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Season 5 FinalistSpearfish, SD

About the Town

Spearfish serves as the mouth of Spearfish Canyon, a gorge located within the Black Hills of South Dakota. With a population of 12,000, the community draws tourists with year-round activities, from hiking and biking in the summer, to ice climbing and snowmobiling in the winter. However, Spearfish tourism faces seasonality and draws a larger crowd in the spring, summer, and fall months. Despite being a popular tourist destination with consistent population growth, low unemployment rates mean that small businesses are having a difficult time finding employees.

Spearfish is home to Black Hills State University, a public university with approximately 4,500 students. Even though the university attracts a young demographic, Spearfish has a tough time retaining new professionals. With more than 90 percent of its businesses being categorized as small businesses, the town is searching for a way to keep its main streets vibrant.

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