Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Council hears about business closure

BESSEMER - In a short meeting on Monday night, the city council heard of a downtown business closure.

La Panetteria, a bakery on Sophie Street, plans to close the doors on Friday at 4 p.m.

Bessemer Chamber of Commerce President, Kathy Whitburn, was saddened when she heard the news early Monday.

"I think it behooves us as a city and as a community to reach out to a business if we hear that they are having some type of difficulty and are going to be closing their doors, because it means lost revenue for our own city, as well as lost jobs and just a place to be able to go to," she said.

"I just wanted to make you aware of that," Whitburn said.

She said that it may be a good idea to have regular meetings with businesses, possibly quarterly or bi-annually, to see how they are doing financially and otherwise.

"I think it does lend some value if we can do a better job as a community and city reaching out to our businesses that are within our city," Whitburn said.

According to a community member, the employees are interested in keeping the business going if they can get some help or be directed to where to find assistance.

City manager Mike Usciewicz said there are avenues the city can take to try to help businesses stay in business.

"We don't have cash loans but (the city) can co-sign for loans through the Economic Development Corporation," he said.

"It's just good to know that we have resources available and that they need to know where to go to get those resources," Whitburn said. "... So that we can try to retain some type of a business that is currently in the city."

Councilwoman Linda Nelson also spoke about the Fourth of July event planning. She said the days for the festivities will be June 26 through July 4.

She also said the council usually donates $1,500 to the committee to help cover the costs. The council approved the monetary donation without opposition.

The council also agreed to let Dustin Anderson, Program Director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Northland, in Duluth, to attend a future meeting to discuss the possibility of starting a new club in the area.

The next council meeting is on Feb. 15.

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