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Bismarck-Mandan Chamber, Development Association to merge

Dave Thompson
Prairie Public

Two business and development organizations serving the Bismarck-Mandan area are planning to combine.

They’re the Bismarck-Mandan Chamber of Commerce – and the Bismarck-Mandan Development Association. Brian Ritter is the president and CEO of both organizations.  He told reporters combining the two strengthens the business community’s voice.

"If you have two business organizations coming together, and advocating on those same issues that are relevant and important to the business community, one bigger voice is stronger and more effective," Ritter said.

Ritter said this combination will put more of a focus on the issues facing the business community. One of those issues is workforce development.

"We think we can amplify our business attraction and our talent attraction efforts," Ritter said. "We know we should also do a better job of supporting our community's entrepreneurs -- and both organizations are working on that, but separately."

Ritter said the groups also want to work on helping businesses expand.

"Wes, we want to grow and attract new businesses," Ritter said. "We want to make sure we're growing the ones already here."

Ritter said the process of combining the two groups should be completed by January first. He said this is the first time such a merger has happened in North Dakota.