Veteran services

Mitchell’s Home Place Recognized as South Dakota Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year – Mitchell Republic

MITCHELL — A Mitchell company earns recognition from the Small Business Administration (SBA) days before the annual National Small Business Week in the United States.

Home Place, based on Havens Avenue in Mitchell, has been named South Dakota Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year, the SBA announced Wednesday.

The Mitchell Company, which has a satellite campus in Huron, focuses on providing in-home care to seniors with the goal of improving their quality of life and delaying the placement of seniors in assisted living facilities or retirement homes.

“Honestly, it’s really amazing and surprising. We think we’re doing a great job, but it’s always a shock to have someone want to recognize you that way,” said Tom Catron, majority owner of Home Place. “We’re just doing our day job, which is helping people, and we’re doing it because it’s awesome.”

Although Woonsocket native Catron may be the SBA nominee, he shares credits with his sister and co-owner, Tana Slykhuis, a career nurse.

Home Replace was eligible for the award because Catron served as a military intelligence major with the U.S. Army National Guard in Pennsylvania. He toured Kosovo in 2005, before retiring from the armed forces in 2015.

Upon retirement, he chose to return to Mitchell to be closer to his family. When Slykhuis’ mother-in-law, who founded Home Place in 2002, was ready to retire, Slykhuis asked Catron if he would be interested in taking over the business with her.

“When my sister asked me if I wanted to partner with her, it was really the right opportunity at the right time. We’ve both always wanted to help our communities,” Catron said. 100% what I needed then, and being able to help people stay in their homes and age gracefully still motivates me today.”

Brother-sister duo Tom Catron and Tana Slykhuis, center, co-owners of Home Place, received a plaque on Wednesday from Jamie Wood, left, and Jennifer Oberg, right, naming their business the Small Business of the Year owned to South Dakota veterans. , April 27, 2022.

Photo submitted

Although Home Rather does not provide in-home medical services, Catron said they provide opportunities for seniors to stay as comfortably as possible in their own homes longer through services such as housekeeping, provision meals, personal care assistance and more.

“As people get older, they don’t want to leave their homes and go to assisted living or a retirement home, and they don’t really need to. Right now, many of these facilities are limited in capacity,” Catron said. “What we are able to do is walk into someone’s house and help them with non-medical aspects that allow them to stay in their home a bit longer. It really allows these people to stay in their homes, in the places where they feel most comfortable.

Catron said the company provides service to about 100 customers, mostly in larger towns on the East River, but services are available in all smaller towns in between.

Beyond providing a necessary service, another qualification for the SBA award is service outside of a business.

“We try to be active in our community and help out with local fundraisers and events like this,” Catron said. “We did a cancer fundraiser not too long ago, for example. We have been active in donating and participating in many other fundraisers in the area.

Catron cited the company’s work with Mitchell’s CASA, a nonprofit organization that focuses on ensuring safe and nurturing environments for abused and neglected children through designated volunteers who advocate on behalf of the child.

“We also try to participate in any activities related to dementia or the elderly. Every Christmas we have a charity event called Be a Santa to a Senior,” Catron said. “For this, we find disadvantaged elderly people in the area and we sponsor a tree where we will put their wishes for gifts on the tree.

PHOTO: Santa to an elderly person
Jan Jerke, right, presents a gift to Sharon Toupal as part of Home Replace’s Be a Santa to a Senior program in 2018.

Mitchell Republic file photo

After collecting the donations, the senior will receive the items that were on their wish list.

“A lot of people don’t know about the areas we work in and the services we provide,” Catron said. “They are always welcome to call us and we are happy to help them through anything.”

As part of the week-long celebration that inspired the award, the SBA’s South Dakota District Office will recognize a Small Business of the Year in a virtual ceremony on May 3, open to the public.

“National Small Business Week is a peak celebration each year, where we collectively honor and amplify South Dakota’s top business owners,” said SBA South Dakota District Director Jaime Wood. “This year’s winners are an outstanding representation of the nearly 90,000 small business owners across our state. They work tirelessly to create job opportunities, provide much-needed products and services, and go the extra mile to deliver time and talent as needed for advisory boards, community projects and events.

Others recognized by the SBA on Wednesday include:

  • Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year: Tara Pirak, Valley Ag Supply, Inc., Gayville
  • Young Entrepreneurs of the Year: Robert “Zane” Swan and Stephen Swan, HeSapa Enterprises LLC, Rapid City
  • Small Business Champion of the Year: Bill Zortman, Radio Host, “It’s Your Business”, KELO AM 1320, Sioux Falls
  • Small Business of the Year: Karla Santi, CEO/Founder, Blend Interactive, Inc., Sioux Falls
  • Small Business Exporter of the Year: Mark Luecke, Prairie AquaTech, Brookings;
  • Small Family Business of the Year: The Novstrup Family, Wylie Thunder Road, Aberdeen
  • Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year: Mulugeta and Marta Endayeau, Lalibela Restaurant, Sioux Falls