Rapid City Chamber may merge with Elevate Rapid City

RAPID CITY, S.D. – Economic development in Rapid City is on the verge of a major shake-up.

The Rapid City Chamber of Commerce board will vote this week on whether to become part of Elevate Rapid City.

Elevate Rapid City is a public-private partnership that hopes to create $300 million in new business development in five years. Elevate is made up of companies, organizations and government bodies.

“We don’t get to decide whether or not it grows, but we can have some influence on how it grows,” said Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender, “with the right type of businesses, with the proper use of our workforce.”

The proposed merger between the Chamber and Elevate hopes to condense resources in the community and make them more effective. If approved, the chamber would become a division of Elevate.

“Bringing organizations such as the Chamber and the Economic Development Partnership under the umbrella of Elevate Rapid City gives us a more consistent platform to conduct economic development,” Allender said.

After the proposed merger, the Chamber would maintain a 25 percent presence of the Elevate Rapid City board. Allender also says similar mergers have been made, like with “Forward Sioux Falls” several decades ago.

“What a treat to be able to look at a model across the state which has been successful and has not taken away that anonymity of the Chamber or the Chamber function,” Allender said.

The Chamber will vote on the merger during their executive board meeting on Thursday.

Categories: Local News, Politics & Elections, South Dakota News