It’s All Business Here at On Hand
– By #MillerSD
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.
The mission of On Hand Development Corporation (OHDC) is to maintain and assist in the expansion of existing businesses and support the growth of new businesses while striving to improve the economy of the Miller area.
As part of meeting our mission, I regularly meet with business owners and prospective business owners in our area. This year I have met with 151 business owners or prospective business owners. These meetings cover a wide range of services that OHDC has available and how they can be leveraged by business owners.
One of the services we offer is business planning assistance. In 2020, I have assisted 11 people with business planning or connected them to a professional resource for free business planning. Business planning is a wide-ranging topic and can be simple or complex. As an example, with one business owner I simply discussed how business was over the past few months and then we brainstormed ways to improve their bottom line. In another case, I connected the prospective business owner with a professional business planner for free and they helped them create a business plan complete with projected sales figures, projected expenses, and available financing options.
Another service we provide is helping people find a location for their new business or a better location for their existing business. So far in 2020, we have visited with six people in identifying properties that would work for their business.
One of the most significant programs that is available to new or existing businesses in our revolving loan fund. Currently, we have seven loans out for over $607,000. These funds are used by the business owners to grow or expand their business. In many cases, this results in jobs being retained or created by the business.
Hiring new employees can be a challenge in South Dakota due to our low unemployment rate. Over the years we have assisted our local business owners in this area and 2020 is no different. So far this year we have worked with 32 businesses by finding ways they can advertise for, recruit, and ultimately hire new employees. We have also created a new and improved Hand County Recruitment Program to help get employees to Hand County and fill full-time jobs.
COVID 19 has made business in 2020 a struggle for sure. Since March, I have visited with 67 businesses in Hand County about COVID related programs- PPP, EPL, and now the South Dakota Small Business Grant.
These are just a few of the ways we have been assisting our local business owners and prospective business owners this year. We are involved in a multitude of other activities that impact our local economy. If you would like to inquire about any of these services or ask how OHDC can assist your business, please stop by the office or call 853-3098.