Business booms in Belle Fourche - KOTA Territory News

Business booms in Belle Fourche

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Opportunity is in the air.

"Five to six thousand trucks pass through here a day. You can just hear it in the background here, just a constant buzz," said Gary Hendrickson, Mayor of Belle Fourche. 

It's the sound of business – booming in the streets of Belle Fourche.

"It's a little bit surprising, the amount of traffic and actual business opportunities that are taking place her," said Hendrickson.

A newly built Cenex truck stop is just one of three businesses to open their doors in Belle Fourche in the coming months. Those businesses will create roughly 50 local jobs. The other businesses opening include a Pipeline Plastics factory and a BH Fiberglass Tanks facility.

"When we get the manufacturing then we get the people to stay home, we have good jobs, good housing, good real estate sales, all of that falls into place," said Scott Peterson, owner of Scott Peterson Motors and President of the Belle Fourche Economic Development Group.

Many existing businesses, like Scott Peterson Motors, are experiencing double digit increases in sales resulting from the heavy traffic.

"We have six major highways coming into Belle Fourche and we're sitting right in front of the gateway. Our sales, year over year, the last years, have increased 22 percent," said Peterson.

"People are looking to expand business and invest in new business in the community," said Kevin Whitelock, President and CEO of Pioneer Bank and Trust.

Hoping to capitalize on that optimism, city leaders are currently constructing a three million dollar industrial park slated to open next year.

"It has rail access, we're one of the few communities in the state to have that.  

"With high diesel prices, we can offer at the rail park the opportunity to have business save on transportation costs," said Hendrickson.

And economic leaders say they have more to offer than simply their centralized location.

"The average wage here is half the average wage in Williston, North Dakota. Our real estate, our taxes are way below that kind of community," said Peterson.

"Let students know there are local jobs here available. You don't have to go beyond say South Dakota to have a good quality of life," said Hendrickson. 

According to the city of Belle Fourche, sales tax figures show an 7.8 percent increase over 2011.
This year - through February - sales tax numbers show a nine percent increase over this time last year.

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