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GFDA Top 12 10/9/2016


GFDA Top 12
Here's the GFDA Top 12 for the week, celebrating great things happening to move Great Falls Forward. A great week for Great Falls!
1) By wide margins, voters approved the Great Falls Public Schools $98.8 million school facilities bonds and the Belt $4.6 million school bonds. THANK YOU to voters who invested in the future of our communities and to the leaders and volunteers who worked tirelessly on the efforts!

2) ADF won $133 million in new contracts, including the major 20,000 ton Salt Lake City Airport steel fabrication project that will be produced in Great Falls over the next 24 months.

3) Construction started on the new 132-room Marriott Springhill Suites hotel, the first building in the West Bank Landing riverfront development.

4) Benefis Health System announced that it plans to begin construction on a $12.5 million expansion of its emergency department in early 2017. The Benefis Foundation has launched a capital campaign to raise $2.5 million for the project. See Tribune article for more info or
5) The Great Falls Clinic Legacy Foundation announced plans to build a 12-unit housing complex to provide free lodging for out of town patients and their families. The foundation has launched a capital campaign for the project. See Tribune story for more details or visit
6) Local entrepreneurs announced the first Teriyaki Madness franchise will open in January in Great Falls. The fast casual dining experience will offer freshly prepared noodle bowls at 1710 10th Avenue South. Read more inTribune. Big Bang Pizza, a brick oven pizza parlor, has opened in the Columbus Center. Town Pump plans to renovate its gas station and convenience store on the 400 block of 10th Avenue South.
7) The Great Falls Tribune endorsed Initiative 181, Montanans for Research and Cures. GFDA's Board strongly supports the initiative that would bolster the McLaughlin Research Institute in Great Falls, the Montana University System, and research at hospitals and private companies across the state. See Tribune editorial and visit
8) We closed on a $35,300 gap financing loan for a new start-up business in Great Falls, Tacticality Workwear, LLC.  The new business owners, John and Lisa Chapman, noticed a real need to provide public safety, healthcare and other workers with high-quality practical gear to support them in the safe execution of their professional and personal lives. The new store will open at 1812 10th Avenue South later this year. Thank you to Chad Simonson at First Interstate Bank for being a great finance partner to get this deal done.
9) Action Plumbing Plus, a longtime PTAC client that we have been coaching on how to compete on government bids, has won contracts with the US Forest Service and the National Park Service for over $1.75 million.  If you would like more information on doing business with the government, contact Lillian Sunwall at (406) 771-9024 or

10) The Great Falls Downtown Development Partnership has won an $8,000 grant from the Montana Main Street Program for a Downtown Pedlet Placemaking project.
11) "Napa Valley, Bordeaux, Champagne, Parma and Tuscany are regions known for their top quality agricultural products. Now the Canadian Prairies and Upper Midwest/Great Plains region wants an esteemed agricultural identity of its own: The Protein Highway." That's a clip from journalist Sarah Brown's story about Pulse Crops and the opportunities that exist in our market. We are working with her on a follow up story about our business cases. Can we be the Napa of Pulse? We think so! Contact Jolene Schalper to learn more, 406.750.4481. Click here to read Sarah's article.
12) Montana once again was ranked as having the 6th best state business tax climate by the Tax Foundation. See full 2017 State Business Tax Climate Index.
Congratulations to Dr. Anthony Aretz on being installed as the ninth President of the University of Great Falls!
Congratulations to the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center on its 20th anniversary!

GFDA is looking for two great team members. Openings for Development Director and reposted Commercial Loan Portfolio Manager. We offer competitive salaries with excellent benefits, professional development, growth opportunities, and a flexible work environment. Work with a great team, help us move Great Falls Forward, and make a difference in people's lives! GFDA is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Untame Your Spirit!

Brett Doney
President and CEO

"People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel."
Maya Angelou
Cost-Effective Industrial Sites Available
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 or 

SafetyFestMT is coming to Great Falls October 17-20 and there's still time to register. Visit
FedEx Ground Grand Opening, 4821 18th Avenue North in the Great Falls AgriTech Park, Friday, October 21, 11-1.
Senator Jon Tester's 17th Small Business Opportunity Workshop: Helping Vets and Business Connect, Thursday, October 27, 8:30-12:30, Great Falls Civic Center in the Missouri Room. Agenda and registration here.


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