Accounting and Legal Structures" to 17 military veterans turned potential farmers at Armed to Farm, put on by the National Center of Appropriate Technology at Great Falls College MSU. Worked through startup procedures with three pre-venture companies. Reviewed financial projections for a startup company working on a Growth Through Agriculture grant application. The Amazing Philly held its grand opening, now operating five days a week at Times Square's Popup kitchen. Find them at GFDA's Small Business Development Center does more than help businesses start. Contact Jason at to find out how we can help your business grow.

5) Great Falls Public Schools and the Great Falls Tribune are hosting a public forum about the school facilities bonds this Tuesday evening, 6:00-7:30 PM in the Great Falls High School Auditorium. Tours of the proposed high school improvements will be offered before and after the forum. GFDA's Board voted unanimously to endorse the bonds. In addition to all the reasons we've already stated, think about the pure economic rationale for homeowners. Some day, you will want to sell your property and its value will depend entirely on demand for housing in Great Falls. If our economy is strong and families want to live here, home prices will be higher. If our economy is weak and families choose to live in other communities that have better schools, home prices will be lower. Or, think about the economic benefit of investing $100 million in construction in our community over the next few years. See more reasons to vote yes at

6) Completed underwriting on a bridge loan to provide funds for clean-up and infrastructure improvements of a large mixed-use development by the river. If you are an entrepreneur in need of loan capital to start or build your business, but you are short on collateral, contact Mike Archer at to learn about our gap and bridge financing options.

7) The local team at Montana Vocational Rehabilitation & Blind Services offers a number of useful services for businesses throughout the region. Did you know that employees with disabilities have equal or higher job performance rates, higher retention rates and lower absenteeism? Contact Mike Mikulski for more info at 1-406-454-6060 or

8) I've been appointed to the national Food System Advisory Council, created by the Community Development Finance Association to boost local food and value-added agriculture efforts. Agricultural production and processing are a critically important industry to the Great Falls trade area.
9) Everything GFDA does is made possible by the leading companies and organizations that invest in the economic future of Great Falls and our surrounding trade area. If you are interested in joining the team that moves Great Falls Forward, contact Kelley Aline to learn about how GFDA strengthens our economy through growth, diversification and the creation of higher wage jobs.
10) The U.S. Census issued the results of its first Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs this week, an effort supported by the Kauffman Foundation. As of the pay period including March 12, 2014, Montana had 30,458 firms with employees, that had 360,560 employees and annual payroll of $13,218,947,000. 8% of the firms were owned by veterans, 18% by women and 3% by minorities. 80% of the firms had fewer than 10 employees. 8% of the firms were less than two years old, 11% two-three years, 8% four-five years. Only 6% of the firms had been in business longer than 15 years. That's why we put so much effort into business startups, retention and expansion!
Go Voyagers and Untame Your Entrepreneurial Spirit!

Brett Doney
President and CEO

"Champions keep playing until they get it right."
Billie Jean King

Upcoming Business Events
Our next LaunchPoint workshop, a course dedicated to early stage entrepreneurs looking for direction and guidance is scheduled for this Wednesday, September 7th at the GFDA offices. For more information or to RSVP, contact Jason Nitschke at or click here:
Grand opening celebration of the Great Falls AgriTech Park this Friday, September 9th, 9:00 AM at the rail crossing on 18th Avenue North. Park along the side of the road and walk to the tent on Pacific Steel & Recycling's lot right at the rail crossing.

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:


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Great Falls, MT 59401
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Great Falls, MT 59403