Member Benefits

Special Events


An Overview of the Chamber’s Value Proposition

Bad laws are a threat to your business.  They can increase costs through higher taxes or time spent dealing with obscure regulations that can seem to be unrelated to public safety. 

South Dakota doesn’t have unreasonably high taxes or burdensome regulations.

The South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry deserves some of the credit for this.

The Chamber was formed to be an advocate and act as a watchdog for statewide issues ranging from legislation to ballot measures.  Recent significant actions led by the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry include:

2020 General Election – South Dakota Chamber President David Owen presented an election review to the membership via Zoom to explain the outcome and impact of voter decisions.

The Chamber led the “NO Way on Amendment A” Campaign to oppose recreational marijuana and keep it out of the Constitution.  We closed the initial polling gap from 62% supporting to 54% by election day but were unable to overcome the challenge of being outspent $1.6 million (plus $989,000 in 2019) to $300,000.

In 2018, the Chamber led the No on Amendment W (W is Wrong) Campaign to defeat an amendment that would have created a non-elected tribunal to operate outside of the three branches of government, added eight pages (designed to supersede existing sections) to the State’s Constitution.  This tribunal was to be granted authority to write rules controlling business contracts with all levels of government and could have required disclosure of ownership or tax returns for business doing business with the public sector.  Despite being outspent more than three to one, under the leadership of State Chamber, the Campaign’s effort resulted in a defeat with 55% of voters casting a NO vote.

We know how to organize a campaign, do the message polling to see what arguments truly reach voters and build coalitions to reach the public and win elections.   

Legislative Session –  Each year, the South Dakota Chamber monitors legislation for bills that pose a threat to our members and to the overall business climate of the state.  We are present every day to lobby for our members.  When important issues are discussed at the Department level, the Chamber is at the table, bringing a respected voice to the conversations.

School Property Tax Levies – The State Legislature sets local school general fund and special education tax levies.  School general fund levies are the only property taxes where businesses pay more than homeowners, who in turn pay more than farmers/ranchers.  The Chamber keeps an eye on school levies to avoid having business pick up an unfair cost of education.  

Here are the general fund and special education levy rates for both 2021 and 2022:

Class Property             General Fund              Special Ed Taxes        Total                 $/ % Increase

Agriculture                  $721/ $704                  $742/ $735                  $1,463/ 1,439      $24/ 1.6%

Homeowner                $1,614/ $1,576            $742/ $735                  $2,356/ 2,311      $45/ 1.9%

Commercial                $3,341/ $3,262            $742/ $735                  $4,083/ 3,997     $86/ 2.1%

Capitol-ism Newsletter – Each week during the legislative session members receive one or two issues of a newsletter titled “Capitol-ism” which gives analysis of key issues in a way that members can apply to their business or updates as key bills move through the process.

Here is a list of the Chamber’s expertise used during each and every day of each and every legislative session.

The 2024 Legislative Session considered 479 bills. How many of these bills affected your business?  Do you know?

 When were those bills heard in front of a committee
· When were they voted on by the full Senate/House?
· Is it possible to kill bills in a committee? 
· Can a bill be saved that has been tabled in committee?
· How and when does someone testify at a committee hearing? 
· How do you know when testifying is a good idea?  
· When can you talk to legislators about how a proposed law affects your business?

The South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry knows

We know how the legislature works.  This is just one value of the dollars you give for membership support.  Someone is watching your back, someone who knows danger when they see it and what can be done about it.

The Chamber possesses legislative and regulatory knowledge that many simply don't have time to learn.


Giant Vision Entrepreneurship CompetitionThis annual competition is a partnership with the Governor's Office and GOED and includes both a new business and a student competition. 2024 marked the 20th anniversary of the event.  Top prize for business is $20,000 and for students is $5,000. Visit for details.

Annual Economic Outlook Seminar.  Held in Sioux Falls each year, this two hour seminar features an economic analysis of the region from a leading economist and industry leaders discussing trends and innovations in their businesses. The 2024 event will feature a conversation on the economy and a panel discussion on cybersecurity and artificial intelligence. Bring your questions!

Business Day at the Legislature.  Scheduled for late February, Business Day at the Legislature has existed for nearly 50 years and is traditionally the largest event for the South Dakota Chamber. The purpose of the day reflects our role as a leading voice of business by bringing local business and community leaders to Pierre for updates on legislative activities, to hear from speakers on timely business-related issues, networking opportunities, recognition of business and/or legislative advocates and an opportunity to spend time at the Capitol during session.  

NEW PROGRAM: Civics Bee. In 2025, the South Dakota Chamber will be hosting the first statewide Civics Bee as part of a program sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation's National Civics Bee®. We are currently working to help develop local events for middle school students. The top winners from each will go on to compete at the state level, with winner further competing at the national competition. More details will be presented in the coming months.

Summary  South Dakota is a great place to do business. Maintaining a great place to do business requires a delicate balance of reasonable tax levels and adequate public infrastructure, especially in the area of education. This balance is not automatic nor guaranteed in the constitution. It takes work. The South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry has done that work on behalf of the business community for nearly 85 years. This work has included responding to crises such as workers compensation coverage, attempts to pass corporate income taxes and countless regulations on business. Today, the Chamber is focused on making sure South Dakota is well prepared for the economic transitions that could prove to be either a great boon or a tremendous disaster for our citizens.

The South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry has a multifaceted approach to keeping South Dakota an investment worthy state.  Full time representation at the legislature (hired lobbyists cost up to $20,000/issue); ballot measure campaigns (management fees exceed $30,000); bulletins with analysis and updates (private service subscriptions can cost several hundred dollars); plus, programs to teach business to students, help emerging entrepreneurs and a gathering to analyze the region’s economy.   

The membership dollars needed from each member of the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry represent a small investment compared to the costs of the services purchased individually.  Please call Mary Anne Boyd at 1-877-817-8215 (or email to schedule time with Chamber President David Owen to explore in detail how the work of the State Chamber can benefit your business.

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