Collaboration and cooperation between the community and local businesses create what local business owners call "A win-win."
Local Jamestown businesses have been working with those in the Buffalo City to promote programming, events and causes offered in the local area. Local business owners and program directors spoke of the importance of maintaining symbiotic relationships between businesses and the community.
"At the store, we are kind of like a family - we help each other out whenever we need to," said Travis Samshal, store manager at Tractor Supply Company (TSC). "We consider our customers our family as well. We do what we can to support the community and they support us equally. Wherever, whenever possible support local businesses. We try to do what we can for everyone - we try to treat everyone like our family."
Since 2009 TSC has partnered with Prairie Paws Rescue, a local animal foster care system to make sure even those on four legs get to be a part of a family.
"Tractor Supply has been very substantial in helping Prairie Paws not only with food donations but allowing us to come in and do the pet meet and greets the second Saturday of every month," said Kaye John, Prairie Paws co-founder and president. "It's led to us placing these animals in homes. We would rather work in quality adoptions than quantity. We would rather do six good adoptions in a year than a hundred that are willy-nilly."
TSC has suspended the regular meet and greet events for the time being due to the coronavirus pandemic. While unable to hold the monthly gatherings, John said she will support TSC as a business due to the support raised over the last 11 years.
"I tell you what Tractor Supply has been very instrumental in our success at Prairie Paws," John said. "I know a lot of people like to do online pet supply shopping but I am more likely to support a local business versus online because when it comes to donations or when we have a fundraiser those online places are not going to be donating to us as our local businesses are."
As TSC supports the local pet adoption efforts, John said some in the community are returning the favor to the bigtime supporter.
"We are in turn buying personal stuff for our pets to help support them (TSC) too," John said. "A lot of people find out that Tractor Supply supports Prairie Paws they will, in turn, go 'Hey, that's a great thing. I am going to buy my food at Tractor Supply because I believe in Prairie Paws and we want to help reinforce what Tractor Supply does for you.'"
TSC's support doesn't stop with Jamestown's animal foster care system.
"TSC has been a super supporter of 4-H," said Robin Barnes, 4-H program coordinator for NDSU Extension Stutsman County. "In the past, they have held a raffle of a chicken coop and sales of farm hardware with proceeds going to Stutsman County 4-H."
Barnes said TSC has also donated shavings for bedding animals at the fair and pails that could be used to haul water.
"They are always willing to help out," Barnes said. "TSC and Travis Samshal were awarded the Stutsman County Friend of 4-H award for 2018 – this is an award we present to someone or some business that was over-the-top helpful to our 4-H program."
Jamestown's R.M. Stoudt Ford dealership has also been willing to help out the community members. R.M. Stoudt holds the Running of the Pink each year supporting Jamestown Regional Medical Center and Central Valley Health's Women's Way program.
"The money we get from R.M. Stoudt is for our Women's Way program which helps women with breast and cervical cancer screening," said Robin Iszler, unit administrator for Central Valley Health District. "We have very much appreciated their donation over the many years and it helps women locally pay for services when they don’t have resources."
Casey Stoudt, R.M. Stoudt owner, said that in 2019 the dealership had approximately 725 people participate in the 5K walk, the 5K run and the 10K run. Stoudt said the community participation makes it "startlingly emotional" to see people out purposely looking to do good for women.
"That's been certainly one of the most fun things that we do," Stoudt said of the event.
Stoudt said the company foots the bill for the advertising of the annual event and also contributes T-shirts to all participants. All proceeds from ticket sales and any monetary donations are given to JRMC and Women's Way.
"Thirteen years ago a number of us at the dealership had participated in runs that other people had put on for (our business)," Stoudt said. "In the old days, there were a number of races and they all kind of contributed their time and we felt that it was our turn."
Stoudt held the 2020 race on July 11 virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic. Stoudt said the dealership is planning to hold the 14th annual Running of the Pink event on the first Saturday in June 2021.
"I thought would be fun to do that but if we are going to do this we'd better make sure that we are doing it for a good cause," Stoudt said. "Out of really fortunate happenstance, we tied in with JRMC and Women's Way and we just kind of struck it rich. It was just good fortune that turned it into a big deal."