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Senator Thune Says Small Businesses Face Similar Challenges Across the State, Nation

Jackie Hendry

U.S. Senator John Thune visited a tech-based small business in Sioux Falls Wednesday to answer questions on policy…and polish his golf swing. He says issues facing small businesses in South Dakota aren’t so different from others around the nation. 

Senator Thune limbers up with a few practice swings in front of a large projection of a golf green. Then he takes the shot.

The golf ball hits the screen, and the program tracks the shot…all the way into the digital rough. But the senator’s a good sport.

The simulation is one of the services offered by the local small business called Home Definition. It’s also a member of the National Federation of Independent Businesses. Thune’s visit is part of the group’s Small Business Challenge to encourage engagement between business owners and their congressional representatives.

Scott Pirlett owns Home Definition and says it’s good to have an organization fulfill that advocacy role.

“Like they said today, 80% of the members have less than ten employees. So it’s an organization that can kinda help have you best interests at heart in Washington, which is a good thing.”

And it helps business owners communicate common challenges, like workforce shortages and costs of healthcare. Senator Thune says input from small businesses in South Dakota is useful for making national policy in Washington because many businesses around the nation face similar struggles.

“We have a low unemployment rate in South Dakota, but we also have a low unemployment rate nationally right now which means that workforce development is a big issue for employers and employees not only here in South Dakota but across the country.”

Thune also believes small businesses across the country want the same thing: economic stability.

“And that means again good tax and regulatory policy, hopefully affordable energy, hopefully healthcare costs—that they can provide healthcare for their employees. And still hopefully make a profit, be able to reinvest it in their business and grow it and create more jobs.”

Thune says thriving small businesses provide jobs and improve the quality of life for residents in South Dakota and the nation.