My role as the Economic Development Director for De Smet is a joy and a pleasure!

The residents are spirited and enthusiastic. Business development here is attractive because of the quality of life, undeveloped land, abundant resources, business appreciation and the ability to ‘fast-track’ getting a business started.

But that’s just me talking! Here’s what others say:

The New York Times devoted one entire page to “Trading Tiaras for Calico on the Prairie’. It tells the experiences of several visitors to the Laura Ingalls Wilder sites in De Smet. One visitor stated, “It is not that this place is ‘just like the book’. It is the book. This is where Laura lived and that kind of authenticity gets kids excited!”

NBC TV’s Today Show – ‘Weekend Edition’ came to De Smet in August, 2011 and did a segment on De Smet and the Laura Ingalls Wilder experience. It showed how fans of Laura’s books, as well as the popular ‘Little House on the Prairie’ television series, could relive the same scenes in De Smet in the present day.

Trekaroo.com web-site named De Smet and a ‘Visit to the Little House on the Prairie’ as one of the Top 10 Things for Families to do in South Dakota. They state, “Fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s famous series of books will take great pleasure in getting to see her family home and over 2,000 artifacts from the author’s life in De Smet.

U S News & World Report recognized De Smet high school as one of the top in the nation for the past three years..

South Dakota Rural Development Council, after performing a community assessment, summed it up this way… “The community of DeSmet has the motto of ‘Little Town on the Prairie’, but we want to recommend a new slogan, “Model Little Town on the Prairie”. DeSmet certainly raised the bar for what we would consider an impressive community. We would put you against any community in the state when it comes to cooperation among citizens. Our team saw so many things in DeSmet that other communities would love to have. The vibrant Main Street, extensive manufacturing businesses, active churches and civic organizations, local medical services and a nice, neat appearance were a few of the physical things we saw. We were enlightened as to what exactly makes DeSmet the community it is. We met dedicated volunteers, forward thinking community leaders and open minded, progressive thinking citizens.”

CNN Money named South Dakota as the ‘Best Place in the Nation to Launch a Business!’ They stated: “South Dakota captured the top spot in the Tax Foundation’s annual state-by-state ranking of business tax climates. What makes the state such a tax haven? There’s no personal or corporate income tax -- and they are one of a shrinking number of states that do not levy a “gross receipts” business tax on revenue. Anything you ring up in sales or profit, you get to keep. South Dakota also has a comparatively modest sales tax. The favorable tax climate is a draw for startups. They also have a large work force that has a very strong work ethic.”

USA Today included DeSmet and the Ingalls Homestead among the “10 great places to bask in the glory of their stories” (2005) & also in “10 great places to take a storybook vacation” (2002).

Our business review for 2011 was very promising. It showed that we had six new businesses open their doors in De Smet and four that expanded their facilities and number of employees. These numbers are very strong for a community of our size and the kind we love to talk about.

With wonderful hometown hospitality and historic charm, we feel DeSmet is the perfect place to call home. We hope that you will come to see us and experience DeSmet to realize that our community is a good choice for starting or relocating a business, beginning or continuing a career, raising your family…or even just to retire and relax.

I am here to serve you! Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions regarding available buildings or properties, job opportunities, homes, ideas for businesses or anything about DeSmet.


Rita Photo & Quote

Rita Anderson
Economic Development Director
De Smet Development Corporation
PO Box 42
De Smet, SD 57231
605-854-9011 (office)
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