We at the Alaska SBDC hope that your 2019 was as productive and successful as ours was and look forward to sharing even more achievements with you in 2020.
A few highlights from last year include the launch of our new online workshop program with over 20 online on-demand classes, our Rural Business Development program receiving its second year of USDA funding, and our advisors helping over 1,600 clients start 190 new businesses who raised nearly $18 million in funding. The Alaska SBDC also conducted our 3rd annual Small Business Survey and will be releasing the results of that report at the beginning of February. Over 500 businesses across the state participated this year.
Even with all of those successes, we’re not resting on our laurels. We are starting 2020 strong with several new programs and opportunities! Our Retail Program will launch in February in response to the closure of several major retailers in the Anchorage area including Nordstrom, Sam’s Club, Sears, Sport’s Authority, Payless Shoes, and others. The Alaska SBDC will offer training, assistance and in some cases retail space for participants to help them start a business or expand an existing business to take advantage of market opportunities that are a result of those closures.
The Alaska SBDC is also planning on expanding our efforts from Veteran’s Entrepreneurship Week in 2019 when we offered all of our training and workshops for free to veterans. Several hundred people participated, not just from Alaska but overseas as well. Starting in 2020, the Alaska SBDC is proud to announce we will be providing all of our trainings and workshops (a $12,000 value) free to any active duty military, veteran, and spouse year-round. Please contact our Workshop Coordinator, Victoria Hofmann, directly with questions and to register.
This year also marks the 10th anniversary of Lemonade Day Alaska. Our K-12 entrepreneurship program helped more than 1,400 children in 70 communities learn about financial literacy and entrepreneurship through operating a lemonade stand in 2019. These young entrepreneurs earned nearly $500,000 in revenues and donated over $125,000 to charities. This year, we’re planning on an even bigger and better event to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of the program on June 27th! Online registration is set to open Monday, April 13th.
As always, we at the Alaska SBDC are ready to help you start or grow your business. I hope that you will continue to support our efforts in 2020 as we work even harder to diversify Alaska’s economy and support our entrepreneurs!