Small Businesses in the Spotlight for Small Business Week

The SBA says it's a great time to start a business

FARGO, N.D. — Small businesses are the backbone of the economy, and National Small Business Week highlights their impact.

Amber Sander opened the Fargo location of Boots and Heels a year ago, after starting the original  location in Devils Lake in 2011. She says the process is far from smooth.

“Today we didn’t have power for a while. The great thing about small businesses is I think you learn to roll with the punches and if you can’t roll with the punches, you probably won’t enjoy being a small business owner,” she said.

To get her business rolling, she got a loan through the Small Business Administration.

“Banks are certainly more willing and able to provide funding now, the economy’s strong, everybody’s looking for those opportunities,” Alan Haut, district director for the SBA, said.

Those opportunities are abundant in North Dakota; the SBA says nearly 99% of businesses in the state are small. Over half of North Dakota workers are employed by one.

“There are people coming from other areas just to Fargo to start a business. Having said that, there are still a lot of homegrown small businesses,” Haut said.

The SBA says it’s a good landscape to start business, though some industries are more affected by international events.

“When we start looking at international policies on commodity prices and tariffs and things, we have a trickle–down effect to our local small businesses,” Haut said.

The global economy is just one source of uncertainty.

“If the farmer down the road isn’t doing well you’re not going to be doing well either. Some of those market shifts, it’s hard to decide sometimes if it’s a market shift or if you’re doing something wrong, or if you’re offering the wrong product,” Sander said.

If you’re serious about starting a business, “make sure you like math,” she said.


Categories: Business, Local News, North Dakota News