Groundbreaking and ribbon cutting ceremonies signify new opportunities for growth
A two-fold celebration was recently held in Arlington, South Dakota.
Local business owners Tyler and Jackie Henriksen broke ground on a new Interstate Batteries facility in the city’s industrial park. The commemoration was held in conjunction with a ribbon cutting ceremony for the industrial park as the Arlington Community Development Corporation announced the opening of additional acres for development.
Roots in Arlington
Interstate Batteries is the number one replacement brand battery wholesaler in North America with three distribution centers in South Dakota. Henriksens own two of the distribution centers, one in Arlington and the other in Sioux Falls.
The Henriksens have deep roots in Arlington, and were pleased to have the opportunity to expand in their hometown.
“A large part of our team has been with us for a long time so this expansion has an impact on more than just our employees—it impacts their families, too,” said Tyler Henriksen. “Luckily we’ve been able to create opportunities that keep them from having to travel to nearby communities for work.”
He credits the people of Arlington and their Midwestern values for his business’s success.
“Growing up in a small town like Arlington, you learn the value of hard work,” he said. ” We’ve found success in our community because of loyalty and commitment to our company.”
The Henriksens’ distribution centers serve customers in eastern South Dakota, northwest Iowa and southwest Minnesota, and collectively employ almost 30 people.
Partnerships provide financing
The Henriksens’ announcement follows on the heels of the expansion of infrastructure in Arlington’s industrial park. The Arlington Community Development Corporation (ACDC) recently secured funding to install water, sewer, electric, roads, curb and gutter in four additional lots, totaling roughly 20 acres.
The industrial park is currently home to furrier TopLot Industries and pipeline supply depot TransCanada Regional Storehouses. The Henriksens’ decision to relocate to the park was contingent on the development of the infrastructure as well as financing from the Local Infrastructure Improvement Program (LIIP) from the South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED).
LIIP provides grants to assist in funding the construction or reconstruction of infrastructure for the purpose of serving economic development projects.
“We owe our expansion in part to the GOED,” Tyler Henriksen said. “Without the approved Local Infrastructure Improvement Program, we may have had to expand elsewhere.”
GOED Commissioner Scott Stern spoke during the groundbreaking event, and gave credit to the city for taking necessary steps to retain a valued member of the local business community.
“The development of an industrial park is a valuable asset for a community to have in its arsenal,” said Stern. “When it comes to attracting new businesses or expanding businesses like Interstate Batteries, a highly qualified, developed parcel of land can sometimes make the difference between a deal made and a deal lost. Congratulations to the whole Arlington community on a major step toward economic development.”
The LIIP program stipulates grant money must be matched in order for projects to qualify. Heartland, Arlington’s power provider, utilized the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program to secure nearly half a million dollars and guarantee LIIP assistance.
REDLG provides funding for rural projects through local utility organizations for projects that will create or retain rural jobs. Heartland applied for and received $475,000 on behalf of ACDC.
“Heartland is one of two entities in the state of South Dakota who can provide access to REDLG funds,” said Heartland Director of Economic Development Casey Crabtree. “It’s an invaluable program designed to spur growth, and its favorable terms make it ideal for an infrastructure project like Arlington’s.”
REDLG loans are issued at zero percent interest, and recipients are eligible to defer payment for up to two years–long enough for a project to gain strength and build capital.
“Our customers have a unique opportunity to utilize these funds,” Crabtree said. “We’re more than willing to partner with them to take these next steps and see their cities grow and develop.”
ACDC Executive Director Jason Uphoff said both projects are the culmination of many years of hard work and planning, and together will have a positive impact on the community for years to come.
“In a community the size of Arlington, an expansion of this size in a newly expanded industrial park is more than economic development, it’s community development,” he said. “We’re thrilled Interstate Batteries chose to expand in Arlington, and the industrial park is the perfect fit for the new facility.”
With the park’s infrastructure construction complete, Uphoff and the ACDC plan to apply for Certified Ready Site status with GOED in order to appeal to more companies looking to expand.
“I think Interstate Batteries is just the start,” Uphoff said. “Our community is poised to welcome growth and development, and I can’t wait to find out who’s next.”