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Businesses in Minnesota, Bemidji have a solid survivability rate

Across the state and in Bemidji, Minnesota entrepreneurs are able to maintain their businesses successfully. According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, the state leads the nation in business survivability over a five-year period.

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BEMIDJI -- When a Minnesota entrepreneur starts something, chances are likely that they'll stick with it.

According to a new report highlighted by the state's Department of Employment and Economic Development, Minnesota ranks first in the nation in the five-year survival rate for businesses from 2015-2020. The data, provided by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, has the Minnesota rate at 55.3%, above the national rate of 50%.

Additionally, in the third quarter of 2020, new businesses were up nearly 60% in Minnesota compared to last year. Since the coronavirus pandemic began, Minnesota is above the national average for incorporated business starts.

"Minnesota has been a leader in the nation," said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. "We're a little bit less in the rankings when it comes to the number of businesses started. So, this data would indicate that people are a little more risk averse or studious about what they will start. But, when they decide on it, they make it successful."

Grove said what Minnesotans make with their businesses is an important factor for the state's success rate, too.


"I think we're a problem solving economy," Grove said. "We're not building fleeting, attention grabbing technologies. We're building things that help cure diseases, that help increase manufacturing proficiency. We're starting things that are ready for the long haul."

Locally, for that five-year stretch referenced in the report, Bemidji area businesses have been helped by the LaunchPad in taking off. The program was created by Greater Bemidji Economic Development as a flexible co-working space and resource center for start-up businesses in the area.

According to Tiffany Fettig, Greater Bemidji's business finance manager, entrepreneurs who have worked with the program have had staying power. Based on her data, Fettig said the percentage of businesses staying open with help from the LaunchPad is about 70% or higher.

"It's not a comprehensive list, but they're the ones we've touched in some way at Greater Bemidji," Fettig said. "For us to be at a much higher rate than even the state level I thought was great. I think it has a lot to do with the resources and the ability for people in the community to know who to reach out to."

Some of the businesses that have started and continued in recent years cited by Fettig included The Skin Co. and Spa, Lucky Dogs , Minute 59 Mystery and Escape Rooms and VRTX Laserworks Studio .

For Grove, the Bemidji area is a highlight for business longevity, with several companies lasting for generations.

"You have a lot of businesses in Bemidji that have been around for many years," Grove said. "They define what longevity means in Minnesota's economy and it's one of the jewels of our state. I think businesses like those are what have made our ranking possible."

As new businesses continue to emerge, Fettig said entrepreneurs should feel free to contact the Greater Bemidji offices.


"At Greater Bemidji and the LaunchPad, we understand the challenges that are happening right now," Fettig said. "Businesses that are struggling or have concerns right now, reach out to us, because we can provide them with some of the resources they need before they make a decision to close their business or do something drastic."

Greater Bemidji can be reached at (218) 444-5757 or at greaterbemidji.com .

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