How we can help you

The Ontonagon County Economic Development Corporation is very interested in assisting your company in establishing a new business in Ontonagon. We invite you to meet with us to discuss your plans and we thank you for your interest in creating economic opportunities in Ontonagon.

Business Counseling Services

An entrepreneur’s first resource for starting a small business in Michigan is the Biz Resource Center (BRC), a partner program of the Small Business & Development Center. It provides a one-stop location where current and future small business owners can access information needed for the successful launch of a small business. Available resources include the latest computer technology, hardware and software, and an extensive small business reference library of hard-copy books and publications to help you plan or expand your business. All resources are offered to the public at no cost. Please visit one of the 17 statewide BRCs near you, or visit Michigan Works! for more information.

Counseling services are available to anyone who is interested in starting a new business or to anyone currently in business. The counseling sessions are free of charge and are held in the EDC office in the Ontonagon County Courthouse. Anyone interested can call the EDC office at 906-884-4188 for an appointment.

Tax-Free Renaissance Zones

A Renaissance Zone is a region designated by the State of Michigan to be TAX FREE for any business currently in or moving into these regions. Ontonagon County has an industrial zone located in the Village of Ontonagon and a multi-use zone located in Ewen (McMillan Township).

By law, Renaissance Zones fully waived these state and local taxes until the year 2009 and partially until 2012.

• Michigan Single Business Tax
• Local Personal Property Tax
• Local Real Property Tax
• Local Income Tax

Village of Ontonagon Renaissance Zone
• Light industrial
• 50-acre site in Village of Ontonagon
• Municipal utilities
• Rail access available
• Located on Class A highway

McMillan Township Renaissance Zone
• 270-acre site targeted to multi-family residential, assisted living facilities, small business or light industrial facilities
• 25,000-square-foot building available
• 15-year tax exemption from local and Michigan state taxes
• Matching fund for light industrial or small business development startup costs

Revolving Loan Fund

The Ontonagon County Economic Development Revolving Loan Fund is a “gap financing” tool, used to assist in industrial and commercial start-up or expansion projects which will result in job creation in Ontonagon County. The State of Michigan awarded Community Development Block Grants to the county in 1985. These funds were loaned to Copper Range Company to assist in reopening the mine. When the funds were paid back, the RLF was created.

The RFL interest rates are based on the commercial bank rates.

The Revolving Loan Fund gives assistance for new and existing businesses. Some who have been helped with the Revolving Loan Fund are:

• A&D—Porcupine Mountain Chalet Improvements
• Brambleberry
• Building Block Child Care Center
• Camp One
• Customer Metal Fabrication
• Ewen Appliance Center
• Flo-Wall
• Great Lakes Wood Products
• Harbor View Business Center
• Matchwood Forest Products
• New motel, Silver City
• Northwoods Candlelight Inn
• On the Noggin
• Ontonagon DDA Spec Building
• River Pines RV Park & Campground
• SubTerra L.L.C.
• Tom’s Service Center
• White Pine Industrial Park
• Wuolo Creek Kennels

Any business or developer with a project which creates and/or retains jobs in Ontonagon County can submit an application for RLF financing. For more information on an RLF loan, contact the EDC or Dale Cook of Northern Initiatives.


• Recently updated water and sewer in several communities
• Upper Peninsula Power Company with substation within 200 yards
• Escanaba & Lake Superior Railroad
• County airport facility
• Commercial harbor with available dock space
• Located on Michigan Highway M-38, a year-round Class A Highway
• High-speed Internet access
• Deep water port