A Note from the President: Looking Back on 2022 & Looking Ahead to 2023
Dear Rural Shapers,
As another year comes to a close, the staff at Dakota Resources and I want to wish you and yours a happy holiday season. This year has been one of progress and change, and we’re eager to share with you a peek back at what we’re grateful for this year and a preview at what’s to come in 2023.
It’s been a big year for our financial capacity-building programs. We were thrilled late this year to be awarded a $60 million allocation for our New Markets Tax Credit program through our sister company Dakotas America. Overall, $5 billion in allocation was awarded by the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Fund across 107 entities. Through this program, we help build equitable access to health care, education, vital community services, manufacturing and processing in distressed rural areas across the country. Our Community Development Loan program has been able to help a record number of rural communities this year with nearly $10 million in new capital to help rural communities support businesses and families. Next year looks like it will be as busy as this year, which is a promising sign for rural economies in these uncertain times.
This year also marked an important milestone for the Learning Network with the launch of Thriverr, our web-based platform and mobile
app that has greatly improved the online experience and collaboration opportunities for Learning Network members. We’re excited to continue improving features in this technology and expand the ways that we connect our network with others doing similar work outside of South Dakota.
We are also grateful for our growing collaboration with Startup Sioux Falls and our five rural partners who, together, have contributed to the growth of entrepreneur support systems in rural areas through our joint initiative, CO.STARTERS. In 2023, we look forward to continuing to nurture this partnership and empower entrepreneurial growth in rural places. We’re excited for our Community Coaching program to continue to serve and support the organizational capacity of rural economic development boards in 2023 through our B.O.L.D. (Building Organizations for Local Development) initiative, which was supported this year by a grant from the South Dakota Community Foundation.
Next year also brings about new opportunities for RuralX. As we shared with our sponsors and with past attendees earlier this fall, a RuralX conference will not take place in 2023. The event has played an important role in facilitating rural conversations since its inception, and we will take time in 2023 to redesign, ideate, and innovate the future vision of the RuralX program. We are committed to keeping you, our rural supporters, updated as we work together with our stakeholders to formulate the next version of RuralX, and we anticipate great things to come.
In closing, please accept my gratitude, on behalf of our board and our staff, for all the work that YOU have done in 2022. The work of building up thriving communities for rural people is never finished, and we are thankful for your continued enthusiasm and support each year. Happy 2023!
Joe Bartmann, President of Dakota Resources