Please welcome new SEDC investors Anderson Construction, Black Hills Drywall, Bradley Storage, King of the Mountain, Kurtz Construction, Bill Phillips/The Real Estate Center, Fowler State Farm Insurance Agency and Wheeler Farms Candy. For a complete listing of SEDC’s public and private investors, check our website at www.sturgisdevelopment.com/about-us/investors/.

* CNBC named South Dakota the #1 state for business in America’s Top States for Business 2013.

Ranked seventh last year, South Dakota earned the top spot by scoring 1,639 out of 2,500 points, the highest score of any state since CNBC launched the study in 2007. “SD has always been a solid performer in our study, but with businesses focusing more than ever on low costs, SD really shines,” said CNBC Senior Correspondent Scott Cohn. “We found it has one of the lowest tax burdens in the country as well as low wage and utility costs.”

CNBC’s study uses 55 measures of economic competitiveness, which are broken into 10 categories: cost of doing business, economy, infrastructure and transportation, workforce, quality of life, technology and innovation, business friendliness, education, cost of living and access to capital. To view the nationally broadcast announcement and more detailed information, click http://www.cnbc.com/id/100817171.

* On June 6, 65 firearms industry CEO’s spent the day in Sturgis as part of SAAMI’s (Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturer’s Institute) national executive board meeting. CorBon owner Peter Pi, Sr., is the SAAMI board member responsible for bringing this influential group to Sturgis. Companies such as Colt, Smith & Wesson, Winchester, Remington, Mossberg, Sig Sauer, Beretta, Browning, Glock, etc. were hosted to a morning shoot at the CorBon Law Enforcement Training Center (CLETC) and an afternoon shoot at The Buffalo Chip range.

They were treated to a chuckwagon-style smoked buffalo lunch at CLETC, prepared by Jack Gully/K Bar J Leather and served by SEDC board members (note Sheryl Eisenbraun and Irv Stone making fried pies).

That evening, we joined them at the SAAMI banquet, where former Gov. Rounds was the keynote speaker. A couple of weeks later, Gov. Daugaard and his economic development team made a recruitment trip to Connecticut to meet with gun makers. When companies of this size expand or relocate, they often require 100,000-plus square foot buildings, a workforce of hundreds, and local supply/service chain providers. It is an intricate process.

* The Aspen Grove assisted living facility will open its doors to residents Aug. 19. To date, nearly half of the 33 units are taken. Staff has been hired to accommodate the initial number of residents, but more employees will be needed as the facility continues to fill. Director Sandy Huffman encourages inquiries, tours, group presentations, etc.

She can be reached at 490-2753 or sandy.huffman@welcov.com.

In addition to Aspen Grove, SEDC continues to address housing issues by working with the City, local landowners, and contractors to develop new, affordable living options for both our workforce and retirees. Several possible development sites are in negotiation and consideration.

* An Invitation to Bid on the 4-unit industrial incubator building was sent out recently, with the proposals due July 15. Five area contractors requested the bid package. The specs call for construction of a shell building (approximately 5,000 sq. ft.) in the Sturgis Industrial Park which will be finished to suit each tenant. Each unit size would start at 1,200 square feet. 

* Samson Exhaust nears production as the last of their trucks arrive and electricians make final adjustments. General laborers were hired to help with the move-in process, but additional employees will be needed soon when manufacturing starts. Skilled welders and polishers are in demand, along with others desiring on-the-job training. For more info and an application, contact Samson Exhaust at 1-888-572-6766 or www.samsonusa.com.

Samson Exhaust is located at 1151 Industry Road, Sturgis.

* The City’s recent 80-acre annexation along Vanocker Canyon Road south of Exit 32 opened the way for infrastructure development to accommodate the Belle Joli winery and several additional commercial and residential opportunities.

* Scott Peterson Ford is purchasing Jacobsen Ford, and plans to boost inventory and staffing.

* The city recently entered into a development agreement with local realtor Jim Allison to market the city-owned Exit 32 lots. Inquiries continue to come in for prospective commercial development, made more attractive by Meade County’s 5-year tax abatement.

* Downtown Revitalization efforts continue as bids were let for the first phase of the Second Street Plaza that will provide bollards for the Lazelle Street segment. Tree lights funded by Community Pride volunteer efforts are stored at First Interstate Bank, waiting to be lit. The Business Improvement District (BID) has final approval and the BID board appointments were made by the Sturgis city council this week.

* Private investment in downtown is increasing as is evidenced by new businesses going in, an old building coming down (with a new one to be built), and several properties being refurbished. The City Council voted to set aside $156,000 for façade improvement loans for buildings located within the BID district. The six $25,000 loans are 20-year, 3 percent, and are given on a first-come, first-serve basis. More information is on the City’s website at http://www.sturgis-sd.gov/.

* When the Lazelle Street project is done, travelers will enjoy a wide 3-lane surface, with one lane in each direction and a turning lane. And for the first time, all Lazelle Street lights will be synchronized.

* To further assist in community development efforts, the SEDC Board of Directors recently formed a Commercial Committee. Its purpose is to explore ways that SEDC can be both a catalyst for downtown re-development, while at the same time generate additional revenues to grow and strengthen SEDC. While the committee will work within the guidelines established by City ordinances that created the downtown Business Improvement District (BID) and Overlay District, it will not be limited to properties located within the BID or Overlay District. Other areas, such as Exit 32, Junction Avenue, or Lazelle Street may be considered for development opportunities.

Thank you for your continued commitment to our jobs, our children, and our future.

Pat Kurtenbach is president of the Sturgis Economic Development Corporation. She can be reached at 605-347-4906 or pat@sturgisdevelopment.com

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