Boosting Business Growth: The Impact of Northland Small Business Development Center on Iron Range Communities

Ely economy vibrantly reflected in data

In 2023, the Northland Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provided data that showed the significant business development in Ely. This information was presented 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 report revealed that Ely businesses raised more capital, had more business start-ups, and created and retained more jobs than other communities on the Iron Range.

The data also showed that Ely had the highest number of clients receiving Northland services and the highest number of consulting hours provided by Northland. The Timberjay pointed out a correlation between the number of jobs created or retained and the number of consulting hours and clients served, indicating that utilizing Northland’s business services promotes local small business growth.

The Northland SBDC, a 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. During a discussion of the data, EEDA President Paul Kess expressed satisfaction with the return on investment in Northland’s services.

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