SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – When COVID-19 first hit, many businesses and restaurants closed down or made adjustments, which impacted the economy. Now, Sioux Falls city leaders want to help businesses recover.
Some businesses are starting to reopen in Sioux Falls, but it will take a while to recover from the last few weeks of closures and adjustments.
That’s where the new SPARK Sioux Falls program comes in.
“We are putting together the best minds that we have, business minds, to focus on retail recovery, restaurant recoveries, attracting people to South Dakota, specifically Sioux Falls, when people do get back out and about to spend their dollars,” President and CEO Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce, Jeff Griffin said.
It’s a partnership between the city, Sioux Falls Development Foundation, Downtown Sioux Falls and the Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce.
“By using Chamber of Commerce resources, development foundation resources, municipal resources, we have this broad reach that we can connect with national and even international partners to make sure we are implementing cutting edge, next-generation strategies,” Griffin said.
The program is designed to help with long term recovery.
“We also have to start thinking about 6, 12, 18, 24 months from now,” Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken said. “I talked to one hotel owner a couple of weeks ago and he said this is going to have a three to five-year impact on his business, that will be how long it will take to get his properties back to a semblance back to where they were 60-90 days ago.”
Griffin says the city had a strong economy before the pandemic, which should help it bounce back faster.
The Chamber of Commerce adds it will be encouraging people to do stay-cations in Sioux Falls to help local businesses.