A group of Belle Fourche business people with a strong interest in seeing Belle Fourche business grow and prosper were host on December 6th to retired South Dakota Municipal League Executive Director Yvonne Taylor.
Taylor retired the end of 2022 from the position she had held for 26 years. She came to provide her expertise and answer individual business’s questions about formation and structure of a Business Improvement District (BID). Her years of experience with the Municipal League has made her one of the state’s foremost, if not thee foremost, expert on the subject.
The legislation that allows for the creation of a (BID) was passed in 1986 and most of the Districts that various cities across South Dakota created happened during here tenure as the Association’s Executive.
The Belle Fourche Downtown Business Association organized the meeting and about 45 interested business owners and employees attended. Discussion centered around different SD communities existing BID structures and purposes: how they can be formed and how government and private business come together to make a BID work.
Upshot of the meeting was the establishment of an exploration committee to proceed. The discussion mentioned a host of possible projects. Yvonne said the best way to start was to come up and define the project, then build the budget on what it will cost; then take it to the city.
After hearing what Yvonne Taylor advised regarding how a Business Improvement District is formed and might be helpful to vitalization to our downtown, a group of people have formed an exploratory committee. George Wilson (Owner, Cowboys Too), Michelle Evans (Manager, Cowboys Too), Sheila Hodge (Owner, Pete’s Clothing and Hodge Bootery), Brittany Wilkinson (Owner, The Wild Bluebell), Ashley Pearson (VP/Branch Manager, Pioneer Bank and Trust) and Deb Elliott (Life Light Creative) are serving on that committee.
The purpose of the committee is gather information from our community, including business owners, commercial property owners, residents and visitors alike to determine the viability of the BID and what projects might be considered. To that end, there is an online survey available. All are invited to fill it out at https://DowntownBelleFourche.com. The group will be compiling a survey to solicit input, ideas, and possibiities for improviing business in Belle Fourche.