In 2017, Gov. Doug Burgum introduced the Main Street Initiative, a way for community leaders and business owners to learn how to better the areas they live in.
The program focuses on downtowns and their small businesses, and ways to keep these areas thriving.
Democratic-NPL gubernatorial candidate and business-owner Shelley Lenz takes some issue with Burgum’s initiative.
She says, to keep the state’s economy thriving, the focus should be on improving businesses in rural areas.
Lenz says these shops and restaurants don’t just line city sidewalks, they’re also on dirt roads.
“Most North Dakota businesses aren’t downtown and they’re not downtown Fargo. There’s Halliday here, Dodge with a population of 90, Dickinson, Killdeer population 800, you know, I didn’t see any initiative there,” Lenz said.
While she is the Dem-NPL candidate, Lenz emphasized that she identifies as an independent.