Garrett Larson, the owner of Ronnings stores in Baudette, Roseau, Thief River Falls, and International Falls, has been named the 2023 SBA Minnesota Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
SBA’s Minnesota District, which announced the recognition this month in a press release, will recognize Larson and all other 2023 state winners at an invitation-only event next month as part of National Small Business Week.
Larson owns and operates four Ronnings stores in greater Minnesota; he is actively looking to add in a fifth store in either Park Rapids or Detroit Lakes. Ronnings stores sell medium- to high-end brand name clothing, outerwear, and footwear for all ages, as well as toys, home décor and gifts.
Larson is a next-generation Ronnings owner. His parents purchased the Ronnings store in International Falls in 2001 and opened the Baudette store in 2003; Larson went on his first buying trip with his father at age 12. After graduating college in 2016 with a business administration degree, he began managing individual Ronnings stores full-time and in 2017 led the opening of the Roseau store. In 2018, he transitioned to a corporate-level position overseeing operations at all of the stores.
Working with Grant Oppegaard from the SBA and Northwest Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Larson in 2020 purchased all of the Ronnings stock and took over as owner/operator. Today, he remains passionate about retaining and growing with career-minded employees and has introduced benefits such as a bonus incentive program, health insurance, and a 401K with 6 percent company match on top of increasing employee’s annual compensation.