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:
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.