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Changing Main Street Requires Change in Thinking

Blog on October 20th. Comments Off on Changing Main Street Requires Change in Thinking

By Jamie Horter, an artist, designer, and storyteller

Check out Jamie’s blog at http://jamiehorter.xyz/2016/10/05/changing-main-street-requires-change-in-thinking/.

I once heard someone say that in order to understand what the driving force behind a place is, look to the skyline. The tallest and most prominent buildings signify two things: what’s important and who’s in power.

In rural places, main streets dominate the skyline. Buildings there tell a visual tale of commerce and entrepreneurship, with towering parapet walls, decorative cornices, and large storefront windows. Main streets were the economic spaces and opportunities to stock up on needed tools, equipment, textiles. They were locations to meet and negotiate with other businessmen. Whether services or products, a town’s main street was the historical location of commerce.

These were also places of social interaction, where farm families might see each other once a month during a weekend square … Read More »


The art of the network effect

News & Events on October 18th. Comments Off on The art of the network effect

By Heidi Marttila-Losure
Dakotafire Media

What does a network of rural change-makers look like?

Hugh Weber of OTA helped to answer that with a visualization of the network of RuralX participants—a map that, by the end of the event, Weber described as a “pretty good start” to understanding where the connections between these rural change-makers are strong, and where they need to be improved.

The computer-created visualization started with a circle filled with evenly spaced dots—the default after the list of RuralX participants was uploaded. Each of the participants was asked before the event to list three people who influence their work in rural communities; not everyone responded, but when the answers from those who did were added to the visualization, the picture changed. Some dots connected to just the others they named; some had been named by many others, and so they formed … Read More »

Top 10 Community Economic Development Actions for South Dakota Rural Communities

Blog, News & Events on October 13th. Comments Off on Top 10 Community Economic Development Actions for South Dakota Rural Communities

By Paula Jensen, VP of Advancement Dakota Resources

Below is a list of action items that communities should add to their ‘to-do’ lists in order to lead you toward community sustainability, community involvement, and community growth:

Promote your community every chance you get by updating your web page and social media channels with local news, highlights, causes, calls-to-action, history, events, and successes. In today’s web-based society, every community should be online and have up-to-date information. In many cases this is an easy and free process. Click here.
Recognize the importance of the local library and identify it as a “third space | a social environment separate from home and the workplace”. The local library should be an information sharing facility that can help existing small businesses, entrepreneurs, and youth. If you library needs support or funding check out the SD … Read More »


Annual Event Honors Rural Business & Community

News & Events on October 10th. Comments Off on Annual Event Honors Rural Business & Community

Dakota Rising Honors Rural Entrepreneurs and Rural Communities at Annual Event

Small business is a big deal in South Dakota. To celebrate this fact, Dakota Resources engaged rural entrepreneurs and communities in learning and sharing the common vision of leadership, community growth, and business expansion during the annual Dakota Rising Empower! Conference at the Spearfish Holiday Inn Convention Center, which was held October 6-8.
This year’s conference welcomed ten new rural entrepreneurs into the Dakota Rising Fellowship, which is a three-year initiative designed to help them accelerate the growth of their businesses. This group of exceptional second-stage entrepreneurs includes: Ruth Bouza, Custom Touch & Limo, LLC, Wagner; Brad Hahn and Jay Yohner, Pioneer Building, Martin; Jenni Tucker, Help-U-Rent, Spearfish; Curt Lout, Mammoth Handcrafted Signs, Hot Springs; Rachael Woods, Apparel WorX, Wagner; Hillary Holland, HH Designs, Britton; Carrie Kuhl and Renee Halgerson, Hitch … Read More »


Create the Community You Want to Live In

Blog, News & Events on October 6th. Comments Off on Create the Community You Want to Live In

By Paula Jensen, VP of Advancement Dakota Resources

Successful community collaboration is the process of achieving a sustainable economy through the shared values and expectations of its residents while generating benefits for its people, businesses, and visitors. The following steps can offer you a guide to help begin building the community you want to live in!

STEP 1: Form Core Leadership Groups

To successfully do any kind of community collaboration, a core leadership group representing the major assets of the community should be formed to lead the community transformation and economic development effort. The leadership group should be a diverse group, including employers, economic and workforce development professionals, city/county officials, healthcare, educational entities, small business, and others identified as leaders in the community. In addition to this core leadership group, other local residents can serve on established initiative groups to accomplish specific tasks … Read More »


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