News

Great Leaders Put Funding Behind Passion

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Most readers already know my passion for rural and for Hand County. I believe that all of the leaders in Hand County share that passion for our community and they back that passion up with the necessary funding.  

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People Are on The Move to Rural

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Several weeks ago, all the talk around Miller was how many homes were for sale. Now, the talk around town is how many homes have sold. Are people on the move to rural areas like Miller? I believe so.

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For Sale By On Hand Development

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Sommers Bar - Miller, SD

For Sale By On Hand Development.
Great Location! This business is looking for a new owner. Comes with a liquor license if needed.

Call Kecia at On Hand at 853-3098 for more information

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Need a new sign or awning replacement?

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I got a call from a business owner that is looking to replace their awning. Since starting in May, I haven’t talked a lot about our awning and sign program so I thought this would be the prefect opportunity.

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On Hand Would Like to Welcome our Newest Board Member, Jason Wilhelm

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On Hand Would Like to Welcome our Newest Board Member, Jason Wilhelm


Jason Wilhelm is the newest face to the On Hand Development Corporation Board Of Directors. Jason was selected by the On Hand Board at the most recent board meeting on Wednesday, June10. Jason is taking the seat of Tiffany Hofer who served on the board for the past eleven years.

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My Top Ten Reasons Why You Should Consider Owning Your Own Bar

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My Top Ten Reasons Why You Should Consider Owning Your Own Bar!

Most readers probably already know that I have some experience in the bar world. I have been working at bars since I was 13. (Back then there wasn’t rules about how old you had to be to work in a bar.)

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Board – Not Bored!

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Board – Not Bored!

Behind many great organizations and governing bodies is usually a dedicated board of directors, and believe me they are not bored!  Their job is to guide and direct their various organizations, businesses, and government entities to the best of their ability representing children, constituents, citizens and customers. 

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The Many Hats of Economic Development

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I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about the many hats that I wear for my position in Economic Development.  I came up with ten different hats that I wear to work on a weekly basis and sometimes I have to wear more than one hat! 

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COVID-19 Assistance Programs

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COVID-19COVID-19 Assistance Programs

As I sit at my kitchen counter attending countless COVID-19 webinars, the number one topic Economic Development Professionals are talking about is how to help businesses during this strange time.  Below is a small list of resources available at this time.

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Small Town. Big Idea.

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Small Town. Big Idea.

Do you have a BIG idea for a new business but often think… that will never work in a small town like Miller? I hear that a lot and I disagree. There is no idea too big for our small town.

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Talk is Turning into Progress

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On Hand Development Corporation has been talking about a new hotel development for years. That talk is now turning into progress. In 2019, we hired a hospitality consulting firm to conduct a hotel study. To help cover costs for that study, we utilized an economic development grant from our city’s power supplier, Heartland Consumers Power District.

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On Hand Would Like to Welcome our Newest Face, Sarah DeHaai

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Sarah DeHaai is the newest face to the On Hand Development Corporation Board Of Directors. Sarah was selected by the On Hand Board at the most recent board meeting on Wednesday, February 12. Sarah is taking the seat of Pete DeGeest who served on the board for the past nine years.

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Bring Your A Game, Miller!

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On Hand Development is excited to announce, “Bring Your A Game” workshop to Miller on Thursday, March 12th from 11:00 am -1 :00 pm. What is that? Bring Your A Game is a workshop filled with topics including Attitude, Attendance, Appearance, Ambition, Acceptance, Appreciation, and Accountability.   They also include "life examples" as well as "work experiences". 

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Proud of You Miller!

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If you didn’t attend the ask a council member question and answer session last week, you sure missed out. Everyone in the area had the opportunity to attend and let their voice be heard. If you didn’t attend and you have questions, shame on you. I personally invited people who complain about city or economic development issues and they didn’t show up. It’s like my mother in-law says, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” Over 75 people attended the session and the city council answered questions about the surcharges, phases of the projects, grants, funding, snow removal, roads, code enforcement, and lots of other topics.

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Ask a city council member… They can’t hear you if you don’t ask them.

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I can’t tell you how many people I have talked to in Miller about questions that they have for the city council. I ask them, “Do you go to the city meetings?” Or, “Have you asked your council member?” I usually get, “No, I don’t know when the meetings are, I don’t want to be in the paper, I don’t want to bother them,” or some other excuse. The truth is, the City of Miller does an excellent job of staying transparent with Miller residents. They hold two monthly meetings every month that are open to the public, the meeting minutes are posted in the Miller Press, and they hold special meetings during the year. On the other hand, Miller residents don’t always do an excellent job of attending city meetings, asking questions, or getting involved. At the last city council meeting, one resident came with concerns. A lot of city meetings, no one comes. My question to everyone, if you have all these questions, why not address? They can’t hear you if you don’t ask them.

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Goodbye 2019!

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I know a lot of people who are very happy to say goodbye to 2019! It was a tough year, but 2019 brought a lot of good things to On Hand Development.

In May 2019, I was hired and had the opportunity to train with Tammy Caffee. Mike Huether also made a call to our office and featured Rexall on his popular show. I also had the opportunity to attend a housing gathering in Wall, SD to learn more about housing troubles in rural communities.

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South Dakota Week of Work

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On Hand Development and the Miller School are looking for businesses who are interested in participating in a very exciting state wide event. The South Dakota Week of Work is April 20-24 and Miller is looking to host locations for 26 10th graders. 

The South Dakota Week of Work will introduce 10th graders to career opportunities in their own communities through job shadows, industry tours, and other business-classroom connections. It’s a week of exploration, with the aim of guiding students, engaging local businesses, and introducing employers to their future workforce. Think of it as a long-term investment in South Dakota’s future.

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Shop Local and Love Where You Live

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A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to speak to the Miller Elementary students about shopping local. I decided not to do a PowerPoint presentation or a long drawn out speech. I am better when I can throw a few jokes in and make it fun so I had a role-playing activity that not only involved a few of my friends who are affected by shopping local, but also the students.

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On Hand is Celebrating the Small Wins

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Here at On Hand Development, we celebrate the small and big wins. I define the small wins as the progress points on the way to our goals.

Progress points on economic development projects with long-term and far-off goals can be difficult, if not impossible, to track -particularly for the many community members who are not actively involved in the actual development operations.

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Bigger Than Miller

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Last week I had the opportunity to speak to the St. Lawrence city council. I introduced myself at their monthly meeting and told them a little history and background about On Hand Development Corporation. Why is this important for me to do? On Hand Development is bigger than Miller. We work with all of Hand County and lots of organizations outside of the area.

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Why does Economic Development Have a Youth Leadership Program?

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Economic development constantly looks towards the future. On Hand Development has been involved with a youth leadership group the past couple of years to get students involved in their community and hopefully have a sense of ownership and enough to bring them back as adults. Miller Youth Leaders are made up of students in grades 7-12 who want to be part of a community project. What happened along the way was that as they planned and launched these events, they became leaders in their own right!

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Let’s roll out the Orange Carpet…

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Hunting season in Hand County is so much more than how many birds you get. It’s about relationships, traditions, and the experience.

When pheasant hunters come to our area, they don’t just spend money on ammunition. Local businesses from hunting lodges to bars and restaurants to convenience stores to shops to car repairs, and everything in between, all benefit when pheasant hunters arrive in our community. Many family farms not only enjoy renewed friendships over the years but also extra income.

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Always on The Hunt

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Here we are again… at the beginning of another hunting season in Hand County. Residents of Miller and the surrounding area are smiling when hunting season is around the corner. Hunting brings visitors to our area some who are relatives, some who are old family friends and some who are here for the first time. Hunting is Hand County’s finest tourist attraction! And like a good pheasant hunt in Hand County, On Hand Economic Development is also preparing and planning for our next big hunt. The hunt for new businesses. The hunt for new families. The hunt for a strong, economically stable area that is ideal for raising young families and yet quiet, safe and inviting to retirees.

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Housing Opportunities

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I am happy to announce that On Hand Development Corporation (OHDC) help make a dream of owning a home come true this past week. Part of the mission of OHDC is to make sure that Hand County has safe, affordable housing. Housing is a big part of economic development. Our communities not only need jobs for young families but also need adequate and affordable housing to attract them to our area. OHDC has put our mission to work and made a dream come home for the Otteson family. This family of four, has bought their first home.

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