Ely Thrives as Top Small Business Development Center on Iron Range: Expert Services Drive Local Economy Forward

Data illustrates the thriving Ely economy

In 2023, Ely emerged as a major player in business development, according to recent data from the Northland Small Business Development Center (SBDC). This information was presented to the Ely Economic Development Authority (EDA) on January 30 by the Northland SBDC. Ely City Council member Adam Bisbee requested a report on the impact of Northland’s services on Iron Range communities after hearing the presentation.

The data revealed that the Ely economy was thriving compared to other communities on the Iron Range. Ely businesses raised more capital, had more business start-ups, and created and retained more jobs than ten other communities. Furthermore, Ely had the highest number of clients receiving Northland services and the most consulting hours provided.

The Timberjay highlighted a correlation between the number of jobs created or retained and the amount of Northland consulting hours and clients served. This suggests that utilizing Northland’s business services can lead to local small business growth. The Northland SBDC is 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.

EEDA President Paul Kess expressed his satisfaction with the program based on the data presented, stating that they are getting their money’s worth from the Northland SBDC. This brief discussion showcased the positive impact that SBDC’s services have had on Ely and other Iron Range communities.

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