One reason residents often give for not shopping in their home community is the lack of national chains and variety of products available. While Huron is not home to as many large retailers as other communities, there are recognizable chains like WalMart, Kmart, Runnings Farm & Fleet, Ace Hardware, Mac’s and Maurices along with a long list of home-grown retailers who offer high-quality products at competitive prices with personalized service.”
“Anyone who says there is nowhere to shop in Huron, really just needs to take a look around at our community as a whole, because there are plenty of opportunities here,” said Jim Borszich, President/CEO of Greater Huron Development Corporation. “At the same time, there is need – and opportunity – for additional retail, there’s no question about that.”
According to Borszich, there are many factors that retail stores and restaurants use when choosing a community to locate in. Some of those factors are the demographics, such as age, income and education of residents, population in the area served and location. Potential investors also look at how the community supports itself, which is measured in part by sales tax revenues, new housing and general economic health of the community.
With a population of 13,000 in Huron and a total of 18,000 people including the 35-mile radius trade area, that puts Huron on the lower end of communities in the state as far as community size goes for attracting businesses.
However, population isn’t the only concern that a retailer or resident or industrial business might have when choosing a community.
“One of the major challenges being looked at very seriously right now is the workforce shortage. Not having skilled workforce to fill even the jobs currently available is a significant concern,” said Borszich. “One of GHDC’s primary goals this year is working on attracting and growing our base of skilled workers. As part of the workforce development effort, GHDC staff member Brooke Sydow will be talking to alumni and reaching out to graduates of area schools telling them that Huron has good jobs available.”
Everyone in Huron can have an impact on developing and growing our workforce. Anyone who is working now has the opportunity to improve their skills and potential earning power by taking classes, attending workshops or earning certifications. Additionally, residents can encourage their children, grandchildren and family members to set career goals, obtain the necessary training and education and then choose to work in Huron.
Huron Community Campus and Cornerstones Career Learning Center are tremendous assets in helping local residents improve their job skills and overall quality of life by improving their relative wages earned.
“I just talked to a couple the other day whose daughter is graduating from college and she has found a job here in Huron and she did that intentionally,” said Borszich. “We need to hear more and more of that – every day.”
“There’s a lot going with robotics and electronics; the economy in Huron right now is really very robust. Our farm and rural sectors are also integral to Huron’s economic success. In these areas we have the same thing happening that is happening in other businesses,” added Borszich. “The older generation is retiring and the new, young operators are stepping up. It’s exciting to have a young families who are proud to call the Huron area home and excited to keep growing what the generations before them worked so hard to build.”
Another way residents can make an impact is by telling the good news story of Huron to friends and families. It starts with thinking about why you live here and the benefits you enjoy like low crime, spacious living areas, friendliness and support of neighbors, no state income tax and low cost of living. Next think about who you might reach out to like high school and college classmates, business associates and family members and invite them to come check it out – whether it be to join Huron’s workforce or even invest in our community.
“Our best source of doing business is through referrals,” said Borszich. “If you have a family member who works for a retailer or resident in another state, have them ask questions and suggest the opportunity of Huron, South Dakota.”
“The biggest thing I’ve found with Huron in the past is name recognition and a negative reputation. However, I can tell you that has really turned around. When I’m out and about in the state people are talking about Huron and it is not negative – it’s overwhelmingly positive,” says Borszich. “One project they often cite is Splash Central. I get calls all the time from other communities wondering how we built that project without undertaking a lot of debt. My answer is – it was because of our community.”
In addition to not being able to find the items they desire, another reason shoppers cite for purchasing items out of town include shopping while following sporting events and for the variety and entertainment.
As part of shopping in Huron when you can’t find what you’re looking for, consider asking a retailer if it is possible for them to order it. Our local retailers know they need to balance carrying enough inventory to accommodate shoppers needs while managing limited resources. Planning ahead and being willing to ask helps us all to be successful.
The Be a Lucky Duck – Shop Huron & Win campaign is meant to educate the community of the benefits of shopping locally and the impact dollars spent locally can make to attract more and larger retailers and restaurants.
Between now and August 7, Huron shoppers have an extra incentive to shop locally. Be A Lucky Duck-Shop Huron & Win is a campaign of the Huron Chamber & Visitors Bureau which gives shoppers a chance to win up to $25,000 by submitting receipts for goods and services purchased in Huron. This Shop Huron & Win campaign recognizes that there may be some things that cannot be found in Huron. But, there are many things that can be purchased here and now is the time to give Huron a try.
For more information about Be a Lucky Duck, Shop Huron & Win, visit http://www.huronsd.com/shopandwin or call the Huron Chamber and Visitor’s Bureau at 605-352-0000.