Business news

Courtesy Clinton Foundation

The executive director of a Native American Community Development Financial Institution was recently invited to attend a gathering of the Clinton Global Initiative. SDPB spoke with Tanya Fiddler to ask what it was like to offer her perspective on economic development in Indian Country at a forum that reaches leaders from around the world. 

Karl Gehrke SDPB

The price at the pump is falling in South Dakota and across the nation. The average price for a gallon of gas in South Dakota today is $2.72, according to the gas price tracking site That's just under two cents cheaper than a week ago. A year ago the average price was $3.48.  The national average for gas is just under $2.69. Analysts expect  that the latter half of the summer will bring cheaper gas prices while the fall could see gas prices dropping below $2.00 a gallon.

Beyond Yogurt: Ongoing Greek Crisis Can Impact SD Exports

Jul 20, 2015

On Monday banks in Greece reopened after the approval of a European Union backed bailout for the country’s economy.

Some economists worry the crisis in Greece has only been averted temporally–and experts who promote international trade of South Dakota goods say the ripple effects from economic instability in Europe could even impact this state.

Greece is not a huge trading partner with South Dakota businesses.  The state exports less than a half-million dollars in goods annually to Greece, and that’s mostly agricultural products.  

NYC Director Talks About "Buffalo Returns"

Jul 15, 2015
Courtesy Tribeca Digital Studios

A documentary about a Native American-owned South Dakota business premieres in over 40 million homes tonight on cable platforms such as Comcast, Time-Warner Cable and the American Express You Tube Channel. We spoke with the director of “Buffalo Returns” to ask what attracted her to making a film about Native American Natural Foods. 

Tanka Bar Documentary Has National Premiere

Jul 15, 2015
Courtesy Tribeca Digital Studios

A documentary about a Native American-owned South Dakota business is making its world premiere today as part of a series of short films that celebrate small businesses.

“Buffalo Returns” is a documentary film produced by Tribeca Digital Studios and American Express that tells the story of the “Tanka Bar”. Manufactured by Native American Natural Foods in Kyle, South Dakota the all-natural, buffalo and cranberry snack bar is sold at over 6000 locations in all 50 states.

Advance Health has announced it's locating a new office and customer service center in an unused building at Ellsworth Air Force Base. Company officials say the new site is its third location and they expect to fill more than 200 jobs during the next three-to-five years.

Courtesy Four Bands Community Fund

A Lakota woman from the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation has received a national award recognizing her work in helping individuals and families in communities of color build wealth and achieve economic security.

Four Bands Community Fund Executive Director Tanya Fiddler has been honored as an Asset Builder Champion by the Center for Global Policy Solutions.

The award was presented at The Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative’s Color of Wealth Summit in Washington, DC.

Slower Growth Ahead

Jun 1, 2015
Creighton University

"Slower Growth Ahead for Mid-America Region: Job Losses for May" is the business index headline for the latest survey of Ernie Goss, Creighton University MacAllister Chair in Economics.  Goss joined guest host Cara Hetland on Monday's Dakota Midday and said the news isn't all bad.

Dakota Midday: Summer Travel

May 21, 2015

With the summer travel season in clear sight, Wanda Goodman, Deputy Secretary with the South Dakota Department of Tourism, said last year's state tourism records are likely to be broken.  She shared last year's figures and visited about popular tourist attractions.

Meanwhile, Patrick DeHaan of said fuel prices should remain steady in the mid-$2 range throughout the season.

Native Business Gathering In Deadwood

May 19, 2015
Public Domain - Wikipedia

Native American business owners and tribal leaders will gather with representatives from lending institutions and government agencies for the 2015 South Dakota Indian Business Conference in Deadwood this week. Native entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs will learn about the successes and challenges in creating an Indian business.

The biennial South Dakota Indian Business Conference has become a “must attend” for anyone interested in starting, maintaining or assisting a Native-owned business, says Tanya Fiddler.

"Oil To Die For"

May 18, 2015

"Oil To Die For" is a new interactive documentary from Black Gold Boom producer Todd Melby.  The documentary explores how North Dakota became one of the most dangerous places to work in America.  It also examines the circumstances surrounding the tragic death of Dustin Bergsing, a 21-year-old well watcher, who died on the job.  Melby's new project debuted Monday at  Users can watch interviews, access court documents and browse through the details at their own speed.

The Center for Western Studies

A recent survey from Forbes ranked South Dakota fourteenth in the magazine’s list of the best states for business. It put South Dakota at the top for the cost of doing business. In 2013, CNBC named South Dakota “America’s Top State for Business.”

Farmers Face Possible Drought And Market Drop

Apr 27, 2015
Charles Michael Ray

Officials in the agriculture industry are eyeing a drop in the price of corn and other crops grown in South Dakota, on top of that the state as seen a record dry spell in the start of 2015.

The drought and lower commodity prices are making many farmers cautious about spending.   Ag is the number one industry in South Dakota and the slowdown is already having ripple effects on some sectors of the state economy.

When Citibank moved its credit card operations to Sioux Falls in 1981, the company promised to bring some 400 jobs to the area. Today Citibank employs around 2,300 workers. 35 years ago, Sioux Falls’ population was around 80,000 with an economy built on agriculture and meat packing. Today the city’s population has more than doubled at nearly 170,000 and the economy has grown and diversified.

SDSU Extension

The total number of farms and ranches in South Dakota decreased last year by about 300 from 2013. That’s according to numbers recently released by U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

There were 31,700 farms and ranches in the state last year. Numbers of farms and ranches with less than $100,000 in agricultural sales declined by 400 compared to 2013 while operations with more than $100,000 were up by 100.

Charles Michael Ray SDPB

This is National Consumer Protection Week. The South Dakota Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division is joining federal, state and local government agencies and national organizations in a coordinated campaign encouraging consumers to take full advantage of their rights and make better-informed decisions.

A new survey of business leaders in South Dakota and eight other Midwest and Plains states suggests that economic growth lies ahead over the next three to six months. That’s according to the latest monthly report  from Creighton University’s Mid-America Business Conditions Index.


Feb 13, 2015

Samantha Ellis discussed a new platform from which women can run their businesses.  It's called The OWN and is based in Rapid City.  Freelancers, skilled professionals, crafts women and even CEO's of existing businesses can use the network community and facility.

Black Hills Vinyl

Last year was another bad one for the music industry. Sales of compact discs and digital albums fell for another year as more music fans consumed music through on-demand streaming services. But the sales of vinyl records - which seemed like a dead format after the introduction of the CD  - grew by 52 percent in 2014.

Since September, 40 members of the inaugural Leadership South Dakota class have visited several communities around the state for insight on the organizations, businesses and industries important to the state. This weekend they’re in Sioux Falls exploring health and financial services. As the first year of the program ends this spring, applications for the second open in March.

A new initiative has been launched by a Native American non-profit on the Cheyenne River Reservation to help boost the local economy through cultural tourism. Over the next two years, Four Bands Community Fund will implement the “Rediscovering Native Art on Cheyenne River” project to assist artists in marketing their work. Tanya Fiddler, executive director of Four Bands, says that Cheyenne River offers unparalleled beauty and a rich cultural experience for visitors. She says the project will help people on the reservation to embrace that culture and think of it as an asset.

U.S. Department of the Interior

As the former Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Indian Affairs, Carl Artman oversaw the BIA during the Bush Administration between 2007 and 2008.  Artman is a member of the Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin and a professor at the Arizona State University College of Law. He’s director of the University’s Tribal Economic Development Program.  SDPB’s Charles Michael Ray spoke with Artman for Dakota Midday about efforts to build economies on tribal lands in South Dakota.

South Dakota's Small Business Climate

Dec 23, 2014

South Dakota is consistently rated one of the best small business states in the country. Jeffrey Hayzlett, C-Suite Networks Chairman and C-Suite TV host for Bloomberg Television, thinks 2015 will be no different. Hayzlett is a graduate of Augustana College in Sioux Falls. As someone who has global business experience and has established businesses from New York to Los Angeles, Hayzlett knows all that South Dakota has to offer the industry.

Wiese Joins Farm Rescue

Dec 23, 2014
Farm Rescue

Flandreau native Dennis Wiese recently joined Farm Rescue, a one-of-a-kind nonprofit organization that provides planting, harvesting and haying assistance free of charge to family farmers who have suffered a major injury, illness or natural disaster. Wiese, who was president of the South Dakota Farmers Union from 1993-2005, serves as Farm Rescue's director of development. Farm Rescue is based in Jamestown, North Dakota. It was launched by Bill Gross in 2005. Wiese discussed Farm Rescue on Tuesday.

Tolstoy Farm Operation Diversifies For Success

Dec 8, 2014

Eric Johannsen is a fourth-generation farmer/rancher/outfitter near Tolstoy. He, along with his father and brother, operate their 5000 acres which have been in the family since the 1920s using a highly managed and sophisticated combination of no-till farming of corn and wheat, CRP grasslands, natural sloughs, wooded shelter belts and food plots.  The land generates profits and maximizes wildlife populations.  SDPB's Joe Tlustos visited the Johannsen's operation last week.

Several major retailers are getting a jump on Black Friday by opening on Thanksgiving. Black Friday is the unofficial start to the holiday shopping season with stores offering special deals. Over the past few years, online retailers have been offering discounts as well on Cyber Monday. Jessie Schmidt with the Better Business Bureau in Sioux Falls joined Dakota Midday with safe shopping tips.

Jodi Schwan, Editor of the Sioux Falls Business Journal, discusses the first Sioux Falls Made Market December 5, 2014, at the Sioux Falls Argus Leader.  Schwan says the makers movement taps into the American culture that says if you can dream it, you can make a living with it.  She says incubating start-up commerce leads to new businesses.

Tanka Fund Jerky Bar Thunders Into Pow Wow

Oct 13, 2014
Courtesy Native American Natural Foods

A Native American business located on the Pine Ridge Reservation is introducing a new product this weekend at the Black Hills Pow Wow in Rapid City. The Tanka Fund Bar is intended to not only be a healthy snack, but a means of bringing the buffalo back to Native Americans.


Much of the strength of South Dakota’s rural communities is built upon the work of volunteers in non-profit and non-governmental organizations. Leaders interested in learning how to continue making South Dakota a better place to live, work and play are invited to series of luncheon conversations next week in Rapid City, Aberdeen and Mitchell. 

Photo by Jim Kent

A financial institution on the Pine Ridge Reservation is giving Lakota tribal members the opportunity to conduct banking transactions within close proximity to their homes for the first time in history. The Lakota Federal Credit Union also allows tribal members to not only save money, but to invest in fellow tribal members.

But you can’t save or invest unless you open an account and make deposits.