Business troubles in downtown Rapid City

A Downtown Rapid City business gave some insight into what goes into running a small business in a turbulent job market.
Published: Feb. 20, 2023 at 7:27 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 20 percent of new business fail in the first two years, 45 percent in the first five years. When talking about a restaurant, that number spikes to 80 percent closure in the first five years.

This can be a negative motivator, preventing others from taking that same risk.

“I think opening up a restaurant, at least in Rapid City, is a really difficult task,” Nathan Dahl, Ugly Graffiti chef. “There’s not a good place to find all the information. It’s almost like opening up a place in Rapid City is like joining a club that no one wants you to find the membership form for.”

Dahl says that the process to apply for things like a liquor license should be more transparent. He believes that potential business owners should know in advance how long it takes to get an application approved.

“There’s a lot of information out there but it only seems like its partial information and I really wish there was something a little bit more condensed, something that made it easier for new businesses to find all this information,” he explained.

Dahl says the application process isn’t the only challenge. He says it can be hard to find qualified employees as well.

Ugly Graffiti recently opened in the 700 block of Saint Joseph Street, downtown Rapid City.