Starting an online business might be easier in South Dakota than you think

South Dakota ranked the 7th best state to start an online business in 2021, according to a study.
Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 5:11 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) -Shopping from home was becoming big business in 2019 but 2020 made it almost mandatory. And, for South Dakota business owners, or people wanting to open a business in the Mount Rushmore state, that’s good news.

South Dakota ranked the 7th best state to start an online business in 2021, according to a study.

“It doesn’t shock me that South Dakota is ranked that high, I’m kind of shocked that they’re actually not ranked higher,” said Tom Johnson, CEO, and president of Elevate Rapid City.

The state’s high ranking is due to a number of factors that tie into starting a business.

“Lack of forms, transparency, and the compacity at which you can do it quickly,” Johnson said.

Within the same study, South Dakota was ranked 2nd best state in the nation for business taxes, right behind Wyoming, and 1st for most business-friendly regulatory environment.

While Johnson says he thinks online businesses are easier to get up and going, Prairie Edge was a brick-and-mortar business before they decided to expand online 25 years ago.

“There’s a lot to it, there is a lot to it. Once you get it set up and operational then it goes fairly smooth,” said Dan Tribby, general manager of Prairie Edge.

Tribby said Prairie Edge hired a remote marketing team to help put their products online, making keeping the site updated a challenge because of their one-of-a-kind inventory.

Fast forward 24 years, with the pandemic and public restrictions, businesses are forced to go digital.

“I think it’s a reflection of the current environment we’re in where people are doing technology-related businesses and services,” Johnson said.

“If you didn’t have an online presence you were probably really going to hurt,” Tribby said.

Despite digital trends, walk-in traffic is just as important.

“I think if you’re going to be successful in business, you need to be good both ways. Have an online presence but also, a brick-and-mortar presence,” Tribby said.

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