CEO Guide to Site Selection

South Dakota


The drought in 2022 took a toll on the economies of some agricultural states, including South Dakota. However, the state’s growing diversification is helping offset some of those losses. Tourism remains a large economic driver here, and new investments in manufacturing, renewable energies and batteries are opening doors to further growth. Gevo, Manitou and Æsir Technologies have all expanded in the Mount Rushmore State in the past year. Gov. Kristi Noem is now aiming to continually grease the wheels of economic momentum by maintaining some of the most favorable tax rates in the nation.

“Businesses are starting in South Dakota at a faster rate than any state in America, and the businesses that have been here for years are flourishing. That’s a testament to the predictability and sustainability of our low tax environment, which enables businesses to feel comfortable making long- term investments in our state.”
Kristi Noem


No corporate income tax

# 0

on the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index ranking


0 %

of adults 25 years of age and older graduated high school

0 %

of adults age 25 and older have a bachelor’s degree or higher


0 %




# 0


0 %

increase between 2010 and 2020


Favorable tax climate. No corporate income taxes, no personal income taxes, no personal property taxes, no business inventory taxes and no estate taxes.

Revolving Economic Development & Initiative (REDI) Fund: Available to startups, businesses expanding and/or relocating to South Dakota and local economic development corporations. Approved funds can be used for purchase of land, buildings, machinery and equipment.

Local Infrastructure Improvement Program (LIIP): Provides communities with funds that aim to improve the quality of life for residents of the community. Projects include execution and completion of roads, storm sewers and community buildings.


Governor’s Office of Economic Development

Sioux Falls Development Foundation

Elevate Rapid City

Rushmore Region


The Reinvestment Payment Program and South Dakota Jobs Grant Program assist companies in offsetting the upfront costs associated with relocating or expanding operations and/or upgrading equipment. They leverage sales and use tax rebates that are funded back to the project.


  • Food manufacturer Albany Farms is investing $230 million in a multiphase project in Belle Fourche that will create 1,000 jobs.
  • Battery manufacturer Æsir Technologies is investing $250 million and creating 1,500 jobs in Rapid City.
  • Renewable fuels company Gevo is investing $977 mil- lion and creating 90 jobs in Lake Preston.
  • Industrial manufacturer Manitou is investing $80 million in two projects and creating 100 jobs in Madison and Yankton.
  • Royal Canin is investing $185 million and creating 149 new jobs in Sioux City.
  • Valley Queen Cheese is investing $195 million in capital investment and is expected to create 100 new jobs.


  • 3M
  • Citibank 
  • Esurance
  • Wells Fargo Bank 
  • Smithfield Foods 
  • Bankcard

No 15: South Dakota

No. 15

South Dakota

Taxation and Regulations
Workforce Quality
Living Environment

Based on CEO Survey by

Key Metrics
Taxation and Regulations

  • State Corporate Income Tax Rate: None
  • Highest Personal Income Tax Rate: None

Workforce Quality

  • % with High School diploma or more: 90.3
  • % with Bachelor’s degree or more: 25.1
  • % with Advanced degree or more: 7.3
  • Patents per 100K: 8.62
  • % of Employed Represented by Unions: 6.6

Quality of Life

  • Hopsitals per 10K: 0.644
  • Elementary/Secondary Schools per 1000 people: 0.955
  • Violent Crimes per 100K: 165.02
Key Companies
  • Blask Hills Corp.
  • NorthWest Corp.
  • LodgeNet Interactive
Other Highlights
  • South Dakota fell to #15 from #14 in 2010 — the state took #13 in 2009
  • South Dakota ranks #12 in state debt per capita with $4485

Bureau of Labor Statistics
U.S. Census Bureau
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education


Strategic Planning Workshop

1:00 - 5:00 pm

Over 70% of Executives Surveyed Agree: Many Strategic Planning Efforts Lack Systematic Approach Tips for Enhancing Your Strategic Planning Process

Executives expressed frustration with their current strategic planning process. Issues include:

  1. Lack of systematic approach (70%)
  2. Laundry lists without prioritization (68%)
  3. Decisions based on personalities rather than facts and information (65%)


Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison have put together an afternoon workshop that will provide the tools you need to address these concerns.  They have worked with hundreds of executives to develop a systematic approach that will enable your team to make better decisions during strategic planning.  Steve and Denise will walk you through exercises for prioritizing your lists and steps that will reset and reinvigorate your process.  This will be a hands-on workshop that will enable you to think about your business as you use the tools that are being presented.  If you are ready for a Strategic Planning tune-up, select this workshop in your registration form.  The additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

New York, NY: ​​​Chief Executive's Corporate Citizenship Awards 2017

Women in Leadership Seminar and Peer Discussion

2:00 - 5:00 pm

Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

Limited space available.

To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $495 will be added to your total.

Golf Outing

10:30 - 5:00 pm
General’s Retreat at Hermitage Golf Course
Sponsored by UBS

General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

The golf outing fee includes transportation to and from the hotel, greens/cart fees, use of practice facilities, and boxed lunch. The bus will leave the hotel at 10:30 am for a noon shotgun start and return to the hotel after the cocktail reception following the completion of the round.

To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $295 will be added to your total.