Grand Forks, North Dakota

Grand Forks Business Signs

Grand Forks is a city located within the eastern-most portion of the present-day U.S. state of North Dakota, on the border with Minnesota.  Prior to incursions by those of European descent, this area, at the forks of the Red and Red Lake Rivers, was known as a bustling meeting and trading point for Native American tribes such as the Objibwe for thousands of years.  The first Europeans to arrive were the French in the 1740s, who called the area ‘Les Grandes Fourches,’ or ‘The Grand Forks.’  It became a pivotal fur trading post.  The United States acquired this area in The Treaty of 1818, but it would be until 1870, after many wars against the Ojibwe, that Grand Forks, North Dakota would be founded.  A steamboat captain by the name of Alexander Griggs is often regarded as “The Father of Grand Forks” due to the fact his “steamboat froze in the Red River…forcing the captain and his crew to spend the winter camping at Grand Forks.”  Griggs stayed, eventually incorporating Grand Forks, North Dakota in 1881.

Today, according to a 2017 estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau, the city of Grand Forks, North Dakota has a total population of 57,056 people.  This makes it the third most populous city in the entire state of North Dakota.  Grand Forks, North Dakota is considered part of the Grand Forks, ND-MN Metropolitan Statistical Area, which has often been called Greater Grand Forks or the Grand Cities.  According to that same 2016 estimate, Greater Grand Forks has a total population of 102,449 people, which makes it the 348th most populous metropolitan area in the entire United States of America.

According to Grand Forks, North Dakota’s 2013 City Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the largest employer in the city is Altru Health System, which provides 4,129 local jobs.  Coming in second is Grand Forks Air Force Base, which has 4,127 employees, while the University of North Dakota employs 2,850.  Grand Forks Air Force Base, which is part of Air Combat Command (ACC), was built in 1956 and currently garrisons the 319th Air Base Wing.

As for the University of North Dakota, this public research university, which was established in 1883, is the oldest institution of higher learning in the entire state of North Dakota.  The University of North Dakota is so old, in fact, it predates the establishment of the state of North Dakota by six years.  As of 2017, the University of North Dakota has a $268.4 million endowment, with 14,648 students in total enrolled into its various programs.  Its best known college is undoubtedly the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences, “which was the first in the country to offer a degree in unmanned aircraft systems operations.”

Grand Forks, North Dakota is home to no professional sporting franchises of note.  It is, however, home to the University of North Dakota’s Fighting Hawks.  The Fighting Hawks play in NCAA Division I Big Sky Conference.  The Fighting Hawks have eight national championships to their name, all earned by their men’s ice hockey teams, who play their home games in Ralph Engelstad Arena.

Happen to be the lucky owner of a small business enterprise in and/or around the Grand Forks, North Dakota area?  Have you ever thought about attaining such an exhilarating position?  If so, you just might be in luck!  Below, we have provided an assortment of business resources for current and/or prospective small business owners such as yourself:

Apply for a Business License in Grand Forks, North Dakota:

Doing Business in Grand Forks, North Dakota:

The Chamber [of Commerce]: Grand Forks:

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