Unlocking Business Growth in Iron Range Communities: The Power of Northland’s Free Consulting and Training Services

Data illustrates the thriving Ely economy

In 2023, Ely was a major player in business development, according to recent data from the Northland Small Business Development Center (SBDC). The Ely Economic Development Authority (EEDA) heard a presentation from the Northland SBDC on Jan. 30, prompting Ely City Council member Adam Bisbee to request a report on the impact of Northland’s services on Iron Range communities. The data provided by the SBDC showed that Ely businesses raised more capital, had more business start-ups, and created and retained more jobs than ten other communities.

The Timberjay highlighted a connection between the number of jobs created or retained and the amount of Northland consulting hours and clients served. This correlation suggests that utilizing Northland’s business services can lead to local small business growth. The Northland SBDC is a part of the U.S. Small Business Administration and offers free consulting and business training to small businesses, start-ups, and individuals interested in starting their own business. The program is funded by federal, state, and local governments, with the EEDA contributing $4,000 annually to serve Range communities.

The positive impact of Northland’s services on Iron Range communities was discussed during a brief presentation at EEDA headquarters in Duluth last week. According to the data presented by Paul Kess, President of the EEDA, his organization has been getting their money’s worth from the Northland SBDC based on its ability to help businesses thrive in comparison to other communities on the Iron Range. He expressed his gratitude towards the program for providing valuable resources that have helped create jobs and promote economic growth in Ely and other Iron Range communities

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