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GFDA 1st Quarter 2017 Index


1st Quarter 2017 Index
Number of new private sector investment announcements during quarter:  5
Net total jobs added in Great Falls MSA (Cascade County) in 2016:  662
Increase in average annual wages in Great Falls MSA in 2016:  2.6%
Increase in average wages 2014-2016:  11.5%
Increase in total annual wage earnings in county in 2016:  $61 million
Increase 2014-2016:  $161 million; 12.5%
Growth in Cascade County average annual wage as percent of national average in past three years:  from 72% to 75%
Growth since GFDA founded 15 years ago: from 67% to 75%
Cascade County cost of living as percent of national average:  99%
Average annual manufacturing job growth in Cascade County over past 4 years:  7%
Increase in manufacturing employment as percentage of Cascade County economy since we started our Manufacturing Partnership:  from 2% to 3.5%
Number of Cascade County manufacturers the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center has helped:  52
Number in the Great Falls trade area (north central Montana):  124
Number of BNSF certified rail industrial parks in entire nation:  10
Number in Great Falls region:  2
Months that companies save due to BNSF park certification:  6-9
Out-of-state targeted business development missions to pitch Great Falls during quarter:  6
Number of site selection consultants pitched face-to-face during quarter:  43
Number of local existing business outreach visits during quarter:  18
Number of banks met with during quarter:  43
Number of projects in our active pipeline that are proposed business startups:  35
Top reason companies relocate in U.S. cited by site selection consultants:  Labor availability
Percent of consultants who say availability of skilled labor is very important:  93%
Percent who say it is important or very important:  100%
Percent of corporate executives who say it is important or very important:  90%
Number of new workers Great Falls MSA will need over next 10 years to replace existing workers:  9,353
Percent of site selection consultants who say training programs/technical colleges are important or very important:  92%
Percent who say availability of unskilled labor is important or very important:  69%
Percent of Cascade County GDP dependent on exports:  5.4%
Number of jobs in county supported by exports:  1,149
Number of metro rank places Great Falls MSA climbed in Policom's 2017 ranking of metro area economic strength:  27
Annual cost to Great Falls area motorists due to poor road conditions:  $1,417
GFDA gap and bridge loans funded during quarter:  $1,123,923
New loan capital grants won during quarter:  $172,500
Number of entrepreneurs and local businesses coached by GFDA during quarter:  97
Of these, number of new coaching clients:  43
Number of business training sessions offered during quarter:  7
Number of business participants:  57
New private capital secured by small business clients during quarter:  $2,077,123
Number of businesses started, bought or announced by coaching clients:  6
Government contracts won by small businesses clients during quarter:  $357,251
Local business networking events offered during quarter:  8
Current SBA 504 loan 20 year fixed interest rate including all fees:  4.83%
Equity required on SBA 504 loan deals:  as low as 10%
Estimated number of visitors who spent at least one night in Great Falls in 2016:  1,107,690
Increase in nights over 2015:  29%
Amount visitors spent in Cascade County in 2016:  $256 million
Amount nonresident visitors to Montana (i.e. tourists) spent in state in 2016:  $3.49 billion
Number of downtown renovation building permits issued in 4th quarter of 2016:  11
Number of new downtown businesses opened in 4th quarter 2016:  2
Number of downtown volunteer hours in 4th quarter 2016:  5,980
Montana business tax climate ranking:  6th
Veteran percent of Cascade County population of age 18-64:  12.4%
Montana veteran percent:  7.7%
U.S. percent:  5.5%
Percent of Cascade County households receiving food stamps:  11.3%
U.S. percent:  13.2%
American workers who see continuous training as essential to career success:  87%
Percent of new jobs that have gone to workers with some postsecondary education since end of Great Recession:  99%
Share of American jobs in 2020 that will require a degree beyond a high school diploma:  Two-Thirds
Amount of foreign direct investment attracted to U.S. in 2016:  $385 billion
Average annual foreign direct investment in manufacturing in U.S. 2011-2015:  $133 billion
Growth in pulse crop production metric tons in U.S. in 2016:  86%
Montana rank in college affordability:  8th
Average per credit cost students pay at Montana public colleges:  $167
Percent of companies on Fortune 500 that have disappeared in last 15 years:  52%
Brett Doney


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Great Falls, MT 59401
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