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GFDA Top 11 1/21/2017


GFDA Top 11
Here's the GFDA Top 11 for this week, celebrating great things happening to move Great Falls Forward.

1) Participated in days of intensive meetings with bankers and equity investment groups in New York City on a potential large, innovative agricultural processing project that would be located in Great Falls. It was great to work with lenders and investors who have extensive knowledge of our tremendous agricultural production in the Golden Triangle of Montana.
2) On Wednesday, we celebrated International Pulse Day. By 2024 Montana is predicted to grow as many pulse crops as wheat and barley - approx. 1.2 million acres - according to the MT Dept of AG. North Central Montana is the perfect location for a pulse processing facility and we are currently pitching our business cases industry-wide. Chat with Jolene Schalper to learn more at 406-750-4481. Check our some of our business cases by clicking here:
3) High Plains Financial's Board approved a $700,000 financing package for a project in Fort Benton consisting of a $500,000 in SBA 504 funds and $201,000 from our gap financing pool.  We have many financing tools at our disposal to help get deals done; contact Mike Archer at if you need help finding money for your project.
4) Do you know a woman in business who is successful and inspires others? Or how about a new woman business owner? Nominate them for a Fire Within Award! The Fire Within celebrates these business leaders and connects women entrepreneurs for shared success. Click here for the details and the nomination form. You can also register now for your seat at the 7th Annual Fire Within presented by Embark Credit Union, March 30th, 5:00 PM at the Meadowlark Country Club.
5) Panda Express announced plans to build a 2,587 SF restaurant on one of the pads in front of the Walmart soon to open in the new East End Retail Center on 10th Avenue South.
6) Worked on a petroleum site eligibility form to Montana DEQ on a Great Falls property to start the process of a potential sale and redevelopment.  If you have a property, expansion or redevelopment that may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous contaminant, contact Lillian Sunwall at (406) 750-1253 or 
7) Another business startup assisted by GFDA's Small Business Development Center: RMZ Marketing is a Helena-based digital marketing firm owned by Rebecca Ziegler. Rebecca does contract work for other marketing companies. We provided budgeting, bookkeeping and general start-up assistance. Continued work with five other businesses on the intricacies of getting started and stabilized. Began work with two established companies strategizing for growth, one a local manufacturer, the other a service firm wanting to acquire a building. Completed a financial analysis and estimate of value for an entrepreneur considering the purchase of an existing business. Did you know the SBDC does more than help businesses get started? We focus on maximizing profit with existing companies because established firms can be big job creators. Contact Jason Nitschke at
8) Join area manufacturers for our monthly free flowing discussion, the Manufacturer's Roundtable. One topic of discussion this month will be assessing the need/value of a truck/rail transload facility here in Great Falls. Thursday, 1/27, 4 PM at the Mighty Mo. Call Jolene Schalper to learn more, 750.4481. 
9) Seventeen prospective entrepreneurs participated in our January LaunchPoint workshop. Our next pre-business workshop is free to attend on February 16th from 4-5 PM at GFDA. Please RSVP here Other upcoming workshops include ProfitMastery on February 1-2, Boots to Business for veterans and transitioning service members February 8-9 at MAFB, and Digital Marketing the evening of February 8th in Choteau Contact Jason at for more information.
10) Submitted an application to the City of Great Falls seeking $200,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds to replenish our gap/bridge financing loan pool. We currently have $10,120,779 in loans invested in local businesses, housing and commercial real estate developments, and have few funds left to put to work to create quality jobs for City residents. We hope to convince the City that strengthening and growing its economy should be a top priority. City staff has recommended allocating less than 8% of CDBG funds in economic development efforts. We have hundreds of City residents out of work, and many more working part-time jobs who need full-time, year-round opportunities.
11) 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

Enjoy a great weekend! Jolene hits the road tomorrow to network at the Northern Pulse annual event in Minot while I head south to conduct a two-day accreditation review of the City of Las Vegas' economic development department.

Untame Your Entrepreneurial Spirit in Great Falls, Montana!


Brett Doney
President and CEO
Connect with me on LinkedIn to network with the Great Falls region.

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."
Will Durant
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 


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