GROW SD in the News

GROW SD Receives Over $1.4 Million in CDFI Funding

Thursday, October 04, 2018

GROW South Dakota was recently awarded $1.45 million from the U.S. Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund). GROW South Dakota and the Northeast South Dakota Economic Corporation (NESDEC), both of which are certified CDFIs, received the awards, which will expand their small business and first mortgage housing lending programs. The announcement came in September. GROW South Dakota received a grant of $950,000 in CDFI Financial Assistance funds, which will support its direct lending program for housing mortgages. Of the total, $250,000 will be directed to focus on South Dakota counties identified by the CDFI Fund as areas of persistent poverty. NESDEC...
GROW SD to Celebrate Weatherization Day

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Each year, October 30 is recognized as Weatherization Day. This day highlights the fact that low-income households spend a disproportionate percentage of their annual incomes on home energy bills. Weatherization provides cost-effective, permanent solutions for reducing the heavy energy burden these families endure. The US Department of Energy has supported weatherization of more than 7 million homes across the nation since 1976. Weatherization programs focus on upgrades to mechanical and electrical systems, health and safety measures, and building shell issues. These services not only save energy through advanced technologies to improve energy affordability for low-income families, but they also save lives...
BIG Idea Competition Opens September 1

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

by Kelly Weaver, Small Business Development Center Regional Director Entrepreneurship - taking initiative and risk in a business venture - is one key to supporting our rural economies The BIG Idea Competition, entering its eleventh year, seeks to promote entrepreneurship, spur creative thinking, and encourage students to start a business. The BIG Idea Competition is a free business idea competition for high school students.  Students submit a written description of their business idea and compete for over $5,500 in cash awards and scholarships. There is also an optional Marketing Design award where students create an ad to support their business idea. Additional...
Loan Supports Young Entrepreneur’s Daycare Dreams in Philip

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

A young entrepreneur is pursuing her dream of owning her own daycare business, thanks to the help of a loan from GROW South Dakota. Hallie Konst was born and raised in Philip, South Dakota. She has always loved children and caring for people. She considered pursuing a teaching degree but opted to study business management because she thought it would translate to a higher paying job after graduation. In the end, she figured out a way to combine her passion with her schooling by purchasing an existing Philip daycare in 2017 and opening Konst Kids Daycare. The daycare facility in Philip has been...
GROW SD Grant Supports Faulkton Elevator Mural

Monday, July 09, 2018

GROW South Dakota has received a grant that will support a unique mural going up in Faulkton this summer. Australian artist Guido van Helten, who has created large murals on public buildings around the world, will be painting images representative of the people of the Faulkton area on the grain elevator there. GROW SD received a grant from a Rural Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) program meant to support arts and culture projects that help drive economic development.  Van Helten was recruited to Faulkton to paint the Agtegra elevator in order to create a one-of-a-kind South Dakota artwork in the town...
Unique Board Structure Guides GROW South Dakota

Monday, July 09, 2018

GROW South Dakota is not a typical nonprofit organization. Governing an affiliation of three separate, independent nonprofits with complementary missions and shared staff can be a challenge, but the boards of directors of the three agencies are up to the task. Each organization has its own board of directors. NESDCAP, founded as part of President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty, has a 15-member board, divided into groups serving from three sets of counties in the 17-county service area. By law, board members must represent low-income, private, or public official constituencies. NESDEC also has a 15-member board representing its 22-county service area....
GROW SD Celebrates 40th Anniversary with Business Loan Special

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

In 1978, GROW South Dakota made its first business loans. In the 40 years since then, the agency has had significant impact on businesses and communities throughout northeastern South Dakota and beyond. To celebrate this milestone, GROW SD is offering a business loan special.   GROW SD’s revolving loan fund was established in 1978 with the purpose of supporting economic development in 22 northeastern South Dakota counties through small business loans and job creation. Since that time, the agency has made 2,009 loans for a total of more than $69.7 million to 1,214 area businesses (as of 3/31/18). These loans have assisted...
Celebrating Homeownership Month

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

June is National Homeownership Month, a time to recognize how owning a home relates not just to achieving the American Dream, but also to providing stable lives for families and creating stronger neighborhoods and communities. Homeownership is always a focus for GROW South Dakota, as we provide a variety of products and services to help people purchase or improve their homes. GROW SD has made 324 loans this year. GROW SD is putting three newly constructed single family homes on the market in Sisseton. These two bedroom, two bath homes include a two-car garage and are 1,140-1,230 square feet. Construction of...
GROW SD Celebrates Community during NeighborWorks Week

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

During NeighborWorks Week, GROW South Dakota will host two open houses on June 6, 11 AM to 6 PM, with lunch being served 11 AM to 2 PM. The homes are located at 616 8th Ave E., and 105 Arnie Dr., Sisseton, SD. This year’s theme is “Advancing Opportunity,” and NeighborWorks organizations advance opportunity by empowering residents and communities with the tools, skills and services they need to help everyone thrive. GROW South Dakota and other NeighborWorks organizations across the country will mobilize tens of thousands of residents, business people and government officials in a week of neighborhood change and awareness,...
Celebrating Community Action Month

Monday, April 30, 2018

In May, community action agencies nationwide observe Community Action Month, a period set aside to recognize the contributions that nonprofits, volunteers, and other committed citizens can make in improving their communities. The Northeast South Dakota Community Action Program (NESDCAP) dba GROW South Dakota has been at it for 50 years. It was created in 1966, soon after President Lyndon Johnson signed the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, which created Community Action Agencies as part of the War on Poverty. GROW South Dakota was established to wage the war on poverty by implementing innovative and cost-effective programs to improve the lives and...
Encouraging Homegrown Businesses

Monday, April 30, 2018

Small businesses can have a big impact. Did you know that two out of three new private-sector jobs in the United States since the Great Recession were created by small businesses? Since 1963, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week. In 2018, this week falls between April 29 and May 5. It’s a time to honor the remarkable contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. For the first time this year, the Small Business Alliance is hosting a virtual conference as part of National Small Business Week. This is a wonderful opportunity for...
NESDEC Board Member Sought

Monday, April 16, 2018

The Northeast South Dakota Economic Corporation (NESDEC) dba GROW South Dakota is seeking a board candidate for a Low Income Representative on the Board of Directors. The board member will represent constituents from Clark, Codington, Day, Grant, Marshall, and Roberts counties. If you would like further information, please contact Lori Finnesand at 605-698-7654 or  For more information about GROW South Dakota’s housing and business development programs and services, please visit our website at or call (605) 698-7654.
Down Payment Funds Deploying Ahead of Schedule

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

GROW South Dakota has received $4.1 million in funding to support down payment assistance for families with low to moderate income. In April 2017, GROW SD received funding from Project Reinvest for 200 deferred loans at $10,500 each and was expected to deploy them within two years. In November, 2017, the Wells Fargo Neighborhood LIFT funding for 225 forgivable loans at $7,500 each was launched and also had a two-year deployment time. In both programs, the down payment assistance was paired with a first mortgage typically financed by a Grow SD approved lender. As of late March 2018, GROW SD has...
Tax Law Changes Demand Attention

Friday, February 16, 2018

by Kelly Weaver, Small Business Development Center Regional Director   For most small business owners, changes in the tax law take a back seat to the day to day operations.  Here’s a couple reason why you should pay attention to the recent tax law changes. Payroll Issues – The tax tables used to calculate withholding for paychecks have changed significantly.  First, make sure you (or your payroll service) is using the most recent tax tables (IRS Publication 15).  If you are using a payroll software, be sure to update it before every payroll so you are using current tables.  The new 2018 tables...
GROW SD Receives State Farm® Grant to Support Small Business

Friday, February 09, 2018

The Northeast South Dakota Economic Corporation (NESDEC) dba GROW South Dakota (GROW SD) recently received a Good Neighbor Citizenship Grant from State Farm for its technical assistance (TA) program for small business borrowers. The purpose of the project is to assist small business loan applicants prepare to borrow money and grow their business. The TA provided by GROW SD business loan officers will support business owners in various aspects of their operations. Each business will have different needs, but in general, TA comprises starting or expanding a business before, during, and after financing. NESDEC primarily serves northeastern South Dakota, but the...
Aberdeen to Host 2018 SD Women’s Business Conference

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

On March 9, 2018, women business leaders from across the state will gather in Aberdeen, South Dakota for The Women’s Business Conference. The one-day will, encourage, inspire and educate female executives and entrepreneurs. For more than a year, The South Dakota Center for Enterprise Opportunity (Women’s Business Center) has been planning the event along with a team of local volunteers. The event will feature Keynote Speaker Dee Dee Raap, BHSU School of Business Professor Dr. Barbara Looney, a panel of local women executives, and local women-owned business entrepreneurs. Kelly Weaver, Small Business Development Center Regional Director, and GROW South Dakota’s Loan Officer,...
Improve the Air Quality in Your Home

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air quality is very important. Poor indoor air quality is currently one of the top five leading factors that affect respiratory health in the United States. There are many tips you can take to improve indoor air quality in your home: • Cleaning up any mold problems and controlling moisture • Changing furnace filters and keeping air ducts clean • Living in a smoke-free environment • Keeping your home clean and dust free • Installing carbon monoxide alarms • Installing an air purifier to help keep the air inside your home as clean as possible • Using safe practices when renovating Weatherization...
Homeless Count to be held January 23, 2018

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Homeless Count to be held January 23, 2018 Every year, the South Dakota Housing Development Authority conducts a one-day count of homeless persons in the state. The count is mandated by HUD. Again this year, SDHDA contracted with the four CAP agencies in the state to coordinate counts in their service areas, and GROW SD will support the 17 NESDCAP counties. The results of the count are used both to identify the problem and to request funds to address it. The date for this year’s count is January 23.   Last year, participation in the count by NESDCAP’s 17 counties increased from...
NESDEC Provides Financing to Dakota Provisions

Thursday, January 04, 2018

NESDEC Provides Financing to Dakota Provisions The Northeast South Dakota Economic Corporation (NESDEC), dba GROW South Dakota, recently received a $780,800 Community Economic Development grant from the Office of Community Services in the Administration for Children and Families in the Department of Health and Human Services. The grant will allow NESDEC to help finance the expansion of the Dakota Provisions Turkey Processing Plant in Huron, South Dakota, to provide a retail ready-to-eat food line of lean meat turkey products. NESDEC will provide a working capital loan along with no-cost business development services to Dakota Provisions in order to help create a...
GROW SD Uses State Farm® Grant to Prepare Homebuyers

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

GROW SD Uses State Farm® Grant to Prepare Homebuyers New homebuyers in South Dakota are more prepared for homeownership thanks to GROW South Dakota’s Preparing Homebuyers project and the help of a Good Neighbor Citizenship Grant from State Farm. The project supports prospective homebuyers in evaluating their readiness to purchase a home, preparing to apply for a mortgage, and building their understanding of all aspects of owning a home. The grant funded an information sheet on basic steps in preparing for homeownership. GROW SD began the project with a goal of reaching at least 200 people with homeownership information. Through a variety of...
BIG Idea Competition Celebrates 10th Anniversary with Special Speaker and Entrepreneurship Survey

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The BIG Idea Competition—the business idea contest for South Dakota high school students—is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2017 with a few new wrinkles. The basics of the competition remain the same as they have since its founding in 2007. High school students are invited to work individually or in small teams to produce a description of a business idea and enter it at by October 31. After judging by hundreds of volunteers statewide, the top eight finalists will present their ideas at a final event on December 7 in Aberdeen. Winners receive cash prizes and scholarships from Northern...
GROW SD Receives State Farm® Grant to Prepare Homebuyers

Friday, March 31, 2017

GROW South Dakota recently received a Good Neighbor Citizenship Grant from State Farm for its Preparing Homebuyers project. The purpose of the project is to support prospective homebuyers in evaluating their readiness to purchase a home, preparing to apply for a mortgage, and building their understanding of all aspects of owning a home. The grant will fund the preparation of an information sheet on basic steps in preparing for homeownership as well as coaching by GROW South Dakota staff to make a successful application for a home mortgage. The project has a goal of particularly supporting low-income potential homebuyers. The grant...
Sisseton Landmark Selected for Art Installation

Friday, March 31, 2017

Markus Tracy is preparing his canvas for one of the public art project to be completed on Veterans Avenue in Sisseton in preparation for the community's 125th celebration in June. Using a unique "inside-out" concept, the exterior doors and windows of the Siston Theater will become individual screens projecting images that reflect the community's identity for people passing by on the sidewalk or street. The project is a joint effort of GROW SD and the Sisseton Arts Council with support from a Rural LISC Arts and Culture Grant and the South Dakota Arts Council. Next week's Courier will feature another of the art projects to...
GROW SD Staff Earn Professional Designation

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Sandy Leiseth and Wade Veflin with GROW South Dakota received certification as a Housing Development Finance Professional (HDFP) from the National Development Council (NDC). HDFP Certification is a professional credential given to individuals who successfully complete NDC’s intensive housing development finance training series. The training provides individuals working in the field of housing development with instruction in single-family home ownership finance, multi-family housing development finance, housing development finance including problem solving and deal structuring, and the creation and implementation of development programs. The four HDFP Certification Program courses range from three to five days in length and concludes with an exam....
Energy Assistance Available

Monday, February 06, 2017

The Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) helps eligible South Dakotans Pay for home heating costs. Energy assistance can be applied for from October 1 through May 15. Eligibility for the program is based on the number of people in the household and the gross income of everyone in the household.   Applications can be obtained by calling toll free 1-800-233-8503 or online at Energy assistance funds are distributed on a first-come, first serve basis.
Is Small Specialty Retailing Coming Into Its Own?

Thursday, January 19, 2017

by Kelly Weaver, Small Business Development Center Regional Director   According to some retail experts, we have entered into a new phase of retailing where customers are in the driver seat more than ever.  Accustomed to having an unlimited selection of products at their fingertips, customers are beginning to crave experience over stuff.  The good news is that small independent retailers are better positioned to offer that experience. Consumers are looking for products and services customized to their specific needs and in line with their values and interests.  We have begun to see the decline of mass marketers with store closings by the...
GROW SD To Participate in the 2017 Homeless Count

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Every year, the South Dakota Housing Development Authority conducts a one-day count of homeless persons in the state. The count is mandated by HUD. This year, SDHDA contracted with the four CAP agencies in the state to coordinate counts in their service areas, and GROW SD will support the 17 NESDCAP counties. The results of the count are used both to identify the problem and to request funds to address it. The date for this year’s count is January 24. Less than half of South Dakota’s counties participated in the 2016 count, and only eight of NESDCAP’s 17 counties did. To...
South Dakota Community Foundation Awards $10,000 Grant to Northeast South Dakota Economic Corporation

Thursday, December 01, 2016

The South Dakota Community Foundation (SDCF) has awarded a $10,000 South Dakota Fund grant to Northeast South Dakota Economic Corporation (NESDEC). Since 1978, NESDEC has significantly impacted economic development in its 22-county service area by supporting business ownership, jobs, and homeownership. This grant will assist with supplementing NESDEC’s Revolving Loan Fund's Loan Loss Reserve for loans.   Pictured are: Ginger Niemann, SDCF Program Officer and Dustin Bragg, Grow SD   About the SDCF Since 1987, the South Dakota Community Foundation has helped people reach their philanthropic goals and strengthened communities across the state. The SDCF administers approximately $250 million in total assets for over 760...
Certified Navigators to Assist During Open Enrollment

Monday, October 31, 2016

With open enrollment for 2017 under away, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), announced $63 million in Navigator grant awards to returning and new organizations.  These awards will support local in-person assistance to help consumers navigate, shop, and enroll in the wide variety of Marketplace coverage options.  “We are committed to making sure consumers have all the resources they need to find the right plan,” said Kevin Counihan, CEO of the Health Insurance Marketplace.  “We know in-person assistance is critical to connecting individuals and families with quality, affordable health coverage that best meets their needs.” Navigators are trained individuals and...
GROW SD Featured in NeighborWorks America Book

Sunday, October 30, 2016

NeighborWorks America recently published NeighborWorks Works: Practical Solutions from America’s Community Development Network.  The book, published in December 2016, inlcudes GROW South Dakota. The book consists of case studies of the outstanding work being done in community development, as well as innovative solutions in affordable housing.  The strength of the NeighborWorks network and GROW SD’s experience and peer-to-peer resources allow it to not only leverage expertise, but also build an elite solution-based platform to improve lives and strengthen communities to overcome even the toughest of challenges.   The GROW SD case study in the book focuses on its work with regional partners to promote...
Customer Service: What to Do When Things Go Wrong

Monday, October 24, 2016

by Kelly Weaver, Small Business Development Center Regional Director As we embark on the busiest retail season of the year, a focus on customer service is important.  Let’s face it, no matter how well trained your staff, things can still go wrong.  While companies providing good service try to limit those occurrences as much as possible, a company can truly set themselves apart by the way a bad situation is handled.  Your response could be the difference between winning over a customer for life and creating a vocal detractor of your business.  Here are some specific steps to Professional Recovery – how...
Beautification Projects Take Shape in Sisseton

Monday, September 19, 2016

A soaring bald eagle will soon grace the north wall of the former Boys and Girls Club on Oak Street. GROW South Dakota, which owns the building, received a grant from the Sisseton Economic Development Corporation to upgrade its façade and has engaged Sisseton Middle School visual arts teacher Alexis Monroe and Nick Blaske to produce a mural that represents the diversity of the Sisseton community. The mural will depict a bald eagle flying against a multi-colored sunrise. In describing the design, Ms. Monroe said, “We chose an eagle design for its symbolism: our national bird, a ruler of the skies,...
Regional Roundtable Serves Northeastern South Dakota

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Yesterday, the Regional Roundtable welcomed the Governor’s Office of Economic Development Commissioner Scott Stern. The recently appointed Commissioner addressed the group and took time to answer questions and listen to group concerns. The Commissioner was joined by Deputy Commissioner Aaron Scheible, Research and Community Development Director Joe Fiala, and Finance Director Cassie Stoeser. For several years, GROW SD has facilitated quarterly Regional Roundtable meetings of the group in northeastern South Dakota. Dozens of leaders attend these impactful meetings, which typically include one or two speakers on topics relevant to rural development, followed by discussion and roundtable sharing. Participants share challenges and learn...
GROW South Dakota Participates in Media Relations Program

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Early this summer, NeigborWorks America notified GROW SD that it had been selected to participate in its regional media relations program. In the program, the NeighborWorks media relations team will work with GROW SD and other network organizations to cultivate editorial and news coverage in print, online and broadcast outlets. Loan officer Rebecca Honl, who also leads GROW SD’s marketing and public relations efforts, is the point person for the project and will participate in a national kickoff in September to launch the program. Honl will also attend a national editorial planning meeting at NeighborWorks in Washington D.C. at the end...
Preparing for the New Overtime Rule Change

Monday, August 15, 2016

by Kelly Weaver, Small Business Development Center Regional Director So you’ve heard about the new overtime rules going into place, right?  If not, the key change to be aware of is a doubling of the salary test from $455 to $913 per week effective December 1, 2016.  How do you go about figuring out what it means for your business?  Here’s a few steps to get you started. No salaried employees in your business?  No problem.  Keep paying overtime as required; this rule change does not affect you. If you have any salaried employees that fall below the new threshold salary of $47,476...
South Dakota Community Needs

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Every few years, GROW South Dakota conducts a survey of South Dakota residents to help it understand how citizens view their state and how GROW SD might contribute through its programs and services. We are still collecting responses for our 2016 Needs Assessment Survey, but it may be interesting to take a look at some of the results found so far. Looking at their communities, respondents rated the need for a variety of types of programs, products, and services. The following were ranked as the greatest needs by combining ratings as high or moderate needs. Business counseling/training Business loan to start or expand...
“Picturing South Dakota” Facebook Photo Contest Winners Named

Monday, August 01, 2016

GROW South Dakota, the statewide community development nonprofit, has announced the winners of its “Picturing South Dakota” photo contest, which invited South Dakotans to submit a photo of their favorite place in the state. Christine Feltes of Yankton won with a photo she called “Beautiful Clouds over Yankton’s Two Bridges.” As the winner, the Yankton Homeless Shelter, the organization she chose, will receive a $50 Pay-It-Forward donation from GROW SD. About her winning entry, Christine said, “I took the photo one evening as I was out for an evening stroll. The cloud formations that evening were beautiful and very unique. I...
New Overtime Rules to Affect 9,000 South Dakotans and Their Employers This Year

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

by Kelly Weaver, Small Business Development Center Regional Director   In one of the more significant changes of labor laws in recent history, small businesses could be impacted greatly by the new overtime rules that go into effect December 1, 2016.  Currently, the Fair Labor Standards Act exempts certain white collar workers from overtime requirements based on a duties test and a salary threshold.  While the duties test has not changed, the salary level for this exemption will nearly double on December 1 from $455 per week to $913 per week (or $47,476 per year).   It is estimated that this change will...
GROW SD Earns FHA Designation

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

GROW South Dakota has received approval from the Federal Housing Administration to provide down payment closing cost assistance to FHA-qualified homebuyers. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Denver Homeownership Center notified GROW SD of its new status in June. GROW SD has limited funding designated for down payment assistance in South Dakota’s urban areas of Sioux Falls and Rapid City. Homebuyers in those cities may be eligible for up to $10,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance – a 0% interest deferred mortgage for the purchase of an owner occupied principal residence. For more information on the down payment...
GROW South Dakota Launches “Picturing South Dakota” Facebook Photo Contest

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

GROW South Dakota, a statewide community development nonprofit, is launching “Picturing South Dakota,” a photo contest on its Facebook page. Beginning July 15, the agency invites South Dakotans to take a photo of their favorite place or thing in their South Dakota community and submit it to the contest. In the spirit of community development, the winner will choose a non-profit of their choice to receive a $50 donation from GROW South Dakota.   Picturing South Dakota runs from July 15 through July 25. Contestants must email their photos to and include a brief caption for the photo. GROW SD will...
GROW Celebrates 50th Anniversary with Gala

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

On April 7, nearly 180 people attended the Gala for GROW South Dakota celebrating its 50th anniversary as a Community Action Agency. GROW SD invited clients, board members, volunteers, staff, and other supporters to its second Gala, which was held at the Ramkota Convention Center in Aberdeen.   In addition to enjoying food and good conversation, guests enjoyed a great program. Tom Farber, GROW SD Board member, served as MC for the evening and provided a historical overview of the contributions and highlights of GROW’s first 50 years. Farber noted since 1966 more than $63.1 million has been invested in single and...
2015 BUSH PRIZE Winner Video

Monday, April 11, 2016

On November 10, 2015, GROW South Dakota was one of eight organizations in the Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota region to be awarded the Bush Prize for Community Innovation from the Bush Foundation.  This prestigious annual award honors and supports innovative organizations with a track record of making great ideas happen. This is a tremendous opportunity for GROW South Dakota to celebrate our breakthroughs in addressing rural community needs more effectively, equitably and sustainably.    As a winner of the Bush Prize, GROW South Dakota receives a package of recognition, networking opportunities to create new partnerships, and a grant of...
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GROW South Dakota

GROW South Dakota
104 Ash Street East | Sisseton, SD  57262
Phone (605) 698-7654 | Fax (605) 698-3038