Shantel Krebs likes to talk to people on Main St. in every town that she visits. That is what she did when she came to Hill City on April 7.
“Main Street is the heart of every community and having been a small business owner myself, having two stores on Phillips Ave in Sioux Falls, I understand the hardships,” Krebs said.
Krebs explained that the challenges they face she dealt with first-hand. Small business owners are seeing incredible amounts of pressure through finding affordable healthcare, dealing with mountains of paperwork and getting financing from the banks.
Overall, she wanted to learn how the next U.S. representative can help businesses become more successful. She talked about issues like the importance of local control, healthcare costs and about the current sales tax issue that is going to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.
It is more important to her to listen to what others have to say rather than talk about her campaign points.
Krebs has been the Secretary of State in South Dakota for four years.
“What I campaigned on four years ago was creating government efficiencies and reform,” Krebs said.
She said she walked into one of the biggest failing bureaucracies in state government and within the first year she turned the office around and now it’s run at the speed of business.
“We’ve actually cut budgets and cut spending, making it more efficient,” Krebs said.
She would like to continue to create reform for South Dakota at a federal level.
Krebs commented that she is running to represent South Dakota in the House of Representatives because for the first time in her life the federal government is becoming more credible and more responsive to the taxpayer. She said President Donald Trump is trying to run government like a business and she wants to help him continue to produce results.
She is currently traveling the state campaigning and getting to know what citizens are concerned about. Krebs thinks that she has already been to at least half of the different municipalities in the state. There is still a lot of ground left to cover in the next 60 days and she wants to go to other cities in the state.
She said stops where the main street is just a grain elevator or sale barn is just as important as places with a large main street.
Across the state, she consistently hears people talk about the unfair healthcare costs. The #2 topic in the conversations is government reporting and paperwork.
“Whether it be with taxes or getting a loan,” Krebs said.
Krebs has had experience in both of South Dakota’s top industries. She previously ran two small retail stores in downtown Sioux Falls and Krebs grew up on a family farm. Her parents own a trucking company.
“My dad hauls cattle and grain so I grew up in sale barns,” Krebs said.
Her agricultural background is something she is proud of. She hears a lot of the same type of talk wherever she goes in the state. People in cities and in farm country are tired of governments having regulations slapped onto what they do.
“It doesn’t matter if you are a farmer or rancher or a Main St. business owner. The issues are the same,” Krebs said. “Federal government is getting in the way of doing business.”
Krebs said there needs to be someone elected that has firsthand experience with business and agriculture. Krebs would like to be on the Agricultural Committee if she is elected.
“Having an agricultural background, it’s so important to understand what the goal is in reducing burdensome regulations on our farmers and ranchers,” Krebs said.
She said farmers and ranchers are tired of reporting how much dust and manure are created that could impact the air.
Citizens, farmers and ranchers need to understand that they will have a voice that will protect them, Krebs said.
Krebs would also like to protect South Dakota values.
“We’re independent, rugged individuals who like to just be left alone,” Krebs said.
In addition to cutting down on business regulations she has supported protecting life and the second amendment.
Tourism is an important part of the Hill City community.
“We need to make sure the government doesn’t get in the way of tourism,” Krebs said.
She sees this as mainly the businesses on the main streets.
Workforce development and having enough employees to operate are some of the needs in the tourism industry. Also, local shops are increasingly having to compete with businesses online that don’t have a presence in South Dakota.