Empty storefronts are prominent in downtown Rapid City

Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 8:09 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Starting a business is easier than maintaining it. And that is apparent as downtown Rapid City has empty storefronts that are up for lease due to economic issues.

With the recent economic hardships, it’s been a challenge for local businesses to maintain employees and turn a profit.

According to the Rapid City public policy director, the high turnover doesn’t affect some, but it can kill other small business. It’s due to renewed interest and an increase in property value in Rapid City, which has been difficult for certain types of businesses to stay open.

“Restaurants and bars are able to maintain revenue and keep up with inflation and the increase cost of doing business. Small businesses like boutiques and thrift stores have struggled, and those prices have gone up in part due to the increased cost of workforce. It’s also very expensive to retro fence some of these older buildings,” said public policy manager Garth Wadsworth, Elevate Rapid City.

With the combination of increased wages and property prices in certain types of businesses, Wadsworth says that some businesses won’t be viable in downtown.