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Capital Investment Down Under Noem

South Dakota may have stayed “open for business” during the pandemic, but investors still fled the capital investment field.

According to the Bureau of Finance and Management’s Annual Comprehensive Financial Review for Fiscal Year 2021, 2020 saw the lowest amount of new capital investment in South Dakota in a decade:

Bureau of Finance and Management, "Expanded and New Industries," Annual Comprehensive Financial Report, December 2021, p. 187.
Bureau of Finance and Management, “Expanded and New Industries,” Annual Comprehensive Financial Report, December 2021, p. 187.

New capital investment in South Dakota in 2020 was only $124.8 million, less than half of the previous recent low of $257.2 million in 2016.

President Biden’s smart investments should help South Dakota out of that hole. But new capital investment was weak in Governor Noem’s first year in office, too. 2019’s $324.2 million in new capital investment was lower than the amounts from six of the eight preceding years under Governor Dennis Daugaard’s leadership, and he wasn’t jetting around the country or putting his face on national TV all the time from a private video bunker in the Capitol. Under Governor Daugaard, new capital investment statewide averaged $394.2 million a year. To raise new capital investment just to match Daugaard’s average in her first term, Noem would have to drive $564 million both this year and in 2022.

So when, oh when, is Kristi going to think up that Next Big Thing for South Dakota’s economy?


  1. Loren 2021-12-26 11:21

    So, you are saying that saunas, security fences, makeup kits, etc, are not “capital investments?” ;-)

  2. Porter Lansing 2021-12-26 12:07

    The “next big thing” is cultured meat and it’s a scary thing for South Dakota’s majority.
    That because cultured meat means change and change is as distasteful, up there in SD, as grudznick’s eating habits.

  3. jerry 2021-12-26 12:43

    Legalize completely marijuana and you would see capital investment soar like Space X.

  4. 96Tears 2021-12-26 13:17

    Sioux Falls PRAVDA Leader scribe J. Ellis did it again today on page 1 with an article breathlessly declaring Noem’s hamfisted meddling with the electoral will of the people “a victory.” Under the headline, “Ellis: Noem gets the credit, and consequences, for death of recreational cannabis,” Ellis spews his tripe.

    Noting a lot of conservatives around the state whined that Noem found her presidential campaign more important than stopping legal marijuana. Then the scribe writes, “Well, the governor came through for them, after all” with a last ditch court intervention that failed but found resurrection via the packed state supreme court. Breathlessly, the scribe boasts: “It’s a victory; a victory that Noem owns. And with it, the political consequences. Amendment A’s 8 percentage-point victory was no landslide, but it also wasn’t a squeaker.”

    How does Ellis get away with broadbrush declarations with zero attributions to do Noem’s (last week it was Thune’s) spin routine? Are there any editors working there anymore? Or do they hand the copy over to the SDGOP sanitizers before valuable trees are consumed to publish fluff?

    My point here is it is sickening to see the state’s largest and most important daily fail to produce real news and critical analysis, eating the dust of an enterprising blogger in Aberdeen day after day. Cory, you provide a significant service to serious news analysis that should be considered by all citizens. It’s disgusting that Noem habitually relies on lying to improve her political standing in a state that votes red without thinking. But it’s tragic that the state’s major daily has declined so rapidly that its “news” content is now contrived pablum that, as Katie Couric recently said about right wing media, is intended to affirm rather than inform.

  5. O 2021-12-26 13:54

    When our Governor is out fundraising in her official capacity as SD’s ambassador, it would seem that her advocacy for investment has been far more in her personal war chest than in the investment in her state.

  6. Mark Anderson 2021-12-26 14:20

    Well 96Tears, the GOP elites know what’s good for you. What can anyone say? It’s the Republic of South Dakota so they want you to keep your head bowed and kiss up. They are protecting you from BLM and CRT. From LGBTQ books. From THC and CBD, especially from the CDC and many other acronyms. All you can do is laugh at their utter stupidity. I know owning conservatives isn’t worth much but it is something so keep putting in your two cents, they haven’t a penny between them.

  7. ABC 2021-12-26 14:32

    Noem is too busy performing Vice presidential intercourse every day, flying all over the country to be Sarah Palin II.

    Her defeating recreational Cannabis is proof she is unable to listen to the people. Daugaaaaaard throttled our Ethics Law, Noem with cannabis.

    We the people only have a few options:

    1. Ask for impeachment for malfeasance, ask your Democrat or republican legislators to do it. Get the $974,000,000 in unspent stimulus money spent b y removing her from office.
    2. Since the Democratic Party has no opponent against Noem, one of us, someone or several people have to run against her!
    3. Create an ACTION CULTURE where election and Non-election things HAPPEN daily and weekly to shut down the Republican machine,
    so they become a perpetual minority party, period.

    3 big things! Can do!

  8. ABC 2021-12-26 14:45

    “3. Create an ACTION CULTURE where election and Non-election things HAPPEN daily and weekly to shut down the Republican machine,
    so they become a perpetual minority party, period.”

    This is the BIGGEST thing we can do!

    We have 6 more days left in 2021, and 10 whole months in 2022 before the election. That’s 306 whole days , surely we can build
    awesome things in South Dakota!

    Elections are important. What’s more important than elections is CONSCIOUSNESS !!! With consciousness and awareness, we can do anything!

    Remove sales tax from food and clothing.
    State run bank like North Dakota.
    A fair state income tax that peaks at 4% if you’re rich and 1% if you’re middle class, 0 if you’re low income.
    Great high paying jobs.
    Less imprisonment! North Dakota has 1/2 as many as SD does. Its not rocket science.
    When we pass Initiated Measures, they stay as laws for 2 or 3 years. Legislature hands off!
    Motor voter. Super easy automatic voter registration. No purges.

    We can do it.

  9. Arlo Blundt 2021-12-26 15:43

    Well…It is pretty nhardto create an environment for expanded investment when the Governor is so invested in preserving the status quo.

  10. John 2021-12-26 17:54

    The governor is as ineffectual and self-promoting as she was in congress. While in congress she passed 1 bill, that has yet to be fully implemented due to the bill’s poor and overly discretionary language. The voters knew what they were receiving.

  11. jerry 2021-12-27 12:16

    Capitol money is the actual word that is missing from this. Capital investment may be down, but capitol money is up 42% for the state. See, you can make money by just doing nothing, which is exactly what republican governance is all about.

    Associated Press
    South Dakota’s reserves increased 42% in one year thanks to an influx of federal COVID-19 relief dollars, according to a new report.

    South Dakota Public Broadcasting reported Thursday that the state’s 2021 comprehensive financial report shows the state took in $62 million more than expected in revenue and spent $29.2 million less than budgeted.”

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