Data Confirms Fargo Moorhead Region Boasts a Thriving Economy

Data Confirms Fargo Moorhead Region Boasts A Thriving Economy

The regional economy is thriving.

In fact, 68% of FM Area primary-sector companies have plans for expansion in the next 1-2 years, amounting to: 

  • 1,100 jobs to be created
  • Nearly 800,000 square feet increase in utilized space
  • $174 million in capital investment

That information comes from 150 GFMEDC conducted BRE visits and surveys, 119 were engagements with existing primary-sector companies (the remaining surveys were HR or entrepreneur-focused) conducted in 2023. 

When compared to national data sets, the national average indicates around 40% of national companies have plans for expansion, by comparison. The data suggests optimism and resilience in this market even when factors like rising interest rates, cost of goods, and workforce constraints have played their part in delaying the speed at which these projects & expansion efforts are happening.

We ask every company what their greatest achievement is from the past two years. The analysis fed into ChatGPT produced the following top three themes:

  1. Growth and expansion: This includes increasing sales, adding new team members, expanding the workforce, and building new facilities.
  2. Success during COVID-19: Many companies mentioned their ability to navigate the challenges posed by the pandemic, remaining profitable, and keeping all employees.
  3. Partnerships and collaborations: Several companies highlighted their partnerships with other companies, which led to growth, increased sales, and becoming sole source providers.

Forty-two projects – or about one third of all successful projects since 2019 have been a result of the connections and knowledge shared through Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) Program engagement. Eighteen projects alone have been added into our pipeline in 2023.


In a broad overview, the GFMEDC’s economic impact since 2019 includes:

  • 122 successfully supported projects
  • 2,369 new jobs
  • 3.75 million square feet of utilized space
  • More than $935 million dollars of new capital investment into the region

Our goal is to reach as many of the 400 known primary-sector companies through our BRE program as possible. We aim to offer three outcomes:

  • We share knowledge on programs, resources, and incentives that can support their business
  • We make strategic connections where appropriate – whether with other business support organizations in our ecosystem, connections to educational institutions and career academies, or with other primary-sector businesses who may be ideal partners
  • And we encourage and support company growth by collaborating on projects where we can provide a value-add to get it across the finish line

This year’s BRE program concluded with a Business Development Breakfast in early December. A panel of key experts including Shawn Paschke, Key Accounts Manager of Xcel Energy in North Dakota; Anna Hanson, Sales Director of Bytespeed in Moorhead; and Casey Sanders-Berglund, Economic Development Manager for the City of West Fargo, shared insights on ways the program has supported business success including intentional connections and recommendations made during BRE visits. In addition, the program has helped improve utility services thanks to the collection of business leader feedback. Finally the program has strengthened collaborative relationships to local community and economic development efforts.

If you are a leader at a primary-sector company in Cass or Clay County and want to participate in the BRE program, please contact Joey Ness, Vice President of Business Development, at jness@fmedc.com or take our quick, online survey here.

A huge thank you to Xcel Energy, our sponsor of the BRE program. 

We’re also grateful to every business leader, program partner and investor who has helped this program become a transformative catalyst for regional economic growth.

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