Data illustrates the thriving Ely economy

Ely: The Thriving Iron Range Small Business Hub Thanks to the Northland SBDC

The Northland Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has recently released data showing that Ely was a major player in business development in 2023. According to the data, Ely businesses raised more capital, had more business start-ups, and created and retained more jobs than ten other communities on the Iron Range. 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 the Ely economy was thriving compared to other communities on the Iron Range. Ely also had the highest number of clients receiving Northland services and the most consulting hours provided. This positive impact was highlighted by Paul Kess, President of the EEDA, who expressed his belief that they are getting their money’s worth from the Northland SBDC based on this data.

The Timberjay reported 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 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.


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