Economic Development

The city of Duluth is the hub of a thriving region in northeastern Minnesota called the Arrowhead. With $9 billion in annual consumer spending and approximately $2 billion planned for new capital investments, Duluth is positioned to benefit from economic opportunities for years to come.

Its international seaport accesses the world through the St. Lawrence Seaway. Natural resources such as taconite (iron ore) and timber helped build the area economy and continue to fuel growth today. Duluth and its neighboring communities have benefited from the expansion of new industries in health care, precision manufacturing, metal fabrication and aerospace.

The Duluth International Airport provides state-of-the-art services from high-speed Internet for travelers to 24/7 air traffic control and radar coverage. More than $73.9 million in capital investments at the airport are either completed or pending, including a new and improved fixed-base operator, Category II instrument landing capabilities to minimize delays in foul weather, auto-pay parking system, in-line baggage screening process, and 24-hour U.S. Customs assistance. The airport also recently completed a $65 million new passenger terminal project.

Retail sales exceed $750 million annually, illustrating Duluth’s growing importance as a regional retail-service-recreation center. The tourism component of our city’s economy generates more than $400 million per year, creating more than 6,800 jobs directly related to the hospitality industry.

Our dedicated workforce demonstrates a strong work ethic resulting in higher productivity and minimal turnover. Our residents choose to live here because of the area’s quality of life and because of our award-winning schools, our 13 college and university campuses and excellent options for health care.

Several organizations proactively partner together to facilitate business expansion and retention.

Attracting and retaining the best performers are key elements in achieving success for any organization.

Business Resources: Start a Business

University of Minnesota, Duluth Center for Economic Development (UMD CED)

Helping Entrepreneurs and Businesses Grow and Succeed. CED offers consulting at no cost to the entrepreneur, business and computer workshops, a business resource library, informational newsletters, and more that will help you to start a business or operate your business more efficiently.

Small Business Development Center

Provides high quality management and technical assistance to small business owners and prospective owners in northeastern Minnesota.

WBD, Inc – SBA 504 loan

The James J. Hill Business Reference Library

Is one of the most comprehensive business libraries in the country. It offers practical business information, in-depth market and industry research and analysis, and business planning assistance.

Start up Journal by the Wall Street Journal

Starting your own business or buying a franchise is tough, even in a strong economy. You’ll have to research the market, secure financing, open a shop, hire employees, and run the enterprise. StartupJournal can help. Our content comes from the powerful editorial resources of The Wall Street Journal, the world’s leading business publication, as well as, industry experts and StartupJournal’s editorial team.

How to Form an LLC in Minnesota

This guide to starting an LLC in Minnesota provides step-by-step instructions on filing formation documents, obtaining tax IDs, and setting up company records.

How to Start a Business in Minnesota

This guide on starting your business in Minnesota provides step-by-step instructions on the paperwork to file formation documents, obtain tax IDs, and set up company records.

Business Resources: Relocate a Business

Area Partnership for Economic Expansion (APEX)

Whether you are a regional business looking to expand or a new company interested in moving to northeastern Minnesota or northwestern Wisconsin, APEX can help. APEX is funded by business for business. We are managed by a seasoned entrepreneurial staff that has access to substantial resources in every facet of business growth and expansion. APEX grows business.

Arrowhead Regional Development Commission (ARDC)

A place where local governments and community-based groups can turn for programs, services, and staffing assistance. ARDC’s professional planners and project coordinators help clients improve their own communities.

Duluth Airport Authority

Many aviation-related businesses choose to operate on airport grounds. From aviation consulting to manufacturing aviation related goods, these companies use the DAA facilities to do business and provide jobs for the community.

Duluth Economic Development Authority (DEDA)

The Duluth Economic Development Authority is designed to promote the economic vitality and industrial development of our community for business development and retention, emphasizing the creation of jobs and increase in tax base. It also strives to continually enhance public and private investments in the business districts of Duluth, and allows for innovative financing based on sound business practices.

Minnesota Power Economic Development

Having worked to either create or preserve some 5,000 jobs since its inception in 1984; the business development services and loan programs available are for growth-oriented, energy-intensive businesses served by Minnesota Power or its wholesale customers.

Northland Foundation

The Northland Foundation provides business loans to help bridge the gaps between other sources of financing available to northeastern Minnesota businesses. Since 1988 they have made over $20 million in business lending investments which were instrumental in leveraging more than $110 million in private investments and creating/retaining 4,600 jobs in our region.

Northspan Group, Inc.

A private, non-profit organization dedicated to the development and diversification of the economy in the upper midwest.

Northland Connection

A dynamic economic development tool for expanding or locating businesses in northeastern Minnesota and the Duluth/Superior Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA).

Professional Women’s Network

The purpose of this organization has three components: MENTORING – Mentor each other and younger women in the community , NETWORKING – Learn more about women in the community, and SHARING INFORMATION – Help each other expand opportunities.