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SBDC helped start 15 new businesses in 2018

Dickinson's Small Business Development Center helped more than 100 clients last year.

In 2018, 15 area businesses were started, with over $2.5 million in capital infusion from both loans or owner investment, and 19 jobs were created and 15 retained, Darrell Neubert, SBDC business advisor and Dickinson State University business professor, said.

"If it's a business in existence and they come for support, whatever project you're working on with them that's completed, they count those as retained jobs," Neubert said.

The local SBDC is funded by the American SBDC, which gets its funds from the Small Business Administration, which helps small businesses across the country.

"The state entity gets funds from our state legislature as well as local match," Neubert said, "which in our case comes from the university itself that's hosting me as an employee."

The agency's numbers for 2018 were strong, Neubert said.

"The first year we saw about 60 to 75 clients, so it's definitely growing," he said. "In January alone I've seen 15 folks come through the door."

The upward trend is part of the growth taking place in the community and surrounding area.

"One of the trends I notice, especially with the oil field workers, there might be one member of the family working the oil field, getting a good wage, and another member wants to start that entrepreneurial business," Neubert said.

These new businesses meet needs, such as new boutiques and restaurants, and provided services, such as massage parlors and chiropractors.

Being able to help so many people is fulfilling, Neubert said.

"They come in fresh, not even knowing how to register their business or put together their financials," he said. "We give them the idea that it's not scary, and see them go from not knowing anything to being ready to go to a lender and show them their plan. That's definitely fulfilling."

DSU is happy to have the SBDC on campus as a resource for the community and its students, Marie Moe, DSU executive director of communications and public affairs, said.

"It aligns really well with the mission of the university, to create accessible programs and promote these opportunities for education throughout the region," she said. "We're helping train students who are going to shop and visit those businesses, work at them, and maybe even start their own businesses."

Neubert anticipates continued business growth in the area.

"Once you have a few businesses pop up, they're going to tell their friends. Especially in the downtown community," he said. "It's close knit, so once you've given support to one business owner downtown, they're talking to their friends and you'll get another one calling you up for some assistance."

He added, "I foresee us getting much bigger in the next few years."

To request an appointment with the Small Business Development Center in Dickinson, visit www.ndsbdc.org and click on "Dickinson" or call Darrell Neubert at SBDC, 483-2571.