Small Business of the Year Bismarck Mandan

Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 8:00 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) -Small businesses are at the heart of every community; many struggled through the pandemic and were able to come out the other side. For the first time, a Small Business of the year was recognized at the Bismarck Mandan Chamber EDC annual Celebrate Bismarck Mandan banquet. Christa Kiedrowski met with the winner to find out what separated them from the rest.

Bismarck Sign Co...their business is in the name. They started as a sign company in 2018, but soon after, the pandemic brought sales to a standstill and made them pivot their focus.

“Everything came to a halt, big corporate companies they froze spending basically. So we really shifted from really focusing on signs more into our graphics, which ended up inadvertently exploding our graphics department,” said Bismarck Sign Co. co-owner Alexandra Lund.

One way they were able to capitalize on the pandemic slowdown was to use their graphics department to help other small businesses through the shutdowns during Covid.

“As we were driving to businesses during Covid, we would pull up to the door, and you could see a paper is hung on the inside of the door, but the door is tinted, and you can’t quite read. Is it open? Is it not open? Do you wait outside, or do you go in,” said Lund.

They came up with the idea to create these yellow stickers for businesses to hang in their windows and would clearly communicate their status. This effort, among others, made Bismarck Sign Co. a perfect fit for a nomination for Small Business of the Year.

“So to be eligible for the Small Business of the Year award, you do need to be a Chamber EDC member; you need to have under 50 employees. The Committee also considers growth within the community and community service,” said Christine Nelson, Events and Sales Manager.

This was the first time a small business was recognized at Celebrate Bismarck Mandan, and Christine Nelson believes businesses big and small make important contributions to the community. Nominations will open up again in April for the 2023 Small Business of the Year.