Williston Economic Development Achieves “21 in 2021” Goal

21 in 2021
21 in 2021(KFYR)
Published: Aug. 20, 2021 at 2:18 PM CDT
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WILLISTON, N.D. – The Williston Economic Development Department set a goal at the beginning of the year to support 21 businesses. Eight months later, they have already hit that mark and are expecting more.

The “21 in 2021” goal was set by Economic Development to provide STAR Funds for seven new businesses, seven expansions, and seven quality of life projects. They accomplished it when city commissioners approved the latest STAR Fund application at a commission meeting last week. Executive Director Shawn Wenko says small business demand has exploded after a rough 2021.

“We don’t have an answer on why we’re seeing the activity that we’re seeing with new business startups other than the fact that maybe everybody had a year to sit around and think about things and it was a business they always wanted to do, or someone had an idea they always wanted to do and that pushed them to pull the trigger,” said Wenko.

Some businesses also got approved for STAR Funding for childcare, with plans to create or expand their areas to allow for more daycare access. Wenko says the STAR fund will help them in improving services.

“Lack of childcare is one of those things that will affect workforce development, so it’s still something we’re at the forefront for us that we need to work on,” said Wenko.

Wenko expects the Economic Development Department to continue seeing more and more businesses apply for STAR funding throughout the year.

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