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CEO Guide to Site Selection

South Dakota


South Dakota’s “Freedom Works Here” nationwide recruitment campaign has been viewed more than 440 million times. More than 4,500 people have submitted inquiries about moving to the state, and 1,000 are actively working with the Department of Labor to find a job there. Over the last five years, the professional, scientific, and technical services industry has added 4,000 new jobs with a growth rate of 25%. Part of this is attributed to growth in the cybersecurity sector. Dakota State University, South Dakota’s premier IT institution, is one of only 10 universities with all three designations from the National Security Administration. There have also been many notable groundbreaking in the past year. GEVO, Inc. announced in September 2022 that Lake Preston is the home of its first “net-zero” commercial-scale sustainable aviation fuel facility. Manitou Group also announced an expansion in Maidson and Yankton, while 3M announced a $468 million investment in its Brooking plant over the next three years.

“We are building a winning workforce and ensuring that our state’s economy will continue to thrive for generations to come. I hope more communities across South Dakota will get involved in telling our story and welcoming families to our great 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


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, as well as 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


South Dakota Works offers business and commercial loans to companies through the Governor’s Office of Economic development to cover working capital, fixed assets and interim construction financing. The program typically targets loans of less than $1 million of a project in a subordinated lien position and requires a lender to participate.


  • Amazon held a ribbon cutting in January 2023 at a new distribution center in Sioux Falls.
  • Marmen Energy broke ground in May 2023 on a plant expansion in Brandon with 50 new jobs.
  • 3M announced in July 2023 a $468 million expansion of its operations in Brookings.
  • High Plains Processing announced in August 2023 that it will invest over $500 million in operations across the state over the next two years.
  • In October 2023, Manitou Group celebrated its 50th anniversary of operations and opened an 80,000-square-foot expansion in Madison.


  • Wells Fargo Bank
  • 3M Co.
  • Citibank
  • Esurance
  • Smithfield Foods
  • Premier 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.