Weather Forecast


The Memo: What to know in business for the week of Oct. 8

The Number: 1,714

That's how many Northeastern Minnesota jobs were supported by exports to Canada in 2017, according to a study from the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at UMD. Those jobs jumped 20 percent between 2016 and 2017 amid the iron mining resurgence, and with a new trade deal smoothing out relations, we're all on course to be Jets fans.

The Word: "If you were against NAFTA, this new agreement isn't very different like the president says. If you're in agriculture, manufacturing — if you're adapted to NAFTA, you can probably breathe a sigh of relief," said Robert Kudrle, a professor and trade expert at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. The new deal does put the U.S. first — in the name of the agreement, USMCA, which itself was subject to the typical cycle of social media ridicule. President Trump said the name sounds good, "like YMCA," which prompted many on Twitter to rename the deal entirely to the Yankee-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Congress still needs to approve the pact — and they could presumably change the name. I guess contact your representatives with suggestions?

The Lead: Let's turn our attention back to local trade. SMDC Medical Center (Essentia) recently traded $2.4 million for the office building at 405 E. Superior St. That's a corner to watch as the Vision Northland project progresses and new buildings go up over the next several years.

The Happy Hour: Duluth Grill can seem like Marcia Brady sometimes — so much attention! Sorry to all the Jans out there, but making People Magazine's list of top breakfast restaurants in each state is worth another mention. And there it was.

The Meeting: Head West

Catch up with the West Duluth Business Club at the monthly meeting from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday at Mr. D's. This month's guest speakers include Debbie Isabell-Nelson of the Morgan Park Safe and Fun Task Force and Superintendent Bill Gronseth, who will be sharing some info on the upcoming ballot questions. It's free, though you're on your own for lunch. Can't make this one? It's the second Wednesday of every month — get it on your calendar.

The Memo is a weekly roundup of things to know, ya know? Send business news of all kinds to and give local trade reporter Brooks Johnson a call every now and then at 218-723-5329.

Brooks Johnson

Brooks is an investigative/enterprise reporter and business columnist at the Duluth News Tribune.

(218) 723-5329