GFDA Top 14 1/15/2017
GFDA Top 14
Here's the GFDA Top 14 for this week, celebrating great things happening to move Great Falls Forward. Our business development efforts during January through July will take the GFDA team to at least 12 states and provinces. We're scheduling more appointments with targeted companies everyday and scheduling more prospect visits to Great Falls. Locally, we plan to meet with over 65 existing companies.
1) The University of Great Falls intends to double student enrollment on campus and expand online enrollment to 10,000. The University is considering plans to create a College of Health Sciences in partnership with Providence St. Joseph Health, its affiliate not-for-profit health and social services system with more than 100,000 caregivers across seven western states. See more details in Tribune story.
2) 2017 started out with a bang for clients of GFDA's Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Our first official business start is Golda Gordon, CLNC. As a certified legal nurse consultant with over 22 years of experience, Golda's business will work largely with attorneys and insurance companies around the country analyzing medical records in cases involving illness, injury or death. Jason provided startup assistance and continued technical support. Golda also participated in the SBDC's Boots to Business trainings. Our first business acquisition of 2017 is Donna Hartelius' purchase of A Health Horizon. Jason performed a valuation and financial analysis as well as ongoing transition consultation. Change of ownership is set for February 1st. Congratulations as well to local manufacturer, Buckskin Jim, LLC. Jim and Sylvia Love were awarded a Bootstrap Montana no-interest loan to begin nationwide advertising efforts of their 100% Made in America chair pocket and classroom organizer line of products. They are online at www.buckskinjimmt.com. For more on our business coaching and technical assistance services, contact Jason at JNitchske@GFdevelopment.org
3) Food Frenzy Cafe & Catering held its Grand Opening downtown at 600 Central Avenue. The City Planning Advisory Board/Zoning Commission approved rezoning properties at Fox Farm Road & 10th Avenue South. This marks another step toward spring construction of Town Pump's proposed 90-room Sleep Inn/Main Stay hotel.
4) We published our GFDA 4th Quarter 2016 Index. With all the recent announcements, we've also updated the Great Falls Growth Highlights.
5) An important Montana Transportation infrastructure report was released this week that says the MDT estimates it faces an $874 million annual shortfall through 2021 in the investment level needed to make further progress in improving road, highway and bridge conditions; improving traffic safety; and, completing needed modernization improvements to enhance economic development opportunities. According to the report, Great Falls area motorists lose $1,417 a year due to poor road conditions.
6) Began work with a developer on a potential rail/truck transload facility in the Great Falls area. If you're interested in this type of project, join us for our monthly Manufacturer's Roundtable at 4 PM at Mighty Mo (412 Central Avenue, Upstairs) on Thursday 1/26. Be sure to mark your calendar to attend future Manufacturer's Round Table the fourth Thursday of each month. For more information contact Jolene Scalper at JSchalper@GFdevelopment.org or 406.750.4481.
6) Began work with a developer on a potential rail/truck transload facility in the Great Falls area. If you're interested in this type of project, join us for our monthly Manufacturer's Roundtable at 4 PM at Mighty Mo 412 Central Avenue, Upstairs) on Thursday 1/26. Be sure to mark your calendar to attend future Manufacturer's Round Table the fourth Thursday of each month. For more information contact Jolene Scalper at JSchalper@GFdevelopment.org or 406.750.4481.
7) Finished underwriting an SBA 504 loan for a Fort Benton project and met with lenders in Shelby, Conrad and Cut Bank to discuss our gap financing product. Are you trying to purchase or refinance commercial real estate but having trouble getting bank financing? Contact Mike Archer at MArcher@GFdevelopment.org to see if an SBA loan might be right for you. SBA 504 loans have below market, fixed interest rates for 20 years and down payments of as little as 10%.
8) Great Falls Tourism won a planning grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to move forward with the next step of planning for proposed improvements to the Montana ExpoPark and the addition of a major new events facility. We've entered into a partnership with Great Falls Tourism to share the costs of a new social media tool that will help us to better pitch our community. Nonresident visitors to Montana (i.e. tourists) spent an estimated $3.49 billion in state in 2016, according to the Institute for Tourism & Recreation Research at the University of Montana.
9) Hosted a visit by a major regional developer to work on a master plan for a proposed 10th Avenue South development in conjunction with city leaders and private sector partners. Avoid some frustrations and set backs in your project by beginning to work with the city/county and other key agencies at the very beginning of your project planning. We are here to help you through the process. Contact Jolene Schalper to discuss your next project, JSchalper@GFdevelopment.org or 406.750.4481.
10) Join us for Ignite Great Falls 2017 Kickoff on Friday, January 27th, 8:00-9:30 AM. The event will feature representatives of a number of exciting 2017 projects, remarks by Mayor Kelly and Lt. Governor Cooney, and a brief overview of GFDA economic development plans for the year. Register here or contact Austin Walker at AWalker@GFdevelopment.org
11) Our business training for 2017 begins with Profit Mastery on February 1-2 at Great Falls College MSU. Profit Mastery is a two-day workshop targeting existing businesses to improve cash flow and profitability. Cost to attend is $125. Register here http://mtsbdc.ecenterdirect.com/events/3722 or contact Jason at JNitschke@GFdevelopment.org Here is a calendar of our planned trainings for the year.
13) $8,500 in prize money is up for grabs at the 2017 MT Shark Tank Live Business Plan Competition. Businesses with less than one year in operation are eligible to compete. Registration is open now through February 4th. Find more at http://marketmt.com/Events/GovernorsConference/Welcome
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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