The EEDA serves as a single point of entry for economic development inquiries and offers a comprehensive suite of project management services to companies and consultants.

Ely Business Opportunities


The Ely Economic Development Authority assists existing companies with their retention and expansion efforts, works with entrepreneurs starting new businesses and helps those enterprises interested in relocating to Ely, Minnesota.

We have assembled a variety of services to help your business regardless of where it is in its lifecycle. Feel free to request specific services by contacting us.


The Ely Economic Development Authority is a connector in the true sense of the word. Our economic development team links companies with incentives matched to their aspirations. Far from a “one size fits all” approach, we help companies navigate the offerings appropriate to their project.

Commercial Redevelopment

The Commercial Redevelopment Grant Program assists cities, townships and counties in demolishing dilapidated commercial or industrial buildings and cleaning up brownfields. Redevelopment of previously used commercial sites into viable development sites as well as the removal of blighted and unsafe buildings contributes to the vitality and economy of the region.

Eligible applicants include Cities, Townships, Counties and Tribal units of government within the agency’s service area. Multi-organization collaboration is welcome and the EEDA can assist businesses by facilitating applications through the IRRRB.

Contact: Chris Ismil, (218) 735-3010, chris.ismil@state.mn.us

Business Lending Opportunities

There is also additional business lending assistance opportunity for qualified applicants organized by the EEDA with sponsorship support from our lending partners:

The Northland Foundation
Business Loans. Offering flexible lending to help small and medium-size businesses start up and grow, for a thriving rural economy with family-sustaining jobs. Convening, Training, and Special Initiatives. Providing learning opportunities and special initiatives alongside funding and technical assistance partners.

Contact: Michael Colclough, (218) 723-4040, michael@northlandfdn.org

The Northeast Entrepreneur Fund
The Entrepreneur Fund provided financing on over 125 projects in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin in 2017. This was a direct result of strong relationships with our banking partners. We have continued to find success in providing financing for businesses in our region and continuing to work with our banking partners in 2018.

The Entrepreneur Fund and our banking partners share common goals – to support small businesses seeking growth and foster a healthy regional economy. The Entrepreneur Fund offers flexible financing and strategic services to small businesses designed to be complementary to bank financing and strengthen your customer relationships.

Contact: (218) 623-5747, info@entrepreneurfund.org

Private Lenders/Community Banks
The EEDA can and has, at the request of clients, assisted in facilitating financing opportunities for potential projects with Banks and other private lenders. We can provide a list of banks that have indicated in the past their interest in community projects and employers.

The EEDA is NOT a typical lender but a facilitator. The EEDA does have an energy lending program that is tied back to the BER program and requires a match and a collateral position in the improved property. Details furnished upon request.

Contact: John A. Fedo, (218) 969-5192, jorlfedo@paulbunyan.net

Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation (IRRRB)
The EEDA provides access to qualified businesses and individuals, access to a variety of business assistance and infrastructure improvement programs.

Contact: John A. Fedo, (218) 969-5192, jorlfedo@paulbunyan.net

Business Energy Retrofit Program

The Business Energy Retrofit (BER) program is funded by Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation and administered through a partnership with Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency (AEOA) to assist business owners with energy efficient improvements to their buildings.

Contact: Vincent Meyer, (218) 735-6828, Vincent.Meyer@aeoa.org


Ely and our surrounding townships offer companies a range of flexible real estate options. Whether companies seek shovel-ready, build-to-suit sites, high visibility retail, or acreage in employment and technology parks, the options are abundant. With its intimate network of commercial brokers, range of real estate, and resources, the city can accommodate a variety of business needs.


The City of Ely has a municipally owned and operated electric utility managed by the Ely Utilities Commission. The EUC provides electric distribution service to all Ely residents and businesses. The City of Ely is supplied power by Minnesota Power.

Within the City of Ely, residents and businesses can connect to a state of the art communication network. Several companies offer local phone and competitive information services, such as internet access, long distance, and television, in the Ely area. Currently, in its initial phase of development, a fiber network may offer its services to locations throughout the Ely community.


In a competitive marketplace, how do you move the needle on your business goals? Ely’s location, strong workforce base, and lower business costs propel companies forward.

Need more information about population and demographics in the Ely region? Contact us for assistance anytime.