The Williston City Commission has approved up to $130,000 from the Williston STAR Fund to purchase playground equipment at a new daycare in Williston.

The daycare will be housed in the Crighton Building at Williston State College. Renovations are currently underway. The daycare is expected to open in the fall of 2023.

The owner of Happy Families Daycare has been selected to administer the daycare. Janie Cox also owns and operates a daycare at New Hope Wesleyan Church in Williston.

In other action, the commission approved funding for the third annual XWA Airshow, a grant for the Small Business Development Center’s 2023 operational costs, and a flex pace grant the new owners of Landscape Elements to buydown the interest on their loan.

Keith Olson, Regional Director of the SBDC, works closely with Williston Economic Development. He said the STAR Fund program will help future entrepreneurs follow their dreams.

“The STAR Fund is an integrable part of the SBDC program in NW ND, not just because it helps support our operations, but the tremendous backing they provide our clients,” said Olson. To have an entrepreneurial group supporting our clients and our service truly sets us apart and allows us to maintain this wonderful free service.

Olson’s office is housed at the Williston Center for Development, along with WED. Olson serves entrepreneurs in both McKenzie and Williams Counties.

Shawn Wenko, Williston City Administrator, also approved Mini Match grants for four projects including two new aesthetic businesses, a retail store selling premade meals, and a shop selling off-road and truck accessories.

The following is a full rundown of the projects that received STAR Fund grants in May, 2023:

Flex PACE Applications

Landscape Elements: Two of the company’s original employees are purchasing the business. Carlos Garcia and Hugo Garcia received up to $25,000 to buy down the interest on their loan for the project. Landscape Elements provides landscape, snow removal, and lawncare in the Williston area. The company specializes on larger projects. They are located at 5112 42nd Avenue West in Williston.

Community Build Growth

Small Business Development Center: The SBDC received up to $55,000 from the Williston STAR Fund to support programs for entrepreneurs such as starting and expanding a business in the Williston trade region.

Williston Area Economic Diversification Group: The group received up to $130,000 to purchase playground equipment for the new daycare facility at Williston State College.

XWA Airshow: The third annual Williston Basin International Airshow received up to $50,000 from the STAR Fund to help cover entertainment costs. The airshow will be held August 19th, 2023.

The following applications received final approval from Interim City Administrator Shawn Wenko:

Mini Match Applications

360 Nutrition: The new business was granted up to $5,000 for startup costs. 360 Nutrition offers the convenience of grab and go with the nutrition and flavor of a home-cooked meal. The eatery is located at 1135 2nd Avenue West #205.

D’Lux Lash and Skin: The new business was granted up to $2,400 for marketing, supplies, and signage. The firm provides lash extensions, supplies, and skin care services. The business is located at 313 Main Street #308.

Legends Offroad: The business will provide off-road and truck accessories. Legends Offroad received up to $5,000 to open in a new location and purchase inventory. They are located at 503 2nd Street West.

Permanent Makeup Beauty: The new business received up to $1,790 for equipment, supplies, and marketing. They offer permanent makeup on brows, lips, and eyeliner. The shop is located at 1411 West Dakota Parkway #104 Suite 2A.

Annual Childcare Renewal Applications

CHI Coyote Pups Learning Den: The daycare received $1,300 from the STAR Fund for renewing its North Dakota Childcare license.

LifeChurch Coyote Pups Learning Den: The daycare received $1,300 from the STAR Fund for renewing its North Dakota Childcare license.

The STAR Fund board of directors meets monthly at the Williston Center for Development. For more information about starting or expanding a business in Williston, contact Keith Olson with the Small Business Development Center at 701-570-4260 or

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