Spearfish Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) has awarded Antunez Cuisine with the organization’s inaugural Emerging Business Achievement Award. Members of the SEDC Board of Directors and staff were on hand to present owners Jared DeGraaf and Sabrina Heredia with the special recognition. Today’s presentation was held in conjunction with National Entrepreneur’s Day.
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 Antunez’s many accomplishments and to recognize their dedication to innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit,” stated SEDC Executive Director Kory Menken.
Located at 117 E Illinois Street in downtown Spearfish since opening their doors in 2018, Antunez serves fresh, hand-crafted dishes that are inspired by Latin, Hispanic, and Mexican cuisines along with wine and beer selections from around the world. DeGraaf and Heredia are also active within the Spearfish community and are expanding their operations to include a new wine shop complete with tastings.
“To be selected out of so many great businesses for this inaugural award is truly an honor and quite unexpected,” said DeGraaf. “We started this restaurant because we saw an opportunity to do what we are passionate about while at the same time provide for our family. What we have received in return, though, has far surpassed anything we imagined. The friends, relationships, kindness, love, and camaraderie we continue to experience make every day at the restaurant more worth it than words can express. Our sincere thanks to all family, friends, employees, and amazingly loyal customers who have made this venture not only possible, but a reality. A very big thank you also to the Board of SEDC for the honor bestowed and for making us feel so special.”
To be eligible for the annual SEDC Emerging Business Achievement Award, businesses must be located in Spearfish and have been in operation for no more than three years. The new 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.
Spearfish Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) recently sent a Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) survey to its entire membership with the incentive of being entered into a drawing for a case of Rainbow Trois, the new collaboration IPA created by Crow Peak Brewing, Sawyer Brewing, and Spearfish Brewing. Proceeds from the sale of Rainbow Trois go toward supporting the D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery and Archives.
One of the main missions of SEDC is to help local businesses thrive. Through the BRE survey, SEDC was able to gain a better understanding of individual businesses along with their perception of the Spearfish economic climate.
After completing the survey, Jeremy Hoven of Black Hills Community Bank and Kelsie Darling of Quik Signs were chosen as the lucky prize winners. The cases of beer were hand-delivered by SEDC staff earlier this week.
On behalf of SEDC, thank you to all who participated in the survey.
Spearfish Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) and the South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) recently teamed up to host several Small Group Retention and Expansion (R&E) Zoom meetings with dozens of Spearfish businesses.
Discussion topics included the impact of the COVID-19 situation on individual businesses and industry sectors in general, solutions and adaptations implemented by the Spearfish business community, and the variety of financial relief programs made available during the pandemic. Industry groups ranged from coffee shops and restaurants to manufacturing and construction services.
“The goal of these conversations was to answer questions, help find solutions, and gather input on how we can serve the local business community even better moving forward,” explained Cayley Schmitt, SEDC Marketing & Administrative Coordinator. “We sincerely appreciate the excellent feedback we received from our local businesses. It was also wonderful the way the participants were able to exchange strategies and ideas amongst themselves.”
“It has been a great opportunity to assist local businesses and provide a support system to them throughout these unprecedented times,” commented Hannah Downs from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. “I am so proud of each of them for how they are handling this situation. It is a true testament to the grit and optimism that South Dakota’s business owners have.”
Earlier this year, SEDC also took the lead on forming a Small Business Advisory Committee consisting of a diverse mix of small business owners and managers. The mission of the group was to help provide input and recommendations to the City of Spearfish on the public health emergency ordinance as well as what steps could be taken to begin the reopening process in the community.
“Assisting with the retention, growth and economic well-being of our Spearfish businesses has always been a top priority for the SEDC Board and staff. In response to this challenging time in our nation’s history, we have doubled down on those efforts,” said SEDC Executive Director Kory Menken. “I commend Cayley Schmitt from our office and Hannah Downs, Business Development Representative for the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, for spearheading the Small Group R&E initiative.”