Ely’s Thriving Small Business Community: The Impact of Northland SBDC Services

Ely economy vibrantly reflected in data

In 2023, Ely experienced significant business development thanks to the Northland Small Business Development Center (SBDC). This information was presented to the Ely Economic Development Authority (EEDA) on January 30 by Northland, prompting Ely City Council member Adam Bisbee to request a report on the impact of Northland’s services on Iron Range communities. The data 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.

Northland provided this data to the EEDA, which was impressed by its findings. 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 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 EEDA contributing $4,000 annually. The program has been successful in promoting small business growth in Iron Range communities like Ely. EEDA President Paul Kess expressed satisfaction with the return on investment in Northland’s services during a discussion of the data.

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