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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High School Big Idea Competition

Do you have a big idea for a new business? If you do (and you’re in high school) the Big Idea competition is right up your alley.

High school students can compete for cash and scholarships by submitting a 1,075-word description of their business idea. Returning again this year is the Marketing Design competition where students can choose to also create a logo and ad for their idea. This competition for high school students in Aberdeen and the surrounding region was created through the collaborative efforts of many organizations and is funded by Absolutely!Aberdeen.

This competition is about exposing youth to new ideas and innovation in the hopes that you will view entrepreneurship as an option for your future. Rather than leaving the region to look for a job, you can have the confidence to create your own opportunities close to home and know that there is support for you should you choose to do so. Homegrown businesses are key to the success of our rural communities.

Cash prizes, a chance to meet other students interested in entrepreneurship, recognition and awards are just some of the features of this competition. The first place winner will receive $1,000, second place wins $500 and $250 for third place. College scholarships will also be awarded. A $500 prize is awarded to the winner of the marketing design competition.

On Hand Development would assist any students that are interested in entering the contest. Just give us a call at 853-3098.