Inspired by tourism: A new plan to attract businesses to the Northland

One group of people that seems to be flocking to the Northland is tourists.
Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 11:32 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 12, 2022 at 11:44 PM CST
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DULUTH, MN. (KBJR) - According to the 2020 Minnesota census projections, Saint Louis County will see the biggest population drop in the next 30 years of any county in the state.

But one group of people that seems to be flocking to the Northland is tourists.

“We know that tourism is an important part of the local economy,” said Lauren Bennett McGinty, Executive Director of Explore Minnesota Tourism.

The effort to bring tourists to the area seems to be working.

“Duluth is the number one place to visit outside of the metro,” said Bennett McGinty.

Following that success, tourism and business officials came together Wednesday to plan their pitch to attract workers and business start-ups to the Twin Port.

For Matt Baumgartner, President of the Duluth Chamber of Commerce, the appeal focuses on what Duluth can do for families.

“Raising a family requires access to great medical care, and it requires great neighborhoods, with public safety and unique opportunities,” said Baumgartner.

According to Baumgartner, with two hospitals, Duluth can provide medical care and the Chamber of Commerce is working to bring down housing costs.

The effort is beginning to pay off, they’ve already seen increased interest in business permits coming into the area.

It’s good news after a tough couple of years.

“I know we’re resilient and I know we can get through it,” said Baumgartner.

The roundtable discussion was an extension of a state-wide campaign to bring businesses to Minnesota called Join Us MN.

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