The 2020 Annual Report shares data-driven insight into COVID-19’s impact on small businesses and shows how Alaska SBDC and small businesses are taking on the pandemic together.
As part of our commitment to collecting important data to help policymakers better understand Alaska’s small businesses, the Alaska SBDC is proud to share the results of our 4th annual Small Business Survey as well as our analysis of federal CARES Act funding deployed to Alaska businesses in this year’s annual report.
More than 550 Alaska SBDC small business clients responded to the 2020 survey, providing one of the most complete overviews of how Alaska’s small business sector is navigating and working to overcome the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the data collected, the outlook remains tense following 2019 with the added stress of navigating drops in revenue, health and safety mandates, unemployment, and access to funding opportunities.
“Across every industry, we saw a marked decrease in optimism for their business’s financial future,” explained Alaska SBDC Executive Director Jon Bittner. “COVID-19 related issues and the economy were the top two barriers to business in Alaska. When asked what the biggest challenge they were facing this year was, nearly 50% indicated adapting to COVID-19.”
Though bleak, Bittner shared, “On the bright side, an unprecedented amount of federal funding flowed into the state and to local businesses from the CARES Act in 2020. This resulted in 80% of the businesses surveyed who were seeking new funding in 2020 successfully securing it. In spite of that, survey respondents still indicated that the number one way state and local governments could help going forward was more grants.”
To further meet the need of small business owners and entrepreneurs this year the Alaska SBDC is:
- offering all business workshops at no-cost through March 31, 2021
- updating the COVID-19 Resource Center with emerging business information
- leading a Weekly COVID-19 Briefing in partnership with the SBA and Foraker Group
- standing by to support small business owners through no-cost business advising
The Alaska SBDC’s Twitter account will serve to share updates. Join the conversation through @alaskasbdc and #AlaskaSBDC.