December, 2021 Newsletter
Promoting prosperity, growth, and our way of life in the lower Oahe region.
This is the Pierre Area Chamber of Commerce, Pierre Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Pierre Economic Development Corporation's December 2021 E-Newsletter.
Take a few moments to enjoy an update from the Chamber as we promote prosperity, growth, and our way of life in the lower Oahe region.
-Your Pierre Area Chamber of Commerce Staff
Sara Rankin, Chamber Chief Executive Officer
“Volunteers don’t necessarily have the time; they have the heart” – Elizabeth Andrew
This quote is the epitome of every volunteer I have ever had the pleasure of working with. They don’t do it for the recognition, and they certainly don’t do it for the pay, they do it because it is their chance to give back to the community or make a difference in the lives of those around them. For some it provides an opportunity to develop new skills or to build on existing experience and knowledge. Whatever their reason, they do it because their heart has led them there.
The Chamber is a fantastic way to get involved and stay on the forefront of change in our community. Some of the opportunities to get involved for an hour or two a month include:
Capital Area Networking Group (CAN): A group of professionals in the Capital area that focus on fostering business relationships, evolving business environments, and professional development.
Agri-Interest Committee: Promotes ties between agriculture-based interests and the Pierre/Fort Pierre business community. Join this committee and explore ways to connect the community to the ag industry and help plan an event or two.
Government Relations Committee: Give member businesses a voice in the political process on a local, state, and national level. Join this committee to review issues that impact Chamber membership and help plan Legislative Coffee events and forums to provide an opportunity for local voters to be educated on issues and candidates.
As we begin to wrap up 2021 and head toward the new year, I find myself wondering where the time has gone. It seems like it was just yesterday when I started this journey at the Chamber, and here I am, five and a half months in. That time could have become overwhelming without the support of the Chamber’s many volunteers (and of course the amazing staff), but most especially those who volunteer their time to sit on our Board of Directors. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our outgoing board members; Melissa Puepke, Chris McConnell and Angie Bollweg and to welcome our newest board members; Kevin Tiger and Jill Janecke. Thank you for giving your time to help in making the Chamber and our member businesses a success! Thank you to outgoing President Thomas Allerdings for your leadership during a year of much transition, we appreciate you!
The Chamber is just one organization that counts on volunteers, there are so many incredible agencies and community events that rely on volunteers to make things happen. I encourage each of you to find a volunteer opportunity in the community that speaks to your heart, and make it happen this holiday season!
Wishing you a Happy Holiday Season and thank you for staying Loyal2Local!
2022 Board of Directors Announced
President: Aaron Fabel, Oahe Family YMCA
Vice President: Jodie Anderson, Strategic Association Services
Secretary: Jessica Mefferd, Farmers Union Insurance
Treasurer: Jaymason Bramblee, Oahe Federal Credit Union
Past President: Thomas Allerdings, ClubHouse Hotel & Suites
Meredith Lee, Lee Real Estate
Kellie Yackley, Avera
Kiel Wendelschafer, Walmart
Ty Kinneberg, BankWest
Steve Bass, Delta Dental of South Dakota
Scott Neu, Reinke Gray Wealth Management
Stephen Webb, Gateway Ford Lincoln & Toyota
Uriah Steber, Drifters Bar & Grille
Kevin Tiger, Silver Spur Restaurant
Jill Janecke, Rising Hope Counseling, LLC
The Pierre Area Chamber of Commerce will be closed on Friday, December 24, and Friday, December 31 to spend the holidays with our loved ones. Happy holidays to you and yours!
Don't Open a Business Before Answering These questions
Christina R. Metcalf, Contributor, Chamber Blog Post
These days a lot of people are considering business ownership. Whether you buy into a franchise, lease some space and start your own thing, or log onto the internet and begin building an ecommerce website, doing it on your own has never been more alluring. But just because you have an incredible skill or access to cheap goods does not mean you're ready to open the doors to your own business.
Starting a business without a strong foundation can hinder your sales. If you open your doors prematurely, you risk making a bad first impression or targeting the wrong audience. That can be hard to recover from. Before you hang that open sign and put out your welcome mat, ensure you know the answers to the following questions.
What Makes You/Your Business Unique?
Unless you hold the patent to a never-before-seen product, it's likely you're opening a business that already exists. This is not an affront to your abilities or genius. You are probably doing something that is already offered somewhere. If you're fortunate, it doesn't exist in your town or area. But you likely have some sort of competition for what you’re offering to do or sell.
So how do you entice customers to come to your business instead of that of your competitors?
You need to identify and communicate what makes you different. Many people claim their customer service sets them apart. Spend some time watching ads or reading them in your stream on social media. You'll realize that service is not a unique selling point. Everyone thinks they offer it.
Your unique selling point could be your sales environment, a guaranty, a pricing offer (although that’s a slippery slope to underbidding), something about how you perform your service, or what's included with the purchase.
Once you know what makes you unique, you want to create a plan to communicate that to your ideal audience.
Who Are You Selling To?
If you just answered everyone, you're wasting your time and money. There's at least one group of people—hopefully several—who understand, need, and want what you're selling. Marketing to the rest of the world is a waste of resources. For instance, if you own a yarn store and you market specifically to people who love fabric arts and knitting, you will most likely bring in new customers. However, marketing to those who prefer active, physical hobbies may only get you a handful of clicks on your ads. Those clicks likely will not convert to sales. Focus on those you know you’ll have success with (your target market) before you consider converting others.
What Problems Are You Solving and Are They Worth It?
Most marketing gurus will tell you that you need to focus on a problem and present your business as the solution.
But that advice is only the beginning.
It’s expensive to offer the solution to a problem that most people don't realize they have or the problem doesn't bother them enough to seek a solution for it.
Some entrepreneurs will argue that if you call attention to a problem someone didn't realize they had (and you fix it) they will become loyal customers. But this is a magical equation.
There still must be a need that they feel bothered enough (once they know about it) to seek action on it.
I'm reminded of an episode of Shark Tank where a married couple lamented the problem of strands of her hair sticking to the shower walls (and eventually washing down the drain). To remedy this, they created a shower brush. They used it to brush the hair off the shower walls. The hair then became trapped in the brush’s bristles, and it could be disposed of easily after the shower without clogging the drain.
None of the Sharks invested. Why? The product solved a problem. Sadly, it was a problem no one was inconvenienced enough by to be spurred into action.
Who Is Supporting You?
It's important to answer this question from a financial perspective, but it's more important to think about this from a mental health and business resources perspective. You will be more successful in business if you have support of friends or family or someone within the community who can mentor you and help you with resources. When Jeff Bezos wanted to build a larger bed, his mother didn't stop him. In fact, she took him to the hardware store and helped him get the pieces he needed to create the sleeping area he had dreamed of. She supported his vision when she could have just gone out and bought him a new bed. You need someone like that in your corner when you decide to become a business owner.
In addition to someone who will support your vision, you need someone to help connect you with resources and introduce you to people who can make a difference in your business. Your Pierre Area Chamber of Commerce is the perfect solution. The Chamber offers learning opportunities, networking events, and advocacy for businesses. In your quest to find support, it should be one of your first stops.
If you're looking to start your own business, answer these questions first. If you're someone who's already started a business, what questions do you wish you had asked before opening?
5 ways you can GIVE this #GivingTuesday
1. Give your time or your talent; volunteer, lend your skills
2. Give your voice; sign a petition, advocate for a cause
3. Give money; donate or fundraise for a nonprofit
4. Give goods; organize a food, supply or clothing drive
5. Give kindness; buy someone lunch, compliment a stranger, hold the door for someone
Pierre Mayor Steve Harding's Report
Season’s greetings! I hope your holidays are off to a good start.
I’m once again feeling very blessed this season. I absolutely have many things to be thankful for in my personal life - health, friends, family, and a couple of grandchildren to spoil all year long.
In my professional life, I have many blessing to count as well. I share a commission desk with a group of dedicated public servants who always keep the best interests of the community in mind. Together, we are armed with a team of employees who help us find solutions, create opportunities, and improve our community.
Plus, we have many community-minded people living in Pierre. These are folks who volunteer at Feeding South Dakota, spend their noon hours at meetings benefitting the city, donate through the United Way, coach little kids soccer teams, feed the animals at the local shelter, and serve on city advisory boards.
These are also the folks who are helping usher in improvements in our park system. We have several volunteer groups that have brought the resources and gumption to develop new park amenities. We have a dog park under development, a new outdoor pool in the works, and pickleball court plans moving forward all because Pierre has citizens who are passionate and willing to put forth effort to improve the community.
Many of our sports facilities have updated scoreboards thanks to the generosity of our corporate citizens. Our softball complex and tennis courts have shade structures thanks also to public-private partnerships. Hyde Stadium and the Griffin Park baseball field were both renovated as the result of ambitious user groups.
As the old saying goes… it’s not the place, it’s the people. Admittedly, I might be a little biased, but I think the people in this community, whether they’re volunteers, public servants, business owners, or our youth are the best!
As it turns out, my professional blessings are yours to enjoy as well.
Thank you for all you do to make Pierre a wonderful place to call home.
Enjoy the holiday season!
Fort Pierre Mayor Gloria Hanson's Report
There has been a lot of talk recently about redistricting, but most of what we’ve seen in the news relates to legislative districts. The City of Fort Pierre recently introduced new districts (wards) to reflect population changes as evidenced by the 2020 Census.
Most of Fort Pierre’s recent growth is in Ward III, which is primarily the area north of Highway 14-83. Currently, Ward III has 670 registered voters, while Ward II (generally south of Highway 14-83 and about two blocks north of Bad River) has 506 registered voters. Ward I, the southernmost and smallest district, has 450 voters.
I personally learned a lot about the process. First, municipalities aren’t required to redistrict every ten years while counties are. Second, there are no state or federal laws governing redistricting; only case law. New districts must be compact and contiguous, and incumbents of existing districts should be protected. A complicating factor is that new borders must be drawn along census block boundaries, which often have no relationship to city blocks.
We are fortunate that the Central SD Enhancement District was prepared with a good computer program and training to assist their members through the process. The staff there came up with 5-6 options for us to choose from that would meet the requirements for equality and non-discrimination.
Ordinance no. 1057, reflecting the redrawn ward map, was introduced at a special Council meeting on November 18th. It will be on the agenda for final approval at the December 6th meeting and will become effective January 1, 2022. With Council approval, the new map will look like the illustration.
Tia Kafka, Convention & Visitors Bureau Director
Christmas at the Capitol is in full swing. The trees are on display from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, now through December 26, 2021. Invite family and friends to view the trees. I promise you will not be disappointed after seeing the beautiful displays. This year’s theme is ‘Winter Wishes.’
After taking in the trees, don’t forget to check out the third annual ‘Light up the Pierre Area’ holiday light competition. The deadline to participate is December 3, just email your name, address and a photo of your display to firstname.lastname@example.org. A map of participating area residents who are happy to show off their home’s holiday displays will be available on the Chamber’s website and Facebook page from December 7-28. Grab some hot chocolate, load up the family and take a driving tour. Don’t forget to cast your vote online at pierre.org for your favorite homes and businesses!
The Pierre Convention & Visitors Bureau is finishing the marketing plan for 2022. We will be continuing with successful concepts that have remained in the plan for the past few years and will implement some new ideas as well. The marketing plan is an effective foundation to facilitate getting the word out to people interested in visiting our beautiful area.
Happy holidays to you all, and I hope everyone stays healthy and safe. Support our small businesses and shop local this holiday season! #Loyal2 Local
The Chamber had the honor and privilege of decorating a rotunda Capitol tree for the South Dakota Discovery Center. The tree was sponsored by Delta Dental of South Dakota.
Katie Johnson, Membership Director
2021 was another great year for the Pierre Area Chamber of Commerce! We welcomed twenty-nine new members and celebrated many Ribbon Cuttings and Open Houses.
Business After Hours events were very well attended this year. Our new format allows for more businesses to participate, creating a wider variety of patrons to network with in a more comfortable atmosphere. Our first Business After Hours for 2022 will be at River City Transit in February. If you are interested in co-hosting one of four Business After Hours in the coming year, please give me a call as soon as possible – spots are filling up fast!
Loyal2Local has been a focus for the Pierre Area Chamber, and we hope you will consider being loyal to local when you do your holiday shopping this year! Shopping Pierre/Fort Pierre first makes a difference to many businesses in our communities. Can’t find the perfect gift? How about some Pierre Pride Dollars? They are available here at the Chamber in $5, $10 & $20 increments, and are accepted anywhere in the Pierre and Fort Pierre areas!
Have you bought your ticket to the Annual Celebration this year? Mark your calendars! December 9th we will recognize our annual award winners and all they have accomplished. We’ve booked the room, organized the food, and arranged for the comedy entertainment of hypnotist Kellen Marson. All you’ll have to do it sit back and enjoy the evening with us! It is a great way celebrate the holiday season with your staff, office, or group of friends. Book your table now as spots are limited, we hope you will join us!
If you are new to town or looking at getting more involved with the chamber, I encourage you to join the Capital Area Networking group. Business referral groups, also known as Referral Networks or Lead Clubs, are networking organizations with the sole objective of giving and receiving referrals. For business owners who want to get fast results, a business referral can offer a proven way to expand your customer base. Capital Area Networking (CAN) is a new group under the Pierre Area Chamber of Commerce, and we encourage all interested members to join in on the conversation! CAN meets at the Pierre Area Chamber the second Wednesday of every month at 8:15am.
I would like to wish each of you a Very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year! And as always, thank you for investing in your chamber!
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Chamber Events & Reminders
Ribbon Cuttings & Open Houses
The Farr House celebrated it's grand opening with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Open House on Tuesday, Oct. 26. You can find the historic home at 106 E Wynoka Avenue in Pierre, SD. Call Ashley at 605-301-0861 to book the Airbnb for a stay, or to rent the space for a small special event.
Congratulations to Karl's TV & Appliance on moving into its new store location in Northridge Plaza! Visit the showroom at 1615 N Harrison and shop their great selection of name brand appliances.
Fall Business After Hours
The Chamber held its Fall Business After Hours on Thursday, Nov. 18 at The LB - The Longbranch. Co-hosts included the South Dakota Popcorn Co., NorthStar Financial Services, Vona Johnson Coaching, The Farr House, and the Oahe Home Builders Association.
Participating businesses and attendees enjoyed food, beverages and getting back to building relationships in person.
If your business would like to participate in a future Business After Hours, contact Katie Johnson via email or call 605-224-7361.
Monday, Nov. 22 was a beautiful evening for the 21st annual Parade of Lights! Thank you to those who decorated a float and helped us to ring in the holiday season. Thank you to the community for showing up to support our local organizations and businesses. If you weren't able to make it to the parade in person, it will re-run on OaheTV through the holiday season.
- Congratulations to the 2021 float award winners -
1st Place sponsored by Lynn's Dakotamart: Avera St. Mary's
2nd Place sponsored by ClubHouse Hotel & Suites: Fun Time Rentals
3rd Place sponsored by First National Bank: Central SD Skating Club
Griswold Award sponsored by Walmart: Fischer, Rounds & Associates
Mayor's Choice: Ferding Electric, Inc.
Leadership Pierre 2021-2022
Leadership Pierre enjoyed their third session on Nov. 4, which focused on local and state government. The objective of the session was to learn about different aspects of local and state government, with a focus on how to become part of public service, either by running for office, participating as a juror, or contributing to our state through employment or serving on a board.
December 2021 Calendar of Events
2021 Chamber Board of Directors
Thomas Allerdings - President, ClubHouse Hotel & Suites
Aaron Fabel - Vice President, Oahe Family YMCA
Jodie Anderson - Secretary, Strategic Association Services
Melissa Puepke - Treasurer, First Dakota National Bank
Meredith Lee - Past President, Lee Real Estate
Avera St. Mary's
Mefferd Agency - Farmers Union Insurance
Delta Dental of South Dakota
Reinke Gray Wealth Management
Black Hills Federal Credit Union
Oahe Federal Credit Union
Gateway Ford, Lincoln & Toyota
Drifters Bar & Grille
Andy Hubbart, PEDCO Chairman
Pierre Mayor Steve Harding
Ft. Pierre Mayor Gloria Hanson
Chief Executive Officer
Events & Communications Director
Pierre Economic Development Corporation
2021 Investor List
Thank you to the following businesses, organizations and individuals who are supporting economic development in Central South Dakota through their PEDCO membership investment.
Platinum Investors - $1000
Avera St. Mary's/Avera Medical Group
First National Bank
Gold Investors - $600
American Bank & Trust
Beck Motor Company
Brosz Engineering Inc.
First Dakota National Bank
Midwest Development Inc.
SD Intrastate Pipeline Co.
Silver Investors - $300
Allied Plumbing and Heating Inc.
American Medical Response
Anderson Nill & Associates Inc.
Bartlett & Weaver Eye Clinic
Dakota Prairie Bank
Fischer Rounds & Associates Inc.
Nystrom Electrical Contracting Inc.
Robins Water Conditioning Inc.
Stulken Petersen Lingle Walti & Jones LLP
Bronze Investors - $150
Acorn Trust Company, AmericInn Hotel & Suites, Anderson Contractors Inc., Anderson Dentistry, Angel’s Salon, BPRO Inc., Black Hills Federal Credit Union, Branding Iron Bistro, Butler Machinery Co., Central Dakota Eyecare LLP, Chandlers Inc., Chase Auto & RV, Clausen & Rice Inc, Clubhouse Hotel & Suites, CommTech, Cone Ag Inc., Country Carpet & Flooring, Cowboy Country Stores, DJ’s Convenience Store, Dakota Radio Group KGFX – KPLO – River 92.7 – 1001.1 The Eagle, Dakota Storm Roofing, Rick Dockter/Ameriprise Financial, Drifters Bar & Grille, East Pierre Landscape & Garden Center, Envirotech, Feigum Funeral Home, Ferding Electric Inc., Floss Dentistry, Fort Pierre Development Corporation, Fort Pierre Livestock Auction, Foster Rentals, Friman Oil & Gas Inc., Governor’s Inn, Halverson Hunts LLC, Hughes County Abstract, Ingram Pest Service, Isburg Funeral Chapels, Jake’s Goodtimes Place, Jerome Beverage Inc., Korner Grocery, Krueger Contracting Inc., La Minestra, Lee Real Estate, Leingang Home Center, Mad Mary’s Steakhouse & Saloon, May Adam Gerdes & Thompson LLP, McDonald’s, MicroFix Inc., Midcontinent Communications, Midwest Cooperative, Missouri River Dentistry, Moreno Bachand Hruska & Scheibe PC, Morris Inc., Mustang Aviation, Nagel Agency Inc., Northridge Plaza, Northwest Pipe Fittings Inc., Oahe Electric Cooperative, Oahe Federal Credit Union, Oahe Home Builders Association, Oahe Veterinary Clinic, Olinger Law Firm, Olson Plumbing Inc., Palmer Currier & Hoffert LLP, Peitz Heating & Cooling, Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company, Pergroup, Perkins Restaurant, Pierre Area Chamber of Commerce, Pierre Sports Center, Pizza Ranch, Puetz Corporation, Ramkota Hotel & Conference Center, Reinke Gray Wealth Management, Richie Z’s Brickhouse BBQ, Riter Rogers Wattier & Northrup LLP, Runnings, South Dakota Community Foundation, SDN Communications, Servall Uniform & Linen Supply, Slumberland Furniture, Smith Plumbing, S.D. Electric Utility Companies, State 123 Theatre, State Farm Insurance – Becki Potrzeba, Sunnyside Daycare LLC, Thielen Surveying & Mapping, Titan Machinery Inc., TMA of Pierre, US Bank, Wheelhouse Plumbing, Willard & Associates Inc., Willow Creek Wildlife, WW Tire Service, Zach Clark Insurance Inc.
Individual & Non-Profit Investors $60
Capital City Campus, Charles P. Schroyer, S.D. Bankers Association, S.D. Chamber of Commerce & Industry, S.D. Discovery Center, Rev. Jon B. Urbach
2021 PEDCO Board of Directors
Andy Hubbart - Chairman,
Mark Anderson - Secretary,
Kim Easland - Treasurer,
American Bank & Trust
Trustee - Doug Abraham
May, Adam, Gerdes, Thompson Law Firm
Trustee - Rick Dockter
Trustee - Ron Wagner
First National Bank
Trustee - Gordon Woods
SD Intrastate Pipeline
Avera Medical Associates Clinic
My3Tech, 1 Stop Travel
Allied Plumbing & Heating
Liaisons - Annual Appointment
Chamber of Commerce
Pierre City Commission
Area Director of Sen. Mike Rounds
Pierre City Administrator
Hughes County Commission
Chief Operating Officer
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