Small Business Week!

It’s small business week!

May 5 – 11 is National Small Business Week according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. It’s also National Economic Development week. That’s great for Vision West ND and GoLocal! ND Since our economic development strategy is centered on diversifying the local economy with small business development and support. We want to celebrate this week by sharing information about the tremendous impact and power behind small businesses in the U.S. Look at the number of Employer Firms and Employer Establishments with fewer than 20 employees vs Establishments and Firms with 500+ employees. Now that’s power!

The Business of Small Business in North Dakota

Low Tax Burden: North Dakota's corporate income tax is a three-bracket system topping out at 4.31 percent

High Per Capita Personal Income: $54,306 in 2018

Small Business Hotspot: In 2016 ND had the highest start-ups per capita


A Roadmap

Good afternoon,

I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for tuning in, and to fill you in a little bit about what we will be doing with this blog. We will be following a national monthly holiday to connect our thoughts and posts about localism. Each month we will have a spotlight, the basics of that aspect of localism, examples, implementations, ways you can become involved, and more! If you ever have any wants or suggestions about topics, please don’t hesitate to contact us, as we want you to be just as involved and interested in Localism as we are.

So, to kick us off, this week was small business week, and while many of us probably did not even know about it, we personally challenge every one of you to celebrate this holiday by shopping at one of your small local businesses or even just saying hello to the staff, we know they would appreciate it!

Our very first spotlight is you! You supporting your hard-working local businesses and feeling good about it!


An Ode to Local: The Journey's beginning

Good afternoon all!

We would like to take a moment to introduce ourselves, as we hope you will be joining us in our journey of blogging about all things local! We are Aspen Lenning and Karalea Cox, and we plan to give you all the information you could possibly want about becoming a localist and more!  And if we don’t, we encourage questions and input. 

We’ll be taking you, and ourselves, on local adventures in food, shopping and entertainment! But we’ll also dive into the “need to know” stuff that builds your local business, community cohesiveness, and your local economy-wherever you are in western ND. We’re on a change your mindset mission to get you, your friends and your neighbors to understand the power of a dollar and why that dollar is the most powerful ballot you’ve got! Where you (and your business, organization, community) spend your money matters!!  

No matter who you are or what you do, your local businesses support you in one way or another, whether you know it or not! Our goal is to help us all be a little more appreciative of what we have in our local communities and to learn a thing or two about the benefits of going local. On this “ride” I (Aspen) will be focusing on all things relating to local food, because really, what is better? While Karalea’s focus will be a focusing more on many aspects of going local. 

Thank you for reading and coming along on this adventure with us!  


Know anyone who sells local food?

If you or someone you know sells food locally in North Dakota, please send them our way! Vision West ND is working on creating a “Local Food Finder”. In essence, this is an interactive database where consumers can look to see where they can buy local products. Producers, restaurants, and grocery stores will be listed on this resource free of charge to them! So, if you know anyone who would be interested in this unique opportunity or want more information give them our contact info please and thank you! Email or call our office at 701-483-2801. We look forward from hearing from you!

A match made in heaven!

While you and a local business are the real match, we are proud to announce that we have made a relationship with “”. This site has SO many resources available to anyone who has any interest in buying local or creating awareness for the topic. We are extra excited to announce this, because not only did we become members, but because they looked at our website and saw the awesome things we have been doing (with all of your help), they have bumped us up to a Premium membership.

Big thank you to them, and a huge shout out to everyone who has been involved in GoLocal and Vision West ND to help make them realize how amazing we are.

Click on the image to go to their website.

Here is what they are all about taken right from their website:

“Independent We Stand is all about independently owned businesses across the country reaching out to their communities and educating their neighbors about the many benefits of "buying local."

A locally supportive world, is the kind of world WE want.

Sometimes it is easy to forget how much difference we can make in our communities with something as simple as shopping close to home at a small business, but we assure you, what seems small to you, is huge to any small business owner. Thank you all for considering buying local!

Click on the image for printable PDF version of this resource.