Document Type


Publication Date



threshold levels, south dakota, retail businesses, service businesses

Extension Number

ExEx 9003


Sociology and Rural Studies


What new enterprise would be most likely to suc¬ceed in your community? Is opening a computer store in Buffalo, South Dakota, a good idea? What about a new church? Or a bar? While the goals of churches and taverns differ, the likelihood of success for either can be described in terms of population thresholds. Retail trade is an important part of a rural county’s economy (Blair, Traynor, and Duan 2004). Dehter (1987) saw shopping as a major contributor to high qual¬ity rural life. Each successful rural business improves the economic and social well-being of rural people. Both entrepreneurs and community leaders can use retail threshold calculations to identify the businesses most likely to succeed in rural areas. Retail thresholds are usually calculated at the state level. This report focuses only on South Dakota’s most rural countries. Business pattern data extracted at zip code level allowed us to calculate rural South Dakota’s retail threshold levels. The U.S. Census Bureau provides reliable business data for calculating thresholds.