Great Falls Economic Development Top 10 for 10-24-21

25 October 2021

Congratulations to HUB International on their beautiful new building in the Broadwater Bay area of Great Falls! It’s fantastic to see reinvestment by our longstanding professional service companies!
GFDA’s Top 10

Here is our Top 22 for this week celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy — Montana’s Golden Triangle. And, sharing business resources and skill-building opportunities to empower your success.

Yet another fantastic week for Great Falls!

1) Farran Realty Partners announced a partnership with Benefis Health System to develop 216 unit complexlocated adjacent to the Touro Medical School in Great Falls; see KRTV and The Electric.

2) The Newberry in Downtown Great Falls officially opened Thursday night with their first concert hosting over 550 people. Check out their website for upcoming concerts and events. There’s something for everyone!

3) Invest in Downtown Great Falls is this Thursday, 10/28. Want to know more about the Downtown Great Falls Market? Participate in Invest Downtown from 10-noon both in person at the Newberry and via Zoom followed by property tours. Register here. Because of the generosity of our sponsor, NorthWestern Energy, this event is free to you!

4) Congratulations to NeighborWorks Great Falls on being awarded $6.5 million in tax credits by the Montana Board of Housing to support redevelopment of the Baatz Building in Downtown Great Falls to create permanent supportive housing, the first of its kind in our community. Read more about the planned project over at The Electric.

5) Check out the newest video in our Ask an Expert series, where locals (new and long-time) share about what they know best in our community. This week, Great Falls parent and business owner Jamie Marshall talks all things Great Falls Public Schools and what sets our schools and students apart. Watch it here: Subscribe to the Grow Great Falls Montana YouTube channel!

6) The best ingredients make the best beer. MaltEurop Malting Company and Jeremiah Johnson Brewing Company are a delicious partnership bringing Montana barley to each glass of Jeremiah Johnson beer. Check out their story here.

7) Governor Gianforte announced the opening of a Montana Asia Trade Office in Taiwan, a resource we hope to utilize to attract foreign direct investment in our region; see KFBB.

8) Learn how to tools to create fast, simple, professional, branded graphics for your business using Canva. Sign up for our webinar on November 4 at 11 AM. Register here.

9) The McLaughlin Research Institute announced a $5 million gift to support its expanding research and education efforts. See Great Falls Tribune, The Electric, and KRTV.

10) The Montana Department of Commerce launched an investment matchmaking website for Montana business projects. The Opportunity Exchange’s – Montana Investment Portal is a website where investors can easily view and connect to projects in the state. Click here to view listed projects. Click here to get your investment project listed on the portal. For help posting your project or property on the Montana Investment Portal, contact Kristian Richardson at 406-841-2032 or [email protected].

11) The Great Falls City Commission approved tax increment financing funds for construction of the Great Falls Wayfinding signage that the Business Improvement District is undertaking.

12) We are looking for a Women’s Business Advisor for our partnership with the Women’s Entrepreneurship and Leadership Lab (WELL). Work across the region and state with women entrepreneurs helping them start, expand, and innovate. Click here to learn more.

13) The Montana DBE program and NACDC Financial Services are sponsoring a workshop covering Digital Marketing Strategies on Wednesday November 10th, 2021 in Browning. The workshop will cover strategies for effective social media marketing as well as how to get your business to show up better on Google. Space is limited.  Click here to register.  For additional information, contact Matt Harrington with NACDC Financial Services at 406-229-0327 [email protected].

14) The Great Falls Association of Realtors secured a $5,000 grant from the National Association of Realtors to support the housing market demand assessment we have commissioned in partnership with NeighborWorks Great Falls. The local Realtors association is providing an additional $500 match.

15) The Made in Montana Tradeshow for Food & Gifts is scheduled for March 11-12, 2022 in Helena at the Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds.

16) Deep dive into QuickBooks Online in this one way course covering all aspects of the program. QuickBooks Pro Advisor Wendy Weissman will provide hands on instruction for those both new and experienced. The course is at Great Falls College MSU on Friday, November 19 from 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM. Register here.

17) The Montana Film Office is excited to announce that the Fiscal Year 2022 Big Sky Film Grant (BSFG) is open for submissions and will be awarding $1.5 million dollars in grant funds to selected productions — AND we’ve extended our deadline to November 29. Grant applications are being accepted in 3 categories: Feature Film & TV, Resident Filmmaker, and Short-Form Content. Visit our BSFG webpage HERE for more details on categories and program details. Before applying, please read the program’s Instructions & Guidelines HERE. Applications are accepted via Submittable platform and found on our website HERE.

18) We published the GFDA Quarter Index for 2021Q3. GFDA’s Executive Committee approved moving forward with retaining TrippUmbach to develop a strategy to leverage Great Falls’ rapidly growing healthcare and bioscience assets to foster further economic growth and prosperity. The $50,000 effort is made possible by GFDA’s amazing investors. Here is a copy of the Proposal to Develop a Bioscience Economic Development Strategy for Great Falls. This is the fourth part of GFDA’s strategic planning effort we began this summer.

19) Thank you to our wonderful team of investors! Recent investments include: Champion Division—Benefis Health System; Advance Division—Energy West; Leadership Division—Murphy Real Estate, LLC; Pacesetter Division—AE2S, Jerry Hood. Everything we do is possible because of the continued support of our investors. If you would like to be a part of the team that is helping to grow Great Falls, contact Investment Director Jenn Gallmeier at 406-781-9499 or [email protected].

20) As part of our continuous improvement and strategic planning work, I participated in the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) annual training conference with two Montana economic development colleagues (shout out to Paul Tuss of Bear Paw Development and Sean McGuire of Sweetgrass Development — our three organizations are the only NADO members in Montana. I gave a presentation on relevance and return on investment, and accepted two awards GFDA earned for our economic development response to the pandemic and for our role in supporting the West Bank Landing brownfield riverfront redevelopment.

21) Then I was off to the International Downtown Association annual conference, joining up with Downtown Development Partnership of Great Falls partners Joan Redeen of the Business Improvement District, Kellie Pierce of the Downtown Great Falls Association, and Sherrie Arey of NeighborWorks Great Falls. Joan and Kellie gave a presentation on the unique pedlet program that has made outside dining possible in downtown Great Falls.

22) In between conferences, I had the pleasure of teaching two parts of the International Economic Development Council‘s new professional development course, Introduction to Entrepreneurship-led Economic Development.

Let’s keep the momentum speeding up!!!


Brett Doney

President & CEO

Connect with me on LinkedIn to network with the Great Falls Montana region. Forward the GFDA Top 10 to friends and colleagues. You can join our distribution list HERE or text GFDA to 22828.

“Exploration is the engine that drives innovation. Innovation drives economic growth. So let’s all go exploring.”

Edith Widder

We are HUNGRY to Grow the Great Falls regional economy, create higher wage jobs, build our tax base, improve our market competitiveness, and enhance the quality of life and economic opportunity for residents of Great Falls, Cascade County, and the entire 13-county Great Falls trade area.

Edition 509

Here is an updated Growth Highlights for the Great Falls Montana Trade Area. Our Menu of Services and Staff Team handout. Here is our our Quarterly Investor Letter and our GFDA 2021Q3 Quarter Index.

GFDA Career Opportunities

We have three exciting career opportunities for Content Marketing Director/Small Business Adviser, Resource Director (grant writing), and Business Development Officer (food processing specialist). Download job postings and please help spread the word. GFDA has a year-round College Intern Program with five paid internship opportunities. Download application. Help us spread the word!

Cost-Effective Rail-Served 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 Jolene Schalper at 1.406.750.4481 or [email protected]

October SBA 504 Loan Rates

The 25-year loan effective rate came in at 2.912%; 20-year at 2.765%; 10-year equipment loan at 2.372%; and, 20-year refinance 2.779%; 25-year refinance 2.926%. These rates are FIXED for the life of the loan and are inclusive of all fees. If you would like to find out how to get financing for commercial real estate and equipment at potentially lower rates than you’re paying for your home mortgage, please contact Jill Kohles at 406-590-1056 or [email protected].

Invest in Great Falls Regional Economic Development

Contact Jenn Gallmeier at 406-781-9499 or [email protected]. Here is a current list of our great investors.

Events, Business Training, and Opportunities
The best resource we scan daily to stay abreast of business and community innovation is (Montana Associated Technology Roundtables) which we are proud to help sponsor. Sign up for their free newsletter.

Learn how to add the most value to your ranching or processing operation in terms of marketing, financing, distribution, & quality. How do you get the most value for your beef while keeping it local? What business strategies & certifications are best for your operation? What can marketing & networking do for your business? Free workshop on November 3 from 10 AM – 3 PM. Register here.

We’ve released the Great Falls Childcare Demand Assessment that shows a need for additional childcare facilities to serve 580 children in Great Falls. For assistance with childcare facility business planning, contact Jason Nitschke at [email protected].

We deliver print copies of the Great Falls Livability talent attraction magazine around town every Friday – if you would like copies of this great recruitment tool, email Soren at [email protected].

Montana DPHHS will be accepting one-time Child Care Stabilization grant applications from now until December 31! These funds are meant to stabilize your business coming out of the public health emergency. The process is not competitive and licensed centers are eligible for up to 80-100% of their operating expenses. Go to and click on “Grants for Licensed & Registered Child Care Programs (Stabilization).”

Are you currently hiring or searching for marketing tools to help convince job candidates to relocate to Great Falls? GFDA provides Great Falls Livability magazines for FREE to employers who will use them to recruit employees into Great Falls. Request free copies of the 2020 and 2021 issues of Great Falls Livability magazine by emailing Talent Attraction Director Soren at [email protected]. Please include quantity wanted.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced changes to the COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). Changes include increases to maximum loan amount and expansion in the uses of funds for paying and prepaying existing business debt. If your business is still struggling to stabilize and recover from the pandemic or are seeing new challenges related to the Delta variant, GFDA’s business advisors are here to help. Connect with Jason at [email protected]. Apply for COVID EIDL on the SBA’s website.

Check out October’s Hot Jobs in Great Falls, a collection of open jobs that we’re marketing to people in talent attraction target markets (Seattle, Portland, etc.). These are jobs that people would relocate for. If you have a particularly high-skill, high-salary or out-of-the-box job opportunity to include in November’s list, submit them here.

Join the Trailing Partner Email Group specifically for employers to share resumes of trailing spouses/partners across the Great Falls region with other employers looking to hire. Connect with Talent Attraction Director Soren to learn about more great talent attraction tools for employers. “Your (Live in Great Falls) website is very impressive and helpful! Great Falls looks amazing, and we love what we’ve seen real estate-wise, and business-wise.” This quote was from an email sent to us from a couple considering relocation to Great Falls. We will be sharing their resumes (with their permission) on the Trailing Partner Email Group.

Looking to take control of your business’s financials, increase profit, and improve your bottom line? We have had interest from businesses in scheduling a Profit Mastery course. These courses are scheduled by demand. If you are interested in taking this two-day workshop, contact Jason Nitschke at [email protected] or call (406) 750-0314.

Pro-tip: Post positivity! When you’re using Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn and share something positive about Great Falls, tag @LiveinGreatFalls or @GrowGreatFallsMontana. We will like and share your posts. Follow our talent attraction effort, Live in Great Falls, on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, and follow the Great Falls Development Authority to help us attract entrepreneurs and business investment on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

You are facing tough decisions right now. We’ve developed toolkits to help you decide what is best for your business. Toolkits include: Crisis Toolkit, Hibernation Toolkit, Business Resiliency Guide, Re-Opening Toolkit, and a Child Care Whitepaper. All of these can be found on our website.

A new access to capital option for businesses has launched. Crowdfund Montana is an investment crowdfunding platform, affiliated with the national platform Crowdfund Mainstreet, to bring people together to fund good business projects. Unlike traditional crowdfunding, investment crowdfunding allows funders to receive a financial return on their contribution, and in some cases own shares in the companies they are funding. NBC Montana has published this story about the platform’s launch.

Visit our relocation website This website was the #1 request we got from local recruiters and HR professionals for aiding in attracting talented workers to Great Falls. The Great Falls At-A-Glance two-pager is a great complementary resource that highlights Great Falls for people unfamiliar with our community.


We have Brownfield Clean-Up money that we want to put to work! Our low interest Brownfield Loans can be used to clean up hazardous materials including but not limited to lead paint, asbestos, etc. Are you working on a project that could use some clean up? Call Lillian today to discuss eligibility 406.750.1253 or [email protected].

Manufacturers, if you’re not engaged with the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center hosted by MSU, you’re missing out on powerful resources, services, and networking. MMEC clients report cost savings of $160.3 million, new investment of $328.4 million, $1.3 billion in new and retained sales, and 6,186 new and retained jobs since 2000. We’re proud to host an MMEC business adviser who covers the Golden Triangle region. Contact Doug Roberts at [email protected] or (937) 489-3985.

Of our online business planning tool, LivePlan, one said: “LivePlan is Awesome!” The LivePlan tool is helping her streamline her strategy in preparation for presenting to bank partners. We offer LivePlan licenses for free to active clients. Learn more about LivePlan on our website.

All of our recorded monthly business strategy webinars are available online for viewing anytime, click them out here.


Hungry to Grow the Great Falls region


Grow and diversify the Great Falls regional economy.

Create higher wage career opportunities.

Improve market competitiveness.


The first economic development organization in the Rocky Mountain West to earn accreditation from the International Economic Development Council.

GFDA is a certified Community Development Financial Institution and a 501(c)3 charitable organization. High Plains Financial is a certified Community Development Corporation that offers SBA 504 loans statewide. GFDA and High Plains Financial are Equal Opportunity Employers and Lenders.

GFDA is proud to host a Montana Small Business Development Center, a Montana Procurement Technical Assistance Center, and a Montana Food & Ag Development Center. We are also proud to provide office space for MSU’s Montana Manufacturing Extension Center.

For more info, click to our website.

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