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Top Fifteen 3/17/15

Here's the GFDA Top 15 for last week, celebrating great things happening to move Great Falls Forward.

1) Congratulations to Loenbro on being awarded "Construction Company of the Year" for the 2nd year in a row at the Annual Rocky Mountain Oil & Gas Awards Gala in Denver!
2) Worked with a local business looking at land options for expansion in Great Falls. Discussed financing options with a developer for a potential downtown renovation project. Discussed financing with a residential developer looking at a potential Great Falls project.
3) Congratulations to Jordan Husted of Edward Jones in downtown Great Falls on being named the 2015 Montana SBA Millennial Entrepreneur of the Year!
4) Worked with an existing business looking to open a second location. Performed a financial review to determine the maximum loan amount the business could support. For help determining how much debt your business can support, contact Jason at
5) Met with energy, machining and agri-processing companies in the Edmonton, Alberta region. Gave a presentation on Great Falls regional agricultural processing opportunities at the Alberta BioIndustrial conference that included food, feed, chemical, fuel and material manufacturing using agricultural products and biomass. Toured BioIndustrial research facilities at the University of Alberta. Met with research center directors, economic developers, and business leaders from throughout Alberta to discuss strengthening Montana relationships.
6) Met with two entrepreneurs who have finalized financing packages for their manufacturing operations. Helped one to develop strategic cashflow projections and helped the other with honing their operating cycle and business operating costs. If you are a manufacturing company looking to grow or start, visit with Rebecca today;
7) Hosted the "Networking with Purpose" event that involved 55 attendees learning how to more effectively network for business. Based on the response, a second event is being planned for early summer. Thank you to the O'Haire Motor Inn for sponsoring this great event!
8) Met with a local business interested in applying for a Big Sky Trust Fund grant to help with a planned expansion. Worked with a disabled veteran, who is retiring from the military and purchasing his father's business, to identify government contracting opportunities.
9) Participated in SBA 504 loan underwriting training with the SBA 504 Loan Center in Sacramento. Discussed the many changes and improvements to the SBA 504 loan process.
10) The Great Falls Tribune is offering a free social media workshop for local businesses, nonprofits and tourism groups on March 20 from 2-3 PM in the downstairs Tribune conference room. Jennifer Rowell and Mike Lake will share best practices and tips on how to increase your visibility, as well as how to use social media to connect with reporters to help get your story out.
Let Jenn know you'll be coming at
11) The Fire Within, presented by Embark Credit Union, is fast approaching! If you are a woman business owner who started a business in 2014, please let Lillian know at We will honor all women-owned business starts, along with Inspire and Aspire award winners, on March 26th starting at 6 PM in the Top of the Falls Room at the Great Falls International Airport. If you are planning to attend, please RSVP to Lillian today!
12) GFDA is launching our 2015 Entrepreneurial Spirit Tour in Conrad on March 31st and in Cut Bank on April 8th. We'll be traveling the Golden Triangle all spring along with key partners to help entrepreneurs, businesses and developers build relationships with the GFDA team, U.S. Small Business Administration, Montana Manufacturing Extension Center, Small Business Development Center, Procurement Technical Assistance Center, Montana Department of Commerce International Trade Bureau, MDT Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program, local banks, local economic development partners such as the Pondera Regional Port Authority, and other local resources. Each event will include networking and learning opportunities. Get all the details from Rebecca at or 1-406-771-9032.
13) Employers! Please help Montana boost apprenticeship opportunities by completing a brief survey by March 18th (this Wednesday) at The Montana University System and the Montana Department of Labor will use the survey results to help design a competitive grant application to the U.S. Department of Labor to develop new apprenticeship opportunities in health care, IT, manufacturing and other industries.
14) Startup Weekend Great Falls is coming May 15-17! If you don't know what startup weekends are, join the organizing committee on Wednesday, April 8th from 6-7:30 PM to get all the details about these 54-hour events that bring together active and empowered entrepreneurs. No need to RSVP, just show up. Check out our intro video at: Contact Rebecca for more info at
15) It's time to start planning the Great Falls 2015 4th of July Parade! Contact Lola Galloway at 727-4963 to get involved in making plans for a great parade.

Untame your entrepreneurial spirit!


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Great Falls, MT 59401
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