What Has OHDC Done This Year?

man_at_deskA Miller resident dropped by the office this week and asked, “What has On Hand Development done this year?” It was a good question and as I answered him, we had an in-depth discussion. After he left, I decided to gather some statistics and share them with the community.

The mission of On Hand Development Corporation (OHDC) is to maintain and assist in the expansion of existing businesses and support the growth of new businesses while striving to improve the economy of the Miller area.

As part of meeting our mission I regularly meet with business owners and prospective business owners in our area. This year I have met with 81 business owners or prospective business owners. These meetings cover a wide range of services that OHDC has available and how they can be leveraged by business owners.

One of the primary services we offer is business planning assistance. In 2011 I have assisted 36 people with business planning. Business planning is a wide-ranging topic and can be simple or complex. As an example, with one business owner I simply discussed how business was over the past few months and then we brainstormed ways to improve their bottom line. In another case, I met with a prospective business owner multiple times and helped them create a business plan complete with projected sales figures, projected expenses, and available financing options.

Another service we provide is helping people find a location for their new business or a better location for their existing business. So far in 2011 we have assisted nine people in identifying properties that would work for their business.

One of the most significant programs that is available to new or existing businesses in our revolving loan fund. At the start of 2011 we had five loans extended for a total of $132,000. Currently we have four loans out for a total of $129,000. These funds are used by the business owners to grow or expand their business. In many cases this results in jobs being retained or created by the business.

Hiring new employees can be a challenge in South Dakota due to our low unemployment rate. Over the years we have assisted our local business owners in this area and 2011 is no different. So far this year we have worked with six businesses by finding ways they can advertise for, recruit, and ultimately hire new employees.

These are just a few of the ways we have been assisting our local business owners and prospective business owners this year. We are involved in a multitude of other activities that impact our local economy and I’ll highlight some of them in future articles. If you would like to inquire about any of these services or ask how OHDC can assist your business, please stop by the office or call 853-3098.

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Overview of OHDC

Finding help when you’re in business can sometimes be time-consuming and confusing. That’s why On Hand Development Corporation (OHDC) exists. We’re here to assist businesses find resources that can help. OHDC was created in 1987 by a group of local citizens to help keep the Hand County area vital and growing. For over 20 years, we have been “on hand” and working toward that goal.

Our official mission statement is “to maintain and assist in the expansion of existing businesses and support the growth of new businesses while striving to improve the economy of the Miller area.”

We have a number of programs and services that are available to members of the community. These include business financing assistance, site location assistance, start-up support, and business planning assistance. We encourage and help organize youth business education, entrepreneurship programs, community development initiatives, and business education events.

A key program to help our business community is the OHDC revolving loan fund (RLF). This resource can provide financing, in conjunction with owner equity and bank financing, for a new or existing business. Funds can be used to for land, a building, remodeling, new construction, new equipment, or working capital. The RLF was created through a $100,000 Rural Business Enterprise Grant from the USDA Rural Development office.

We collaborate with a number of other organizations to help businesses get the resources they need to be successful. These organizations include the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, Northeast Council of Governments, USDA Rural Development, SD Small Business Development Center, Value Added Agriculture Development Center, and many others.

For assistance, simply contact us by phone at 605-853-3098, by email at joe@millersd.org, or stop in the office at 103 West 3rd Street. We would be happy discuss what we can do to assist your company. Whether you’re just getting started or are already an established business, OHDC is ready to work for you.

OHDC Board of Directors

Occasionally, someone will ask a question about the On Hand Development board of directors. They may be curious about who is currently on the board, how someone gets on the board, or when the next election is. I’ll try to provide a good summary of our board of directors and answer some of those questions.

We can have from seven to eleven directors on the board in a number of different categories. Three positions are governmental directors and include one City of Miller council member, one Hand County commissioner, and one Miller School District board member, or their representative. The governmental directors are selected by those respective organizations’ governing bodies and appointed to the OHDC board each year.

Three at large directors are elected by the members of the Miller Civic and Commerce. One at large director is elected each year at the annual OHDC and C&C meeting held at the end of January. These directors serve a three-year term.

The OHDC board of directors appoints the remaining directors, from one to five positions, for three-year terms. Two of these positions are designated as finance directors and must have a background in banking, financial products, accounting, or similar areas.

We currently have eleven members on the board and they include:

  •  Joe Zeller, City of Miller council member
  • Jim Iverson, Hand County commissioner
  • Kevin Watts, Miller School District board member
  • Becky Nelson, President and at large director
  • JoAnn Morford, at large director
  • Travis Anderberg, at large director
  • Tim Prince, Vice-president and finance director
  • Laine Warkenthien, Secretary/Treasurer and finance director
  • Greg Rediger, appointed director
  • Bryan Breitling, appointed director
  • Tiffany Hofer, appointed director

It is important to have a diverse and committed board of directors. As outlined above, there are several mechanisms for joining the board. We would welcome any interest people may have in joining. Simply give me a call at 853-3098 or stop by the office to let me know.