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Top 15 for 5-12-2013

1) Centene's CEO, Michael Niedorff, and senior managers visited the company's local facility, meeting with all 286 Great Falls staff. Niedorff described Centene's local employees as "sensational" and said that the company plans to continue to expand in Great Falls. Centene was ranked 303rd this week on the Fortune 500 list, up 150 spots in one year. In 2012, the company was awarded nine new health plan contracts and increased revenue by 62%. Centene is investing $125,000 over five years in GFDA's new MicroBusiness loan fund. The visit included a tour of the recent renovations and discussion of future plans for Centene Stadium.

2) The City Commission unanimously approved creation of a tax increment financing district for the Great Falls AgriTech Park and Montana Advanced Biofuels, as well as expansion of the MaltEurop TIF district for ADF's new facility.
3) The City Commission unanimously approved a Big Sky Trust Fund (BSTF) grant for ADF and application to the Montana Department of Commerce for a BSTF grant to support EMTEQ's proposed expansion. The Dept. of Commerce approved a second BSTF grant for ADF in the amount of $108,500 to support an additional 35 jobs.
4) The City Commission unanimously approved rezoning of the Westgate Mall property for Calumet Montana Refining Company.
5) We submitted a Targeted Brownfields Assessment request to EPA for the old clinic building downtown and two site eligibility requests for the Arvon Block and the Rocky Mountain building.
6) The City published the Comprehensive Downtown Access, Circulation & StreetScape Plan, available on the City's web site. The plan lays out some excellent strategies for implementing parts of the downtown Master Plan.
7) The City Commission allocated $50,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds for the Downtown Partnership to conduct additional downtown property redevelopment feasibility studies.
8) We closed a $110,000 SBA 504 loan to Mountain View Pathology to finance this Great Falls business start-up in partnership with Mountain West Bank. The business received strategy assistance from GFDA's Small Business Development Center (funded by GFDA investors, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the MT Dept. of Commerce).
9) We networked with energy businesses at the Big Sky Energy Forum in Billings.
10) Worked with four entrepreneurs who are looking at the feasibility of business ideas for the Great Falls market. We provided guidance in regard to financing, equity requirements and market research that supports cash flow projections. Assisted a business with training on government contracting opportunities and set-asides.
11) Delivered a workshop on Generations in Lewistown to 14 entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs. The workshop covered the basics and strengths of different generations in the workforce and provided tips for managers to work better with all employees.
12) Worked with an ever-expanding business utilizing our newest business strategy tool, the GrowthWheel. This allowed the business to quickly make a 360 degree assessment of its operations covering 20 areas important to business success. The company was able to identify 3 specific areas to focus on in the next 90 days to insure continued growth and success.
13) Thought Patterns for High Performance has been scheduled for June 19-20 in Great Falls. This premiere training for high growth businesses focuses on eliminating negative and unproductive behavior, uncovering habits holding back growth, and providing tools to stop sabotaging your success. Contact Rebecca Engum for more details at or 781-6832.
14) MSU's College of Business brings its State Farm Insurance Family Business Program to Great Falls on May 23rd. This year's topic is "Understanding the Future Customer." Learn more at
15) The Montana State Fund announced a 6% decrease in workers comp rates for the year starting July 1st. Montana rates have dropped 34.5% since 2007. Injury rates in Montana are still well above the U.S. average, offering great opportunity to further reduce rates by improving safety.

Congratulations to Great Falls College MSU students and faculty for a record-breaking graduation!

Congratulations to the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center on its 15th anniversary!

Congratulations to the Great Falls Clinic Medical Center for earning Healthgrades 2013 Patient Safety Excellence Award, placing it in the top 5% of all hospitals in the U.S.!!

Untame your entrepreneurial spirit!


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