Custom apparel and promotional products firms Go Promo and Green Street Promotions have merged their operations, though they each still carry their own names.

Friends and friendly competitors Casey Glandt and Casey McCullough hope the combined operations give the firms better leverage and buying power with suppliers, improve service and help them expand.

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"The goal is to grow!" Go Promo owner Glandt said Wednesday, Jan. 23.

The firms, which merged Jan. 1, do much of their business in the triangle formed by Fargo-Moorhead, and Valley City and Grand Forks.

West Fargo-based Go Promo focuses on providing the area's high schools, colleges and universities with promotional items, T-shirts and other outerwear.

Meanwhile, Hope, N.D.-based Green Street Promotions specializes in providing corporate customers the same types of promotional and clothing items.

"We built out a decent brand for both of our companies, so we have a decent following and a decent customer list between the two of us," Green Street owner McCullough said.

"Amazingly enough, without stepping on each others' toes because Fargo is a big enough market," Glandt said.

McCullough said they have been able to make their operations more efficient, without layoffs.

"What we've found is the two businesses complement each other very, very well," McCullough said. "Instead of being competition, we found both of our interests to become much more powerful together."

"We have a little more leverage with some of our nationwide suppliers, as far as getting better deals for our customers," Glandt said. And staffers between the two firms share their expertise.

"We allow each other now to pass customers to who has better understanding what that customer base needs or wants," McCullough said.

McCullough started Green Street out of his home in 2009 in Minneapolis. By 2012, he had relocated back to Hope.

Glandt started Go Promo in 2012 "kind of as a side gig." He was working at Fargo marketing agency H2M, while doing freelance for screen print and apparel businesses.

"I saw a lack of creativity and skill in the market, and thought I could give it a go," Glandt said.

He jumped to full time with the business in 2014 "and I haven't looked back. It's been growth ever since. It's amazing how many people need T-shirts and promo items."

Glandt said he is considering opportunities to grow in Jamestown and Bismarck, while McCullough said he would like to do more business in Grand Forks and Minnesota.

The teaming of the talents, "takes away the handcuffs of what we were doing as separate entities," McCullough said.