South Dakota top in the nation for family-owned businesses

According to a recent report by OnDeck, 43% of businesses in South Dakota are family-owned
Published: Jul. 21, 2022 at 6:21 PM CDT
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - According to a recent report by OnDeck, 43% of businesses in South Dakota are family-owned, making it the leading state in the nation for family-owned businesses.

Ken’s SuperFair Foods, Thunder Road, Steven Lust Automotive and Centennial Homes are just a few examples of family-owned businesses in the Hub City.

”Probably the biggest reason why we have a lot of family-owned businesses is we don’t have a lot of corporate. If you’re going to have employment and business opportunities, it’s going to be the people who live here and their families,” said Kelly Weaver, Aberdeen Small Business Development Center Regional Director.

Farmers may also be a reason the state placed at the top for family businesses. According to the report, 98% of farms in South Dakota are family-owned.

“You know, a lot of family farms are businesses, incorporated as businesses and have a lot of business lines that they operate out of. Whether it’s selling fertilizer or seed or custom harvesting, besides just their own crops and livestock,” said Weaver.

Terry Larson has worked at Hitch ‘N Post since it opened in 1970. He and his wife, Pete, have been full owners for nearly 40 years. Now, they work alongside their daughter, Alissa Battest.

”We work together. We do everything together. The same with my daughter, we just get along,” said Larson.

Battest says she enjoys working with her parents every day at “the coolest store in the world.” In the future, she plans to keep the business in the family.

”Honestly, I’m just grateful because I get to work with them and see them, and we have a great relationship. This is a legacy. This is something that needs to stay in this community,” said Battest.

Working with each other has taught the the Larsons and their daughter to treat everyone who comes into their store like family.

”Our customers become our family. Their our friends. Everybody is part of this family community that we have here,” said Battest.

According to the report by OnDeck, the states with the fewest amount of family-owned businesses were New York and Massachusetts.

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