Small business workshop helping entrepreneurs

The opportunity is there, if you're willing to jump on it.

“Mandan's a great place to start a business,” Bismarck Mandan Development Association President and CEO Brian Ritter said. “We want you to start your business in Mandan and there's a lot of opportunities and a lot of ways of helping you do that.”

Thursday night, dozens of hopeful entrepreneurs packed in a room to listen to those who've been there.

“All it takes is one person who is inspired enough to take that next step and start that business here in Mandan and who knows what that can grow into,” Ritter said.

North Dakota Commerce Commissioner Jay Schuler talked about his small business ventures.

“I can tell them about my failures and some successes and challenges,” Schuler said. “I've kinda lived it all.”

Speakers offered advice on where to find financial, government and marketing resources and where opportunity lies for new businesses.

“Big businesses start out as small businesses and big businesses often get sloppy in what they're doing and there’s lots of opportunities for small businesses to step in,” Schuler said.

And while there may be a sense of competition, there's also comradery.

“We genuinely want them here, we genuinely want them to start their business here in Mandan,” Ritter said. “We're excited for them to do so and if they're willing to take that first step there are resources and people that are here and ready to help them do that.”