Arlington to launch marketing campaign

Heartland grant provides project assistance

Building on momentum from a ground breaking and ribbon cutting ceremony last summer, officials in Arlington, SD are taking steps to recruit new businesses to their local industrial park.

The city held a joint celebration with local Interstate Batteries owners Tyler and Jackie Henriksen in August. The Henriksens broke ground on a new facility located in the park, while the city announced the opening of an additional 20 acres for development.

Interstate Batteries is the third enterprise to move into the industrial park. Now city leaders want to bring in more businesses, and believe a new marketing campaign can help.

“With new infrastructure in place, we hope to provide a home for more businesses in the future,” said Arlington Mayor Amiel Redfish. “In order to recruit, we need to increase our exposure state-wide and have proper signage in place.”

Three-pronged plan

Arlington Utility Superintendent Marshal Mix says the city’s marketing plan will be carried out in a three pronged approach.

Part 1 consists of renovating and re-imaging the lighted industrial park signage that currently sits along Highway 81.

“That sign is out of date with some incorrect information,” he said. “We want a new sign that promotes the new infrastructure, current industrial park occupants and Certified Ready Site status, once achieved. We’d also like to upgrade it to LED lighting.”

Part 2 consists of a printed marketing campaign consisting of banner ads and other advertisements that will be published throughout the year. Part 3 focuses on updating online and digital media information.

Certified Ready status pending

Mix says the sign will most likely be replaced in the spring of 2018, while the digital information needs to be updated as soon as possible. He hopes the updates will coincide with the announcement of the industrial park’s Certified Ready Site status with the South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development, which the city expects soon.

South Dakota Certified Ready Sites is an economic development tool available to all cities, counties and developers in the state. The purpose of the program is to promote commercial and industrial sites that are development ready.

Mix and other local officials have been working with First District Association of Local Governments on the Certified Ready application for months. All the required information has been submitted and now they are waiting word from the state.

Heartland grant helps cover costs

Pictured: Heartland Director of Economic Development Casey Crabtree, center, presents an economic development grant to Arlington Mayor Amiel Redfish, left, and Utility Superintendent Marshal Mix.

The total cost for the marketing plan is estimated at about $7,000. To help cover costs, project leaders reached out to Heartland, the city’s wholesale power provider.

Heartland awards economic development grants to its municipal customers and their local development corporations for projects that spark growth and development. The Arlington Community Development Corporation earned a $5,000 economic development grant to help pay for the campaign.

Heartland Director of Economic Development Casey Crabtree said the marketing plan is a step in the right direction, and earning Certified Ready status from the state will help boost their efforts.

“Marketing is essential in economic development,” Crabtree said. “You have to promote your available properties and tout all the benefits your industrial park and your community offers in order to grab the attention of prospects.”

Mix looks forward to having all the pieces in place to properly market the park and recruit new businesses.

“It’s not a complicated project, but it will be crucial to the success of our industrial park,” said Mix. “We have a valuable asset in our community, but it won’t do any good if people don’t know about it.”