Jim Holland

The need to expand is a daunting challenge for any business owner, but, all things considered, there are worse problems to have than the pressing need for more space.

“We’ve been in business here for about 12 years and actually outgrew our building a long time ago,” said Shawn Darling, owner of Recreation Station in Spearfish, a dealer in new and pre-owned boats and marine accessories, which broke ground for an expanded sales and service center just east of their current location at 2935 E. Colorado Blvd.

Their current sales and service facility is 2,600 square feet on an approximate one-half acre lot. The new building will be more than five times as big, 15,000 square feet on eight acres of land, allowing what Darling called an “across the board” expansion in sales of boats, accessories and other motorsports items and service.

“It’s a big deal for us,” Darling said. “We decided to make the big investment in our community and in our staff.”

Last week’s groundbreaking was more than ceremonial. Excavators are already at the site, and he hopes to be in the new facility yet this year, Darling said.

“We are rolling,” he said.

For more information, call Recreation Station at 605-717-4386 or check out their website recstation.net.

Drug-testing business

Ken and Dory Batka of Spearfish recently opened Vigilant Business Solutions, providing workplace drug testing and background check services in Rapid City, the Black Hills and across South Dakota.

“The national concern over drug addiction and its effect on the workplace has created a need for more drug-testing services, and the legalization of marijuana in states like Colorado has made drug screening all the more important,” Batka said in a news release.

“Just because it is legal to smoke it does not mean it is allowed at work,” he said.

Vigilant is based in Spearfish and recently joined the Rapid City Area Chamber of Commerce. The firm offers pre-employment screening, criminal background, national sex and violent offender registries, DMV driving history, education verification, employment verification, credit reports and tenant screening, according to the release.

They provide on-site drug testing performed at an employer’s place of business to remove the inconvenience of lost time and money from traveling off-site.

“By coming to the customer, we make the whole process more affordable, convenient and allow the employee to remain at work,” Batka said.

Vigilant also offers hair follicle, DNA, paternity testing and home drug-testing kits for parents.

For more information, call 605-642-1491 or check out vigilantbusinesssolutions.com.

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Tail-wagging success

Rebecca and Jeff Almy encountered a railroad derailment and a personal loss in a journey to expand their dog-care business.

According to a release from the South Dakota Small Business Development Center, an 18-month search for a new location was derailed for a couple of weeks by a train accident that dumped bentonite on the property they had hoped to close on in Black Hawk.

Among other complications came the biggest setback — Rebecca’s father died during preparations to move into the new space.

That was a couple of years ago, and now their business, Tails ‘n Training is a tail-wagging success, thanks to help from the SDSBDC.

Tails ‘n Training offers dog training, grooming and overnight kennel stays, along with washing stations for pets.

Rebecca gained experience in dog training and care in upstate New York before she and Jeff moved to Rapid City, her hometown. They started their business in Rapid City in 2010 but soon needed more room.

Dona Leavens, regional director of the Rapid City Small Business Development Center, helped the couple with planning the expansion and Fran White, a Black Hills Community Economic Development loan officer, helped them get financing through the Small Business Adminstration 504 loan program.

Black Hills Community Economic Development recognized Rebecca, Jeff and Tails ‘n Training as 2016 Expansion Business of the Year.

Contact Jim Holland at 605-394-8429 or at jim.holland@rapidcityjournal.com.

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