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U.P. Businesses and People
Continue to Thrive!

2021 Year in Review

More than

$ 0

is being invested into the U.P.’s infrastructure.

More than


across the region opened for business or expanded and created jobs.


of U.P. Hospitals
0 %

expanded or joined larger healthcare systems to advance rural healthcare options.

More than

$ 0

record visitors

More than

$ 0

was invested into the region to grow and retain the workforce.

to Mackinac Island and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

is committed to development and expansion projects.

More than

$ 0

was invested into the region to grow and retain the workforce.

record visitors

to Mackinac Island and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

More than

$ 0

is committed to development and expansion projects.

The never-ending grit and determination of businesses and their people in the Upper Peninsula is demonstrated by the region’s successes in 2021.

And of course, the region’s quality of life, outdoor adventure opportunities, and natural beauty continued to make the Upper Peninsula a great place to work, live, play, and do business.

U.P. Businesses and People

continue to thrive!


Business Development

SAULT STE. MARIELake Superior State University selected as Hub for U.S. Coast Guard National Center of Expertise for the Great Lakes

HOUGHTONOrbion Space Technology raises $20M in a Series B funding round, wins MVCA “Financing of the Year” Award

MARQUETTETrenary Toast Cafe opens in Marquette

MARQUETTEFairfield Inn in Marquette celebrates grand opening

ISHPEMINGIshpeming Taco Bell opens in September

IRON MOUNTAIN: Dickinson County Healthcare System secures $16.9M USDA loan

IRON MOUNTAIN95-room, all-suite hotel planned in downtown Iron Mountain, $16M project

ESCANABABayBank opens new branch in Escanaba

ESCANABANorthern Lights YMCA moves to former M-Tech building on Bay College Campus

ESCANABAPeninsula Federal Credit Union opens new building

UPPER PENINSULAHigher education institutions bring $1B to U.P. economy

HOUGHTONMichigan Tech’s GLRC receives $44K to help advance region as hub for maritime industry

MACKINAC ISLANDMackinac Island tourism sets revenue record in 2021

BARAGAVan Straten Enterprises, Inc. awarded “Car of the Year” at the SEMA awards for its X3 Solar Generator/Charging System in partnership with Ford on the Ford Mustang

MUNISINGPictured Rocks sees 1.5M visitors in 2021 season

GLADSTONEBiggby Coffee opens for business

GLADSTONE: Bronzeback, Inc. relocates to Gladstone. Downtown Gladstone is attracting new businesses and enhancing its curb appeal with building updates

GLADSTONEWater’s Edge Chiropractic relocates to historic Rialto Center in Gladstone

ESCANABAK9 Cosmetology opens its doors

ESCANABAKey Reality relocates to newly renovated building

ESCANABAState Wide Real Estate opens at new location, allowing business to grow employees

ESCANABAHoly Name High School reopens after being closed for 45 years

ESCANABAMichigan Planners opens business in downtown Escanaba

LUCE COUNTY: Almost $11M distributed into community through COVID-19 loans and grants

NEWBERRY: Northern Michigan Wood Products (a cedar sawmill operation) opens

NEWBERRYBee Wise Farms thrived and grew during COVID-19

NEWBERRYPine Stump Junction creates large outdoor covered dining area with warming stations for snowmobilers

MARQUETTEKall Morris, a space-tech startup, wins the $10,000 prize at the first-ever virtual pitch event hosted by the Center on Rural Innovation

HOUGHTONSignature Research moves into new facility in Houghton Industrial Park

IRON MOUNTAINJD Castings expands, creating a $770,000 investment and 24 jobs

IRON MOUNTAINBOSS Snowplow expands twice (manufacturing and office space) in 2021, totaling 59,700 sq. ft.

HARRISIsland Resort and Casino‘s $33M expansion moves to Phase 2. Expansion includes 130 additional rooms as well as a large restaurant and indoor water park. This brings the total capacity to 435 rooms—making it the largest venue north of Milwaukee

MARQUETTEVeridea Group acquires First National Bank Complex, a $10M renovation resulting in 200 jobs

CALUMETREL, Inc. completes expansion, bringing manufacturing facility to over 32,000 sq. ft.

IRON MOUNTAINSystems Control acquires Keystone Electrical Manufacturing Co.

UPPER PENINSULA: Three U.P. companies awarded more than $190K to expand and improve capabilitiesDeGrief’s ProcessingTrenary Toast Bakery, and Upper Peninsula Masonic Association

IRON COUNTY: 10 new businesses open doors in Iron County and continue to thrive and contribute to local economy

HOUGHTONSomero Enterprises breaks ground on 50K sq. ft. expansion

MARQUETTE: Northcross Group opens office in First National Bank building in Marquette



MARQUETTE/KINROSS: Sawyer International and Delta County airports each receive more than $5M in FAA grants

City of Hancock awarded $2.7M grant from U.S. EDA to provide flood-resilient infrastructure for new business and technology park, expected to create 61 jobs, retain 147 jobs, and generate $17M in private investment

Houghton County Memorial Airport awarded $1M FAA grant

Houghton County secures finalizing flood money

$6M upgrade to County Road 407

Highline Internet bringing 6,000-mile fiber network, starting in Delta County but will continue to expand service throughout U.P.

City of Gladstone and Gladstone DDA sponsor a makeover of 9th street, including new underground water management systems and paving—a $4.8M project funded through municipal bond


Community Vitality

MANISTIQUE: Vacant building in downtown Manistique (107 River Street) receives MEDC support to redevelop into four residential units (total cost of $494,534 with private investment of $123,817)

IRON MOUNTAINImagination Factory Children’s Museum opens

HOUGHTONCity of Houghton receives $4M for Pier Placemaking Project

MARQUETTEMasonic Arts, Theatre, & Innovation Company receives $49,800 grant from State of Michigan

ISHPEMINGHematite Art Park completed after successful crowdfunding campaign with support from MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places initiative

MARQUETTENTN and MEDC raise over $30K for Carp River Bridge project

IRON MOUNTAIN/KINGSFORD/NORWAYDickinson Trail Network expands and creates more trails

HOUGHTONMichigan Tech COVID-19 Lab recognized by state leadership

SAULT STE. MARIELake Superior State University awarded for joint collaboration with War Memorial Hospital to create mobile Acute Container Care Pods

DOLLAR BAYHorner Flooring provides special event flooring for volleyball play at 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games

AMASAConnor Sports manufactures premium hardwood court at Fiserv Forum—the home court of NBA Champions Milwaukee Bucks

ESCANABAU.P. State Fair returns and sets daily records—the largest economic impact of any event in Delta County

ESCANABADedication and formal grand opening of the Marble Arms Outdoor Exhibit & U.P. Military Museum

UPPER PENINSULA: $690K awarded to five U.P. counties through DNR Waterway Grants

CHASSELL/SAULT STE. MARIE/AHMEEKThree U.P. communities awarded energy efficiency upgrades from EGLE, totaling $42,000

MARQUETTEVeridea Group proposes new $20M housing development, creating 60-70 duplexes

COPPER HARBORCo​pper Harbor ranked as top ice fishing destination for 2022


Human Capital

IRON MOUNTAINDickinson County Healthcare System signs Letter of Intent to join Marshfield Clinic Health System, advancing rural healthcare delivery options

MANISTIQUESchoolcraft Memorial Hospital expands to increase patient services and better serve community

SAULT STE. MARIEWar Memorial Hospital and MidMichigan Health sign agreement making War Memorial Health the eighth Medical Center in the MidMichigan Health System


Jobs & Growth

GWINNSuperior Extrusion, Inc. broke ground on a $20.4M expansion at Sawyer International Airportexpected to create 44 new jobs

MARQUETTESISU Innovation Institute opens at NMU ensuring that learners are provided the education experiences needed for the jobs of today and into the future

ESCANABAEscanaba Area Public Schools receives $160K grant from Upper Peninsula Manufacturing Consortium to prepare students for careers in trades

UPPER PENINSULAU.P. Michigan Works! awarded nearly $1.7M in MiLEAP funds, $1.4M in GoingPro Talent funds, $550K in State Apprenticeship Expansion grants, $400K in MiREACH funds, and $250K in MICA 3.0 grants—totaling $4.3M—to create a Training and Education Collective and boost the U.P. workforce

UPPER PENINSULA: First-year enrollment increases at all four U.P. universities—LSSUMTUFU, and NMU as well as Bay College—expected to bring thousands into U.P. economy

LUCE$1.2M investment at Tahquamenon Falls to build pedestrian bridge

MARQUETTEInnovate Marquette secures Capital Challenge grant from U.S. EDA’s Build to Scale program, infusing $611,911 into local economic development efforts over next three years

SAULT STE. MARIEU.S. Department of Commerce invests $3.5M to support manufacturing growth in Kincheloe

SAULT STE. MARIE: Chippewa Government Solutions gains 8(a) status and awarded a $7M contract from the U.S. Army, providing multiple high-tech, high paying jobs

SAULT STE. MARIE: The Sault Tribe Economic Development Corporation breaks ground on a 20,000 sq. ft. light industrial complex

UPPER PENINSULAU.P. Michigan Works!, through its Career and Education Advisory Council, retains local talent by connecting businesses with educators to solve local workforce challenges

UPPER PENINSULA4 U.P. businesses receive total of $100K to support jobs and grow Michigan’s economy

*The amount of investment depicted only represents what has been shared with us or is publicly reported. As a result, this amount is likely under-reported.

Download a copy of the 2021 Year in Review PDF

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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