Rapid City makes country’s top 10 for small business development

RAPID CITY, S.D. – Rapid City has cracked the American Top 10. A new survey puts Rapid City at No. 9 for small business development.

The small business study was conducted by Verizon. It considers population, education and income per capita.

Though tourism creates most of Rapid City’s revenue, an emerging technology and health care sector is building a solid workforce foundation.

Jeff Haverly is the president of the Rapid City Economic Development Partnership. He says when primary jobs in health care, tech and manufacturing come to town, others in retail, hospitality and construction follow. “There’s a definite factor involved in how many primary jobs will create how many indirect jobs or spinoff jobs.”

Haverly also says South Dakota’s eased tax policies help grow business as well. “We have a gold mine in the state of South Dakota in the respect that consistently, we rate one or two in the nation for best tax climate and best business climate.”

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Another way that city leaders are trying to incentivize growth is with an empty lot on East Main Street. It’s the future home of the city’s second small business incubator.

Several businesses in the area were born at the city’s first incubator, housed at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. A new incubator could grow those companies along with jobs in supporting industries.

Another plus for business – South Dakota has cheap commercial real estate in comparison to other regions.

“You can rent office space; you can rent warehouse space for considerably less than you can, for example, in our neighboring state of Colorado,” Haverly says.

And Rapid City has its eye on the future through public-private partnerships such as Elevate Rapid City. That group hopes to create $300 million in new business development.

“The Elevate effort is going to be critical to the success of Rapid City in consolidating a lot of the different efforts so we’re not tripping over ourselves all the time.”

Categories: Local News, National News, South Dakota News