GAYVILLE — Organizing the first-ever Gayville-Volin area business directory has offered a few surprises to Cheri Maier, who is heading up its design.
Perhaps the biggest surprise has been the sheer number of listings that have been accumulated thus far.
"To know that in a small town of 400 people that there are at least 100 businesses — to me, that's just astounding," Maier said.
The directory is being made under the banner of the ongoing Horizons program, which focuses on community leadership to reduce poverty and has provided Gayville-Volin with a $10,000 grant with which to fund community projects.
To get the project off the ground, Maier — with the help of the workers at Gayville's CorTrust Bank — compiled a list of businesses, reaching more than 100.
The owners of these businesses were then sent a letter presenting them with several paid listing options: Business card size, a quarter-page ad, a half-page ad or a full-page ad.
"If they don't want to do a paid listing, they'll receive a free ad," Maier said.
The free listing will consist of the business name with a one-line description.
"We just decided to get our names out there so other people in the community can use our businesses," Maier said. "Even if you do a free listing, everybody (will know) more about you. And if you want to let people know a little bit more than that, to help with printing costs we have a little fee."
Some out-of-town businesses will be listed, as well.
"There are some people that live here in Gayville, but their business is in Yankton," Maier said. "But because they reside here, they will also be published."
The listing information must be submitted to Maier before Aug. 1.
"Our hope is to get it published before Jan. 1, but we're not putting a specific date on it," she said.
Maier said community response has been "very good" so far.
"People are sharing the letter with (other business owners) that they know," she said. "So I have gotten more phone calls that they would also like their name included."
Maier said designing the directory has given her some perspective she didn't have before.
"We found out some unique things," she said. "There are people that do computer programming and computer repair right here, and we never knew that. We've got a couple of people that are welders that we found out about. So it's actually been kind of fun just finding out what's there in our community."
Once the book is completed, it will be mailed to area residents.
"The volunteer fire department has every address in the community, so we're going to mail it to all of them," Maier said. "So everybody that has a 57031 or 57072 zip code, they're going to receive this, kind of like the phone book."
Expenses incurred through publication will be covered by Horizons.
Maier — who has a degree in computer programming — said she became involved in the project last January, when she attended a meeting for Horizons' business group.
"I do a lot of computer work, so I said I would design it for them," she said. "It's kind of a hard concept if you have 12 different designers. Then you would have 12 different books.
"Once it's designed and proofed, I'm going to turn it over and they can do the printing, stamping and distributing," she said.
Maier can be contacted by phone at (605) 661-3325 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Listings can also be dropped off at Ma & Pa's C-Store or CorTrust Bank in Gayville, or mailed to Maier at 31367 451st Ave., Gayville, SD, 57031.
Horizons is funded with grants from the Northwest Area Foundation. It is a partnership between the South Dakota State University Cooperative and the Northwest Area Foundation of St. Paul, Minn.
For more information, visit http://gayvillevolin.communityblogs.us.