At our annual strategic planning session, the On Hand Development Board of Directors, agreed that the number priority for 2021 is to assist our existing businesses in Hand County. We have always put existing businesses as a top priority, but this year, we are dedicating a larger portion of our time and resources into your business.
Each one of us has a duty to our community, to help create and sustain a vibrant place to live, work, and play. We can create thriving communities through even the smallest of everyday decisions — especially when it comes to the businesses we support. With a simple commitment to always think local first, we can create a wide ripple of impact.
When our local businesses are alive and doing well, our community will THRIVE. I understand not everything can be bought locally, but it may surprise you how much actually can be, and how willing our local businesses are to get you what you need. If you make the decision to think local first, you might be surprised in what you find.
I wrote about this awhile back but it happened again so I thought a reminder might be in order. A lady came into my office last week and said, “You know, Miller really needs XYZ.” My response, “Yes, YOU should make that happen! What tools do you need from me to help?” She looked at me really funny like it’s my responsibility to do everything in town that people bring to me.
On Hand Development recently held our annual strategic planning session where we identified success stories and struggles in our community. We talked about how our number one priority right now is helping current businesses thrive and stay open during this difficult time. One of the other topics we discussed is making new folks to Miller feel connected. We have lost some families and individuals because they didn’t feel connected here. Not welcomed. Not involved. Connected.
The Miller Civic and Commerce annual event Christmas on the Prairie is going to have a much different look thanks to COVID-19. The event kicks off Thursday, December 3rd and they have added some new and fun ways to get out and support Miller, while staying safe.
On September 23, 2020, Economic Development Directors from Kimball, DeSmet, Wessington Springs, and Clear Lake visited Miller for a first impression tour. The tour consisted of entering Miller from every direction, walking Main Street, touring residential areas, parks, hospitals, schools, and public buildings.
Now, we have an entire report (8 pages) on how to improve our community and what we should really be proud of.
A Miller resident dropped by the office last week and asked, “What has On Hand Development done lately to help business here in Hand County?” It was a good question and I am so glad that she came to me first to ask. After she left, I decided to gather some statistics and share them with the community.
After visiting with almost every business in Hand County, the number one problem On Hand Development recognized is finding full time help. On Hand Development went to work right away and created the Hand County Recruitment Program.
On Hand Development has set aside $15,000 and implemented the program to assist ANY Hand County business to recruit employees to fill full time job openings.
Last week, On Hand Development hosted a first impression tour around Miller. The Economic Development professionals that toured our community were from Wessington Springs, Kimball, De Smet, and Clear Lake. I haven’t gotten back their evaluations yet, but I will share that information as soon as I get it.
On Hand Development hosted a free workshop for anyone in Hand County who wants to Bring Their A Game to work! This was the 2nd workshop we hosted in the last year and after folks leave, they always feel more energized and excited to head to work.
A wise woman once told me that there are two seasons in South Dakota…Construction Season and Winter. Construction season is almost to an end here in Miller. This construction season has brought our community some amazing changes. The corner of North Broadway and Third Street houses both Ace Hardware and Kessler’s Grocery Store and both businesses are getting a facelift this construction season.
On Hand Development is excited to announce our second, “Bring Your A Game” workshop to Miller on Thursday, September 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".
Last Thursday night, the City of Miller, the Miller School District, On Hand Development, Miller Civic and Commerce, and Hand County celebrated 2019 with the annual Magnificat Miller! This event is typically held in April but because of the current situation, was pushed to August. This year was a little smaller crowd for obvious reasons, but our victories that we celebrated weren't small!
I was out rummaging last week and a lady approached me about the rummage sales and how they were organized. She began to ask me why Economic Development doesn’t handle rummage weekend or the Miller Civic Commerce. I explained to her that Economic Development is working with businesses, promotion of our area, housing, and quality of life projects. The Miller Civic and Commerce handles events around town and she asked me like what?
On Hand Would Like to Welcome our Newest Board Member, Mike Wetz
Mike Wetz is the newest face to the On Hand Development Corporation Board Of Directors. Mike was selected by the On Hand Board on Thursday, August 7 at the On Hand Annual Meeting. Mike is taking the seat of Bryan Breitling who served on the board for the past eleven years.
A while back ago, I had someone tell me that it is too bad I am not involved in women’s golf league because it’s a great way to support our local community. I explained that this year I had to give something up and unfortunately golf didn’t make the top of my priorities. That conversation got me thinking about supporting local and I am glad that someone realizes that supporting local isn’t just about shopping. What does support local mean to you? To me it’s more than just buying shoes at Polly’s shoe store or getting your clothes from Clothes Garden. (Although that is also supporting local and it’s important)
Last week, I was visiting with a friend from the cities and she mentioned how much she loves visiting Miller and how she much loves it here. I asked why don’t you think about relocating? She replied with, “Oh I could NEVER live without a Target.”
As we are approaching our annual CRAZY days here in Miller, Buy Local or Bye-Bye Local is something we all need to remember and it shouldn’t be just for CRAZY days. As I am visiting with people around town, they don’t like to see local businesses close their doors or to see vacant buildings scattered throughout the community; however, it is rare that those community members consider that their own buying patterns may have attributed to those very losses.
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.