Grand Forks area businesses are growing to meet demands in the Bakken region of North Dakota.
The Chamber – Grand Forks/East Grand Forks, on behalf of the region’s Bakken Initiative, surveyed its members, which revealed businesses are attributing both revenue and employment growth to business activity related to the oil and gas industry.
Of respondents, 67 percent attribute some of their revenue in the past two years to Bakken activity. In the past two years, 23 percent of respondents have added staff to support related business growth.
“Anecdotally we knew the region’s business community is being impacted by our state’s oil and gas industry,” said Barry Wilfahrt, The Chamber’s president and CEO. “These results are exciting for our region, demonstrating a much greater impact.”
The Bakken Initiative, a collaborative marketing effort launched last year to enhance awareness about the region’s business and community support assets, draws wide support among respondents as well, with 53 percent indicating they find the initiative valuable for their businesses.
Grand Forks Region EDC President and CEO Klaus Thiessen said, “Our region’s effort to recruit new businesses expanding because of the Bakken is also attracting new customers for our existing businesses. At the end of the day, we can undeniably say the oil and gas industry is helping this region grow and create new jobs.”
Wilfahrt said the survey also demonstrates the variety of opportunities the region’s businesses have to serve Western North Dakota demands. Respondents experiencing business growth related to the Bakken activity included automotive services, real estate, construction, and manufacturing.
“We also hope this survey demonstrates to companies that they can expand east to our region to meet demands of company growth in the Bakken. It can be done. Our business base is proving that,” said Thiessen.
Grand Forks Region EDC