Aberdeen among best small cities to start a business

ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) – In a recent report from WalletHub, Aberdeen was listed as one of the top small cities to start a business in, coming in at #22 out of more than 1,300 cities.

The list compared cities with a population of less than 100,000 people, and the rankings were based on data such as small business growth rates, labor costs and accessibility of financing.

”Aberdeen is such a unique community. It’s just the right size. It’s not too big, and it’s not too small. It’s big enough to have a population base, but it’s small enough that it doesn’t really get the attention of larger corporate businesses that would come in and locate,” said Kelly Weaver, the Regional Director of the Small Business Development Center in Aberdeen.

As well as its size, what makes Aberdeen great for businesses is what it already has that attracts consumers.

”We have those small ma’ and pops, we’ve got the chain stores, we’ve got large manufacturing, we’ve got two healthcare systems and a strong healthcare industry here. So, I think having that is what has made us successful,” said Gail Ochs, President of the Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce.

The number of resources for start-ups in Aberdeen also makes it easy for anyone to start a business.

”We have a lot of lending resources. Not just our commercial banks, who are all great, but also other non-profit and lending agencies that provide small business start-up funds,” said Weaver.

Wylie Thunder Road was just recognized as the South Dakota SBA Family-Owned Small Business of the Year. Owner Al Novstrup says the relationships among small business owners in Aberdeen is a major contributor to the city’s success.

”I think the main thing about Aberdeen and small businesses is we all know each other. It’s a small enough community where I may build a relationship with somebody at church and then I may build a relationship with them in the Chamber, for example, or at Thunder Road. So, we have multiple relationships with one person,” said Novstrup.

Although Aberdeen is small, its size can be a strength rather than a weakness.

“It’s a small community in that we know each other. So, if it’s a resource that I don’t have, that I can’t provide, I can probably refer them to somebody who can help them with that. And that’s something you lose in bigger communities. You don’t have those connections,” said Weaver.

Copyright 2022 Dakota News Now. All rights reserved.


Christin Hakim

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