Alaska SBDC Communications
A Note from the Alaska SBDC Executive Director
Fall is in full swing in Alaska with the air getting crisper, the days getting shorter and the bears putting on those last few pounds before their long winter sleep. Before I get to the business happenings around the state I wanted to give a shout out to bear 747 who was officially named Katmai National Park’s fattest bear earlier this month. If your quarantine diet and exercise regimen has been anything like mine, you may have appreciated seeing something that made you look fit by comparison. 

On a more serious note, October has seen some of the highest numbers of COVID-19 cases to date with the state setting a one-day and seven-day record for the number of new cases. The Anchorage School District delayed its in-person school reopening based on new numbers and Fairbanks has shown a high per capita number of cases over the last few weeks. All of this has led to significant concerns among the business community regarding potential shutdowns and limitations on operations as we head into the traditionally slower winter season.  

On a federal level, the vast majority of CARES Act funding for small businesses has been expended. At this time, the House and Senate have yet to come to a compromise bill and the election will likely impact the timing of negotiations. Likely, another round of small business support may not become available until December or January 2021.

On a state and local level, most of the CARES funds allocated towards businesses have been distributed with a few exceptions. The State’s Alaska CARES fund has seen an amazing number of applications and is rapidly distributing the last of the $270 million allocated to the program. Dozens of local governments have distributed their business funds or will be distributing them over the next few weeks as well. The Alaska SBDC is collecting the data for all of the various business-related funding deployed across the state and plans on releasing that information soon to show where the funding has been deployed.

I hope that all of you took the opportunity to observe Indigenous Peoples' Day on October 12th to learn more about the First Alaskans and their culture. This year I spent the day learning more about the groundbreaking innovations and techniques that Alaska’s indigenous people developed to survive and thrive here. From sunglasses to kayaks, fishing gear to extreme weather clothing, indigenous engineers used the materials they had on hand to create some of the most amazing inventions you could imagine. I think we’re going to need more of that ingenuity if we’re going to survive and thrive in the months to come while we wait for the post-COVID “new normal” to take hold. 

Until then, the Alaska SBDC is here to help in any way we can. Through one-on-one business advising, online training, research, and many other ways we are dedicated to helping you and your business launch or grow even in times like these. I also encourage you to check out our newly launched BuyAlaska program. With partnerships with ACS, FedEx, Made In Alaska, and many more, BuyAlaska can help your business find new customers, access new opportunities, and get noticed when you need it most. If there’s anything else the Alaska SBDC can do to help you and your business please don’t hesitate to reach out and let me know!


Jon Bittner
Alaska SBDC Executive Director
Introducing Tammy Gray, Anchorage Business Advisor
2020 SBA Pacific Northwest Region SBDC Excellence and Innovation Award
Congratulations are in order to our very own Kenai Peninsula Center Director, Cliff Cochran, for achieving the SBA Pacific Northwest Region SBDC Excellence and Innovation Award! Congratulations, Cliff!

The entire Kenai Peninsula is served by the Soldotna SBDC. This past year, the entire community was affected by devastating wildfires that hit at the peak of the tourist season. The wildfires closed highways and forced many local businesses to temporarily shut their doors. Soldotna SBDC Director Cliff Cochran was instrumental in economic recovery for small businesses on the peninsula.

It is such a pleasure to recognize the Soldotna SBDC and Cliff Cochran as our state and regional winner of the SBDC Excellence and Innovation Award,” Alaska District Director Steve Brown said. “Coming from an entrepreneurial family, Cliff understands the threats and obstacles that face businesses each day. He draws on his experience to provide the type of quality counseling and training to community businesses that has put him in the winner circle.” Photo credit @andrehortonphotography
2020 Alaska's SBA Small Business Person of the Year
Congratulations to Christy NaMee Eriksen of the Kindred Post in Juneau for winning the U.S. Small Business Administration Alaska's Small Business Person of the Year! This is an incredible achievement!

Christy NaMee Eriksen is a multidisciplinary poet, teaching artist, and organizer whose work is grounded in social justice and community engagement. Christy has received awards for both art and activism, is a co-founder of Woosh Kinaadeiyí (a community-based org empowering voices) and World in Progress (an arts-based racial justice training), and leads poetry workshops for all ages. She owns a post office rooted in connection called Kindred Post, located in the heart of downtown Juneau. She is passionate about the power of art to tell our stories, bring people together, and activate positive social change. Photo credit: @sydneyakagiphoto
BuyAlaska is BACK!
October brings cooler weather, beautiful colors as our trees change, and a brand new BuyAlaska! The program has been completely relaunched and is different than the one you may remember. Learn more at and become a member for free.
Hint: the bottom of the webpage includes fun freebies for you!
Alaska SBDC Supports Local Businesses
Edible Alaska Feature
Alaska SBDC Workshops
For the night owls and the early birds. For the brown-bag lunch learners and after dinner studiers. Entrepreneurs are resilient and gritty. No matter the hour, we're right there with you. Access our On Demand Workshops for your business needs today.
State Communications
Hospitality Relief Grants for Anchorage Businesses Open to Nov 30
Hospitality Industry Relief Grants of $7,000 - $30,000 are available for hospitality businesses including bars, restaurants, breweries. Grants are first-come, first-served, and the amounts are determined by the type of business and whether or not alcohol is served.

Businesses that do not serve alcohol, such as restaurants, cafes, and caterers, can apply for $7,000 based on their business type. See the FAQs for eligibility and learn more here.

Businesses that do serve alcohol, such as restaurants, breweries, and bars, can apply for $15,000-$30,000 based on their business type. See the FAQs and learn more here
SBA & Treasury Announce Simpler PPP Forgiveness for Loans of $50,000 or Less
Alaska COVID-19 Small Business/Nonprofit Virtual Legal Clinic
Small Manufacturing Firms Continue to Drive Alaska Economy
Local manufacturing businesses and jobs have experienced a resurgence in recent years that needs to continue for our state’s livelihood and connection to the global economy.

Before the pandemic, the manufacturing sector employed 11.6 million workers in the United States. During the past three years, approximately 500,000 manufacturing jobs were added to the economy. In 2018 alone, 264,000 manufacturing jobs were added, the most created in any single year in more than two decades. Locally in Alaska, there were more than 12,000 manufacturing jobs, 33% were employed by small firms. Learn more.
SBA Alaska District Recognizes Local Lenders During National Small Business Week
We have the privilege of sharing congratulations and gratitude to not only major supporters of the Alaska SBDC, but the Small Business Administration's (SBA) Top Lenders for Alaska:

  • Lender of the Year: Wells Fargo for approving 23 loans totaling nearly $6.6 million!
  • Community Lender of the Year: Northrim Bank for approving 20 loans totaling nearly $5.9 million!
  • 504 Lender of the Year: First National Bank Alaska for approving 5 SBA 504 loans totaling nearly $2.3 million!
  • Community Development Company (CDC) of the Year: Evergreen Business Capital for approving 10 loans totaling $3.5 million!

Thank you for all that you do to support local businesses!
Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!
October 15th marks the end of Hispanic Heritage Month, but the good news is we can celebrate and support our local Hispanic-owned businesses year-round! We’re thrilled to share this beautiful video created by our friends at the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) in partnership with Telemundo:
"There are currently about 3.3 million Hispanic-owned small businesses in the U.S. – and growing! Hispanic-owned small businesses generate $474 billion in annual sales. That is an enormous impact on our nation’s economy."

- Jovita Carranza, 26th Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA)
American Indian-Alaska Native Business Directory
October 12th was Indigenous Peoples' Day!

Did you know that you can search for Alaska Native and American Indian businesses by location? Whether in your community or while traveling across Alaska, don’t miss this user-friendly directory!
Black-owned Business Directory
Are you looking for ways to support local Black-owned businesses?

The Alaska Black Business Directory is constantly expanding its listing! Dive into the directory to learn more about how you can support Black-owned businesses in your community.
Check out the Alaska Grown App!
The free Alaska Grown app features a directory of restaurants that serve Alaska Grown produce in their dishes. Available through the Apple App Store and Google Play!
What's Happenin', Alaska?
Statewide News
National Communications
It's National Cybersecurity Moth!
Federal Reserve Credit Survey
HUD Section 3 Opportunity
National Veterans Small Business Week
Save the Date! Small Business Saturday is November 28th
Check our website for a complete list of Alaska SBDC workshops statewide!
Don't forget to ask your Alaska SBDC Business Advisor about client discounts on select workshops
The Alaska SBDC is funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and administered by the Business Enterprise Institute (BEI) through the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA). All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA. All SBA funded programs are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.