GROW SD: Community Action as a Beacon of Opportunity

Grow South DakotaGROW South Dakota is a statewide organization created to expand the work of the Northeast South Dakota Community Action Program (NESDCAP) and the Northeast South Dakota Economic Corporation (NESDEC).

As outlined in a jointly issued 2011 Annual Report, GROW South Dakota works to promote community excellence, through strategies under three specific areas:

  • Housing Development directs the vision to have every person in safe, efficient, and affordable housing
  • Business Development provides lending capital and no cost technical assistance to small businesses providing vital services to rural communities
  • Community Development is intended to improve the fabric of individual lives and entire communities Customers are served through more than 25 programs provided by NESDCAP, NESDEC, and GROW South Dakota. As a result, residents, small businesses and organizations are becoming increasingly self-sufficient.

In Partnership to Help Build South Dakota

GROW South Dakota maintains outstanding collaborative relationships with partners throughout the state. Working hand-in-hand with these groups, efforts are undertaken to help with housing rehabilitation, homeownership education and financing, weatherization, technical assistance and lending for small business development, financial education and individual development accounts, rural community development, and more.

And ongoing support is developed through a variety of critical funding sources such as:

NeighborWorks America – A community, public, private partnership model that provides grants and program support, as well as training, to create affordable housing and community development activities.

Rural LISC – Works to build the capacity of resident-led rural community development corporations (CDCs), increase their production and impact, demonstrate the value of investing in and through rural CDCs.

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) – Provides funds to nonprofit organizations that make loans directly to entrepreneurs.

USDA Rural Development – Provides funds to support rural community, housing, and facility development.

Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) – See this video on the importance and impact of the Bank's Affordable Housing Program. NESDEC has been able to work with over 700 homes since 1996 through support

of the FHLB Affordable Housing Program.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) – Provides certification to serve as a HUD approved Housing Counseling Agency and funding to support affordable housing development.

Changing Lives through Asset Development

The work of GROW South Dakota helps families realize their dreams and contributes to the well-being of the entire community. Here are just a few examples of how GROW South Dakota makes a real difference in people’s lives:

The McDaniel’s Become Homeowners – Many young families dream of living with their family in a house with a yard where their children can run and play. Recently Tucker and Janis McDaniel sought to fulfill that dream for their young child in Aberdeen. The process of finding and purchasing a home is complicated and, at times, overwhelming for many families. In addition, the McDaniel’s were going through the process while thousands of miles apart as Tucker was deployed overseas with the military. GROW SD, USDA Rural Development, and Homes Are Possible Inc. partnered to assist Tucker and Janis in securing a home for their family…Upon the purchase of their home they went down in history as the 1,000th Rural Development 502 Direct loan – read the full story.

GROW South Dakota and the FHLB Affordable Housing Program – “A weight was off my shoulders… The house actually looks the looks the way it is supposed to look,” said a 2012 recipient, describing what it felt like to receive services through GROW South Dakota and the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) Affordable Housing Program – read the full story.

Dakota Spray Foam – For more than a year Chris Gruenwald researched the spray foam business: he read about the industry; he talked with experienced salesman; he gathered data online. In 2010, with the help of a local bank and GROW South Dakota, he started his own spray foam business in central South Dakota. Spray foam is used as a type of insulation which can be added to residential or commercial buildings to increase energy efficiency in a building reducing utility expenses up to 50% – read the full story.

Quote from 2011 GROW SD Annual Report
“With my GROW SD loan, I was able to make lease rates affordable for my two growing local businesses, and the loan was instrumental in bringing a new startup business to town. All three businesses and their employees are flourishing here in Madison with the help of GROW SD.” – Randy Schaefer, GROW SD Client

It All Adds Up!

As reported in the 2010 NESDCAP & NESDEC Annual Report, financing provided to Dakota Spray Foam was the 1500th loan that NESDEC closed in 30 years of promoting business development! And more is in store as this work continues through GROW South Dakota, NESDCAP and NESDEC:

  • 145 apartment units are managed or owned by GROW South Dakota in rural communities providing subsidized rent to low-income tenants
  • Annually, approximately 450 households receive weatherization, forgivable home loans or low-interest loans for home improvements and/or home purchase
  • Annually, approximately 1,000 tax returns are prepared for free and capture total federal refunds of $1.5 million
  • Annually, approximately 200 households receive emergency assistance and 15,000 pounds of food
  • Annually, approximately 75 businesses receive affordable financing to start or grow a small business which injects nearly $3 million of lending capital into our rural economy. These businesses help to retain or create an average of 300 jobs annually

This website was created by NASCSP in the performance of the US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Community Services Grant Number 90ET0431 and the Community Action Partnership in the performance of the US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Community Services Grant Number 90ET0428.

Any opinion, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the US DHHS, ACF.