One Year Later: U.P. resilient through COVID-19

Despite challenges and changes, the U.P. persevered, relying on the grit it’s known for, its quality of life, affordability, and outdoor adventure and natural beauty. These attributes cultivated new business and attracted remote workers to the region and illustrated what makes the U.P. a truly special place to live and work. Even the Wall Street Journal acknowledged, “The places that will compete the best are those that offer unique amenities–like Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.”

Expand and Attract Business

Response & Resiliency

  • Small businesses across the U.P. like Calumet ElectronicsStormy KromerKobasic CreationsL’Anse ManufacturingPrecision Edge, and Les Cheneaux Distillers shifted operations to fight against COVID-19 and manufacture PPE for essential employees.
  • Through great collaboration between economic development organizations, more than $7 million in state and federal pandemic related grants were distributed to more than 1,000 small businesses and nonprofits across the Upper Peninsula.
  • U.P. hospitals worked together to strengthen regional health care while leading the statewide fight to reopen non-essential services.

Attract, Grow and Develop Talent & Jobs

Promote a Great Place to Live & Work

  • The Pine Mountain Ski Jump Project was completed and will be home to the 2022 World Cup.
  • Iron MountainHoughton and Munising received MEDC support to construct new housing options to the communities.
  • More than 1.2 million people visited Alger County − a historic high for visits. The beauty of the U.P. was a natural draw for people looking to travel safely and spend time outdoors.
  • Rural Development Funds were awarded to Upper Peninsula interests, resulting in significant new investments to upgrade Upper Peninsula outdoor recreational opportunities. Projects include shoreline improvements in Negaunee, campground improvements in Ishpeming and infrastructure improvements for the nationally regarded Noquemanon Trail Network.
  • ChippewaDickinson and Marquette counties all invested into housing studies to further develop the opportunity for workforce housing, and ready the region for remote workers.
  • All three public universities saw students return to campus in August and were open for in-person instruction.
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As a part of our commitment to the Upper Peninsula, we collaborate with partners to share some of the most compelling stories about business and job growth across the region. Our goal through these stories is to get at the heart of what makes the U.P. unique — and to ensure these stories travel beyond our peninsula and broadly illustrate why the UP is the place to live and work.

If you have an idea for an article, please contact a staff or board member at InvestUP.

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