Boosting Businesses: The Positive Impact of Northland Small Business Development Center in Ely and Iron Range Communities

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). This was highlighted during a presentation to the Ely Economic Development Authority 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 showed that Ely businesses raised more capital, had more business start-ups, and created and retained more jobs than ten other communities. Additionally, Ely had the highest number of clients receiving Northland services and the most consulting hours provided.

The Timberjay reported 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.

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

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