Juneau Economic Development Council NEWS  |  August 2020
JEDC Welcomes Alyson Cooper FIRST Program Manager

We are pleased to announce our newest addition to the team!

Alyson comes to us as a long-time FIRST robotics volunteer, leaving her role on the Girl Scouts of Alaska staff to run the FIRST program in Alaska while continuing to volunteer for Girl Scouts and coach their two Juneau FIRST LEGO League teams.

Her husband, John, and daughters, Jordan and Jessie, are also FIRST advocates and consistently volunteer at events in both Juneau and Anchorage.
Alyson graduated from Chugiak High School and earned a BS in Geology and her Navy commission at The University of Texas at Austin, then served on ships in a wide variety of jobs including as Navigator of an ammunition ship during Operation Desert Storm.

Eventually Commander Cooper ended up in Juneau doing logistics work and retired here, and after living in all four corners of the U.S., she has no intention of ever leaving Juneau.
Alyson and Becca (former FIRST Program Manager) with the inaugural Juneau Girl Scout Robotics team. If you look closely you may notice Alyson's two daughters holding up their trophy! 2009

Business Sustainability Grant Status

Chart Details
at a Glance

The Expanded Business
Sustainability Grant is Live

53% of Applications Received Came From 
  • Trade Sector
  • Accommodation and Food Service Sector
  • Services Sector
The Most Frequent Industries Within the Above Sectors Are
  • Retail
  • Full and Limited Service Restaurants
  • Hair and Nail Salons
Businesses that rely on large amounts of tourists in the summer and close-contact establishments appear to be the most common applicants. 
There is a lack of participation from the fishing industry with applicants in the single digits. 


The City and Borough of Juneau has updated the ordinance outlined for COVID-19 business hardship relief.  
Updated Assertion of Need
  • Utility Expenses, Long Term Debt, Rent/Lease Extended by Two Months to Include September & October  
  • Short Term Debt incurred between January 1 and April 15, including some lines of credit.
  • Inventory Purchased for Resale between January 1 and April 15
  • Software Subscriptions.
DEADLINE to apply AUGUST 31, 2020 

 "We are very excited to have JEDC join us and Credit Union 1 in processing the applications as they are coming through. JEDC and their Executive Director, Brian Holst, from a fairly early point have been helping us in defining the issues behind the portal and support for the portal. So we really appreciate them coming on board as a program operator and look forward to their involvement on this."
- AIDEA Director Alan Weitzner 

JEDC has been contracted by the state to provide additional AK CARES Grant support for Alaskan Businesses.

As of August 6, 2020, the AK CARES grant applications will only be available online at akcaresonline.org, rather than on the Credit Union 1's website. This new application portal was launched as part of the efforts to streamline application processing.

Applicants are advised to access the AK CARES website to review the FAQ and obtain a checklist to help individuals gather and prepare all documents needed to submit a complete application. It must be completed once it is launched, there is not an option to save and come back to the application.

Need Assistance?
Contact call center staff who can help.
PRESS RELEASE: Governor Dunleavy Expands AK CARES Eligibility to Help Alaska Small Businesses.


CBJ to host Community
COVID-19 Updates

In April JEDC asked for your input on the
ways that your organization was responding
to COVID-19.

We are now conducting a second survey
to better understand how you are pivoting, starting to recover and planning for the future.

Please consider taking the survey and passing the link on to your community connections.

City Manager Rorie Watt and members of CBJ's Emergency Operations Center will present weekly updates on the status of COVID-19 in Juneau every Thursday at noon.

Choose Juneau: Concierge Service

Connect your network to our new concierge service. Offering connections to logistics, housing, and job search connections.

Our team is working to provide a tailored solution for individuals looking to relocate to Juneau.

Email choosejuneau@jedc.org for details or to connect a friend or family member to this service.

We are still accepting submissions to our survey on the remote workforce. 

2020 FIRST Season Announcement

2020 Challenges


Every year, Alaskan youth on
FIRST Tech Challenge, and
FIRST Robotics Competition teams work together to build and program robots and to find solutions for the problems their teams face. These youth are getting ready to put those problem-solving skills to the test.  
With a plan in place to run tournaments remotely or in-person as appropriate and some extra resources to help teams operate in a COVID-19 environment, teams are getting to work, although as they are finding out, the themes this year are all about play.
Check out the FIRST website for season updates or email acooper@jedc.org for details.   

The FIRST LEGO League Explore (formerly FLL Jr.) and FIRST LEGO League Challenge (formerly FLL) rules and season guidance has been released!   
FIRST Tech Challenge teams will have to wait patiently until September 12 for details of their season.  
2020 FIRST Sponsors 


FIRST activities in Alaska are coordinated by JEDC with statewide funding from state and local organizations. 

2020 Census Reminder

10 Minutes of time helps the community receive 10 Years of resources.

Learn more about our investor program, please visit

Become a 2020 JEDC Investor 

We invite you to invest in Juneau by becoming
a JEDC Investor. Show your support of the
work done to advance Juneau and Southeast Alaska's economy.
Supporting JEDC impacts the long-term economic success of Alaska's Capital City while creating a business climate that bolsters your business or organization.  

Thank you for  
to JEDC News.  

If you find JEDC News to be of interest and value, please forward the newsletter to your friends and colleagues.  
Executive Director
Juneau Economic Development Council

In This Issue
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Alec Mesdag, Chair
Garrett Schoenberger, Vice Chair
Brandon Cullum, Treasurer
Jake Carpenter, Secretary
Mayor Beth Weldon
Chancellor Karen Carey
Susan Murray 
Lauren MacVay
Melissa Kookesh
Alexander Kotlarov
Chris Dimond
Wade Bryson, CBJ Assembly Liaison


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