“Somali-owned businesses are an expanding presence in the St. Cloud economy. The Somali population in St. Cloud started to grow in the early to mid-2000s, and immigrant-owned businesses have slowly followed suit.
Haji Yussuf is a St. Cloud resident originally from Somalia and Kenya. He’s CEO of Orange Oak Advertising and is also a community leader for the East African population in St. Cloud. Orange Oak Advertising is a multilingual marketing and advertising company that specializes in creating videos for clients in different languages. The videos can be used to advertise or to help train and instruct immigrants in their native language.
“For example, we recently created a Somali-American video for the St. Cloud Area School District about dining, bullying and other elements of school,” he said. “We’ve also done health videos with CentraCare about child safety and immunization.”
Yussuf estimates there are now between 60 and 70 Somali-owned and operated businesses in town, and he is bullish on the local economy as a whole and for immigrants.”