Alaska Small Business Development Center

July 2023 Update from the Alaska SBDC Executive Director

July 13, 2023

There’s something magical that happens in Alaska in the summer. Bears come out of hibernation, birds travel back north for another taste of the midnight sun and salmon start making the long trek to their spawning grounds. The humans that are lucky enough to call this place home aren’t immune to the season’s charms either!

If you’re like me, you’ve spent the last month trying to balance working with getting outside to play. My advice is, go hit the trails or fish those rivers, the TPS reports will be there when you get back.

If you insist on keeping your grind going come sunshine or salmon, we’ve got some exciting new developments that you’re going to want to explore.

We’re excited to announce that the TREND program, Alaska SBDC’s technology and R&D initiative, has a new director! Tyler Arnold, a serial tech entrepreneur and thought leader in tech related businesses started as the new ​TREND Program ​Director this month. If you have or are thinking of starting a technology focused business you’re definitely going to want to talk with him. We’re also going to be announcing the winners of our Phase 0 SBIR grant program soon. These $10,000 grants will help four local innovators grow their ideas into viable products!

The State Small Business Credit Initiative (Alaska SSBCI) program continues to grow as well. We have committed millions of dollars over the past month to help businesses all across the state secure loans. We are also proud to announce the launch of a frontage improvement loan program in Anchorage in partnership with the Municipality’s Anchorage Community Development Authority (ACDA). These low barrier/low interest loans will help businesses across the city improve their curb appeal and grow their revenues.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a proper Alaskan summer if we didn’t have tourists! Businesses in the coastal communities and the interior have seen record numbers of visitors this year from all over the globe. Hotels and restaurants have been packed and the various activity providers across the state are booked solid until fall.

For those of you looking to get more visibility with clients, both visitors and locals, I highly recommend checking out our BuyAlaska program. Katie Nave, the BuyAlaska ​​Program Director, has been developing some amazing collateral and services for businesses and communities to help people shop local.

I could go on and on about all of the ways that the Alaska SBDC can help you and your businesses start, grow and succeed but Harley, our amazing ​Comms Manager tells me I’m already WAY over on my word count. The bottom line is, the Alaska SBDC continues to be committed to helping the state’s small businesses and entrepreneurs succeed any way we can. Hopefully we can find the time to catch a few fish along the way as well.

 

Jon Bittner
Alaska SBDC Executive Director

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