MINOT, N.D. (KXNET) — The Small Business Association estimates more than 600,000 new businesses open each year in the U.S. That’s no different in North Dakota, with Minot seeing this increase, especially in the downtown area.

“The new businesses, the new excitement, the new places for people to go and have fun, all of that creates a good core for the city of Minot. The stronger you can make your downtown area, the better. ‘Cause that’s where all the new, fresh ideas tend to gravitate to, is in a strong downtown,” said Denis Lindbo, the owner of Gourmet Chef and HighAir Ground.

Lindbo has two businesses, with one located right downtown. She says although they are different, especially the clientele, they do have some similarities.

“With the downtown, we’ve got a lot more businesses around us. It’s been the core of the city of Minot for so long. With HighAir Ground, we’re a little bit smaller area as far as business-wise, but we still try to do the same things as what we do downtown. We try to work together, we do promotions together,” said Lindbo.

Eric Thoemke has two businesses downtown, Up Your Axe and the Putt District.

He says the area is a prime space to set up shop, especially after the big road construction project was finished downtown.

“I’m really appreciative that they invested into the community the way they did. I think that a lot of business owners invested and building owners to make downtown what it is,” said Thoemke.

He hopes bridging the old with the new in the community will help the city gain a sense of identity.

“I think for the longest time we’ve had this great downtown area and it’s tied to so many historical things and so being able to tap back into that downtown history where we started, I think can help to put together a sense of identity, people, culture. And then as that continues to grow, the skies the limit,” said Thoemke.