The year 2020 will not soon be forgotten, even though many people would like to forget about it.

The coronavirus crisis began in March, instances of racism and civil unrest happened in the streets during the summer, and a volatile political climate shaped the year. Economically and otherwise, it was a tough year for many businesses and families as COVID-19 took away lives and livelihoods. Witnessing the grief brought many others to tears.

Through the year of turmoil and pain, however, there were some bright spots: The selflessness of frontline health care and other essential workers, who tried to bring a sense of compassion and normalcy to a year that was far from normal.

Some businesses struggled, others thrived – and the news kept being reported, including trend and other stories from Prairie Business.

Below are some of those stories from the magazine in 2020:

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January: Attorneys in Small Towns

The story highlighted how big-city firms are doing small-town lawyering in the prairieland, and how institutions of higher learning are helping grow the rural firms with the schools’ justice programs. The story by Prairie Business Editor Andrew Weeks profiled Joshua Wolfe, an attorney in Minot, N.D., and it won first-place in the business category of a statewide contest.

February: Finance Security in the Age of the Neo Bank

In Prairie Business' finance and banking issue, Sam Easter tackled the topic of banking security in the modern world and what financial institutions are doing in the region to make the customer experience safe and effective while using technology.

March: Top 25 Women in Business

Prairie Business’ annual Top 25 Women in Business was the cover and main feature in the March issue, in which 25 of the region’s most exceptional women were profiled. There also were stories about women doing other extraordinary things in the business world.

April: Rediscovering the Magic of Minot

A story about the business happenings of Minot, N.D., took center stage in the April issue. Profiled in the story and on the cover was Minot Mayor Shaun Sipma, who shared his excitement about the many things underway in the city, which has a population of around 45,000. One focus of the story was how businesses were seeking to attract and retain a high-caliber workforce.

May: Data Protection and Employee Productivity During Remote Work

This timely story discussed trends as more people were sent home to work remotely during the pandemic, and what that meant for businesses. It also tapped the suggestions of regional experts to discuss ways in which employees can better protect their personal and company files while working away from the office.

June: Rethinking Design in a Post-pandemic World

Another timely topic was the story about what architecture and engineering firms are doing to create buildings that will be safer in a post-pandemic world, such as ways to mitigate or lesson virus spread in buildings. Several things began trending, and experts in the field discussed what those trends were and what to watch for in the future.

July: Leaders & Legacies

Prairie Business was pleased to list 10 of the region’s top business professional for the prestigious Leaders & Legacies award. These individuals are executives who demonstrate a high level of success in their respective fields. Prairie Business looks forward to listing another batch of exceptional leaders in 2021. WATCH the video of Prairie Business' first-ever virtual awards ceremony.

August: The One-town Punch of Modern Agriculture

This story by Sam Easter looked at trends in agriculture during the pandemic, and how farmers and ranchers in the region have been impacted by the virus and what they are doing to overcome the hardship. The month's cover story took a peek into manufacturing, an industry that continues to play a big part of the economics of the upper Midwest.

September: 50 Best Places to Work

Prairie Business’ September issue profiled 50 of the region’s best places to work. In this contest, employees from businesses across the region nominated their company. Those that received the most votes were among the recipients. Once again, congratulations to all!

October: A Grand Venture in Technology

Besides highlighting some construction projects in the region, this issue profiled Grand Farm in Fargo, N.D., which is creating new trends in agriculture. The farm of the past, or even of the present, is not the farm of the future and ever-improving technology, much of it developed and tested at Grand Farm, is the reason. It’s a good follow up to the August story about agriculture. Story by Sam Easter.

November: Finding Solutions with Environmental Engineering

This trend story discussed ways students in environmental engineering at regional colleges and universities are using their skills to improve local communities, especially in light of the pandemic, and what that means for the future. How can a new approach to testing wastewater helps detect the virus, for instance, and ways that study may help isolate and lesson the spread.

December: 40 Under 40

Prairie Business’ annual 40 Under 40 list named young professionals in many fields, who have excelled and demonstrated a high-level of success in their careers. These are professionals, all under the age of 40, who also give back to their communities.

Thank you for reading Prairie Business in 2020.