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Business and Economic Development

We are ready. As the economic center for a trade area encompassing a 200-mile radius and serving portions of five states, Rapid City serves a population of more than 600,000 people. We are well positioned for future growth and business development. We have a strong and growing economic base of agriculture and tourism. We have tremendous regional assets such as Ellsworth Air Force Base, Rapid City Regional Hospital, South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, Rapid City Regional Airport, Black Hills Business Development Center, Black Hills State University and the Sanford Underground Research Facility. We continue to diversify our economy with exciting growth in science, medicine, engineering, manufacturing, professional services, technology, military-related and energy industry clusters.

We are business friendly. Imagine doing business in a state and region with no corporate income tax, no personal income tax, no business inventory tax and no personal property tax. We enjoy several advantages when it comes to business costs. We are a Right-to-Work State and enjoy some of the lowest unemployment and workers compensation insurance rates in the country. Imagine being in a business environment where you keep more of what you earn. South Dakota also enjoys the fourth lowest overall crime rate and one of the lowest energy costs in the nation. Rapid City was named the fourth Best Small City in America to Launch a Business by in 2009 and was named one of the country’s best cities for business by Forbes in 2011. In 2013, South Dakota was named the #1 State for Business by CNBC. If those factors aren’t enough to make you think about doing business in Rapid City, we can offer you many financing and job-training incentives that make growing your business a reality.

We are accessible. Whether you are traveling to work, traveling the highways or traveling the world, it doesn’t get much better than this. Our average commute time is only 13.8 minutes and Rapid City is located at the hub of several major highways. Interstate 90 - which connects Seattle to Boston - runs through the northern tier of the city. I-90 also provides five-hour drive times to Billings, Montana and Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Highways 16, 44 and 79 also converge here providing excellent access to the many Black Hills recreation opportunities and access to a north-south highway system from Canada to Mexico. Interstate and intrastate motor freight is provided by more than 30 transport companies. The Rapid City Regional Airport, with direct connections to 8 major U.S. hubs, is the primary commercial service airport for our trade area and is located just 10 minutes east of Downtown Rapid City.

We are smart. When it comes to education, South Dakota is wired for success. Not only does South Dakota have one of the highest percentages of high school graduates in the nation, we were also the first state to have virtually every school wired for Internet access. In the Black Hills, education doesn’t end with high school. This region is home to two state universities, a university center, a technical institute and several private universities and colleges.

We want to talk. If you want to learn more about how we can help your business be successful in Rapid City and the Black Hills, call Rapid City Economic Development at (605) 343-1880 or visit us at

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