We Have It All

 – By

Last week, I had the pleasure of being a speaker at the Energize Conference in Milbank about On Hand Development. Public speaking isn’t my favorite part of my job but I jump at the opportunity to talk about my favorite place.

I started my forty-minute presentation on what On Hand is and our structure.  Then, I added what we do- Business Assistance, Revolving Loan Fund, Beautification/Community Improvement, Youth Team, Quality of Life Projects, Miller Community Center, Housing, and Promotion of our area. I then added some older pictures of Main Street and how it has changed over the years and why Miller is the Biggest Little City in South Dakota. 

I talked about all of the businesses on Main Street. I named them all and talked about their services and products. I stated that you could get everything that you need right in Miller. How many small towns can say that? Some rural towns don’t have a clothing store or a shoe store, or even a grocery store. Miller has it all.

I talked about all of the memories that have been created on Main Street and how proud people are of our community. The Senior Class whitewashing, prom covid style, bombing main during covid, bombing main in the early days, senior pictures, wedding pictures, and lots of parades.

Then how does Economic Development assist not only Main Street businesses but all in our county?

  • Business Visits- We can’t know what is going on if we don’t talk to them. Someone on the board or myself is talking with all businesses getting to know the needs of each individual business.
  • Revolving Loan Fund- This is a very important tool for our community. Businesses in Hand County can access our loan fund to help with expansion projects, equipment, or other needs.
  • Connection to Resources- After we know what the issue is, we can connect you to what you need if we don’t have it. It might be professional business plans or the SD Retailer’s Association. We don’t always have the answers here but we get you to the resources that do.
  • Recruitment Program- On Hand Development identified a need in our community for full time employment. We created the program to assist businesses find and keep employees.
  • Post jobs- We post all jobs in Hand County on our website for free. All you have to do is tell us!
  • Business Listing- List every business on our website for free.
  • Feature and Promote- We feature a different business every week on our page and we promote.
  • Sidewalk Loan- help business fix their sidewalks or add new ones.
  • Sign and awning program- any business in Hand County can utilize.

After talking about all of our program and assistance, I got into how we educate our youth at an early age and get them involved in projects. I talked about the youth art mural, the famous steers on the corner, the flowers on Main Street and promoting our area.

I answered questions at the end and someone from the audience said, “Wow, your community has it all.” Another added, “Sounds like Economic Development does it all.” I believe that we often take for granted what our community has to offer and how great we truly have it.

If you own a business and haven’t visited with myself or a board member about our programs, I encourage you to reach out. I’d love to visit with you and get to know your needs and how we can continue to have it all.  

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