Dave Olson, Published July 11 2013
North Dakota takes pro-business sign campaign to CitiesFARGO – The Greater North Dakota Chamber is taking its high-profile billboard campaign, which touts the state’s business climate, to the Twin Cities.
A billboard soon will be going up next to westbound interstate traffic leaving the Minneapolis area, said Andy Peterson, president and CEO of the Greater North Dakota Chamber.
He said a billboard sign next to Interstate 94 near Fergus Falls, Minn., is scheduled to be retired, but he didn’t say when that will happen.
The chamber’s campaign raised the ire of some in the Fargo-Moorhead area last spring when a sign went up along I-94 near Moorhead that boldly declared: “North Dakota: Open for Business.”
The implied message was that Minnesota was not as warm to commerce, and that led to criticism from Moorhead City Council member Mark Hintermeyer, as well as from Craig Whitney, president and CEO of the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber.
The Moorhead sign disappeared after about two weeks and reappeared near Fergus Falls.
While the sign near Moorhead rankled some, Peterson said he also has heard from North Dakota natives who now operate Minnesota businesses who told him they are hesitant to expand their Minnesota activities and would like to come back to North Dakota.
“To us, it’s about reputation, and I think it will help build our reputation in the long term,” Peterson said of the buzz generated by the signs.
Readers can reach Forum reporter
Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555