Revitalizing Hibbing Through Small Business Development

Revitalizing Hibbing Through Small Business Development

Posted on March 09, 2018 at 09:45 AM. Written by Entrepreneur Fund

At this year’s annual Hibbing Chamber Dinner, you could feel the energy, excitement and passion in the room. It’s been an incredible year for the city of Hibbing, and the evening’s speakers highlighted big wins and accomplishments across the entire community. Great things are happening in Hibbing. The city is moving toward a very promising future, and it all starts with the success of small business development.


The Entrepreneur Fund team and Molly Solberg at the Hibbing Chamber Dinner

When Marvin Vuicich, President of American Bank of the North and current Board Chair of the Hibbing Chamber, spoke at the Chamber Dinner, he was quick to highlight some of Hibbing’s most important assets. Hibbing is the largest city on the Iron Range. With a growing and talented workforce, a regional airport, a strong community college and a thriving high school, Hibbing is positioned for continued growth and success. New small businesses are emerging, and many of Hibbing’s entrepreneurs are looking to grow or expand their current endeavors. It’s an exciting time to be involved with this great Minnesota city – not a time to think small, but a time to embrace all the opportunities Hibbing has to offer.

Hibbing Business Highlights:

BoomTown Brings Life, Optimism and Vitality to Hibbing’s Downtown

When Jessica and Erik Lietz announced plans to open BoomTown Brewery and Woodfire Grill in the heart of Hibbing, there was some skepticism from the local community about making it in Hibbing. Nobody had done anything like this before, but the Lietzes knew the Iron Range craved something new. A new place to gather, enjoy and celebrate. A place that demonstrated the drive it takes to think outside the box and look toward the future.

Opening their third restaurant on the Iron Range took planning, hard work and support from strategic partners. With flexible financing options, the Entrepreneur Fund provided essential small business financing and connected the Lietzes with experts to help with other important business operations like payroll processing and bookkeeping.

It’s clear that the Lietzes love what they do, from start to finish – and they take great pride in offering new and unique dining experiences to communities on the Iron Range. It’s a lot of work, but it’s the kind of work that makes them tick. They rose to the challenge and have found resounding success by investing in Hibbing.

Read the BoomTown Success Story. 

Small Business Spotlight: Ohana Therapeutic Massage

Ohana Therapeutic Massage has been serving the Hibbing area with professional massage services since 2012. What began as a one-woman operation with Paula Fink providing services within a hair salon quickly grew to a thriving small business in the heart of Hibbing.

With growth comes challenges, so Paula enrolled in our Be Strategic, Grow Your Business program in 2017. Paula completed the program with a solid business plan and strategies to continue growing her business over the next three years. Not surprisingly, she’s already blown her projections out of the water. Revenue has nearly doubled for the business since 2014 and Ohana Therapeutic Massage continues to thrive.

In addition, Paula was recognized for her drive, passion and service with the Champion Award at the annual Hibbing Chamber Dinner. Congratulations, Paula!

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Paula Fink of Ohana Therapeutic Massage

Solid Partnerships Lead to Small Business Success in Hibbing:

We’re all at our best when we work together. That’s no exception in the world of community development and small business growth. The partnerships we form allow us to do more than we ever could on our own. For example, the local community broadband initiative has been a major success in Hibbing this year, bringing in over $133,000 of investment into Hibbing.

One of the best ways to promote and grow a small business is through the use of social media and technology. In Hibbing, the Hibbing Chamber and the Blandin Broadband Initiative joined forces to launch a community-wide contest for no-cost consulting which resulted in many business owners strengthening their digital marketing strategies. Winners of the contest (totaling over 30 small business owners!) are working with Molly Solberg, President of MAS Marketing, to hone their technology and social media skills to attract more customers and drive business growth. This initiative’s success has sparked a desire to launch a similar contest in Ely, headed up by the Entrepreneur Fund.

Julie George joined the Entrepreneur Fund as the Hibbing-area business advisor last June and has been driving business growth in the region ever since. She’s been an excellent addition to our team, and we’re proud that she received the Hibbing Chamber President’s Award for her role in a variety of community initiatives. Great work, Julie!

The Hibbing Chamber of Commerce also recognized the Entrepreneur Fund as the 2017 Partner of the Year. We’re truly honored. Working in Hibbing is rewarding, inspiring and fun. With so many small businesses aiming high for growth, we know there are nothing but good things to come for the Hibbing area.

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Julie George and Shawn Wellnitz of the Entrepreneur Fund                          Julia George of the Entrepreneur Fund and Paula Fink                                                                                                                                                           of  Ohana Therapeutic Massage


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