It was a long time coming, but Spring has finally sprung! Birds are singing, snow has (mostly) melted and greenery is popping up everywhere! As Alaskans all over the state come out of hibernation and start thinking about how to make the most out of the midnight sun, businesses are also gearing up for a big summer!
According to the Alaska Tourism Industry Association, Alaska will see more visitors this year than ever before. The state is projected to host over 2.4 million visitors in 2023, with 1.6 million arriving by cruise ship! These are the highest numbers ever recorded for Alaska. We’re seeing businesses staffing up and investing in new equipment all over the state in anticipation of the rush.
Other industries are seeing similar growth as well. Construction, retail, healthcare and commercial fishing are all hiring as fast as they can to take advantage of the continuing economic recovery. The Alaska SBDC is excited to do our part to help through the launch of the State’s Small Business Credit Initiative program. We are deploying $59 million to support loan and equity investments in businesses statewide. We’ve helped secure everything from a $2.5 million loan to help an aviation business buy a new plane to a $40,000 loan to help a fitness business buy new equipment.
Our advisors are continuing to help thousands of businesses across the state as well through their one-on-one advising, workshops and new tools like the TurboSBIR platform the Alaska SBDC is launching this month to support technology and innovation focused businesses. If you haven’t spoken to an advisor lately to hear about all of the new services and tools we’re bringing online, you should reach out today!
Whether it’s through sharing our staff’s expertise, facilitating funding, promoting buying local through our BuyAlaska program or driving new technology development through our TREND services, the Alaska SBDC remains committed to helping Alaska’s small businesses start, grow and thrive on the Last Frontier. I hope you will continue to reach out to us for help with whatever your business needs to succeed and continue to support and grow Alaska’s economy.
Alaska SBDC Executive Director