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Economic Development & Finance is charged with coordinating the state's economic development resources to attract, retain and expand wealth.

Strategic economic development is important to communities across North Dakota.  This proactive work to support economic diversification, community building and workforce development keeps North Dakota growing.

Business incentives, government accessibility, and workforce performance, combined with North Dakota's favorable position as one of the lowest cost states for operating a business, are driving top companies to establish operations in North Dakota.



Commerce/EDND Developer Day

Commerce/EDND Developer Day 2024 – August 20, 2024 - Bismarck

Developer Day is an opportunity for new and existing local Community, Volunteer and Economic Development professionals an opportunity to learn more about the North Dakota Department of Commerce and economic development in the state. This day will also provide an opportunity to learn about the incentives, financial resources and proposed policy priorities for the 2025 session. Additionally, EDND and the Commerce team will discuss attendees’ needs and interests and how various programs and services may help their efforts.

Watch the website for registration information as we approach the meeting date.


Below are the presentations from Commerce/EDND Developer Day that was held on August 24, 2023

Foreign Direct Investment   Workforce Development  Tourism/Marketing  Community Services  Community Development/MSI


Economic/Community Development Ecosystem Map

This Economic/Community Development Ecosystem Map illustrates the network of entities supporting development in North Dakota at the local, regional, and state level.  Development is unique to each community and organizations included in this map have broad and varying missions. Local organizations were considered “economic/community development” groups if their mission included at least one of the following elements: business, community design/improvement, job development, infrastructure, marketing, or local livability. Groups focused solely on event planning or school district fundraising were not included.  The map also displays several different economic “zones” (like Opportunity Zones, REAP Zones) in their own layers to aid in understanding where location-specific development resources are available. 

There are three goals for this resource:

  1. Facilitate partnerships and build the capacity of our state's economic development network.
  2. Identify gaps in service and areas with less access to economic development services.
  3. Understand the makeup of our state's economic development ecosystem.

The interactive map has multiple layers, with each layer falling under one of four area types: state, county, city, and tribal nation.  Organizations are placed into a layer based on the area that they cover.  For example, an organization that is city specific will only be found on a city-based layer, a county specific agency on county-based layers and so on.  It is also important to note that organizations are placed in the areas they cover and not necessarily just the area where they are physically located.  Some organizations cover multiple areas (like cities, counties) and therefore, may be found in more than one place.  However, their contact and location information will remain the same throughout. 

Disclaimer: This interactive map is not meant to be used for directions or as a definitive place for things such as county and/or city lines.  While it does incorporate the most up to date information available it is strictly a tool to help understand North Dakota’s economic/community development “ecosystem”.

This tool is by no means a definitive and complete list of all economic/community development organizations in North Dakota.  However, it will be continuously updated with the hopes of achieving that goal.

Click here for more information

Business Retention and Expansion

Commerce and its partners work hard to assist existing business through many of the same programs used to attract new businesses. The Manufacturing Extension Partnership, for instance, assists manufacturers to help them become more competitive, and other programs and incentives are available to assist in efforts to expand or continue operations.

Commerce business development staff assist all primary sector businesses, whether new or existing, especially those related to our target industries. Local development staff in communities throughout the state also pursue business retention and expansion activities.  We encourage you to use the links throughout our site to call upon Commerce or community development staff to assist you in your business expansion or retention needs.

Contact the ED&F team for more information!

Rural Development Council

The Rural Development Council (RDC) supports the development of rural communities across the state through collaboration between government and nonprofit and private sectors.  

The council is charged with facilitating collaboration among governments and the private and nonprofit sectors in the planning and implementation of programs and policies that have an impact on rural areas of the state. Members also monitor, report and comment on policies and programs aimed at addressing the needs of rural areas of North Dakota. 


Rural Development Council Fact Sheet


Click here for the complete details on current work priorities.


Current appointed members of the RDC are: 

Teran Doerr of Bowman, executive director of the Bowman County Development Corp.

Gwendolyn Crawford of Kathryn, Lisbon auditor and economic development director

Jay Doan of McKenzie, a rancher with Black Leg Ranch

Antoinette Heier of Hazen, executive director of the Hazen Chamber of Commerce

Megan Langley of Minot, executive director of Strengthen ND

KayCee Lindsey of Crosby, executive director of Divide County Job Development Corp.

Lindsey Lipp of Casselton, associate scientist in process and product design at Aldevron

Dawn Mandt of Grafton, executive director of the Red River Regional Council

Janne Myrdal of Edinburg, a farmer and state senator

Carol Peterson of Milnor, economic development coordinator

Daniel Stenberg of Watford City, McKenzie County economic development coordinator

Maria Effertz of Velva, director of North Dakota Department of Commerce - Community Services Division

The North Dakota Rural Development Council is North Dakota’s chapter of the National Rural Development Partnership Program, uniting the state’s private and nonprofit sectors with state, federal, local and tribal governments to strengthen rural America. 

Upcoming meeting dates:

  • May 2, 2024: 1:30 - 3:30 pm - Cancelled
  • June 25, 2024: 1:00 - 3:00 pm
  • August 27, 2024 : 1:00 - 3:00 pm
  • September 22, 2024 : 1:00 - 3:00 pm

Meeting Minutes

May 5, 2023

March 9, 2023

November 2, 2022

April 13, 2022

November 23, 2021

August 17, 2021

May 26, 2021

May 18, 2021

February 16, 2021

Business Assistance

Businesses in North Dakota have extensive resources available to them as they seek to grow their company. Commerce has a business development team that is available to assist in helping you locate potential resources and opportunities. North Dakota also has many other agencies that assist business in helping to grow their success. Review the information below to learn more about resources that may be available to your company.

Use the resource links below to connect with other resources to help your business be successful in North Dakota.

Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Supportive Services
The North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) establishes annual goals for DBE participation on NDDOT projects, ensuring that DBE's can compete fairly for state-funded transportation-related projects. DBE's are businesses owned by women, minorities or other socially/economically disadvantaged persons meeting the NDDOT DBE program guidelines. To participate in the program, a potential DBE firm must be certified by NDDOT. The application for certification can be obtained from the DBE website.
Impact Dakota
The Dakota Manufacturing Extension Partnership provides technical, educational and management assistance to small and midsized manufacturers located in North Dakota as well as South Dakota.

Entrepreneurship Centers of North Dakota
The Entrepreneur Centers provide access to more than 20 financing programs and a network of organizations providing counseling, training and assistance to start-up and existing entrepreneurs.
CTB, formerly Center for Technology & Business, is a 501(c)(3) founded in 1999. Statewide services to emerging and experienced entrepreneurs include no-cost and confidential 1-on-1 business advising sessions, innovative and in-demand training opportunities, shared business services and hands-on technical support. Call (701) 223-0707 for assistance.

Small Business Administration (SBA)
The SBA provides loan and business counseling resources to help make your small business dreams become reality. It has added a new Small Business Classroom as a guide for business planning and entrepreneurial activities. There you will find 60 actual business plans and financial information and online classes. 
Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)
The SBDC helps North Dakotans start, manage and grow their businesses. Professional business advisors have years of experience and know what it takes to start a business in North Dakota and operate it successfully. Centers are available throughout the state to provide one-to-one counseling and training to North Dakota businesses.

North Dakota APEX Accelerator (ND APEX)
APEX Accelerator professionals advise businesses on how to obtain, manage, and comply with government contract requirements for the Department of Defense, other federal agencies, state and local governments and government prime contractors.  Services include one-on-one counseling, government market identification, capability statements, solicitation reviews, training webinars, in-person and online matchmaking opportunities, and development and activation of a bid match search profile unique to your business.
Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC)
VBOC of the Dakotas is a one-stop-shop for service members, veterans and military spouses looking to start, purchase or grow a business. VBOCs provide training workshops, including Boots to Business and Boots to Business Reboot, as well as business development assistance through training, advising and mentoring, and resource referrals. 

SCORE is proud to have the nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors who help thousands of entrepreneurs start and grow their small businesses every year. Volunteers give back to their communities and pass on their knowledge to the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Native American Development Center is advancing Native American communities in North Dakota through financial education and affordable lending services.

International Trade

The North Dakota Trade Office is the catalyst in a collaborative effort among the state's universities, state and federal government agencies and private export service professionals that provide North Dakota companies with the support they need to succeed in the global marketplace. Its unique private-public, non-profit partnership enables it to move at the speed of international business.

The Trade Office conducts international market research for North Dakota companies, helping them identify export markets best suited for their products and services. To help companies capitalize, the Trade Office and its network of export service providers offer assistance in every step of the export process.

Members of the Trade Office staff are located in Bismarck, Fargo, Dickinson and Grand Forks and provide a full range of export services including:

  • Market-entry research
  • Export education and certification
  • Trade mission management
  • Assistance in finding reliable international distributors

The Trade Office has built a large network of export service providers - shippers, law firms, bankers and other experts - dedicated to North Dakota and ready to help companies capitalize on export opportunities. The Trade Office also works closely with the U.S. Commercial Service as well as other private and public institutions to ensure that businesses get the support they need to expand in the international marketplace.

For exporting questions call the North Dakota Trade Office at (701) 231-1159.

Other Export Resources

Minority Certification

Disadvantaged business enterprises are afforded special consideration for contracts awarded by certain state and federal agencies. It may also be advantageous for private businesses to subcontract with minority-owned entities. For these reasons, it is important that women-owned, Native American-owned and other minority-owned businesses acquire proof of their minority status.

The North Dakota Department of Transportation reviews applications for certification under the U.S. Department of Transportation's Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program as found in 49 Code of Federal Regulations Part 26. This includes minority, women, and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals whose businesses relate to some facet of the transportation industry, and is applicable to metropolitan planning organizations, transit organizations, highways, and airports.

To complete the DBE Certification application, applicants must navigate to:

Civil Rights Officer
North Dakota Department of Transportation
608 East Boulevard, Bismarck, ND 58505-0700
Phone: 701-328-3116

For more information about Women-owned business certification, contact:

2720 E Broadway Ave #1
Bismarck, ND 58501
Phone: 701-223-0707

Workforce Training

Hiring a new employee is just the first step in a process. Bringing that employees' skill sets up to match your needs is an important part of the hiring process. Workforce training programs play a key role in helping businesses and employees be successful.

Use the resource links below to connect with other resources to help your business be successful in North Dakota.

In 1999, the North Dakota legislature established the Workforce Training System, later renamed TrainND. TrainND provides a comprehensive, customized set of training programs and employee development initiatives across the state. These training programs give North Dakota businesses an edge to better compete on a local, national and international level. Programs are available across the entire state, through the efforts of its four workforce training regions.
Impact Dakota
The Dakota Manufacturing Extension Partnership provides technical, educational and management assistance to small and midsized manufacturers located in North Dakota as well as South Dakota.

Life Science

North Dakota has invested millions of dollars to support the life sciences and bio-medical industries. Click here for more information.

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