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Special Event Gives Full Picture of What South Dakota has to Offer

Site Selection Consultant Shares Experience

George Pretty

Driving across South Dakota on the Interstate, you see scenery, open road and blue skies, but that certainly isn’t the whole picture.

That was the experience of George Pretty, a partner in the Business Investment and Incentive Group at Parker Poe, a law firm headquartered in Charlotte, N.C. 

This fall he made his way to South Dakota to take a closer look. Pretty visited the state in October to tour Sioux Falls, South Dakota’s largest city, and attend Governor Daugaard’s Invitational Pheasant Hunt.
“Several things impressed me about South Dakota,” Pretty  said. “First, is the state’s tax climate.” Businesses and individuals in South Dakota pay no taxes on corporate income, personal income, personal property, business inventory and inheritances.

Pretty commented that the thought, work and effort South Dakota has put into increasing the state’s workforce is also notable.

 “I have not come across a program like Build Dakota before.  Workforce development is one of the most hotly discussed issues in the business community.  South Dakota’s positive net in-migration is impressive. Every state has strengths to play, and South Dakota does a great job at developing and marketing its unique combination of resources,” Pretty observed.

The Build Dakota program, which was launched earlier this year, is a partnership between the state and philanthropist T. Denny Sanford that provides $50 million in full scholarships to students pursuing high-need degrees at any of the state’s four technical institutions. Click here to read more about Build Dakota.
“I was also struck by the beautiful investments in the city of Sioux Falls. There were fantastic sports facilities, and a vibrant downtown with restaurant activity that melded into the area’s creative atmosphere,” Pretty said. “If a business wanted to move its talent to the area, it is an area where employees would quickly settle in and have plenty of opportunities to enjoy their lives.”
Pretty also had the opportunity to attend Governor Daugaard’s Invitational Pheasant Hunt in Pierre.

The Hunt is South Dakota’s two-day annual opportunity to showcase the state to business prospects and expanding companies. Attendees have the opportunity to network with business leaders, in-state companies, and officials of various state agencies.
“What a gathering!,” Pretty noted. “It seemed like the whole state was there – from heads of state agencies and municipalities, companies already doing business in the state, to the Governor - everyone in the business community you would want to see or visit with was there. This was a special tour opportunity – I got to know the people of the state and experienced genuine hospitality.  The event made a wonderful impression.”
Pretty continued, “Personal relationships are critical as we work with our clients to evaluate their growth options and opportunities.  The Governor’s Invitational Pheasant Hunt was a great way to make and build personal relationships with South Dakota’s business community.  I look forward to sharing all I learned.”
Gov. Daugaard hosts two other networking events through the course of the year: The Golf Classic in June and the Buffalo Roundup in September. Space is limited. Please contact Steve Watson if you are interested in learning more about these events.

Did You Know?

South Dakota offers flexibility with its financing. Our Workforce Development Program allows employees to be trained on the job, with no institution requirements!

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This is a publication of the Governor's Office of Economic Development. Commissioner-Pat Costello; Deputy Commissioner-Aaron Scheibe; Marketing and Public Relations Director-Mary Lehecka Nelson; Editor and Designer-Jennifer Lambley. © Copyright 2015