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GFDA Top 20 for August 30

Here's the GFDA Top 20 for this week, celebrating great things happening to move Great Falls Forward. Every week starts with Top 0, and through the initiative and perseverance of thousands throughout the region, by the end of the week we have some great things to celebrate. Step by step, YOU are leading the charge to grow and diversify the Great Falls regional economy and support the creation of high wage jobs!
1) The McLaughlin Research Institute for Biomedical Sciences celebrated its 60th anniversary. The Institute is a world-renowned center for neurogenetic research on Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and other degenerative nerve diseases. Congratulations to the Institute's scientists, staff, students, teachers, supporters and leaders! To learn more about the MRI's impact and future, visit
2) Great Falls College MSU's expanded welding and industrial trades facilities opened this week in time for the fall semester. An open house will be held on Wednesday, September 30, at 2:00 PM.
3) Cascade County will receive an additional $600,000 in property tax revenue this fiscal year due to increased industrial and commercial development. See Tribune editorial here.
4) United Materials completed paving work for the first phase of the Great Falls AgriTech Park.
5) The Opportunity for Sprouted Grain Processing in the Great Falls Montana Region business case is now available! The sprouted grain marketplace is rapidly growing due to the advantages of using sprouted grains in food manufacturing. Sprouted grains improve baking operations, produce finished products that help reduce allergens, increase fiber content of finished products, and decreases the phytic acid in the finished product. To get your copy of the case and learn why Great Falls is the premier location for this kind of operation, contact Rebecca at
6) Assisted a local business to get set up with Wide Area Work Flow (WAWF) so they can submit their payment request to the Air Force for a contract award. Participated in a presentation to the Montana Department of Commerce's Big Sky Trust Fund committee with a local business applying for a Job Creation grant to support expansion.
7) Started work on a Montana Department of Agriculture Growth Through Agriculture application on behalf of a start-up manufacturer that is ready to move forward with financing. After years of work developing the concept and searching for the right location, the business is ready to lease space and begin securing equipment to begin manufacturing. If you are looking at starting a manufacturing company, come see the team at GFDA to set you on the right path.
8) The City Design Review Board approved plans for a new 12 unit apartment building that will be located in the 4400 block of 3rd Avenue North. Keep it coming developers, we still need more workforce apartments and homeownership opportunities!
9) The City commissioned a Great Falls Housing Market Analysis that details some excellent development opportunities.
10) The City is moving forward with a comprehensive park and recreation planning process. This will offer a great opportunity to get involved in developing future plans for parks, pools and recreation.
11) Spoke to a class of 16 inmates at Crossroads Correctional Center in Shelby. Talked about the unique challenges inmates will face as they transition back into the business world. Many inquired about starting businesses, unique financing challenges, strategic planning, and cash flow projections.
12) Thank you to Dick Anderson Construction for increasing your investment in Forward Great Falls, moving from the Leadership Division to the Advance Division! Thank you to Church Harris Johnson Williams, P.C. for increasing your Pacesetter Division Investment!
13) As we move forward to build on momentum in the Great Falls economy, we have added three new upper level divisions to our Forward Great Falls Honor Roll. This will enable us to better recognize top Forward Great Falls Investors. Click here to see the new Forward Great Falls Honor Roll of businesses, agencies and organizations supporting growth of our region. We urge you to do business with them!
14) Jeremiah completed the first course towards earning the National Development Council's Economic Development Finance Professional Certification. The course also fulfilled the the final class Jeremiah needed to qualify to sit for the International Economic Development Council's (IEDC) Certified Economic Developer certification exam. Jeremiah will begin preparing with plans to take the exam in 2016.
15) ExporTech is being offered by the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center this fall. Specific dates and location have yet to be determined. ExporTech is a structured export strategy and business development process that efficiently connects companies with local and national experts that help navigate the export sales process. Participating in ExporTech saves countless hours and eliminates fear of the unknown about getting paid, protecting intellectual property, finding sales reps and more. Contact Jenni West at 1-406-994-3876 or for additional details.
16) Cascade County residents are amongst the best in Montana in managing their credit card debt. Cascade County ranked 5th amongst all Montana counties for least per capita credit card debt, according to
17) Business Facilities magazine ranked Montana 2nd for lowest industrial electricity rates, 3rd for lowest cost of labor, and 6th for best business tax climate.
18) Christine Johnson is back in Great Falls presenting "Writing a Business Plan . . Not Just for Your Bookshelf", sponsored by the Montana Disadvantage Business Enterprise Program, this Tuesday, September 1st. Christine is a small business owner, 2011 SBA Montana Women in Business Champion of the Year and the 2009 Missoula Businesswomen's Network Flying High Award winner. She has previously partnered in Great Falls to deliver Networking and Marketing Training. Register now to attend this opportunity to demystify the business plan writing process and get expert tips to what is vital to include and what you may not need to spend too much time on -- especially if you are considering a start-up or financing your growth venture!  A few seats are left for both the morning (9:00-11:00 AM) or evening (6:00-8:00 PM) sessions; secure yours by contacting Shannon Hahn, 1-406-444-7287 or
19) "Buddy to Boss" Supervisor Training is being presented by Great Falls College MSU on October 12th. More info at 1-406-454-3217 or
20) Startup Weekend is going to be offered Great Falls style October 6-9th! If you are ready to start a business and want everything you need to do in one week - call Rebecca at 771-9032 to talk about this unique opportunity.
Congratulations to Morrison-Maierle and the City of Great Falls for winning Engineering News Record's Mountain States Best Project Award in the Water/Environment category for Great Falls Wastewater Treatment Plant Improvements!
Untame your entrepreneurial spirit!


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