Lemmon sees increase in business despite pandemic
LEMMON, S.D. — Lemmon in Perkins County is the rare community that has actually seen an increase in business during, and because of, the pandemic.
The town of 1,200 people saw a 169 percent increase in sales tax revenue through the months of April and May, with a pandemic in full swing.
“169 percent is a huge number over those two months which then, in turn, brings us to 26 percent for the course of the year,” says the Mayor of Lemmon, Neal Pinnow. “Those types of positive things helps main street businesses, helps everybody else keep jobs and add more employees.”
Every business remained opened, or in service, to some extent while many towns were forced to close up shops.
Even now, the town has not closed recreational activities like the community pool that opened for the season on Thursday.
Key factors in the town’s growth include a new health clinic on main street and a new grocery store, the store which profited from regional store closures or supply shortages.
“We had people coming through to go home to the places they were from, and their families were telling them about shortages they were seeing in their cities and so we then had people stopping and shopping,” says IGA Store Manager, Stefanie Dauwen.
The secret to their growing success? Mayor Pinnow attributes that to the younger generations returning home to start their businesses.
“We’re positioned really well for people to be able to start their businesses and provide services that people need, and don’t have to travel to go get,” says Pinnow. “If they want to come back and open up a business the community is going to be behind them and do whatever they can.”