2021 in Review: Upper Michigan’s Economy


UPPER PENINSULA, Mich. (WLUC) – 2021 began with quiet restaurants bound by capacity limits and curfews.

The restrictions induced by the pandemic have caused frustration for business owners.

Including Café Rosetta in Calumet, which refused to comply with state injunctions and was closed and fined by the court. The cafe was finally cleared to reopen in March.

June brought relief to all business owners. Governor Gretchen Whitmer and state health officials have announced that all restrictions related to COVID-19 will be lifted.

“You have shown courage and that is why we are able to stand here today and reverse our broad epidemic orders,” Dr Joneigh Khaldun, former MDHHS director said in June.

There followed a strong demand, but a shortage of employees.

“To have your sales up but you can’t find workers is amazing,” said Bryan French, owner of Aubree’s Pizzera & Grill in September.

The shortage of employees led a longtime UP outlet, The Munising News, to shut down after 125 years.

“The reason we’re closing is that we can’t hire staff. That’s the only reason, ”said Willie Peterson, former owner of The Munising News in March. “Business is good.”

Many business owners hoped that workers would come to the end of federal aid. On September 4, the money stopped, but for many, employee shortages did not.

Another problem is supply chain issues, including blocked ports and a lack of truck drivers. As we move into 2022, many experts say it will likely last.

Locally, our weather conditions experienced shortages, with little snow on the slopes even until February. However, the outdoor activities were back after being closed in early 2020.

But COVID concerns have always led to the cancellation of UP winter staples, like the UP200 and Pine Mountain ski jumps.

In the summer, the July 4th celebrations returned. Locals and tourists alike have flocked to the UP parks. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore continued to have record visits.

Summer has also brought the return of Ore to Shore, Haborfest, and other summer favorites.

This winter, you have once again shown generosity. Over $ 52,000 and 97,000 pounds of food has been donated to help feed a hungry neighbor. This time for the 40th TV6 Canathon.

2021 also brought a significant increase in the number of home buyers in Marquette County. This has led to a lack of inventory and a daring task for first-time buyers.

“I think this is a real challenge for first-time buyers who potentially don’t have a lot of down payment,” Stephanie Jones, Select Reality Agent said in March.

As 2022 approaches, the City of Marquette Commission is still seeking solutions to the lingering problem of affordable housing.

The UP has also seen a lot of economic development. The Dickinson County Health System has agreed to become part of the Marshfield Clinic Health System. UPHS-Marquette and the NMU Foundation have reached an agreement that could redevelop the old property of the hospital.

When the founders landed in Marquette, a busy year of construction continued. A new Fairfield Inn celebrated its grand opening. In addition, new townhouses and a jetty project were approved.

In downtown Marquette, plans for a new hotel, apartments and parking have been proposed.

While plans have been finalized for a new $ 5 million jetty project at Houghton. A busy year for the UP economy with another active year looking likely in 2022.

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