Ely Small Businesses Thrive with Northland SBDC Services: Report Reveals Significant Impact on Iron Range Communities

Ely economy vibrantly reflected in data

Ely City Council member Adam Bisbee requested a report on the impact of Northland Small Business Development Center (SBDC) services on Iron Range communities after hearing data highlighting significant business development in Ely in 2023. The report revealed that Ely businesses had raised more capital, started more businesses, and created and retained more jobs than other communities on the Iron Range.

The Northland SBDC, which is part of the U.S. Small Business Administration, offers free consulting and business training to small businesses, start-ups, and aspiring entrepreneurs. The program is funded through federal, state, and local governments, with the Ely Economic Development Authority contributing $4,000 annually.

EEDA President Paul Kess expressed satisfaction with the return on investment in Northland’s services during a discussion of the data. Additionally, the report showed that Ely had the highest number of clients receiving Northland services and the highest number of consulting hours provided by Northland. A correlation was found between the number of jobs created or retained and the number of consulting hours and clients served. This indicates that utilizing Northland’s business services promotes local small business growth.

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