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Ely was identified as a key player in business development in 2023, as reported by the Northland Small Business Development Center (SBDC). This information was brought to light after a presentation by the Northland SBDC to the Ely Economic Development Authority on Jan. 30. Following this presentation, Ely City Council member Adam Bisbee requested a report detailing the impact of Northland’s services on Iron Range communities. The SBDC recently delivered this report, emphasizing the vibrancy of the Ely economy. The data showed that Ely businesses raised $1.853 million in capital, had three new business start-ups, and created and retained 61 jobs, surpassing ten other communities on the Iron Range.

The Timberjay observed a connection 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 growth in local small businesses. The Northland SBDC, a division 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 by federal, state, and local governments, with the Ely Economic Development Authority contributing $4,000 annually to the Northland SBDC.

EEDA President Paul Kess expressed satisfaction with the investment, stating, “I think we’re getting our money’s worth.” The Northland SBDC serves communities on the Iron Range and plays a crucial role in promoting economic development and small business growth in the region.

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