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BCDC Summer 2014 Pulse

November 06, 2014

Community Development
•    RBEG: Notification was received that the USDA RBEG was approved for the Sears Building – ABLE, Inc. project. The grant was in the amount of $50,000 to conduct a feasibility study to convert the Sears Building back into a thriving retail space. All necessary paperwork was completed and returned to USDA.  As we moved forward with accepting the grant, we were informed that the Sears Building had been sold to a new owner. We have had discussions with the new owner and also brainstormed other options to assist ABLE, Inc. in keeping the grant and re-defining the scope of work.  

•    Housing: The Grand Opening of The Landing was held July 8th. It was very well attended.  Apartments are available and they are taking applications for openings with move-in available immediately. 

•    Housing Authority: Teran has officially been appointed as a member of the Housing Authority. 
o    New program ideas are being researched by the Housing Authority for consideration.  
o    The Housing Authority received a $107,528 grant award from Roosevelt Custer Community Block Grant to replace mail boxes, chip seal parking lot, tear down and rebuild storage sheds and put in new cabinets and counters in all the Jesco apartments.  

•    Liquor License: Information has been compiled on possible options for updating the City of Bowman Liquor License. Committee will convene to review these options.   

•    Rec Center Expansion: The brochure for marketing the new facility has been completed, but will postpone printing until after the election, a “Friends of Bowman Parks & Rec page has been created and a booth was hosted during the fair as well as the Oilfield Golf Tournament. Community Open Houses and a Water Carnival were held as well to get people into the facility and do some fundraising. The City Commission gave their blessing to move forward with placing the 1% Sales Tax on the November ballot and the County Commission agreed to donate $1.5-$2 million towards the project. A checking account has been established for Friends of the Bowman Parks and Rec under the BCDC name. Flyers were distributed on car windshields during Homecoming week, there was a front page ad on FAQ, Yard signs, a public hearing on October 22nd, and a postcard mailed out to all City of Bowman residents. The finance committee has started developing a contact list but will wait to ask until after the November vote. 

•    Leadership Development continues to be a focus for the Bowman County Development Corporation.  Empowering Leaders, Civic Engagement, and Community Involvement Groups have been very active this summer.  
o    Civic Engagement Group – “Get Engaged” Articles continue to be featured in the Bowman Pioneer.  We featured the Empowering Leaders, Bowman County Booster Club, Bowman/Slope Soil Conservation District, and the Bowman Area Chamber of Commerce.
o    Community Involvement Group – Hosted Burgers in the Park July, August and September.  The event offered a great opportunity for our community to come together and get to know our neighbors.  The group was very pleased with the success of this undertaking and is hoping to find others interested in assisting on continuing this event next year.  
o    Empowering Leaders – Has worked to offer a variety of leadership development opportunities this past quarter.  Members were encouraged to attend "Stress Management in the Workplace" and the "Burgers in the Park" events this quarter.  The Steering Committee is very excited about their upcoming agendas and developments of this group.

•    A Community Foundation has been a goal of many in the community for some time.  Options were explored this quarter of how best to proceed in creating one for Bowman and Slope Communities.  Interested individuals met with Kevin Dvorak with the North Dakota Community Foundation as well as Cher Hensrud from the Greater Fargo-Moorhead Community Foundation. Cher is working with a Bush Grant to help communities establish a Community Foundation. Les Snavely and Teran contacted members from the community to see if they would like to participate in creating a foundation in Bowman and Slope Counties.  The committee discussed the options of creating a foundation on our own or beginning underneath the NDCF. The committee’s decision was to begin underneath the NDCF. We will be moving forward on establishing this, hopefully with participation from all the Bowman County communities as well as Slope County. 

Business Development
•    ND Department of Commerce RFP:
Received a Request for Proposal from the Department of Commerce. A value-added ag business is looking for a new location. The BCDC submitted a proposal asking them to consider Bowman County as a future location for their business expansion. 

•    The BCDC requested the Bowman County Commission reconsider their allowance for primary sector tax exemptions. After confirmation from attorney exemptions were reinstated. 

•    Industrial Park Proposal: An Industrial Developer from Williston was in Bowman and looked at our space to give feedback and ideas on moving forward with developing an industrial park. Teran has met with the County Engineer and developed an outline for the proposed feasibility study/Industrial Park Master Plan and presented a cost estimate to the county on the study. The county approved $35,000 for the EDC to proceed with the study. A timeline will be laid out and a committee formed to work on this project.  

•    Stress Management in the Workplace Class (professional and personal development) was developed to offer to local business through a partnership between the BCDC, Chamber, and Southwest Healthcare.  Patty Gilbert presented on stress management and Sasha Ruggles included a financial element. They provided great information and we were excited to collaborate with our local resources to offer this course.  

•    Shop Local Campaign: We have had some great success with the campaign over the last quarter.  We completed the local shopping versus out-of-town comparison.  We shared the results with the public via a vendor booth at the Bowman County Fair.  We also received press from the Bowman County Pioneer for the project.  We continue to place ads weekly in The Finder and bi-weekly in the Eido.    We were also given the opportunity to speak at the Teacher In-Service at the Bowman County School.  The information was well received and we had great feedback.  We are gearing up for the 2nd half of the campaign and discussing possibilities to continue this past December. 

•    Business Technology Acceleration Program classes came to a close this quarter with two final classes featuring Virtual IT and Cloud Usage and Mobile POS Systems and taking Electronic Payments.  The information shared was great for all levels of technology knowledge and were very helpful for small businesses and professionals.  

•    Clients Update:  We worked with 11 clients through the SBDC 3rd quarter 2014.  It was a mix of continuing and new clients.   Services provided to clients have included adjustments to Financial Pro Formas, outlining and assisting with necessary paperwork to start a business in North Dakota, help in writing business plans, contractor’s agreements, marketing plans and expansion ideas.  Financing was secured for one client via a commercial loan as well as SW REAP.  

•    Restaurant Recruitment: Outreach was done to contact owners of potential restaurant recruits. Also contacted other developers to see if their communities contained restaurants that may be interested in opening a second location.  There was client interest in opening a restaurant as well.  There have been other options that have arose as well and we will continue to pursue this as a priority for the community.

•    The BCDC is looking in to the different Employee Visa programs as a possible workforce option.

•    Optometrist: We have made significant progress in bringing an optometrist to Bowman County

•    Northern Plain Grain & Milling: Teran met with the owners and took a tour of the facility in Rhame. 

•    QuickBooks classes are being developed to be offered on a regular basis in Bowman.  We are working closely with the Strom Center/SBDC to offer these and the first classes will begin in February.

Tourism
•    Created several marketing items for the Friends of Bowman Parks & Rec, developing workforce recruitment advertisements, and tourism items. Continue to work on access channel, fairgrounds sign, website updates and monthly events calendars. 
•    Researched the process for hotels to get a listing on hotels.com. We hope to get this information out and have a better presence on these sites.
•    We will be designing Highway Banners. There will be many different designs including the Campgrounds, Fairgrounds, Downtown Shopping, Bowman City Parks, etc.
•    Working on Downtown Beautification. Hoping to replicate the pots and benches that the library is using. Scranton is also interested in a beautification program. 
•    Tax & Tourism approved payment of the bill received for the hotel guest binders. They also approved the BCDC Tourism program keeping all profits made off the sale of advertisements for continued sustainability of the program. The binders were completed and dispersed to the hotels.
•    Created the PRCA poster.
•    Fort Dilts: The 150th Commemorative Anniversary Program of the battle at Fort Dilts was held September 6 & 7, 2014.  We are assisting the museum with marketing and implementation of this program.  We have received great press from the Bismarck Tribune and have additional advertising planned.  Tax and Tourism are assisting with the cost of advertising.

Marketing
•    Growing Bowman Facebook page is up to 361 likes from 356.  The page has been used to promote our Shop Local Campaign, business articles, business development opportunities, local events, and local tourism activities. 
•    Growing Bowman County Radio July Speakers: Teran Doerr, Laura Weber, and Ali Engelhart.  After July, the Growing Bowman County Radio Spot was discontinued.  We continue to work with KPOK in other opportunities. 
•    Growing Bowman Twitter page is active and tweets are put out daily. This platform is primarily for workforce recruitment and tweets reflect that mission.    
•    Website:  The new website went live on Tuesday, August 19th. A majority of our time this month was spent putting information in to the site. We have received good feedback thus far and the Pioneer did a press release to promote the new page. The additional capabilities and new format on the back side are taking some getting used to, but will be a great asset for marketing.  We are really excited to have it up and running.  We are also working on our reimbursement request from the Department of Commerce. All bills are in on the website. We have had some issues with the “Bowman County Talk” section so it is currently not in use.

Meetings/Tasks/Other
•    SBDC 2015 Budget is completed and signed.
•    Basic Economic Development Course – Teran attended this course and received helpful and pertinent information to bring back to Bowman County.
•    Gaming – Machines were slightly over the budgeted amount given by the City and County. We divided the amount between the charities by percentage and took it out of this quarter’s payment. Gaming was up this quarter.
•    PRCA Rodeo is underway. Our office will be in charge of advertising.  We assisted with program ads, radio station ads, posters and press releases
•    Met with the City of Bowman and Bowman County on August 5th. Presented our budget requests. 
•    Advisory Committee for the ND SBDC met to discuss the appointment of the Interim Director. The current Director, Bon Wikenheiser has accepted a position in Wisconsin. 
•    Teran wrote Letter of Support for Tourism Grant that the Pioneer Trails Regional Museum is applying for.  They would like to add brochures to rest stops across the state.
•    The BCDC was contacted by Bill Vanderwall from Minnesota Housing. They are pursuing another capacity building grant through HUD and would like to work with Bowman County. 
•    Teran met with Lynn Helms to discuss his predictions for oil and gas development in Bowman County.
•    Teran spoke on a panel at the annual Planning Association meeting about best practices in economic development in southwestern North Dakota.
•    PRCA Rodeo – This will be the first year the event has generated a profit. The committee worked really hard and brought in an outstanding number of sponsorships.

The Bowman County Development Corporation welcomes interaction with the citizens of Bowman County. Please feel free to stop by our office or reach out via phone or email if you have any questions. 

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