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GFDA Top 16 1/29/2017


GFDA Top 16
Here's the GFDA Top 16 for this week, celebrating great things happening to move Great Falls Forward.

1) The Montana Board of Housing awarded federal tax credits to NeighborWorks Great Falls and GMD Development enabling construction to start later this year on the 124-unit Rockcress Commons apartments.

2) Fire Artisan Pizza opened downtown and Big Mouth BBQ opened its second location in West Bank One. Construction started on PetSmart at Holiday Village Mall.

3) The Cascade County Commission approved a property tax abatement for the Black Eagle Solar project. The Great Falls City Design Review Board approved plans for Hobby Lobby and Panda Express.

4) BNSF announced that the Great Falls AgriTech Park earned BNSF Site Certification distinction, saving 6-9 months for companies needing rail-served industrial sites. BNSF also announced $100 million in capital improvements to its Montana system in 2017.

5) GFDA's Small Business Development Center was named the Top Performing Center in Montana for 2016. Began work with a local manufacturer on taking a patent to market. Continued expansion planning with an established business. Corporate culture was the primary discussion with a growing business that recently added it's first full time employee. What are your business' New Years resolutions and how can GFDA help? Connect with Jason at

6) GFDA is proposing a Cascade County 3-mill economic development levy that would raise $450,000/year to improve the region's competitiveness in growing and diversifying our economy, and supporting the creation of higher wage jobs. And, expand the County's industrial and commercial tax base to take pressure off homeowners. The levy would cost the owner of a $150,000 house about $6/year. See more details in today's Tribune.

7) Met with pulse crop processors at the Northern Pulse Growers Association annual meeting Minot. Hosted our monthly Manufacturers Round Table. These free form discussions occur the fourth Thursday of the month at 4 PM. Our next one will be at Electric City Coffee on 2/23. Contact Jolene Schalper at 1-406-750-4481 or

8) Conducted outreach visits to two local primary sector companies. If your business is experiencing threats or opportunities, we may be able to help or connect you with great resources. Contact Austin Walker at 1-406-750-3285 or

9) 200 community leaders gathered for our Ignite Great Falls 2017 Kickoff event that featured details of a wide variety of private investments planned for the Great Falls region this year. Thank you to all the presenters! We also published our Quarterly Investor Letter.

10) Worked with a business to help remove obstacles on their upcoming contract renewal with a federal agency and completed one-on-one training with a local Great Falls business for marketing and research on potential contracts with federal, state and local agencies. Made a presentation to the Uptown Optimist Club on GFDA's Brownfields Toolbox for cleanup and redevelopment of sites.  If you would like more information, contact Lillian Sunwall at (406)750-1253 or

11) Testified down in Helena in support of three economic development tools essential to our past and future success, including the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center, Small Business Development Center, and Primary Worker Training Program.

12) Finished packaging an SBA 504 loan for a Fort Benton business. Began work on an SBA 504 Debt Refinance webinar that GFDA will help present on Wednesday, February 8th from 9-11 AM. If you are in the process of buying or building commercial real estate and would like a loan with a low down payment and a below market, fixed interest rate for the life of the loan, please contact Mike Archer at

13) Last chance to take advantage of our outstanding ProfitMastery workshop this Wednesday/Thursday Contact Jason at for more information.

14) Join us at Loenbro at 7 AM this Friday, February 3rd for our monthly Development Coffee!

15) Kiplinger is predicting 31% greater U.S. GDP growth in 2017 over 2016, and 250% greater manufacturing growth. There are still 1.3 million Americans working part-time who would prefer full-time. Let's bring some of these workers to Great Falls!

16) 87% of American workers see continuous training as essential or important to career sussess, according to the Pew Research Center.

Have a SUPER week and 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.

This week's quote inspired by Sen. Mary Sheehy Moe!

"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of ones critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a little better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is the meaning of success."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Business Events of Note
The Montana Manufacturing Extension Center is offering a number of excellent training opportunities including ExportTech, SME Lean, Food safety and much more. Visit

Boots to Business for veterans and transitioning service members February 8-9 at MAFB

Digital Marketing the evening of February 8th in Choteau

LaunchPoint, our pre-business workshop is free to attend on February 16th from 4-5 PM at GFDA.

Join us at the Montana International Trade & Manufacturing Day in the State Capitol Rotunda on March 1st. Info at

Safety, Leadership & HR Conference, March 8-9 in Billings. Visit

2017 Governor's Conference on Tourism & Recreation, March 12-14 in Helena.

Cost-Effective Industrial Sites Available
If your company needs a rail-served, BNSF-Certified, 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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