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GFDA Top14 4/29/17


GFDA Top 14
Here's the GFDA Top 14 for this week, celebrating great things happening to move Great Falls Forward.

1) This is our 300th GFDA Top 10! Help us celebrate by forwarding this to friends and colleagues who may not get our weekly Top 10. Newcomers, clickHERE to sign-up.

2) Closed a $106,300 gap loan to make possible the new 10,000 square foot Friesen Nutrition facility under construction in Great Falls. The $1,063,000 project will create 9-11 new jobs and support animal production across north central Montana.
3) Ballots are due this Tuesday, May 2 for the Great Falls Public Schools technology levy. GFDA's Board of Directors, the Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce Board, and the Great Falls Tribune urge you to support the proposed levy. Great Falls students, and our economic future, are dependent on workers adept at using computer technology. Please read this pamphletabout the levy and look at this presentation Superintendent Tammy Lacey gave to our Board. 

4) Chopz restaurant opened downtown at 426 Central Avenue. Jen Bostick announced plans to open Escape the Falls, a new escape room game attraction that will be located at 511 Central Avenue downtown. 

5) The Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park earned the designation as an International Dark Sky Park.

6) Started with a company proposing to develop a pulse processing facility in our region. Our role is providing connections and resources to make projects work. Some resources are financing based, some are consulting, and sometimes it's advocacy. If you have or know of a great potential project, let us know! We don't want to lose projects because they didn't know about available resources. Contact Jolene to discuss, 406.750.4481. 

7) In the first quarter of 2017, 11 building permits were issued for downtown investments totaling $3,989,507. Four new businesses opened downtown, and volunteers gave 9,542 hours to support downtown efforts.

8) Underwrite a SBA 504 loan for a $1.6 million project to enable a great local business to expand.

9) Hosted a lunch with Sen. Jon Tester and GFDA investors to discuss opportunities to grow and diversify our regional economy, part of our Great Falls:What's Next strategic planning process.
10) Submitted a $1,150,000 grant application to the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Fund to attempt to grow our loan capital to enable us to support more exciting projects throughout the region with our gap and bridge financing. THANK YOU to GFDA investors! We hope to win the competitive grant which will leverage your dollars.
11) GFDA investors who participated in our strategic planning survey have set a high bar for our future. The survey results show strong support for continuing and increasing our economic development efforts. 100% want us to invest the same or more in business attraction, with 83% wanting us to invest more. 93% want us to invest the same or more in downtown and riverfront redevelopment, with 55% wanting us to invest more. 93% want us to invest the same or more in business startups, retention and expansion, with 45% wanting us to invest more. 93% want us to invest the same or more in the Great Falls AgriTech Park, with 36% wanting us to invest more. 90% want us to invest the same or more in our Manufacturing Partnership, with 41% wanting us to invest more. 89% want us to invest the same or more in workforce, with 50% wanting us to invest more. 83% want us to invest the same or more in commercial and housing development, with 24% wanting us to invest more.

12) We are looking for LEAN Manufacturing consultants or specialists for area manufacturers. If you are trained in LEAN Manufacturing, please contact Jolene Schalper at 406.750.4481.

13) Join other Forward Great Falls Investors for our monthly Development Coffee this Friday 5/5, 7:00 AM at AE2S Engineers, 300 15th Street South, Great Falls. 
14) I've been asked to speak on the RuralReshoring panel at the SelectUSA Investment Summit in DC this June. This will afford us an opportunity to pitch Great Falls to businesses across the globe who are interested in investing in the U.S.
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.

"What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make."
Jane Goodall

Congratulations to the Sun River Rednek Robotics Team on winning the top award at the FIRST World Championship Houston event, beating 127 teams in the international robotics competition!

Congratulations to Mandy Wright, English faculty at Great Falls College MSU, on being named among the American Association for Women in Community College's 40 Under 40!
Congratulations to Peter Gray, Benefis Executive Director of Senior Care, on being recognized as a 2017 Leader of Tomorrow by the Advanced Senior Care trade journal!
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

Upcoming Business Events/Training
Farm-based Food Safety workshop will take place at Prairie Heritage Farm in Power on Friday, May 19, from 10:30 AM to 2:00 PM.  The training is designed for fresh-produce growers who want to enter into wholesale markets that may require a food safety plan, or for producers who are curious about the food safety modernization act or will require a GAP audit. Registration is required:
Montana Ag Summit will be held in Great Falls at the ExpoPark on May 31-June 1. See more info at This promises to be a great event to promote food/agricultural production and processing!
SafetyFestMT will held be held at MSU-Northern in Havre May 23-25. Register today, as classes fill up fast! SafetyFestMT is coordinated by the Montana Department of Labor and Industry and provides free, quality training to employers and their workers throughout Montana. Core curriculum includes OSHA 10-Hour General Industry, OSHA 10-Hour Construction, Work Comp 101, Stay at Work/Return to Work, and more.

Innovate Montana Symposium will be held July 12-13 in Billings. Reserve your seats at


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Physical Address
300 Central Ave. Suite 406
Great Falls, MT 59401
Mailing Address
PO Box 949
Great Falls, MT 59403