Photo looking up into dome of capitol building in Pierre, SD

Senate tour showcases Sioux Falls

Last month, the Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce hosted 28 South Dakota state senators for a day in Sioux Falls. The Chamber worked with Lloyd Companies, the City of Sioux Falls and the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, to create a bus tour showcasing our city’s progress. The tour was designed to inform senators on the needs of the community, such as workforce housing, infrastructure, workforce and more.

Storytelling is an important component of advocacy work. The team assembled to tell the Sioux Falls story included: Mayor Paul TenHaken; Miles Beacom, PREMIER Bankcard; Jake Quasney, Lloyd Companies; Jeff Scherschligt, Pendar Properties; Jason Bieber, City of Sioux Falls; Dean Dziedzic, Sioux Falls Development Foundation; and the Chamber’s Jeff Griffin, Debra Owen and Justin Bentaas.

The trade area in our region is the largest in the state, with the next tier being less than half of the greater Sioux Falls area. From 2015 to 2020, our community added more than 22,850 new residents – equivalent to the city of Watertown, South Dakota. Because of the success of the area there can be the misconception that this region’s needs are less urgent than the smaller trade areas. Evidence such as our 14.6% decrease in housing affordability since 2020 contradicts that notion.

The Sioux Falls host team crafted a narrative that was both informative and engaging for the senators. The bus tour touted the southeast region’s success while also demonstrating the challenges of our rapidly growing metro area.

The tour included specific areas of focus that relate to the Chamber’s legislative agenda for 2022:

  • Workforce housing
  • Southeast Technical College
  • Sioux Falls School District
  • Infrastructure
  • Workforce

We also thanked the Senate for their legislative support of recent local projects, such as The Link ($3M), the Sioux Falls Airport bill ($1.9M) and the continued support of the State Veteran’s Cemetery.

We want to again thank the team effort in telling the greater Sioux Falls region’s story. Together we look forward to future success in Pierre.