|In addition to installing video, sound and security systems for homes and businesses, HB Sound & Light stages large events and concerts throughout the tri-state region.
“People tell us they see our trucks everywhere,” HB Sound & Light President Jamie Lunski says about his Red River Valley company, which is headquartered in Grand Forks.
The multi-faceted enterprise Lunski started nearly 20 years ago finds solutions for clients who are integrating today’s technology into homes and offices.
And whether it’s a conference, concert, dignitary’s speech, marathon, or wedding, HB has a flair for staging events.
Marketing Coordinator Kristen Abner said, “So many people recognize the HB logo but don’t really know about all the products and services we offer.”
The future is now
Installing home theaters, integrated video, audio systems and security has been a part of HB’s business all along. For the past eight years, they’ve responded to a growing demand for smart homes and businesses.
HB works with residential clients to customize home technology systems and the possibilities are endless.
Imagine watching a home movie and, with the click of a single button, the DVD player and surround sound speakers will turn on while the room lights dim and window shades lower.
Have a vacation home? HB can set up a system so you can activate or monitor the heating and cooling or the security system at your lake home while in Grand Forks. Water and carbon monoxide sensors can be installed that will notify you if there is an issue while you’re away – all of this can be done through a smartphone, tablet or laptop computer.
Home security systems are becoming an increasingly popular installation service for HB. These can range from video monitoring, to keyless entry systems, to door alarms. This type of system, Abner says, is particularly helpful for parents who want to ensure their kids are arriving home safely after school or are leaving for a friend’s house.
HB Sound & Light prides itself in providing custom solutions for its customers. “There’s no cookie cutter,” Lunski said. HB works closely with homeowners, he said, to create systems that match their lifestyle and needs and to simplify the way those systems are accessed.
|BBI International produces international bioenergy conferences from its offices in Grand Forks. N.D.
From its Grand Forks headquarters, media company BBI International has become a leading voice for the renewable, clean and unconventional energy industries.
Since first starting in 1995, BBI has honed a business model that maximizes its reach in niche trade areas, combining print and digital publications with annual international industry conferences. They also have a consulting arm, specializing in biofuel and biomass project assistance.
Joe Bryan, the company’s CEO, said BBI’s start came in the early days of the ethanol industry when they saw an opportunity to fill a void as the industry was taking shape. “That’s really where our core reputation started. We had connections to people who helped build the industry.” And today, he says, “BBI is part of the fabric of the ethanol industry.”
He adds, “We’ll always take pride in that. We had a hand in growing the industry.”
BBI publishes Ethanol Producer Magazine, a monthly publication. In addition, they produce the longest-running ethanol conference in the world, the International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo, which annually brings together producers, suppliers, and other stakeholders.
There were, Bryan said, 18 million gallons of biodiesel being produced in 2004 when another of their publications, Biodiesel Magazine, launched. In 2012, production exceeded 900 million gallons.
“We went national ahead of when the industry took off,” he said.
With its biofuels and biomass conferences, magazines, and websites, and ancillary products that include maps and directories, BBI International covers the spectrum in bioenergy matters.
The company has more than 3 million impressions to its websites annually, more than 20,000 magazine subscribers, and more than 5,000 who attend its conferences each year.
BBI does all of this with a staff of about 30, says Bryan. They manage and execute all aspects of their operations in-house, from editorial development, sales, graphic design, and event planning.
|Eric Giltner, Senior Area Manager with the Grand Forks SBA office, provides training and support to small business clients in the region.
Small businesses are big business in today’s economy.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) Grand Forks office is one of the region’s leading resources for small business owners and those with aspirations to become one.
Senior Area Manager Eric Giltner, says his office and its resource partners, specialize in helping small businesses step through the details behind opening new or purchasing existing businesses and put owners on a path to success.
Integral partners in the Grand Forks SBA office’s work are the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and the local SCORE chapter.
“We try to help ensure they cover all aspects of business ownership before they start and really understand what it takes to build a successful business,” he said.
The SBA provides consultative support, helps entrepreneurs gain access to capital financing, and provides guidance to help small businesses sell their products and/or services to the federal government.
A small business, according the SBA, is defined as one with 500 or fewer employees that is independently owned and operated, is organized for profit, and is not dominant in its field. This could be a home-based business like a daycare or a manufacturing company exporting products from the region.
“The Grand Forks SBA office is an integral part of our region’s economic development growth,” said Grand Forks Region EDC Vice President Keith Lund. “Their commitment to support business owners is an important part of helping create employment opportunities and business growth.”
According to the SBA’s most recent report, small businesses represent 96.0 percent of all employers and employ 60.2 percent of the private-sector workforce in North Dakota.
Most of North Dakota’s small businesses are very small, as 71.4 percent of all businesses did not have employees and most employers have fewer than 20 employees.