The Ranger - May 14, 2014


IRRRB News - May 14, 2014

2014 State of Manufacturing survey results shared in Eveleth

State of Manufacturing Logo

On May 12, Enterprise Minnesota discussed the results of its sixth annual State of Manufacturing survey with local business owners and leaders at the IRRRB offices in Eveleth. The survey provides key insights on Minnesota’s manufacturing outlook and the top issues facing the industry. Enterprise Minnesota conducted phone surveys with over 400 Minnesota manufacturing executives and held focus groups across the state to understand manufacturers’ perceptions and opinions on current economic conditions and other factors impacting business.

Results of this year's survey indicate that Minnesota’s manufacturers are more confident in their firms’ future than at any point since 2009. Health care costs, government policies and regulation, and the ability to attract and retain qualified workers also top the list of growing concerns among manufacturers.

View the complete survey results.

Iron Range business owners honored with Labo awards

Labo Logo

The Iron Range business community was well represented at the Joel Labovitz Entrepreneurial Success Awards ceremony held recently in Duluth. Several local business owners took home the following "Labo" awards:

Emerging Entrepreneur Award

Laurentian Monument Granite and Stone – Kandi and Mark Sutich, Virginia

Laurentian Monument Granite and Stone creates natural stone products from granite, marble, and natural waste rock from the mining industry. Products include monuments, counters, tabletops, hardscape and landscape stone, as well as structural, architectural and decorative stone.

Mature Entrepreneur Award

Zup's Market – Edward J. Zupancich, Babbitt

A successful family grocery store business for nearly 100 years, Zup’s Market has expanded its long tradition of civic involvement and hometown pride throughout its Northeastern Minnesota locations. The company is known for its community-centeredness and employing individuals with cognitive disabilities as well as retirees and high school and college students.

Environmentally Engaged Entrepreneur Award

A Laundry Room Inc. – Rebecca Spengler, Ely

Spengler has turned a notoriously high-energy-consumption business into an alternative-energy success. Her laundromat features a solar thermal hot water system, including two 120-gallon tanks, and can heat water up to 120 degrees. Originally a strictly coin-operated laundromat, A Laundry Room Inc. now includes commercial sheet services for healthcare facilities and 14 resorts.

Entrepreneurial Leadership

Kelly Klun, Ely

Klun has dedicated much of her career to the economic and community development of her hometown of Ely. She serves as city attorney and advises on many topics, not just legal issues. She has recently organized the Incredible Ely campaign and the mission to create a diverse and thriving business environment in Ely. Klun is dedicated to ensuring that Ely creates a cultural and business framework for long-term success.  

The Labo awards are presented annually by the UMD Center for Economic Development. Major event sponsors are maurices, WestmorelandFlint, Flint Interactive, IRRRB, Park State Bank, Minnesota Business Finance Corporation, Entrepreneur Fund, KBJR, Greenfield Communications, Cutting Edge Metal LLC, U.S. Small Business Administration, and the Minnesota Small Business Development Centers Network.

It's National Small Business Week!

Small Business Week

Every year, the U.S. Small Business Administration celebrates the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others from across the nation through National Small Business Week. This year's events kicked off on May 12. The goal is to engage the small business community and highlight their importance as innovators and job creators who strengthen the nation’s economy.

In honor of this special week, remember to shop locally and support your favorite small businesses. A great place to start is the Made on the Range website, featuring goods and services from northeastern Minnesota. 

Northeastern Minnesota and Northwestern Ontario launch geotourism project for the Heart of the Continent

Heart of the Continent Map

Organizations in northeastern Minnesota and northwestern Ontario are joining with National Geographic Maps to highlight the attractions of the Heart of the Continent. The project seeks to contribute to economic health by promoting geotourism: tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place — its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage and the well-being of its residents.

An online community-based nomination process will be used to create a National Geographic “Geotourism MapGuide.” The area designated for the map encompasses part of Koochiching and all of Cook, Lake and St. Louis counties in Minnesota and northwestern Ontario. The interactive consumer website will be available late fall or early winter 2014.

Local residents are invited to nominate landmarks, attractions, activities, events and even local foods that define the region’s character. Nominations may be made through June 15, 2014, at

IRRRB supported this initiative with a $40,000 grant. 

The Legend golf course at Giants Ridge is open; Quarry to open May 16

The Legend

The Legend golf course at Giants Ridge opened for play on May 13, and the Quarry will open on May 16.

Giants Ridge has long been considered one of Minnesota's best golf resorts. Year after year, national golf publications have ranked the Legend and Quarry near or at the top of destinations in the world. Just this year, Golf Digest ranked the Quarry the #1 public course in the state and #4 overall. The Legend ranked as the #4 public course in the state and #14 overall. Few other resorts in the nation can claim more than one course in Golf Digest's "Top 100" list. And no other Minnesota resort offers two highly ranked courses of this caliber.

Call today for tee times: 218-865-8030 or 800-688-7669, ext. 8030. Ask about the Spring Season Troon Rewards Special that is running through May 29.   

Read more about the golf courses.

Get social!


If you enjoyed reading The Ranger, we hope you also will like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to stay up-to-date on the latest IRRRB news! 

The Ranger is a publication of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB). Our mission is to promote and invest in business, community and workforce development for the betterment of northeastern Minnesota.