FARGO, N.D. - (Valley News Live) "We have to try to let go of that "North Dakota tough" for a while and adopt something new, which I'll call that "North Dakota smart"," said Governor Dough Burgum in the press conference earlier this month.
This new term has been leading the way for the state's response to COVID-19.
BNG is a Fargo business that is taking that phrase to heart. They work with other small businesses in the area helping them with all their needs. After seeing the impact the coronavirus pandemic had on their community, they reached out to the state saying they want to help.
“We partnered with the state of North Dakota," said Kimberly Pigeon, Director of Creativity for BNG. "We’ve had some conversations with legislatures on what exactly we can do, and this was our best option. To create some apparel that we feel really strongly about and then go ahead and share it.”
BNG has released the #NDSMART campaign, giving people an opportunity to proudly wear the motto. So far they have hats, T-shirts and sweatshirts with the phrase getting many North Dakotans through the uncertain time. 100% of the profits raised from the clothing line will be donated to a fund to help small businesses that have been impacted.
“This is a great manifestation of North Dakota as well as how we’ve come together," said James Leiman, Executive Director of Commerce for the state. He says they're looking for the right non-profit to take on the fund and disperse the money raise. Small businesses will then have the opportunity to apply for assistance.
“Being able to wear this shirt out after this pandemic has subsided is going to help people just keep in mind to go to your local store, help out those local people, help those small businesses," said Pigeon. "Because they’re the ones that are going to need us to put our arms around them.”
Once a non-profit takes on the #NDSmart fund, it will be put on North Dakota's commerce website when it is available. That website also has plenty of resources for small businesses that can help right now.
To find out more information on available resources for small businesses, click here.
To buy #NDSmart apparel, click here.