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AUGUST 2020

Volume 1. Issue No. 5

BLACK HILLS ENERGY TO

STRENGTHEN POWER GRID GRANDSTAND GUIDE: TH

75 CENTRAL STATES FAIR

BUILDING up BOX ELDER The Christmans continue their dedication to children with new child center


Your health care needs shouldn’t wait. Delaying or avoiding routine care can have negative consequences on your health. Do not let fear of COVID-19 keep you away from important medical care. To ensure you can safely seek care at Monument Health hospitals, clinics and emergency rooms, we have taken extra precautions so you can get the care you need. We also offer telemedicine appointments. If you have been delaying care, we encourage you to reach out to your provider and discuss the best option for you.

www.monument.health

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Remodels, Repairs, Additions, Decks & Patios, Landscaping, Roofing Pull Funds As Needed Only Interest Charged Is On Amount Used ///////////////////////// APPLY TODAY BHFCU.COM /////////////////////////

Black Hills Federal Credit Union offers a tiered-pricing program. This allows as many members as possible to obtain financing. Your individual rate will be determined by the type and/or age of collateral offered, length of the loan, and your credit history. To find out if you qualify, call BHFCU at 605-718-1818 or 800-482-2428.

elevaterapidcity.com

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AUGUST 2020 Volume 1. Issue No. 5

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REBUILT TRANSMISSION LINE TO ENSURE ECONOMIC GROWTH Black Hills Energy to rebuild an 8-mile transmission line installed in 1964.

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CHILD CARE CENTER TO EASE DEMAND IN BOX ELDER Candyland is licensed to care for 140 children when it opens in the fall. Plans to expand further may follow.

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NEW DIRECTOR CREATES DIRECT LINE OF COMMUNICATION

Jason Combs is working to improve relationships between the School of Mines and the Department of Defense.

SUMMER SPLASH

Cool down at Main Street Square's splash patio. Kids enjoy playing in the water features while parents sit back and sip in the sun. Splash Patio takes place every Friday and Saturday from 4 to 7 p.m. through Labor Day. // Photo by Andy Greenman

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ELEVATE RAPID CITY M O N T H LY E C O N O M I C I N D I C A T O R S JULY 2020 UNEMPLOYMENT RATE 10.9%

POPULATION 142,276

AVERAGE WEEKLY WAGES $ 869

EMPLOYMENT NONFARM 62,700

LEISURE AND HOSPITALITY 6,800

EDUCATION HEALTH SERVICES 11,400

PRIMARY SECTOR 13,500

ECONOMY RAPID CITY GROSS SALES $ 543,154,356

AIRPORT PASSENGERS 23,834

HOTEL OCCUPANCY 32.5%

REAL ESTATE HOME SALES 195 Economic indicators updated monthly at elevaterapidcity.com

MEDIAN SALE PRICE $ 227,071 Increase over last period Decrease over last period

Dakota Market Square RSeignnoifvyaHteiaoltnh

Commercial Construction

So You Can Focus on Building Your Business www.dreamdesigninc.com | 605-348-0538 | info@dreamdesigninc.com

Archaeological Research Center elevaterapidcity.com

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CEO NOTE Elevate is a monthly publication produced by Elevate Rapid City. It is the premier business magazine for the Black Hills region telling the stories that make our area unique and vibrant.

PO Box 747 Rapid City, SD 57709 605.343.1744 elevaterapidcity.com PRESIDENT & CEO Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson // Elevate Rapid City CEO

I still remember the California energy crisis of 2000 and 2001 like it was yesterday. I was a young economic developer, just a few years into my career. The Governor of Wyoming had us talking to California manufacturers about the benefits of relocating to a state with no corporate and income tax, low property taxes, and most importantly: some of the lowest energy costs in the country—probably the world. Manufacturers in California at the time were paying electricity costs that seemed outright crazy, almost criminal. Our costs were often 25% or less of what they were paying. All we had to do was point it out. There I was, my fact sheet in hand, making pitch after pitch after pitch about the benefits of doing business in a low-cost state with bare bones taxes. And do you know want to know what happened? Nothing. Absolutely and completely. Nothing. Not one manufacturer relocated, expanded, or moved to the state, no matter how much the savings, no matter how bad the crisis. The reason? Infrastructure and workforce. We did not have the infrastructure and workforce. We did not have thousands and thousands of workers required to fill the jobs. And even if we had, we did not have the housing to support them. It was an important lesson I have never forgotten. Today, assuming the COVID-19 crisis abates, the Rapid City and Box Elder region continue to face unprecedented growth. Whether it’s the coming of the B-21 or the light-speed growth of the healthcare sector, the need for workforce and infrastructure isn’t stopping. This issue of Elevate features some of the ways Elevate Rapid City and others are working to address issues around workforce and infrastructure, like housing. There’s the story of Candyland, for example, the childcare center coming to Box Elder. You’ll also read about the recent establishment and growth of the Rapid City Housing Trust Fund, which looks to ensure affordable and available housing for the area’s growing workforce. Finally, there is the story of how Black Hills Energy continues to invest in the community to make sure energy needs of the Rapid City region are met for decades to come. It won’t be easy. It never is. Investments in people and infrastructure and quality of life don’t often show instant results (or as we in the economic development world refer to as ROI). But long term, the ROI is unmeasurable. The low costs of doing business? We’ll just add them as gravy. Stay safe and god-speed.

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DIRECTOR OF INNOVATION ENTREPRENEURSHIP Mitch Nachtigall DIRECTOR OF SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AND INVESTOR RELATIONS Brandis Knudsen EVENTS & TRAINING MANAGER Rachel Day PUBLIC POLICY DIRECTOR Anna Hays ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR Matt Brunner COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR Shiloh Francis CREATIVE SERVICES Andy Greenman FINANCE DIRECTOR Dana Borowski FINANCE MANAGER Debbie Leber HR COORDINATOR/ OFFICE MANAGER Liz Highland EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Becky Knox ADMIN & DATA SERVICES COORDINATOR Loni Reichert CONTRIBUTING WRITER Dustie M. Clements PUBLISHED BY THE RAPID CITY JOURNAL Matt Tranquill, Publisher PRINTED BY SIMPSON PRINTING Dan Simpson, Printer ADVERTISE mtranquill@gmail.com // 605-394-8301

ON THE COVER

Sandy and Levi Christman are building their dream in Box Elder. Photo by Andy Greenman


COMMENTS BEARD-BQ SAUCE Where oh where do I find this food oasis? - Tammy Sellars

Felix is amazing and so is his Beard-BQ sauces and rubs! - The Pool and Spa Center We love Felix! A vet, the owner of a US company, selling US made, delicious products, and an all around fantastic guy. - Dr. Rachel MK Headley

PROJECT SOLUTIONS, INC Congratulations Sandy... and thank you so much for all you do for our community. - Vesta Wells Johnson

Congratulations Sandy! So proud of you and your entire team! - Jami Metcalfe

CONNECT WITH US! Follow us on Facebook (facebook.com/ElevateRapidCity), Instagram (@elevaterapidcity), LinkedIn (/company/elevate-rapid-city) Twitter (@Elevate_RC), and YouTube (https://bit.ly/2ABRByL). Share your thoughts and help us Elevate Rapid City together!

Just want to send a rant? Email: magazine@elevaterapidcity.com

The Beginning of a Movement 100 years ago, women were given the right to vote

It’s election day in Huron, South Dakota. But Mamie Shields Pyle is not welcome to cast her ballot. In Faulkton, Alice Pickler isn’t either. It’s the late 1800s and no woman in South Dakota can vote. Pyle and Pickler will become two of South Dakota’s leading social reformers — suffragists traveling the state, leading organizations, and working to give women a voice by earning the right to vote. They will successfully get a suffrage amendment on the 1890, 1898, 1910, 1914 and 1916 ballots. But voters won’t say yes until 1918, when they pass a state constitutional amendment requiring you only be a U.S. citizen, not a male, to vote in South Dakota. A year later, South Dakota will become one of the original 36 states to ratify the 19th Amendment, which will take effect on August 26, 1920. It’s been 100 Years. But We’re Still Fighting.

This year we celebrate the Women’s Vote Centennial by honoring those who paved the way. But if it weren’t for the preservation in the state archives of the records of women like Alice Pickler, we’d have almost no idea of the lasting impact of these remarkable women. With each passing generation, we’re at risk of losing these vital stories. Without artifacts, preservation and correct archiving, future generations may not fully understand what our foremothers overcame to give us the freedoms we have today. Forgetting these stories is like losing our voices. Governor Kristi Noem appointed a nonpartisan Women's Vote Centennial Delegation called Her Vote. Her Voice (HVHV). With the SD Historical Society Foundation, HVHV is bringing together hundreds of statewide volunteers to raise funds, preserve and archive women's history. Another effort, the Statewide Honor Wall, is working to raise the significance of women's achievements both 100 years ago and today. Everyone is invited to submit the name and story of woman who has made an impact. You can learn more at HerVoteHerVoice. org. One hundred years and one day after South Dakota extended women the right to vote, it elected its first female Governor. Women’s history is still being written. Help us collect, archive and celebrate it in meaningful ways! Her Vote. Her Voice. is a project of the South Dakota Historical Society Foundation in recognition of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage.

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New housing trust fund gets big boost from Elevate Rapid City A standard household dedicates 30% of solve the pressing need of affordable housing in the their household income on housing. That is the area,” said Alan Solano. Solano chairs the advisory threshold used by experts to determine what is group that will make recommendations for the “affordable” housing. But in Rapid City, that is the release of funds in the form of grants and lowexception far more than it is the rule. In fact, more interest loans. “Using a collective impact approach than half of Rapid City households earning less brings a broad array of stakeholders together under than $20,000 per year were spending more than 50 a shared vision. Part of that vision was the creation percent of their income on housing. of a local housing trust fund.” This is a problem. The disparity creates a ripple While the trust fund is still in the start-up phase, effect across the economy. Money spent on housing, Solano says the initial response from the local means less money spent in other areas. “We know philanthropic community and Elevate Rapid City that if people and families have to spend more than has been very strong. Tom Johnson of Elevate says 30 percent of their incomes on the cost of housing affordable housing is a quality of life, workforce, each month, it’s too much, and prosperity goes business development, and infrastructure issue all down, not up,” said Tom Johnson, President and CEO wrapped into one. of Elevate Rapid City. “We simply can’t have this.” “It’s as critical to the future of the area as Some of this gap is caused anything we do,” Johnson by a limited market. The said. “Without a quality and Rapid City area is short affordable place to live, you nearly 3,500 units costing can’t keep a workforce, and less than $900 per month. you can’t raise incomes.” Rates continue to climb, To address short-term while incomes do not. needs, the Rapid City In a community already Strategic Housing Trust struggling with affordable Fund is being used to assist housing, what happens in a residents with rental and crisis? utility assistance in response April saw unemployment to the COVID-19 pandemic. rates in Rapid City skyrocket. Half of Elevate Rapid City’s Tom Johnson, People were without jobs. $150,000 contribution to the President and CEO of Elevate Rapid City Bills were not slowing down. Rapid City Strategic Housing Something needed to be Trust Fund is designated for done. With people concerned about work, health immediate housing-related needs resulting from the and safety, they should not also have to worry about COVID-19 pandemic. facing eviction. Short-term uses of the trust fund, which is housed This is why Elevate Rapid City made a major at the Black Hills Area Community Foundation, contribution to the Affording Housing Initiative by include rental retention and economic assistance. committing $150,000 to the Rapid City Strategic “Short-term, this Strategic Housing Trust Fund can Housing Trust Fund at the Black Hills Area help alleviate some of the challenges homeowners Community Foundation. and renters are facing with the COVID-19 crisis,” “The Strategic Housing Trust Fund is the result Elevate Rapid City President and CEO Tom Johnson of the collective impact work that has been ongoing said. “Rent and homelessness mitigation is a critical over the past few years in Rapid City, working to first step.”

Without a quality and affordable place to live, you can’t keep a workforce, and you can’t raise incomes.”

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It takes a local business owner to protect one.

Andrew A Ainslie Ins Agcy Inc Andy A Ainslie, Agent 1839 West Main Street Rapid City, SD 57702 Bus: 605-348-3338

As a small business owner in our community, I understand what it takes to protect your small business. Let me help you get insurance for your business at a great value. Stop in or give me a call.

State Farm Fire and Casualty Company, State Farm General Insurance Company, Bloomington, IL State Farm Florida Insurance Company, Winter Haven, Florida State Farm Lloyds, Richardson, TX 1706444

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E L E VAT E R A P I D C IT Y AUGUST 2020


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Ready to grow. We provide our communities with the energy and resources they need to grow, thrive and aim even higher. See how we’re helping the places we serve do more at blackhillsenergy.com/growing.

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YOUNG PROFESSIONAL SPOTLIGHT So what is your job as a Mining Engineer?

Most of my work revolves around underground mine stability. We collect data from mine sites such as geology, location, mine plan and create computer models to simulate the distribution of stresses around the mine. The stress analysis helps predict how safe the mine development will be. How often do you actually travel in the mines?

It varies. Recently I’ve been traveling up to the Homestake Mine, now the Sanford Underground Research Facility, conducting a research project a mile underground once a week. Since most of my projects are not in the Americas, I stick mostly to the office. But I have travelled to various sites in Nevada, Georgia, Texas, and Louisiana in the past few years.

Tell us your role on YPG and what you've gained from being a member.

TYLER ARTZ

Mining Engineer // RESPEC Tell us about yourself.

I grew up in Eastern South Dakota on a small farm. I came to the Black Hills in 2010 to attend South Dakota School of Mines and Technology where I received a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Mining Engineering. I enjoy outdoor recreational activities like kayaking and hiking. I love to travel and meet new people. I keep myself busy with work, serving on boards for several organizations around Rapid City, and hanging out with my dog, Pepper. Where is your favorite place to hike?

We love hiking M Hill here in Rapid City. It’s close and easy to get through and the view of the city is amazing from the top. As a graduate from SD Mines, we’re able to view my name on a graduation plaque on the “D”.

I help out with the Events Committee within YPG, planning the monthly socials. COVID-19 has slowed us down a bit, but we try to brainstorm new ideas. Being part of YPG has helped me meet peers in different industries that are local to Rapid City. Throughout most of my background, I’ve interacted with engineers and scientists. It’s nice to meet new people that are lawyers, accountants, commercial sales people, or in the hospitality groups that I normally wouldn’t have met. It helps expand a person’s network. How has YPG helped you connect with the community?

YPG is an amazing opportunity to meet new people, especially if you’re new to the area. There’s always a welcoming hand open. It helps you get involved with a group of peers to better the community. It also shows you what’s around the Rapid City area. And the biggest selling point of the group, is that it is fun. Everyone’s there to have a good time.

GET CONNECTED: rapidcityoungprofessionalsgroup Stay up-to-date with upcoming events and connect with other young professionals from the area. elevaterapidcity.com

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Elevate Rapid City presents

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For a detailed description of each session, please visit elevaterapidcity.com. Each session has been approved for SHRM credits and other professional credits are pending.

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ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Black Hills Energy Rebuilds Transmission Line To Ensure Economic Growth

Photo courtesy of Black Hills Energy By Tom Johnson

When it comes to electricity, Marc Eyre goes bigger than the rest of us. Eyre doesn’t just think about light bulbs. He thinks about hundreds of thousands of light bulbs, all at once—enough to keep the region supplied with electricity for decades to come. “In our commitment to the customers we serve,” says Eyre, “we can’t wait until the lights go out.” Eyre should know. As an electrical engineer and the Vice President of Operations for Black Hills Energy’s South Dakota Division, the 13-year company veteran has seen what Black Hills energy means to the area, the region, and the country. In 2018, Eyre, a father of five, relocated his family to Rapid City and hasn’t looked back since. And looking forward, Eyre sees great things for Black Hills Energy and the region. It’s why the company recently decided to rebuild an 8-mile section of its transmission network here in Rapid City, connecting its South Rapid power station to its North Rapid Power station. Once complete, it will not only strengthen the local grid, but ensure economic growth in the region. The original line was installed nearly 55 years ago in 1964 when Lyndon B. Johnson was President. And while the line still functions, the planning processes for the rebuild has been years in the making.

The Timeline

The project has two stages. The first stage, which begins construction in September, is a two-mile long

section starting north of I-90 and ending just north of Omaha street. The second phase, a six-mile section that runs along Mountain View road and connects with its South Rapid energy site, will likely begin in November and be complete by March of 2021. Eyre, who also has a passion for protecting the beauty of Rapid City and the Black Hills, is quick to point how -Marc Eyre, Vice President of Operations for Black Hills Energy sensitive Black Hills Energy is to the local environment. “We’re really conscious of the environment and the impact we have there,” says Eyre. “This being an existing line, the rights-of-way are already trimmed and have vegetation management [in place].”

"Reliable energy is one of the first resources a new or expanding business looks for."

Local Impact

As the area continues to grow, the project will add additional value to the local economy. The rebuild the will create about 75 jobs job during construction and create hundreds of thousands of dollars of additional payroll in the community. But perhaps more important are the long-term benefits to Eyre and Black Hills Energy. As Eyre notes, “Reliable energy is one of the first resources a new or expanding business looks for.”

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Black Hills Energy 230 KV Transmission Line Rebuild Project Construction of the transmission line rebuild project will stretch from Black Hills Energy’s transmission substation north of Rapid City and run 8-miles south through Rapid City. The line will end at the Black Hills Energy transmission substation in South Rapid City. Construction will occur in two phases to minimize service disruptions.

Large Substation

90

West Rapid City Substation

Phase 1 2 Miles

190

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e Rd. Mt. Rushmor

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Phase 2 6 Miles

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Candyland Daycare to Serve Box Elder Story by Dustie M. Clements Photos by Andy Greenman

Currently, there are more children than there are providers in Box Elder to care for them. Fast forward to the arrival of the B-21 bomber mission, it is anticipated there will be more than 1,000 children needing care. The Sandy and Levi Christman won’t be able to care for all the new families, but the opening of Candyland Child Care Center will certainly lighten the load.


BOX ELDER Together, with experience and a dream, Levi and Sandy began creating Candyland Child Development Center only one year ago. And it’s clear the need is there. In the first two weeks of opening registration, the facility met 65% of its available capacity. Barring further COVID-19 shutdowns, Candyland’s doors will open before school starts this fall. Sandy Christman has worked with children for more than 20 years. 15 years of which she operated a home-certified daycare. It was a way for her to pursue her passion of caring for children and while being a mother. “We have two children and I wanted to be able to stay home and take care of them.” While working from home served its purpose, Sandy is even more excited about the opportunities this facility brings. They will be able to care for more children while creating jobs in the area.

Serving the Military

Levi & Sandy Christman

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Candyland is only two miles away from the Ellsworth Airforce Base. Realizing the unique challenges Air Force families face, Candyland is tailoring its services to help. Parents will be able to check on their children throughout the day with livestreaming kids cameras; each classroom and the playgrounds will have a camera and parents will be given their own code to access. The Christmans are offering a military discount. And most importantly, they are ready to be flexible with hours. On a typical day, Candyland will be open from 6 am to 6 pm, Monday through Friday. Should a military training run late, parents won’t need to stress about what to do. Candyland will stay open or open early to accommodate the need. Most families stationed at Ellsworth do not move with extended family, making it difficult to find childcare for something as simple as a dinner in Downtown Rapid City. The Christmans see this need and are planning to incorporate a once-a-month Saturday date night.


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BOX ELDER

Room to Grow Candyland is currently licensed to care for 140 children when it opens this fall and planning to employ 30 part-time and full-time employees. The Christmans don’t just want employees, though, Levi says they’d like to “employ people who want to show up to a fun and positive work environment.” He firmly believes this results in a quality daycare and fun learning environment. The Christmans have put a lot of thought and heart into their new daycare facility, enough to even plan for the future. Sandy and Levi also purchased the lot next to Candyland with the goal of expanding the daycare. Right now, Candyland has two of each infant, toddler, and preschool rooms as well as playgrounds. When the second building is complete, they will be able to have infants and toddlers in one building and preschool and afterschool in the other. For now, the Christmans are happy to help care for as many children as they can to aid in the growth of the Ellsworth Air Force Base and the Box Elder community. More information and updates about Candyland Child Development Center can be found at www.candylandchildcare.com as well as on Facebook and Instagram.

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"[We'd like to] employ people who want to show up to a fun and positive work environment.” -Levi Christman


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CENTRAL STATES FAIR

75th Central States Fair kicks off August 21 Story and photo provided by the Central States Fair

Seventy-five years ago, the first Central States Fair took place. The group who began

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days of fair fun including the Mountain States Ford Demolition Derby, PRCA Range Days Rodeo, PRCA Xtreme Broncs Finals, carnival, concerts, food and the fair probably never imagined there would come more! We encourage you to keep an eye on our a time when we had to question, “Would we be able social media and website for the most current to hold the fair or not?” We are excited to continue updates. with the fair this year and want people to be rest There are some attractions and events you assured that the safety of our fair participants, won’t see this year such as the German Tent and guests, volunteers, and staff is important to us. The Open Class events. The staff Board of Directors has worked has been working tirelessly to diligently to set forth a plan to come up with fun, new ideas for add safety planning into our Aug. 21 this year’s Fair. We will have plans to host this year’s Central Supercross special carnival days, Military States Fair. Aug. 22 Appreciation Day as well as a We recognize that an Mountain States Ford First Responders Appreciation Demolition Derby event such as the fair is not Day, Cars and Carnival Car Show for everyone, so please take Aug. 26 and more! personal responsibility for your Range Days PRCA Rodeo “The 75th Annual Central decision to attend. If you don’t Aug. 27 States Fair exists to bring feel comfortable or are at high PRCA Xtreme Broncs Final people together and strengthen risk, we encourage you to sit this Pennington County, Rapid one out. For those of you that City and the State of South are looking forward to concerts, Dakota,” said Ron Jeffries, General Manager. “We are rodeos, carnivals and all the fair has to offer, you will dedicated to being part of our collective well-being have the option to come and enjoy. We encourage and look forward to our annual celebration.” you to take any precautions you deem appropriate This year the fair is selling a limited number of and help us celebrate our freedoms. tickets to each event to allow for personal spacing. The fair will kick-off on Friday, August 21st with Purchase tickets and view the Central States Fair Supercross racing that evening preceded by other events throughout the day. There will be nine full calendar at centralstatesfair.com.

E L E VAT E R A P I D C IT Y AUGUST 2020


welcome to Snitches a gastronomic experience inspired by local and seasonal ingredients. we invite you to our table at Deadwood’s newest restaurant. — Chef Tucker

L O C AT E D AT

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ADVOCACY

Pilot Series of Events Kicks Off August 6 Elevate Rapid City launches The Elevate Government Affairs Connection. The Elevate

GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS CONNECTION VIRTUAL SCHEDULE: August 6 September 3 October 1 November 5 December 3 TUNE IT AT 8 A.M.

PARTICIPATE AT ELEVATERAPIDCITY.COM

By Anna Hays

The days of classic supper time etiquette feel long gone amidst the current public climate. The prevalence of social media in daily life, the 24-hour news cycle – safe pillars of small talk and friendly conversation can often feel like a trap when you don’t know the opinion of your neighbor, friend, or colleague. It’s no longer enough to say, “no politics or religion at the dinner table!” A need exists for a safe harbor to understand the issues and players in the game without feeling like your opinion does not belong. Continued polarization and politicization of current events creates a barrier restricting dialogue and civil discourse in our communities. It’s more difficult now than ever to take the initiative and dig deeply into topics of local interest for fear of putting yourself in a compromising position when asked about the daily headline. How could anyone feel comfortable stepping forward to articulate a question? The community only benefits from increased opportunities to engage in constructive dialogue around current events. To provide a place for government leaders to speak with an engaged audience, Elevate Rapid City will be launching a pilot series: The Elevate Government Affairs Connection. Though the pilot series will debut virtually, the eventual monthly breakfast forum will feature local leaders and elected officials to discuss the region’s pressing issues. For instance: the onset, recovery, and future projections of COVID-19 has evened the playing field throughout the Black Hills community to beg one collective question: How are we going to get through this? Historically the Chamber of Commerce connected business members and congressional offices each month through the Governmental Affairs Committee. It was a consistent way for members to gather and hear regular updates, and also witness discussions across all levels of government. The success of these briefings led to the creation of this monthly series to welcome more interested members of the community at large. Find your space (or avoid the landmines) in today’s public discussion by stepping forward to seek out what you need to know. Everyone has a right to their opinion, so at least make yours informed.

Find your space in today’s public discussion by stepping forward to seek out what you need to know.

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Photo by Andy Greenman

FLEET FARM EMPLOYS 215 FOR AUGUST OPENING

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By Siandhara Bonnet, Rapid City Journal

Fleet Farm’s doors will open its doors in late August with a full staff at the ready. The grand opening for the retail store is Aug. 28. The store is at 1001 E. Mall Drive in Rapid City. The store will host the company’s traditional hunting, fishing and outdoor equipment, clothing and boots, housewares, toys, home improvement, pets and wild bird, farm and livestock items, automotive and ATV supplies and more.


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The Fleet Farm convenience store will open Aug. 28 with the company's COVID-19 hours of 6 a.m. - 8 p.m. Monday through Sunday. Photo by Jeff Easton / Rapid City Journal.

"We are proud to be creating jobs and being part of a compelling retail growth story.” -Tom Carrico, Fleet Farm’s vice president of Real Estate and Construction

HOURS Fleet Farm Monday - Saturday 7 a.m. - 8 p.m. Sunday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Convenience Store Monday - Sunday 6 a.m. - 8 p.m.

The company announced its Rapid City arrival in February 2019 with plans to build a 190,000-square-foot complex on Mall Drive, between LaCrosse and North streets. “Beyond bringing our unique product assortment, we are proud to be creating jobs and being part of a compelling retail growth story,” Tom Carrico, Fleet Farm’s vice president of Real Estate and Construction, said in a press release in 2019. Tamika Parks, human resources and training manager for Rapid City Fleet Farms, said the store is fully staffed with 215 team members. This includes sales floor personnel, cashier teams and employees for the automotive work center. She said the store may be looking to hire again closer to the holidays. The Rapid City location will be the second in South Dakota. The first one opened in Sioux Falls in May 2019. The West River retail store was originally slated to open this spring, but Chief Marketing Officer Terry Brophey previously told the Journal that the best time to open the new location may be in the fall, based on previous experience. According to the same report, the company will also open a store in Waukee, Iowa, this fall. During the pandemic, Fleet Farm shortened its hours for all locations. The main store hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, the convenience store hours are 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Sunday, and the auto center hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Sunday, according to an April 8 press release. The company asks that its employees wear masks and customers maintain social distancing guidelines while in the store, although there is no mask mandate for all locations. Auto Center Monday - Sunday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. According to an April 8 press release.

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SCHOOL OF MINES

Jason Combs

South Dakota School of Mines gains NSIN director Jason Combs Story by Dustie M. Clements // Photo by Andy Greenman

Jason Combs was recently appointed as the director for the National Security Innovation Network (NSIN) at the South Dakota School of Mines in Rapid City. “NSIN builds networks of innovators to generate new solutions to national security problems,” Combs explained. As the director of NSIN, he will be working to improve and develop problem solving between the School of Mines and the Department of Defense (DOD). The appointment of Combs adds a more deliberate and direct line of communication and sharing between the school and the DOD. Combs’ main priority in his position as NSIN director is to solve problems presented to him by the DOD, though he looks forward to working with everyone at the School of Mines from students to faculty.

Working out of the office of Research and Economic Development with Joseph Wright, the main programs will be heavily student involved, though there will be other programs that will involve working with the faculty to combine the efforts of the students’ senior capstones with current DOD problems. Instead of focusing solely on the theoretical aspect of study, students produce physical working prototypes to solve real world problems. As the former NSIN Chief of Staff at NSIN headquarters, Combs is well equipped and experienced for the director position. Along with his prior experience with NSIN, Combs is also a decorated service member whose time in the military influenced his acceptance of his new position. elevaterapidcity.com

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“[The] National Security Innovation Network builds networks of innovators to generate new solutions to national security problems." -Jason Combs, Director for the NSIN at the South Dakota School of Mines

This position with the School of Mines gives him the ability to use his training, talents, and opportunities from the DOD to give back and pay it forward. He will be able to share his knowledge and provide opportunities otherwise not available. He also realized that his ways of solving problems were not considered ‘normal’ for the DOD, but that he shared similar methods with the NSIN program at the school that were more deliberate and consistent. Even though he grew up on the eastern side of Nebraska, Combs has been a South Dakota resident for more than half of his life and he considers the Hills his home. The most exciting aspect of this partnership is the positive impact it will have on the community. Students are able to focus and apply their research on real DOD issues. Local startups are able to have more direct communication with DOD sponsors. This opens the doors of opportunity to make contacts nationwide to grow business relationships and the local economy. "The welcoming of this community has been overwhelming, encouraginang and supportive," says Combs.

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IN THE NEWS

Rapid City Rushmore Rotary Club Provides Meals To Those Affected By Covid 19 Rapid City Rushmore Rotary Club donated over $2,300 in gift cards from local businesses to the Black Hills Regional Homeless Coalition for those individuals and families affected by Covid-19. With a Rotary grant and donations from its club members, Rushmore Rotary was able to not only support Rapid City downtown local businesses by purchasing gift cards from Philly Teds, Armadillos, Fork Real Café and Colonial House, but also help families. Austin Brummer of Armadillos Ice Cream states, “We love seeing organizations pay it forward and we hope it does not stop there and hope everyone in our community pays it forward.” Food insecurity was identified as a high priority, and Rotary wanted to be part of the solution. In addition, Rushmore Rotary Club wanted to also provide economic relief to local businesses affected by the pandemic. “On behalf of Rotary International, the members of Rapid City Rushmore Rotary Club are very pleased that we can assist the community in this time of need with the COVID19. Rushmore Rotary was able to secure a District Grant to help community members secure food and other essential items. After working with United Way of the Black Hills and the Black Hills Area Community Foundation to identify recipients, the monies are being dispersed to Volunteers of America Northern Rockies, coordinator of the Black Hills Regional Homeless Coalition. We hope this effort can alleviate, at least temporarily, some of the stress brought on by the pandemic,” Gene Bilodeau, Rapid City Rushmore Rotary Club President. With guidance from Black Hills Area Community Foundation and United Way of the Black Hills, Rotarians decided to partner with Volunteers of America Northern Rockies because they are coordinating the Homeless Coalition and assisting families with emergency resources and housing support. “We are grateful for these gift cards that will be used to feed families and help brighten their day,” says Sara Hornick, VOA Coordinator of Black Hills Regional Homeless Coalition.”

USDA Seeks Applications to Strengthen Rural Cooperatives and Improve Economic Conditions in Rural Areas USDA Rural Development is accepting applications for grants to help start, expand or improve rural cooperatives and other mutually-owned businesses in rural America. USDA is making $5.8 million in grants available under the Rural Cooperative Development Grant (RCDG) program to help improve economic conditions in rural areas. Nonprofit corporations and institutions of higher education are eligible to apply to provide technical assistance to individuals and rural businesses. Fiscal year 2019 award recipients who received a grant period extension due to a loss of operations as a result of the coronavirus pandemic are eligible to apply for fiscal year 2020 funding. Electronic applications must be submitted to grants.gov by midnight Eastern Time on August 3, 2020. Additional information is available on page 39870 of the July 2 Federal Register. For questions, contact your local area office. USDA encourages applications that will support recommendations made in the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to help improve life in rural America. Applicants are encouraged to consider projects that provide measurable results in helping rural communities build robust and sustainable economies through strategic investments in infrastructure, partnerships and innovation. Key strategies include: • Achieving e-Connectivity for Rural America • Developing the Rural Economy • Harnessing Technological Innovation • Supporting a Rural Workforce • Improving Quality of Life

Submit application at grants.gov Deadline: August 3, 2020.

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IN THE NEWS

South Dakota Mines Job Placement Rate Holds Steady for Recent Graduates South Dakota Mines 2018-2019 graduates are enjoying a 96% placement rate in their field of study or in graduate school. This cohort is also receiving an average starting salary of $66,516, up $3,162 from the previous year. “I commend these graduates for their hard work. I know the job market is tough right now, but these numbers show the world still needs high-caliber scientists and engineers,” says South Dakota Mines president Jim Rankin. “This data also highlights the importance of our mission, vision and values at South Dakota Mines. The COVID-19 crisis shows the critical need for world-class leaders and "The COVID-19 crisis innovators who shows the critical need for can help tackle the challenges world-class leaders and we face.” The high innovators who can help placement rate tackle the challenges and starting salary speaks we face.” to South Dakota Mines’ excellent -Jim Rankin, return on South Dakota Mines president investment. The earnings of graduates in science and engineering fields outpace other professions, and the cost of attending South Dakota Mines is lower than many schools across the country. Real-world experience is one advantage many South Dakota Mines graduates bring to their first job. Seventynine percent of students graduated with internship or research experience with companies such as Microsoft, Garmin, Kiewit, Cargill and many other companies and governmental agencies. Thirty-one percent of Mines graduates are staying in South Dakota to continue advanced studies or contribute to the economic development of the state. In the last five years, 365 graduates have accepted jobs with 215 employers in 39 South Dakota communities. Among the South Dakota Mines majors, computer science graduates had the highest salary average at $75,843. Computer engineering graduates were close behind with an average starting salary of $71,750. Chemical engineering graduates came in third at $69,848. These numbers show the value of an education at South Dakota Mines. In its 2020 rankings, the organization College Factual names South Dakota Mines as the best engineering school for the money out of 302 similar institutions across the United States. The university routinely receives top rankings in the state and nation from multiple college ranking organizations.

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SBA Provided $20 Billion to Small Businesses and NonProfits Through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance On July 11, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced the conclusion and success of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Advance program, which provided U.S. small businesses, non-profits and agricultural businesses a total of $20 billion in emergency funding. To assist the greatest number of small businesses, the EIDL Advance provided $1,000 per employee up to a maximum of $10,000. Recipients did not have to be approved for a loan to receive the Advance, and the Advance provided an interim but vital source of funds while applicants awaited a decision on their loan application. “Following the enactment of COVID-19 emergency legislation, the SBA provided nearly six million small businesses employing 30.5 million people with $20 billion through the unprecedented EIDL Advance program,” Administrator Jovita Carranza said. “This program, built from the ground up in less than two weeks, assisted millions of small businesses, including nonprofit organizations, sole proprietors and independent contractors, from a wide array of industries and business sectors.” Having allocated the full $20 billion that was appropriated by Congress, SBA will discontinue making EIDL Advances to new applicants. By law, the SBA is not permitted to issue new EIDL Advances once all program funding has been obligated. “The EIDL Advance program helped to bring economic relief to over 13,400 South Dakota small business and nonprofits,” said Jaime Wood, SBA South Dakota District Director. “Approximately $39 million was injected into the SD economy through EIDL Advance since early April.” EIDL loan applications will "The EIDL Advance still be processed even though the program helped to bring Advance is no economic relief to over longer available. As a reminder, the 13,400 South Dakota loan portion of small business and the EIDL program continues to have nonprofits” funds available at very affordable -Jaime Wood, SBA South Dakota District Director terms, including a 3.75% interest rate for small businesses and 2.75% for nonprofit organizations, a 30year maturity, and an automatic deferment of one year before monthly payments begin. Every eligible small business and nonprofit is encouraged to apply to get the resources they need.


A LOOK AHEAD Movies Under the Stars: Wild Hogs, Aug. 3 Join the Main Street Square lawn for Movies Under the Stars, presented by The Elks Theatre and their Outdoor Event Theater. Cozy up on a blanket or in your favorite lawn chair and enjoy a series of comedic and adventure classics. Films begin at sundown and The Elks Theatre will have concessions available.

Ascent Innovation Spotlight: Black Hills Information Security, Aug. 4 Join Mitch Nachtigall, Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Elevate Rapid City, for a conversation with the team at Black Hills Information Security. BHIS customizes information security penetration tests for small and large organizations alike – including Fortune 50 companies, financial institutions, healthcare providers, and government agencies Learn more about what they do, their experience in the incubator so far, and their future plans in this virtual conversation. Golden Hour Live Series: Thunderstruck, Aug. 7 Join us in Downtown Rapid City this summer for our monthly Golden Hour Live Series headlining nationally acclaimed, live entertainment and the SD Made Mini Market featuring local produce, arts & crafts, food vendors and more. Thunderstruck is bringing High Voltage Rock n' Roll

back to the Main Street Square Stage! Striving to stay true to the AC/DC way, Thunderstruck: America's AC/DC obsesses over the tones, power and entertainment of a genuine AC/DC show.

Bunker Brews Virtual: What is a Veteran-in-Residence? Aug. 18 This month we'll interview one of the inaugural cohort members to learn about her time in the military, her journey as a veteran entrepreneur, and her experience so far as a Veteran-in-Residence. Join us for a virtual conversation with Carol Suzuki, Owner of Enpowered LLC. This event is part of Bunker Brews, a monthly meetup (virtual for the time being) where the Bunker Labs community, including veterans, military spouses, and civilians, comes together to network with subject matter experts, investors, thought leaders, and more in an environment focused on growth and development. Register at chapters.bunkerlabs.org.

Back to school virtual series begins Aug. 19 The public is invited to participate in a three-part virtual series preparing parents and students for school year at no charge. Aug. 19 will feature elementary students, Aug. 26 will feature middle and high school students, and Sept. 2 Cindy Begle and Sateera Thompsen will provide health information and tips for parents before the school year begins. Register today at elevaterapidcity.com

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ASCENT INNOVATION By Andy Greenman

Jordan Drysdale took a leap of faith when he followed up with a rather strange listing on Craigslist in 2015. The listing was for a young Rapid City startup called Black Hills Information Security located in Ascent Innovation. The security company has been helping a variety of businesses from law firms to bike shops and even Fortune 500 companies. They currently employ over 50 people worldwide and help nearly a dozen interns gain experience in the field. "It’s spy level some days but right now I’m auditing a law firm. They want a third party to tell them they’re secured,” Drysdale said. When Jordan isn't breaking in to companies at his day job you can find him in his backyard tending to his plants, a skill he learned from his grandfather and has passed on to his kids. Inside and outside his greenhouse you will find tomatoes, zucchini, grapes and many more vegetables. But his favorite are the chiles. He plants them in trays each February before replanting them when the weather warms. When the season is over he will have grown close to 30 pounds. He's rewarded by more than just the spice heating up his cuisines.

"Gardening is a solace of sorts. It’s a way to try to disconnect and reconnect with life in its original form.”

Looking to grow your business and work next to great businesses like Black Hills Information Security? The new Ascent Innovation building is opening in early 2020. Learn more at elevaterapidcity.com

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Mild Spicy1 Computers Landscaping2 Cell Phone Tablet LastPass 1Password3 Chiles4 Tomatoes Squash Zucchini Jordan Drysdale Burrito Taco 1) I eat way too much spicy food. I've almost burned off my taste buds. IPA5 Wheat 2) If I could pay for health insurance and take care of business, I would Disney Plus Netflix6 throw my computer in the trash - my boss knows. 3) 1Password is a External Test Internal Test great password manager. 4) I'll fry them and put them in a tortilla. I'll eat chiles til the end of time. 5) The Juicy Bruce by Lost Cabin is Grape Jam Rhubarb Jam amazing beer. 6) My wife interned at Disney, and we disagree on this, Mountains Prairie so we have both.

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