Northspan specializes in creative thinking, enterprising strategies, and systematic approaches to help businesses, communities, regions, and organizations prosper in a global economy. Our professional staff work cooperatively with economic and community development partners to leverage resources for measurable, sustainable results. As a private, nonprofit consulting firm, we work quietly and confidentially to move projects forward on time and on budget by providing critical, gap capacity support that exceeds client expectations.
Engage & Elevate
To improve the economic well-being of our clients by delivering workable, creative solutions that enhance their effectiveness.
- Inclusive: We foster respect through intentional engagement of stakeholders and seek common solutions to community, business, and organizational challenges.
- Trustworthy: We earn the loyalty of our clients by operating ethically, reliably, confidentially and always with integrity.
- Stewards: We carefully manage the resources entrusted to us and focus on the long-term well-being of our clients and programmatic service areas.
- Adaptable: We offer a broad range of expertise which enables us to seize new opportunities and tailor our offerings to meet our clients’ needs.
- Delightful: We provide satisfaction and joy to our clients by delivering excellent customer service and clear results.
Northspan has been a behind-the-scenes force for economic development for more than 30 years. It was born in 1985 as a private, nonprofit organization to offer professional business and community development services. At the time, northeast Minnesota was reeling from a recession, record high unemployment, and a shrinking tax base.
Northspan’s founders chose its name to reflect its broad mission across the Upper Midwest and formed it as a private, nonprofit fee-for-service consulting group to nimbly address issues while remaining committed to its mission.
Northspan then built a team of professionals with broad capabilities that worked without limits imposed by geography or any professional field. Since its inception, Northspan has spearheaded regional partnerships, lent a fresh perspective, and built deep relationships in the communities it serves.
- Upper Minnesota Film Office Created (1996)
- Carlton County Economic Development Committee Support Begins (1998)
- Aitkin Iron Works Infrastructure federal EDA application (2000)
- LTV Steel Crisis Response, Hoyt Lakes, MN (2001)
- Cirrus Expansion EDA Application (2002)
- Blandin Paper Company Crisis Response, Grand Rapids, MN (2003)
- Minnesota Community Capital Fund Relationship Begins (2003)
- City of Sandstone Technical Assistance Begins (2003)
- Duluth Seaway Port Authority Airpark Expansion EDA Application (2003)
- APEX Start-Up Staffing Assistance (2004)
- Arrowhead Business Connection Rebrand as Northland Connection & Website Launch (2005)
- Midtown Global Market EDA Application, Minneapolis, MN (2005)
- Duluth Defense Base Realignment and Closure Adjustment Planning EDA Application (2005)
- Cloquet Business Park Infrastructure EDA Application (2006)
- Arrowhead Growth Alliance Relationship Begins (2007)
- Range Readiness Initiative Facilitation (2007)
- Cohasset Technology and Innovation Center Building EDA Application (2007)
- Duluth Heritage Sports Center EDA Application (2008)
- ARDC RLF Recapitalization (2010)
- Addition of Valuation and Succession Services (2010)
- Itasca Eco-Industrial Park Infrastructure EDA Application (2010)
- Essar Site Infrastructure EDA Application, Nashwauk, MN (2010)
- Northern Heights Business Park, EDA Application, Virginia, MN (2010)
- Facilitation of Minnesota Power Community Advisory Panels Begins (2011)
- Go Cook County Facilitation Begins (2012)
- Boise Crisis Response, International Falls, MN (2013)
- NORTHFORCE Created (2014)
- Sandstone Business Park EDA Application (2015)
- Duluth 1200 Fund Technical Assistance Begins (2016)
- Addition of SBA 7a Loan Guaranty Sales (2016)
- GPS 45:93 Relationship Begins (2017)
- UPM-Blandin Crisis Response, Grand Rapids, MN (2018)
- East Range Joint Powers Board Relationship Begins (2018)
- Minnesota Opportunity Collaborative Created (2019)
- Go Cook County Update (2020)
Board of Directors
American Bank of the North
Department of Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation
Members at Large
Burggraf’s Ace Hardware & Paint
Cascade Vacation Rentals
Great River Energy
The Lake Bank
Northeast Higher Education District
Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa