Small businesses thrive in Spearfish

SPEARFISH, S.D. (KEVN) - A small Spearfish store with an international flare is saying goodbye since Mona Jackson is moving to California with her family.

The cashier at Ventana gives change back to a customer. (KEVN)

Though Ventana only lasted for a year and a half, Spearfish is having an uptick in small businesses.

"When I first moved to Spearfish, there were quite a few spaces downtown that were empty, maybe like three or four, and then they started to fill up in the last two, three to four years. And now my space is already rented," said Mona Jackson, owner of Ventana.

Now, there is not one empty space in downtown. It's a trend even a business professor from Black Hills State University noticed too.

"I mean the Spearfish community really does support small businesses and so a lot of people I talk to would rather shop from a local store than driving to Rapid City to go to the bigger store or even going to Walmart," said Dr. Jeff Wehrung, BHSU School of Business Chair.

Small business owners succeed in South Dakota because the state is tax-friendly, according to Kory Menken with Spearfish Economic Development. So, instead of paying for personal and corporate income taxes like people in Iowa, small business owners can keep that money in their pockets.

Jackson said the main challenge for her was learning how to market her first-time small business. After talking to Wehrung, Jackson realized the way for a business to thrive in South Dakota is by "building a connection with the community."

Jackson did just that by getting involved in various organizations and has definitely left a lasting impact in the community.

But as one door closes, who knows what will come from when the other door opens.