Do You Hear What I Hear?

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Do you hear what I hear? Sometimes what we hear and what really happened isn’t always the truth. We still hear a lot about what we do at On Hand Development. We are continually working on telling our story. Do you hear what I hear is our end of the year break down of what we were really up to in 2021. We have so much to celebrate for our area.

January started with our last meetings with the Hand County Covid task force. We met regularly via zoom to discuss programs and steps necessary to keep our community safe. I was so proud of this group and everything they did for our community. I also met with a couple different potential hotel groups to invest in a hotel project at our community center.  And we got the ball rolling on new awning covering ideas for Main Street and how to save businesses money. I was also accepted into the SD Non-Profit Fundraising School and received a scholarship from Dakota Resources to be part of that class. 

February was spent meeting with businesses, working on grants, and education. We talked with as many businesses as we could. We listed all job openings on our websites and continue to update those weekly.

March was all about Communication and meetings. - Attended 2-day learning session on board involvement and building boards and dealing with conflict. Attended 3 Northwestern Energy Meetings- 2 in person and 1 virtually with other communities.

April FLEW by. We had 3 new Potential Business Visits to our area, I also worked with restaurants on restaurant fund, attended 2 day event with GOED, attended 1 day event with Grow Smarter Coalition, we held our annual “meeting”, assisted the Friendship Center to host a AED Class along with other lifesaving skills, received a grant from SD Housing to paint the Teason Home, assisted the “Activate Miller” Group get some grant funding for new program to encourage walking and running around Miller.

In May, we focused on communication. Communication with businesses, communication with other communities, and other organizations.

June was all about getting seen and heard. We set up the Governor Noem Visit, we participated in panel with Senator Rounds in Ft. Pierre about meat prices and how they are affecting small business- restaurants and grocery stores and rural communities, worked with the C&C on getting word out about 4th of July schedule of events and had our annual personnel meeting

July was hot and busy! Thanks to the Miller Wrestling Club, we started and finished the Paint Teason home project. We received a grant from SD Housing that covered the cost of all of the primer and paint. Individual donations covered the supplies and food. We then worked with KELO LAND about a story for the project. I spoke at the Heartland Summer Conference about Miller and our success stories and attended 2-day fundraising school in Sioux Falls.  

August- Spoke at the Energize Conference about Main Street Miller. We also assisted the Senior Center for the Molli B Concert where about 350 attended. We also worked with businesses on recruitment of employees and using funds available for recruitment.

September was all about the numbers. We got a $500 grant for C&C promotional efforts. We also worked with the SD Dept of Revenue and City office for sales tax license and information to get Sommers open. We opened Sommers Bar to sell liquor on September 30th for 60 days to keep license. We kept hours that we could handle and tried not to compete with other businesses. We want to keep this license in use for future business use, NOT to make a profit. If we didn’t keep this license active, we would lose it forever.  We have had some interest in the bar and we hope to make a sale soon. Smoke on the Prairie hosted here at center by the Miller C&C and it was a huge success once again. Over 200 people attended the event.

October was more than just Halloween. We sold last lot in industrial park, Career Here event in Redfield- 300 students had the opportunity to visit with potential employers, we attended EDPA Conference- Miller was asked to be on the communication committee to help with lobbying for economic development in rural communities, held Community Center needs meeting and the Hotel Committee Met. We are working on some numbers and drawings to get local investment. We also received $15,000 in matching funds from the GOED to recruit full time employees to our area.

November was all shop local and planning for the future- We presented to the Miller Elementary School on how when you shop local money stays in our community, learning Network Conference in Mitchell- 2 days of learning how to support entrepreneurs met with potential partners about hotel prospectus, Hosted Shop Small Saturday and just over 50 people attended, we Participated in SD Day of Giving- received $500 grant and we worked with Dakota News Now on story about Christmas Light Show in Crystal Park. We also had our annual strategic planning session and our vision and mission moving forward. We looked at numbers for a housing development and the cost for infrastructure.

December isn’t over yet so I can’t completely report on our work… but what I know about December is Christmas on the Prairie was a huge success, the light show in the Park is bringing people from all over, some of the new awnings on Main Street are up, 2021 was the best year for our Miller Community Center, and the park project in St. Lawrence is moving forward. Our Revolving loan fund is up to $600,000 assisting eight businesses in Hand County and affects approximately 80 jobs in Hand County.  We also have worked with three businesses on recruiting and keeping full time employees.

So do you hear what I hear? On Hand Development has been working hard in 2021 and we can’t wait to see what 2022 brings! What do you want to see happen in 2022? Stop in my office and let’s see how we can make it happen together.

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