HANCOCK — A new year means new business opportunities and entrepreneurs across the Houghton area wasted no time gathering ideas Wednesday morning. The ‘Million Cups of Coffee’ meeting is being held in Hancock.

About 40 to 50 business owners are gathering for the Keweenaw Alliance breakfast. Held every year it lets business owners know how the area is doing in dollar and cents.

Jeff Ratcliffe is with the Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance and says, “It’s to provide a broader overview of our economy and the broader community efforts at implementing the Keweenaw strategic planning.”

The yearly report is given in conjunction with the One Million Cups of Coffee meeting. Owners are able to do brief presentations about what they want to start or the challenges they may be facing. They’re able to get feedback from peers.

Ratcliffe continues saying, “It’s really designed to create a regular forum for start-ups, for people thinking about starting businesses and sometimes even existing businesses.”

The owner of a Swift Hardware in downtown Houghton always attends. Already in business for a number of years she was impressed by efforts that could bring in more tourists. Marilyn Swift says, “The main thing that I saw was that they’re going to work on the trails, the snowmobile trails and even the bike trails.”

The plan would connect the trails that run from Copper Harbor to Houghton, down to Chassell and down to Baraga. It’s an example of a business move that would be a win for all.