Sioux Falls’ Estimated Population Surpasses 200,000

A city of 200,000

The following is a news release from the City of Sioux Falls.

Upon another strong year of construction, strong job growth, and improvements within our community’s quality of life standards, Sioux Falls continues to see its population increase.

The population of Sioux Falls now is estimated at 202,600, a growth of 6,750 people over the last year. This 6,750-person increase over the past 12 months means the city grew at a rate of 3.45 percent.

Historically, Sioux Falls has averaged a 4,280-person annual increase for more than a decade (2.40 percent annually). In 2020, the city’s population grew by 5,100 (2.7 percent).

The population estimate is calculated by Planning and Development Services, based on a variety of data points from the U.S. Census Bureau and local building permit information.

South Dakota ranks 2nd on the 2022 Tax Foundation Index

When it comes to picking a state that has the best business tax climate, South Dakota is always near the top! With no corporate or individual state income tax, it’s a great place to own a business. The Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index revealed South Dakota is the second best state for business tax climate. Curious which other states are in the top ranks? Learn more at the link below.

Move from Idaho leads to Crumbl Cookies manager going ‘all-in on Sioux Falls’

This was the deal: Move his family to Sioux Falls, open a couple of cookie shops and move on in a few years.

Colby Wilson and his wife, Janessa, had never been to the city before when the topic came up last winter. He was a project manager for a health system in Idaho; she was moving toward nursing school.

But when his childhood friend Brock Stokes approached him about helping expand Crumb Cookies to Sioux Falls, he was ready to listen.

“I had been in college at Utah State where Sawyer Helmsley started Crumbl in 2017, and I knew him from playing baseball growing up, so I had kept my eye on Crumbl, and I knew they had something going, and I wanted to be a part of it,” Wilson said.

“Brock told me he had just franchised some locations in Sioux Falls and was looking for someone to manage them, so after talking about what Sioux Falls had to offer, it got us really excited, and my wife and I decided to pursue the opportunity.”

They visited for the first time in early May before making a final decision.

“We wanted to be in the community and go to church and see what it would be like to live here, and we absolutely loved it,” he said. “It was a lot of fun on Phillips Avenue, and we had an opportunity to attend a local church and got to know some folks who were super friendly. Good food, good people, we couldn’t stay away.”

They moved in July and opened Crumbl Cookies at the end of the month to record crowds.

“As soon as the store opened, this community was so fantastic,” Wilson said. “Let’s just say Sioux Falls loves our cookies. It was absolutely insane.”

And the Wilsons soon realized they loved Sioux Falls enough to buy a house right away. They’ve moved into a west-side neighborhood near Roosevelt High School and have connected to the community in a big way.

“We’ve got season passes to the zoo and spent a ton of time there, the Pavilion, Butterfly House & Aquarium. We have a membership at Sanford Wellness, so we spend a lot of time at the pool,” he said. “I’ve started to do a little cycling – I’ve been a runner in the past – and there’s a fantastic trail system, and we love dogs. The dog parks here are absolutely fantastic. And we have two small children, so it’s been fun having access to so many parks.”

They’ve also established a tradition of Sunday breakfast at the Phillips Avenue Diner, explored SculptureWalk and toured holiday lights.

“It’s been tough being away from family, but so quickly we’ve gotten friends and people we consider family,” Wilson said.

The family’s experience is one shared by many others, said Denise Guzzetta, vice president of talent and workforce development for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation.

“We hear this continually – once families discover Sioux Falls, they become connected to this community easily and in many ways,” she said.

“In Colby’s case, it’s especially fun to see he moved for a role in the retail industry and is experiencing such a good fit. We have so many outstanding retail opportunities, whether you’re looking to be an owner/manager or grow your career on the culinary or customer service side. You don’t hear as much about people relocating for these roles, so Colby is an example of why it’s absolutely something for retail professionals to consider.”

It has been so busy at Crumbl, Janessa has been helping out there while still exploring options for nursing programs.

“She wants to pursue an advanced nursing degree, and there are tons of options,” Wilson said. “Pick a university, and they’ve got a good program. It’s just tailoring to our schedule and how quickly she wants to go through a program.”

The coming year will bring new developments on the cookie front, too, as the Wilsons are helping open the city’s second store at Dawley Farm Village later in the year.

And as for the original agreement – spending two or three years in Sioux Falls – that could be changing too.

“We truly are enjoying it so much that my wife is starting to talk about five- and 10-year plans and committing to this community,” Wilson said. “We’re all-in on Sioux Falls. We’ve dug ourselves into the community as quickly as possible. We love it.”

South Dakota a top 3 state for inbound migration

In its annual national movers study, United Van Lines tracked which states had the top inbound and outbound migration during 2021. The company shared that the pandemic is likely a reason for people relocating to lower density areas and wishing to be closer to family. As the second highest state for inbound migration, we’re excited to have some new faces in South Dakota!

Talent Thursday featuring Jesse Deffenbaugh

Talent Thursday with the Sioux Falls Development Foundation is live streamed every Thursday on Facebook at 3 p.m CST. During this 30-minute program, Jesse Deffenbaugh, operations manager for Deffenbaugh Homes, shares about the current homebuilding landscape in Sioux Falls, as well as an inside look at all that a career in homebuilding can offer.

Northeast development park that’s nearly full starts on expansion

A development park in northeast Sioux Falls that has filled up with new businesses this year is going to grow from 100 to nearly 280 acres.

Park VIII is located between Benson Road and 60th Street North, Interstate 229 and Sycamore Avenue. It dates back to the mid-2000s but initially was slow to gain traction, in part because of limited access. That’s changing.

“60th Street North now connects to Veterans Parkway, which also now connects to Interstate 90, so that’s been key,” said Dean Dziedzic, vice president of economic development for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation. “It already has easy access and visibility to Interstate 229, and now with our next phase, we’re building out Bahnson Avenue, which I think will mean the land will sell quickly. And it’s a supply-and-demand situation. We just do not see large nonrail sites on the market.”

To put the demand in perspective, of the 625 acres in the foundation’s inventory, 160 acres are shovel-ready. Of that, 100 acres sit along rail lines.

Businesses looking for nonrail, noncontiguous sites can look at smaller lots ranging from 2 to 18 acres – but that’s it. In Park VIII there currently are 16 acres available with a couple of deals in process for small parcels.

“As a community, we don’t have a lot in nonrail industrial sites, so the investment into Park VIII will bring roughly 180 acres of contiguous nonrail lots online,” said Mike Gray, the foundation’s director of business expansion and retention.

One reason for the expansion is the strong interest Park VIII has drawn within the past year.

B&F Fastener Supply, which is based in Minnesota and began its Sioux Falls office in 2008, moved into a new 26,000-square-foot building in Park VIII in July.

The family-owned business is an industrial supply wholesale distributor that specializes in fasteners but can provide many industrial-related products to Sioux Falls and the surrounding area.

“We started with zero customers here. We literally just took a chance, and 2008 was a very challenging time to do that, so kudos to the family for being willing and able to take a risk because it’s really worked out,” said Ryan Shaw, B&F’s executive vice president of sales.

“Sioux Falls has been a fantastic market, and the team there is showing no sign of slowing down. They’re doing great things, and they’ve had tremendous growth.”

The move to Park VIII is the company’s third office since opening in the market. It primarily consists of warehouse space, with some office, and will include about a dozen employees in a combination of sales, customer service and warehouse roles.

“We saw the land as a developing area, and we look for industrial parks with like-minded companies to fit into,” Shaw said. “We feel it’s a good fit. We’d outgrown our previous location, and this will help fuel our future growth.”

The B&F Fastener team calls the new location “a castle,” he joked.

“They love it. There were real space restrictions previously because of our growth and the former location’s layout, so this is phenomenal,” he said. “There’s space to breathe and grow and get our day-to-day operations done more efficiently. It’s especially nice as our team has been barraged with other challenges and continues to navigate them well. We’re just really thankful for them and thankful this location came together for them and for our company as we continue to grow in Sioux Falls.”

Other growing companies also have been buying land and existing buildings at Park VIII.

Grand Prairie Foods acquired a 50,000-square-foot warehouse and office building earlier this year to support its growing breakfast sandwich business line and position it for future growth.

For 18 months prior, the company had been hauling inventory back and forth to a warehouse in Sioux City, “so it’s a nice fit for our business to be able to consolidate a lot of food inventory in one location,” CEO Kurt Loudenback said in announcing the move in early 2021.

The extra land could be used if the company decides to expand production at some point, he added.

Other newcomers to Park VIII include an expansion for a Sioux Falls wholesale provider of winter apparel and a California-based light manufacturer.

The expansion will include building Bahnson Avenue from Benson Road near the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society north to 60th Street North. The plan is to begin grading the 180-acre expansion as soon as the ground thaws in the spring, to be done by July 2022. Other infrastructure work is going to be bid late this year or early next, with the goal of finishing the road work by October 2022.

“These are predominantly going to be large lots, but there will be a lot of flexibility,” Gray said. “We’re looking to target large users, 40 to 60 acres, but there is still opportunity to subdivide.”

While the property is zoned for heavy industrial, warehousing, distribution and advanced manufacturing, “it’s also a gateway to the community,” Gray continued.

“Sanford Health headquarters and Sanford Research are on the other side of the interstate. So we want to target complementary users. Aesthetically, we want to see some nice-looking buildings. Based on what we’re hearing from businesses, we do think there’s going to be interest.”

Dean Dziedzic
For information on availability in Park VIII or other Sioux Falls development parks, contact:

Dean Dziedzic

Vice President of Economic Development

Graphic artist with big following chooses Sioux Falls for home base

Graphic artist Clara Meath grew up in Washington, D.C., went to college in Georgia and spent some of the first years of her professional career in Atlanta and the Twin Cities.

Two years ago — well after building a national reputation and a following large enough to fund her comic book projects without a publisher — Meath chose Sioux Falls as her home base.


“It was the best move for my career at this point,” Meath said.

That may seem surprising, but it perhaps shouldn’t be.

The cost of living is lower in Sioux Falls, for one thing. And Meath can work from anywhere. Her social media fan base — more than 43,000 on Instagram — can explore the worlds she creates regardless of where she builds them.

But perhaps most importantly, Meath said, “they love me here.”

“I mean, shouldn’t that be enough?” she said. “That’s what mutual attraction is all about, right?”

Like any healthy relationship, Meath’s affection for the city has grown with time through shared experiences. She visited on multiple occasions for events like Siouxpercon or smaller gatherings at shops like Rainbow Comics over the years. She had spent a short stint in town already, rooming with one of her sisters before bouncing back to Minnesota.

The 32-year-old has made plenty of connections with fans and other aspiring artists in a city she describes as friendly, genuine and supportive. Siouxpercon is her favorite event, in part because so many of those fans make it a point to find her and say hello.

“Every city has its own personality, right?” she said. “Here, you do have that Midwestern nice thing. People want to engage, and there’s not that impulse to be competitive and cut people down.”

Sioux Falls is also a place where she can be a “big fish in a small pond” and embrace the role of mentor and guide to aspiring artists, both online and in person at events.

Fans can learn a lot about how comics are made from Meath’s Instagram feed. For her current project, “mother 47,” Meath posts her progress on the platform with the hashtag #whoismother47, which acts as a window into her day-to-day work life.

The hashtag’s followers can watch the project take shape in near real time. Meath might post the rough sketches with the shapes of her characters’ heads in one photo and then the finished product in the next panel. Some posts pan between her computer screen and her numbered notes; others are time-lapse videos that show her artist’s hand at work.

It’s an understandable commitment to her fan base, given how important Instagram has been to her recent projects. She’ll pitch them to followers and then direct them to Kickstarter campaigns. The “mother 47” project has raised more than $11,000 in advance funding, for example. Her “Sketchbook” series and her adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Conqueror Worm” also were financed by fans.

Her creative success while based in Sioux Falls shows how the city has evolved as a place to work, said Denise Guzzetta, vice president of talent and workforce development for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation.

“Clara’s success on social media and through crowdfunding really highlights how entrepreneurs and artists can increasingly grow their business from anywhere,” she said. “What also matters, though, is what kind of community you’re experiencing when you’re not online. And increasingly, we are finding artists and other creative entrepreneurs are finding people they can connect with and who will support them in Sioux Falls.”

Add in the state’s favorable business conditions and the city’s emphasis on quality of life, and it’s a powerful combination, Guzzetta said.

“A self-employed graphic artist enjoys a favorable tax structure here just like a larger corporation,” she said. “And there are increasing ways to collaborate with other like-minded people, whether it’s within a small business or event, at Startup Sioux Falls or by participating in the growing number of calls for art within the community.”

Meath would not necessarily suggest using an Instagram business model to all artists. It’s just the platform that has worked best for her. She doesn’t spend much time on Facebook nor does she intend to join TikTok. She has a video podcast on YouTube with mentor and collaborator Zach Howard, for example, who has cultivated his fan base on other platforms.

“You have to find what works for you,” Meath said. “Zach has a lot more success on Facebook, which is probably just a demographics thing.”

It’s also not especially surprising that Meath feels compelled to offer guidance to others. She grew up with four sisters in a home-schooled household, where she was taught by her mother, a dancer, and supported by her father, an independent publisher.

Her family and her teachers at the collegiate level offered support during rough patches. Before graduating as valedictorian of the Savannah College of Art and Design’s sequential art program — “sequential art” is an umbrella term for panel-by-panel narrative art forms like comic books and graphic novels — Meath hit a low point, during which she wasn’t sure if she’d finish. Her professors and advisers pushed her to stay on, a “humbling and empowering” experience that still resonates with emotion when she retells the story nearly a decade later.

Showing both the process and the finished product is more than marketing, Meath said.

“I’d definitely say helping newer artists learn is one of my goals, having people who know even a little more than you come alongside you when you’re just getting started is so, so important, so I suspect I feel an obligation,” she said, adding that her best advice for artists is to “know who you are, know your strengths and weaknesses, and lean into both.”

As far as her storytelling goals, that’s a little simpler. As complex, detailed and full as her panels and plotlines may be, the endpoint is always the same: empathy and “the maximization of experience.”

“I want to allow people to mentally experience things they’d never be able to otherwise,” she said.

Meath said she’s glad she has landed in a community that supports those endeavors and one that has grown more supportive of the arts in general.

The slow, peaceful pace doesn’t hurt, either.

“I grew up in D.C., so this place is Candyland.”

New York Times quiz says Sioux Falls is a top place to live for new parents

A new quiz by New York Times says Sioux Falls is a top place to live for new parents.

Using Affordability as a the top consideration for new parents, Sioux Falls earned the highest ranking. Sioux Falls also received high scores in the categories of schools, commute, space for money, income mobility, climate risks, and parents.

New York Times Opinion shared the rankings for various ‘best places to live if…’ on Instagram. See the post below:


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by New York Times Opinion (@nytopinion)

4th Quarter Chairman’s Report

As we transition to 2022, new leadership will be installed on our Board of Directors. Kurt Loudenback, President/CEO of Grand Prairie Foods, will assume the Chair position of the Sioux Falls Development Foundation to lead a talented group of your peers in moving the Foundation forward. Additional new leadership will include:

Kurt Loudenback – Grand Prairie Foods – Chair

Steve Kolbeck – Xcel Energy – Chair-Elect

Ryan Boschee – Great Western Bank – Treasurer

Kent Cutler – Cutler Law Firm – Secretary

Pat Costello – Schoeneman’s Building Materials – Past Chair

I’d like to thank and recognize the Members who are leaving the Board after completing their terms. These Members have led the Board and the Foundation over the past six years and were directly involved in the creation of Foundation Park, the development of the Strategic Workforce Action Agenda and the transition of staff leadership. Their skills, talents, and passion for the growth of Sioux Falls and the Foundation are deeply appreciated.

Holly Brunick

Sean Ervin – TSP, Inc.

Michelle Lavallee – Children’s Home Society

Betty Oldenkamp – Lutheran Social Services

Bob Thimjon – Ramkota Companies

Mike Van Buskirk – Van Buskirk Companies


I’d also like to welcome our new Board Members and I am excited to see what the future holds.

Clint Ackerman – Signature Companies, Inc.

Randy Knecht – Journey Group

Dave Link – Dakota State University

Karla Santi – Blend Interactive

Al Spencer – Parks Ltd

I have thoroughly enjoyed my service as the Chair of the Foundation during 2021 and know our new Board under Kurt’s leadership will continue to accomplish great things. The Foundation is on a good path and our leadership is committed to work with our partners to move Sioux Falls and the region forward.

Thank you for allowing me to lead this organization. It has been an honor I will always treasure, and I look forward to 2022.

College students tout immersive internships at Sioux Falls organizations

Eleven Sioux Falls businesses and organizations have spent this fall hosting interns from the USD Beacom School of Business.

They’re part of the BEST Sioux Falls program, which launched this year and was developed in partnership with the city of Sioux Falls, Sioux Falls Development Foundation and Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce.

“They’re so talented. All of these kids are studying finance, accounting, marketing and data science, which is exactly a skill set that we need inside our business community today and also in the future,” said Denise Guzzetta, vice president of talent and workforce development for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation. “So we want to do everything we can to keep these kids here. We’ve worked very diligently with the businesses to make sure that we have really great projects for them to work on.”

Here’s a look at what the program is achieving:

South Dakota’s International Trade Center Receives Presidential “E” Award For Outstanding Export Services Provided

This past Friday, November 5th, the U.S. Department of Commerce awarded Rock Nelson, the Executive Director of South Dakota’s International Trade Center, the 2021 President’s “E” Award for Outstanding Export Service Provider at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. The President’s “E” Award is the highest recognition that any U.S. entity can receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports.

“South Dakota’s International Trade Center has demonstrated a sustained commitment to export expansion. The “E” Awards Committee was very impressed with South Dakota’s International Trade Center’s delivery of a variety of trade events over the past several years. The organization’s customized client support was also particularly notable. South Dakota’s International Trade Center’s achievements have undoubtedly contributed to national export expansion efforts that support the U.S. economy and create American jobs.” said Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Gina Raimondo, in her congratulatory letter announcing its selection as an award recipient.

South Dakota’s International Trade Center, located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is the statewide provider of export services for small and medium-sized U.S. businesses, including supply chain management, international freight logistics, export consulting, export financing, strategic planning, importing, Foreign Trade Zones, documentation, rules, regulations and compliance – both domestic and foreign and more.

Rock Nelson, its Executive Director, said that “Exporting is crucial to the success of the businesses that we work with. Every day we see the growth of our clients’ businesses, due in large part to exporting. This growth has enabled our clients to add jobs and support their local communities as they expand their bottom line.”

In total, the U.S. Department of Commerce honored 71 U.S. companies and organizations from across the country for their role in strengthening the U.S. economy by sharing American ingenuity outside of our borders. The ceremony was held to jointly recognize awardees from 2021, (32 organizations) and 2020, (39 organizations).

In 1961, President Kennedy signed an executive order reviving the World War II “E” symbol of excellence to honor and provide recognition to America’s exporters. Criteria for the award is based on four years of successive export growth and case studies which demonstrate valuable support to exporters resulting in increased exports for its clients.

U.S. companies are nominated for the “E” Awards through the U.S. Commercial Service, the export promotion arm of the of the Department’s International Trade Administration. With offices in over 100 cities across the United States and in 75 markets around the world, the International Trade Administration is the premier resource for American companies competing in the global marketplace.

For more information about the “E” Awards and the benefits of exporting, visit

2021 Spirit of Sioux Falls Honoree: Tom Kelley

The Sioux Falls Development Foundation posthumously honored Tom Kelley, longtime CEO of Gage Brothers Concrete Products, with its ‘Spirit of Sioux Falls’ Award at their 2021 Annual Meeting on Wednesday, November 10.

The award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated leadership and commitment to the economic growth and development of Sioux Falls. The award honors the memory of David Birkeland, Angus Anson, and Roger Hainje, who perished along with Governor George Mickelson and other state officials and staff in 1993 as they returned from an economic development mission.

“This year’s Spirit of Sioux Falls Award, like the gentlemen it honors, leaves a legacy,” Foundation Board Chairman Pat Costello said. “Our winner was a Board Member, but he was so much more. He was mentor, a servant leader, and a volunteer throughout the community.”

In addition to his international acclaim in the precast concrete industry, Kelley served on the Development Foundation’s Board of Directors and was active in many other areas of the community. He was especially passionate about preparing Sioux Falls’ students for the workforce by volunteering with the Foundation’s middle school STEM programming.

“He was just a tremendous leader, and I think his imprint on our community is deep,” Costello said.

Talent Draft Day Recap 2021

Talent Draft Day is a one-day program for middle schoolers, high schoolers, and college students dedicated to career awareness, employer networking, and professional development. The goal of the event is part of our broader workforce development strategy and aims to connect students to career opportunities available in Sioux Falls. Areas of focus include health and biosciences, engineering, general business, industrial trades, and media arts.

Watch this recap to learn more about Talent Draft Day 2021.




Denise Guzzetta
Interested in being part of our next workforce development event?

Denise Guzzetta

VP of Talent and Workforce Development