BHSU to Host Annual Economic Development Training Course

The basic economic development course “Fuel the Growth 2022: Advancing Economic Development in Our Communities” is returning to the Black Hills State University-Rapid City campus after its successful launch in 2021. 

Economic development professionals, board members, community leaders, business persons, and elected officials are invited to take part in the course from September 14-16, 2022. This course is a collaborative effort between Black Hills State University and other various entities including the South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development, Black Hills Community Economic Development/Rushmore Region Alliance, West River Foundation, and Black Hills Energy.

“In its inaugural year, Fuel the Growth provided participants the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of economic development and the tools needed to be successful in their communities,” said Lori Frederick, senior business development representative at the South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development. “It provides economic development professionals, community members, board members and elected officials the opportunity to learn about economic development in a hands-on learning environment from experienced professionals in the industry.”

The 2 ½ day training event will be led by economic development experts and will utilize presentations, panel discussions, and case studies to address 10 key topics in economic development including business retention and expansion, entrepreneurship, community and real estate development, strategic planning, organizational management, and ethics. In addition to learning from local and regional experts, participants will have an opportunity to engage with and learn from colleagues and other attendees through networking opportunities.

“Fuel the Growth broadened my understanding of economic development. It taught me not only what economic development is and all it encompasses, but also how sustainable development can be successfully implemented and provided me with the tools to do so,” said Cayley Schmitt, marketing & administrative coordinator at Spearfish Economic Development Corporation. “Furthermore, the networking provided through this course – in my fellow peers as well as the speakers – made the experience truly worthwhile.”

Hollie Stalder, executive director of Belle Fourche Development Corporation said, “Fuel the Growth is a well-balanced look at community and economic development for any size community. From the new professional in their economic development role to the seasoned director, this program has something for everyone. The relationships in the network of economic developers across the state are so valuable, and the time together to discuss the important topics facing each community is a huge benefit.”

SEDC Awarded Black Hills Energy Economic Development Grant

Spearfish Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) recently received a grant through Black Hills Energy’s Economic Development Grant Program to support ongoing marketing efforts targeted toward recruiting additional skilled workforce to the Spearfish area.

Black Hills Energy aims to “Improve Life with Energy”, which goes beyond producing and delivering electricity, coal, oil or gas. It is part of Black Hills Energy’s mission statement to “strengthen communities and support growth and development.” The Black Hills Energy Economic Development Grant Program is one way the company is fulfilling that mission and supporting Spearfish.

Having enough of a trained workforce to keep up with business growth is one of the largest hurdles our community, any many others, are facing today. “This grant will further enhance our ongoing marketing strategies to attract workers to Spearfish,” said Kory Menken, SEDC Executive Director.

SEDC Presents 2022 Emerging Business Achievement Award

Creekside Bean and Vine was awarded the annual Emerging Business Achievement Award by Spearfish Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) on Thursday, May 5. Members of the SEDC Board of Directors, SEDC staff and other community leaders were on hand to present the business owners and staff with the special recognition. The presentation was held in conjunction with National Small Business Week.

The Emerging Business Achievement Award was created by SEDC in 2020 to honor start-up businesses that demonstrate successful business practices, practice civic engagement, and partner with other businesses in the Spearfish community. “We are pleased to celebrate Creekside Bean and Vine’s dedication to innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit,” stated SEDC Executive Director Kory Menken. “It has been rewarding to work with them from the beginning and to witness their continued success.”

Located along Spearfish Creek in the Granary District of The Village at Creekside, Creekside Bean and Vine has been serving Spearfish and the surrounding area since 2019. Founded by sisters Vicki Furnish and Kelly Klein, as well as Vicki’s daughter and Kelly’s niece Megan Irwin, the family-run coffeeshop and wine bar places high value on the importance of community.

“We are honored to be part of a thriving small business community in Spearfish,” said Furnish. “We have enjoyed developing partnerships with so many other businesses and organizations whether it be the use of our space for special events such as private parties, community meetings, classes, and workshops or for featuring local artists and growers to provide excellent fresh coffee, food, and wine. We are all about making this a space that oozes the community feel of Spearfish!”

“On behalf of the team at Creekside Bean and Vine, we thank SEDC for choosing us for the 2022 Emerging Business Achievement Award,” Furnish expressed.

To be eligible for the annual SEDC Emerging Business Achievement Award, businesses must be located in Spearfish and have been in operation full-time for no more than three years. The award joins the Award of Excellence and the Spirit of Enterprise Award (formerly known as the Rising Star Award) which are presented each year at the SEDC Annual Meeting in January. Past Emerging Business Achievement Award winners include DirtBags BikeGear and Antunez Cuisine.