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Brookings Sets All-Time Record In Taxable Sales

February 11, 2014, 5:16 PM by Leland Steva

Brookings Sets All-Time Record In Taxable Sales
BROOKINGS, SD -

Sioux Falls had a record year for building permits last year, but it wasn't the only city that set a record. Brookings' taxable sales were higher than ever in 2013.

According to the Brookings Economic Development Corporation, the city reached $594.5 million in taxable sales in 2013, which is a 11 percent increase from the year before. Now, city officials are focused on the future.

"Brookings just has a very solid, sound economy that continues to grow," Executive Director of the Brookings Economic Development Corporation Al Heuton said.

The Brookings Boom reached a new high in 2013.  In 2014, city officials plan to give residents even more reasons to stay in town.  That means more businesses, like the My Generations children's store downtown. Victoria Wakeman opened the store in October and says her business continues to grow. 

"We feel like we're really backed; we're heard. When we come together as a community, we feel like we have good communication there, and the whole city is really supportive," Wakeman said.

A few years ago, as other communities struggled through the recession, Brookings' largest employer, SDSU, provided a service that helped the community grow.

"Higher-education facilities do help insulate communities from recession so we're very fortunate over the last couple years to not have the downfall of recession," City Manager Jeff Wheldon said.

"With South Dakota University that adds a lot to our economic diversity in the community," Heuton said.

Even though 2013 was record breaking, a new business coming in will make 2014 especially memorable.

"Bel Brand Cheese Manufacturing Plant will be opening this summer. We are going to be the largest plant they have in North America. It's an international company. They're employing hundreds of people so these are employees that'll be in our school, building homes and further diversity the economy," Wheldon said.

The population of the city also continues to grow.  Brookings has adding around 1,400 homes and apartments since 2007.

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