Alaska Small Business Development Center

May Update from the Alaska SBDC Executive Director

May 3, 2024

Sometimes, I wonder if other states are as seasonal as Alaska. Not just the changes in our weather but even how the long, sleepy winter seems to give way to a rush of events, visits, travel, and other activities every year around this time.

I don’t know about you, but we here at the SBDC have been absolutely swamped with new programs launching, visits from VIPs, events, and more. On top of that, all of our favorite small businesses are talking about the influx of a new season of tourists looking for that authentic Alaskan experience!

Jenny Glass from the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank and Cathy Choe from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation were in town last week, hosting events in Anchorage and Fairbanks to help businesses and lenders access capital and technical assistance resources.

I was honored to speak at both events on SBDC’s work and showcase the results of our annual Small Business Survey. I also MC’d the Small Business Administration’s annual Small Business Awards ceremony at the BP Energy Center. Congratulations to the impactful Alaskan businesses and lenders that won this year!

On top of all the VIPs and awards, the Alaska SBDC has a ton of things going on as well. Check out the articles below on BuyAlaska’s “Rediscover Alaska” initiative, the amazing work the Alaska State Small Business Credit Initiative has done leading the nation in deploying capital, and the high-tech work our TREND program has been doing to help Alaska innovators. All that is on top of the amazing work that our SBDC Business Advisors are doing to help small businesses start, grow, and thrive.

Last but certainly not least, I wanted to extend a huge thank you to Senator Murkowski and her staff for helping secure $2 million in new funding for the Alaska SBDC’s Healthcare Innovation initiative and an additional $1 million to expand our Rural Business Development program. These programs will be a huge part of the organization’s focus over the next three years as we try to bring new economic opportunities to Alaska’s rural and remote communities while addressing the barriers to business and economic development that healthcare in this state represents.

Even though there are so many things to do, I hope that all of you are getting out and enjoying the sunshine while it lasts. Big things are coming for Alaska’s small businesses over the next few years, and it’s important to maintain that work/life balance so we can focus on what’s important: helping Alaska’s small businesses thrive and grow our economy.

Jon Bittner
Alaska SBDC Executive Director

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