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GFDA Top 14 9/18/2016


GFDA Top 10
Here's the GFDA Top 14 for the week, celebrating great things happening to move Great Falls Forward. Another great week for Great Falls!
1) Oregon-based FCR announced it will open a Great Falls call center employing up to 325 people. The company has leased 35,000 sure feet of space in the downtown Strain Building. For more details, see Tribune story. Thank you to the investors and partners who have worked with us over many months to land this deal!

2) Why did FCR pick Great Falls for their first call center outside of Oregon? "Great Falls is so friendly! We came and walked around a lot and are struck by how clean the community is and the civic pride. The town feels alive and leaders are receptive to new companies," Katheryn Carnahan, Chief Operating Officer. FCR is hiring three upper management positions now and will soon start taking application for all positions. Visit to learn more.

3) Travelled to meet with two out of town commercial developers to work on getting Great Falls projects moved forward. The new 38-unit Voyageur Apartments opened.

4) How do we produce results? GFDA tracks our business development efforts using four databases in our Salesforce CRM:

1. Clients in Active Pipeline includes existing businesses, entrepreneurs, developers, and business attraction prospects that we are actively working with. Today we have 195 active clients. 

2. Business Retention and Expansion Targets is comprised of priority existing businesses that we are not currently working with. We target them to schedule visits locally and at out of town headquarters to discuss any threats or opportunities they may be facing. Today we have 65 targets.

3. Business Attraction Targets includes companies that we have targeted through market research that we believe the Great Falls region offers competitive advantages for. We are currently targeting 26 such companies.

4. Site Selection Consultants & Commercial Brokers are professional site location advisors who we have targeted through market research. 56 professional are currently targeted.

5) As part of our commercial brownfield redevelopment effort, this week our consultants completed work on an inventory of petroleum release sites in Great Falls.  We'll use this to reach out to potential developers and property owners with sites that are ripe for redevelopment. The inventory includes a GoogleEarth component to visually show the site locations. To get info on the brownfield assessments and clean-up loan funds we offer, contact Lillian Sunwall at or (406) 771-9024.

6) Completed an estimate of value for two entrepreneurs doing a feasibility analysis on the purchase of an existing business in Great Falls. Discussed city and county planning procedures with three entrepreneurs in development stages of start-up planning. Visited with entrepreneurs in Cut Bank, Conrad and Choteau about ongoing projects. 

7) Congratulations to Janine Hieb and the new roller skating rink in Great Falls. Wheels of Thunder will officially open September 23rd with a ribbon cutting and grand opening event on October 1st. For hours of operation visit

8) Good Call released the top 100 places in the U.S. for law school grads. Great Falls, MT, ranked 4th, the only Montana community in the top 100! GoodCall analyzed 900+ cities on average lawyer salary, job availability and competition, housing prices, and area amenities. Click for the full study:

9) Met with loan officers in Great Falls and surrounding rural communities to discuss our SBA 504 Real Advantage loans that offer 10 and 20 year fixed interest rates for the purchase of commercial real estate and our gap and bridge loan funds available to businesses and developers throughout the Golden Triangle. Met with potential borrowers in Cut Bank about an exciting new business they are working on and a potential borrower in Choteau about acquiring an existing business. SBA 504 interest rates this month are 4.08% for 20-year and 4.29% for 10-year. For infor on SBA504 loans, or our other Gap or Bridge financing options, contact Mike Archer 

10) Montana had the fastest growing median income of any state in the nation in 2015, according to data released this week by the U.S. Census. Montana media income rose 6.79%.

11) The Census Bureau also released some interesting factoids about Cascade County workers (Great Falls metro area). In 2015, 97.6% of us worked in our county of residence, 3.1% worked at home, and our mean commute time was 15.3 minutes.

12) If your company needs a rail-served, shovel-ready site with all municipal services at your door, we have lots available for immediate construction in the Great Falls AgriTech Park. Contact Brett Doney at 1-406-750-2119

13) The Montana Department of Commerce is updating its Consultant Directory which lists professional planners, engineers, architects, and technical assistance providers throughout the state. To make sure your firm is included, email or call 1-406-841-2791.

14) Support the School Facilities Bonds
GFDA urges you to support the Great Falls Public Schools facilities bonds. Great Falls is on a roll. We're moving forward. We're working together to build a fantastic future for our City's residents. Now is not the time to go backward. Vote YES to maintain and grow our economy. Vote YES to protect and build our tax base. Vote YES to protect our property values. Vote YES for our kids and grandkids. Vote YES because before you know it you'll have kids, grandkids or great grandkids. Vote YES because decades ago taxpayers supported the schools you attended. Vote YES because you want to see more exciting things happen around town. Learn more

Untame Your Spirit!

Brett Doney
President and CEO

"You can't escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today."
Abraham Lincoln

Upcoming Business Events

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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