All Was Not Calm, But the Future Is Looking Bright!
– By #MillerSD
Joy to the World, 2020 is almost over! It was a very tough year, but 2020 brought a lot of good things to our area that we shouldn’t forget about.
We started the year with the City of Miller and On Hand Development hosting an “ask your city council night.” The room was filled with over 75 citizens and leaders from our community.
February was packed with events. OHDC hosted the Dueling Pianos. We also held Miller Day at the Capitol and a Cracker Barrel Session where folks got to meet with our representatives.
Bring Your A Game was brought to Miller in March. Over 30 people attended the event. (Pre-COVID 19) The rest of March was spent helping Hand County businesses with funding that was available. In April and May we worked from zoom learning and answering questions regarding relief money and how to keep businesses open.
June and July our time was spent on the famous bulls, the youth mural project and our new website. We also took the opportunity to spruce up the Community Center. August was spent with a lot of communication! Communication to the businesses about programs and funding was available. Communication with different groups in Hand County- Hand County COVID 19 taskforce, school task force, City Council and County Commissioner’s all worked together to keep Hand County safe.
September was BURSTING with business. Kessler’s added their gas pumps and Ace Hardware completed their large expansion. Blevior found a new location on Main Street. AND we welcomed Bebo Beef to Main Street. We also identified the need for employment in Hand County and introduced our Hand County Recruitment Program.
October was not calm and brought changes to our typical events and traditions. We focused on working together as a community to help get thru what was supposed to be a month of visitors and gathering together. Turkeys and shopping came in November. We focused on the message of shopping local in weekly radio shows and social media. We spent time planning for 2021 and reviewing our first impressions tour and how we can grow from that opportunity.
And December, the most wonderful time of the year! Christmas on the Prairie started the month out right with everybody getting in the holiday spirit. The Miller Civic and Commerce also introduced a new light show in the park which lifted everyone’s spirits when we needed it most.
2020 was all business and numbers. We added a new business to our revolving loan fund which is now up to $670,000 helping eight businesses in Hand County. Our signage program assisted four businesses and paid out just over $1900 for 2020. We visited 116 businesses and organizations throughout the year to see how we could help. And OHDC brought in $231,376 in grant dollars for various projects in Hand County including; new sidewalks, hotel feasibility study, community center repair, and promotion for our area.
I know 2020 was tough but the challenges make us all stronger, better people. Hand County is thriving and we are so excited to see our city sales tax is up from 2019!
It might not have been a calm year, but our future is bright for sure.