Shop Small: Black Hills Pt. 2

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LEAD, S.D. -

NewsCenter1's Calvin Cutler traveled through the Black Hills and spoke to business owners about why small business plays a role in South Dakota's economy. This is part two of Shop Small: Black Hills. Watch the entire series here.

Lead, which was founded on the hope of striking rich on gold, may have found a new type of riches with their own businesses.

According to Sarah Carlson, the Homestake Opera House executive director, Lead is in a transitional period of sorts and is entering a new age.

"There’s a lot of things going on in Lead right now,” Carlson says. “A lot of creativity and a lot of brainstorming because it truly is miles beyond ordinary."

Lead business owners have found a way to cater to their four-season tourism. Some store owners are reaching out to customers in ways that websites and big box stores can’t.

According to Aaron Wagner, the owner of Edge Sports, making a purchase in person has many more benefits than buying a product online.

“Online, you lose that one-on-one connection," Wagner says, "and maybe you deal with returns and exchanging and that back and forth until you get it figured out. Here, I take the time with you, get you dialed into what suits you, what fits you, make a buying decision based on that.”

Other stores, like Aspire Boutique, feature local products that shoppers can’t find anywhere else.

“Here you’re going to find that connection with something that you buy that someone actually made themselves and put their heart and soul into,” says Sarah Larson, one of the boutique owners.

Local artists end up becoming part of the store itself.

“My goal with the shop is to help the people of the community to find their inner character and help bring it out and have a place to display their own art, and display it and be a part of it,” says Larson.

When the community has such a close connection to local business, it’s bound to thrive.

“Shoppers are thrilled!" says boutique co-owner Linda Rowe. "They go downtown, they see all of these cute little boutiques and coffee shops. And that’s really the type of community I think we’re all really striving for.” 

A relationship instead of just a transaction, all from shopping local.

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