Small Business Week Puts Small Businesses in the Spotlight
Small businesses make up over 98 percent of businesses in North Dakota
FARGO, N.D. — National Small Business Week, which runs from April 29 to May 5, celebrates the role that small businesses have throughout the nation.
Small businesses have a huge impact on the local economy, making up over 98 percent of all businesses in the state and employing over half of employees in North Dakota.
“From a North Dakota economy standpoint, small businesses represent the majority of employers, majority of firms. Their impact is just tremendous,” Small Business Administration district director Alan Haut said.
“There are obstacles that businesses face every day. Whether it’s competition, obviously workforce is a major issue we have in this area. That affects different industry sectors in different ways,” Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo Chamber of Commerce president Craig Whitney said.
According to the Chamber, the financial industry isn’t hard to fill with workers, but manufacturing, engineering, and healthcare are.
“Starting a business takes some effort, some work, but it’s unlimited in the scope you can choose from,” Haut said.
One downtown business, “Others,” just moved to a new location, and the store owner says one of the biggest challenges is publicity.
“Probably the biggest challenge for any small business in town is having people show up, day after day, and support you, and say yes, ‘I want this in my community,'” business owner Laura Morris said.
The Small Business Administration says there has been plenty of development in the downtown Fargo area, but there can be opportunities in smaller places too.
“Sometimes there’s less market potential but there’s also less competition so that creates more opportunity as well,” Haut said.
Business owners say passion is key when starting a business.
“You have to be prepared to eat sleep and breathe and what it is you’re creating. My advice is to make sure your core values really align with what you’re creating,” Morris said.