‘A cog in the wheel of change’: South Dakota Development Corporation assisting area small businesses

KELOLAND.com Original

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Thomas Catron’s won’t have to worry about employees working in his small business’s breakroom anymore. 

Catron, the general manager and co-owner of Home Instead Senior Care in Mitchell, is expanding his business and moving from rented space into the business’s own, newly-renovated building. 

“We’ve just grown bit by bit, year over year,” Catron said. “We’re helping more people every year.”  

Providing non-medical assistance to any vulnerable adults from Huron, Mitchell, Yankton and Chamberlain, Home Instead Senior Care went from three employees in an office setting to nine. When the opportunity came to purchase their own building for the business, Catron admitted he and his co-owner, who is also his sister, didn’t have much experience going through the purchasing process. 

That’s where the South Dakota Development Corporation stepped in. The SDDC’s role is to assist a small business’s growth through the Small Business Administration 504 program. 

“It wouldn’t have been financially feasible even though it’s really necessary to make our business grow and to take that next step, to help more people,” Catron said. “It would have been really difficult without that SBA guarantee and all of that funding help.”  

Brad Jankord, South Dakota Development Corporation Vice President of Lending.

The South Dakota Development Corporation was created in 1983 by former Governor Bill Janklow to help more South Dakota small businesses utilize a federal program. Brad Jankord, the Vice President of Lending for SDDC, said helping Home Instead Senior Care expand its business into its own building was a “bread and butter” example of the work SDDC does for South Dakota small businesses. 

“This was a business that was renting a space. They’ve grown dramatically in the last three years,” Jankord said. “Just giving them tools, cash flow wise, is exactly what we do at SDDC.” 

Recently, the SDDC helped Look’s Market relocate and expand to the new facility that was highlighted by Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. A few other examples of work by the SDDC include helping a Minnesota couple start a new bed and breakfast business in the Black Hills (Black Forest Inn Bed & Breakfast), a livestock feed company in Tyndall build a new building (Elite Feeds) and a wedding barn in Spearfish (The Barn).  

“These people are experts in their chosen fields,” Jankord said. “It’s my job to help them figure out what type of loan structure it would be.” 

For years the SDDC worked under the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, but since 2018 the Certified Development Company is a stand alone non-profit. The SDDC can help small businesses borrow long term financing for real estate and large equipment, when the project meets national objectives, through a public-private partnership through independent lenders and the SBA 504 Loan Program.

Jankord, who comes from a banking and finance background, said the SDDC has stayed busy assisting small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The group’s goal is to help 20-25 small businesses a year and Jankord added he’s roughly working with nearly 30 businesses at one time. 

The Redfield native takes pride in helping small businesses understand cost-benefit analysis. He highlighted how SDDC helps small businesses across South Dakota, which spurs economic growth. 

“As someone who isn’t an entrepreneur, man, do I look up to them. I wish I had some of that spirit and some of that fire,” Jankord said. “When I moved back to South Dakota four years ago, I wanted to help be a cog in the wheel of change. The ability we have is to help people fulfill their dreams is what drives me everyday.” 

To get set up with the SDDC, businesses should check out the organization’s website for more information and contact information.

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