Entrepreneurs continue to pick South Dakota to start their businesses

Published: Sep. 12, 2022 at 6:52 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Small businesses make up 99% of South Dakota companies and every year more entrepreneurs decide to start their own in the Rushmore state.

“I never really considered starting it anywhere else,” expressed Jack Tidemann, the owner and operator of High Tide Power Washing.

He decided to start the business after hearing complaints from friends and family about dirty garbage cans and pavement.

“I just figured maybe that’s a good opportunity to help some people out and get their property cleaned,” said Tidemann.

So, he saved up for the equipment and officially started working as his own boss last May.

He travels to homes and cleans anything from pavement to windows and siding to trailers.

“So, the vision ended up turning into if doesn’t fit in a car wash, we can clean it for you,” explained Tidemann.

According to the Chamber of Commerce, a little more than 80% of South Dakota start-ups survive the first year.

Tidemann said he’s confident in his business, however, one challenge he faces is not having a storefront and relying on word of mouth to reach customers.

“The more we do business, the more people tell their friends and it’s been continuously growing ever since we started. Eventually, we really would like to get a physical location, but for now, we’re just operating out of the pickup truck and we come to you wherever you are,” said Tidemann.

Another new South Dakota business that drives to you is the WHO DATZ food truck, a branch off of owner Felix Irving’s catering business.

“The food truck was always like that kind of nugget rolling around in the background,” said Irving, who explained he loves cooking and wanted to bring his passion to South Dakota.

In 2014, he created Beard-BQ barbeque sauces and continues catering events.

“When you’re in the Black Hills, you’re here for the Black Hills. You’re here for the area, the people are great. The food not so much. I’m from New Orleans that’s just kind of the way it is, but I get to bring a little taste of my culture, my family, my passion, up into the Black Hills,” said Irving.

For Irving, expanding his business in South Dakota was a no-brainer.

“It’s a down-home feel, people are very friendly especially when it’s a new business they are really eager to try something new and different,” said Irving.

So while many may associate South Dakota with Mount Rushmore, others connect the state with opportunity.