Juneau Economic Development Council NEWS  |  January 2021
Innovation Summit: Save the Date April 7-9, 2021

Join us for the 2021 Innovation Summit from your living room, office or work-cation location!

Mark you calendars for this year's summit, expanding to three afternoons, April 7-9 for a fully virtual conference that builds Alaska's capacity to innovate.

The 2021 theme is Localization in a Global Economy. We will explore the balance between local production and employment and global commerce. We have experienced the need for and value of local businesses during this pandemic to not only provide services, but also to provide jobs and other resources. We rely in Alaska on many products and services that would be very hard to replicate locally.  What is the right balance between global and local that leads to the greatest resilience and prosperity?


2020 Builder's Choice Award
Deadline: January 31, 2021

Junior Achievement Virtual Job Fair


The Southeast Alaska Homebuilder's Association is delighted to announce the first year of the Builder's Choice Awards.
This award program was created to show the beautiful work of local home builders and contractors in Juneau. Members of the public are welcome to nominate a licensed contractor they hired for a project. The project must have been completed in 2020.  
Applications open until Sunday, January 31.
Only licensed Juneau contractors can qualify to apply or receive nominations. SEABIA membership is not a requirement to apply or receive nominations.
Email Caitlyn at seabia99801@gmail.com with any questions.

Junior Achievement of Alaska will host the first and one-of-a-kind JA Inspire Virtual Career Fair for Middle & High School students on March 2 and 4.  
We invite local employers to be exhibitors and share their industry and know-how with some of Alaska's students. 
JA Inspire is expecting more than 5,000 students to attend, and most will be ready to apply for jobs.  Employers will have the opportunity to interview students from communities across the state, who received preparation before the event to apply for open positions, provided by Junior Achievement.  
Employers of all sizes are invited to sponsor a booth
and they will receive 3 events for the price of 1,
including a Job Fair for adults from 4 - 6 PM on March 2.  Employers can sign up at jainspireak.org until Feb. 26.  
Virtual Job Fair  
March 2 & 4
8:30 AM - 6:00 PM 
Local Frequency, Keeping our Dollars Local

Keeping our Dollars Local
JEDC is proud to introduce Local Frequency. A  program that rewards individuals for shopping, eating and sourcing their goods and services from our local community.

We invite you to share the program with your network and encourage your favorite company, shop, or restaurant to join the growing list of Local Frequency businesses.

Learn more about the program on our website and download the app today!


A payment and loyalty program exclusively for local business.  
Keep local reward dollars recirculating in our community among other local independently owned and operated businesses. 
Increase visibility, find locally-conscious customers, make more sales.  
CBJ CARES Grant Re-Cap

CBJ Business Sustainability Grant Program

CBJ Extreme Hardship Grant Program

COVID-19 has impacted nearly all of our daily lives in one way or another and that is especially true for Juneau's business owners. As the duration of the pandemic became evident, the City and Borough of Juneau (CBJ) created the Business Sustainability Grant (BSG) Program., using a portion of their federal CARES Act funding to provided grants to eligible businesses.

JEDC served as the grant administrator - implementing the program on behalf of CBJ. Our staff was glad for the opportunity to play this role in supporting Juneau's economy during this challenging year. All told, JEDC disbursed $13,388,261 in grants to 443 Juneau businesses. In many cases, these grants provided crucial support. After receiving a grant, one business owner wrote "your hard work not only had made it possible to 'breathe' during this incredibly difficult time, but it has also ensured us a more stable future for our business. The impact you have made on us, as well as the others is MASSIVE!!"

In November 2020, the CBJ Assembly created an additional grant program for businesses experiencing extreme hardship. This program had stricter eligibility criteria than the BSG, but for eligible businesses, grants were calculated proportionally, taking into consideration the hardship of both individual businesses, and that of the entire applicant pool. Anticipating a quick turnaround, JEDC staff quickly developed an online application and re-allocated staff resources, ensuring that all grants were processed before CARES Act funds were set to expire at the end of the year. A total of 92 businesses received $2,300,000 in assistance through the Extreme Hardship grant program.


Childcare by the Numbers

Licensed child care programs have seen an average 38% decrease in revenue. Enrollment has dropped 47% at the start of the pandemic which caused a lot of programs to reduce staff hours or jobs entirely. CBJ quickly decided to use just over $1,000,000 in CARES funds to assist child care programs from June through December. The program has given an average of $717 per enrolled child to help programs with the costs of safe operation and reduced revenue. As of October, enrollment is only down 12% compared to pre-pandemic levels and some programs have been able to give their employees hazard pay.

JEDC partner AEYC has posed three reports on their website covering Juneau, Ketchikan and Sitka

Capital City Behind the Business Video Series

Alaska Angel Conference
Notice of Intent Due Now!


Capital City Behind the Business: Panhandle Produce

We are excited to present "Capital City Behind the Business", a video series that takes a peek behind the register of some of Juneau, Alaska's local entrepreneurs.

For our first video we interview Eli Wray, co-owner of Panhandle Produce. Panhandle Produce is a local food marketplace dedicated to providing a year-round source of locally produced food to Juneau. Co-founders Kylie and Eli Wray grew peas and cucumbers in their apartment. Using rented greenhouse space, they began growing their passion into a hobby farm that supplies fresh, high quality produce to multiple farmers markets around the Juneau area.

They have moved on from their apartment to a storefront at 381 B Commercial Blvd. They are open for walk-in and curbside service Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can still place orders via the online store, on their website at

The goal for AAC is to increase the number of angel investors in Alaska's statewide startup ecosystem by pairing experienced angel investors with novice investors and leading them through a structured 12-week process of identifying, filtering, selecting, and managing a group angel investment.

The conference concludes with an event showcasing the finalists and the final decision of investors in Spring 2021.

** Monthly Networking Opportunity**

Drop in virtual office hours are being held for Entrepreneurs/Investors as part of the Alaska Angel Conference this year. Stop by and ask any questions they might have. They are being held every Wednesday 10 AM-11 AM. Join via zoom. 
Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 876 2560 0063
Passcode: AAC2021

Arctic Innovation Competition Submissions Due March 19, 2021

Have an original idea? You could win a cash prize through this statewide competition-Submission are due March 19, 2021.
  • All ages are welcome.
  • Individuals or teams are welcome.
  • Only residents from North America are eligible to submit entries at this time.
  • No prototype or business plan is necessary
    to enter.  However, they are recommended.
  • Ideas or projects presented in other venues are eligible for submission
    For example, you may submit projects that have been presented in classes, science fairs, summer camps, or other competitions.
Learn more about the competition on the
Arctic Innovation Competition Website
FIRST Update

Our Movement Grows (2020)

Check out the FIRST Website for
information on all of our programs and to keep abreast of
season updates, or email  
acooper@jedc.org for details.   

It's almost tournament season!
FIRST LEGO League and FIRST Tech Challenge teams are getting ready for what will indeed be an odd, but fun tournament season. In response to the pandemic, tournaments are scheduled to be conducted remotely this year. While this will not be the same experience as in a typical season, we'll do it 2020 style- finding innovative ways to create a fun and valuable tournament experience for our teams while keeping them safe. But in order to allow more teams to play, we've moved all of our typical fall tournaments into 2021.
Tournaments will be held for most of February, March and April. If necessary, we will provide a way for teams who start even later to have a chance to compete as well. We know that COVID-19 has caused challenges everywhere and we want everyone to have a chance to play, no matter what they are having to overcome in order to do it.
And these teams are full of newcomers. We are so proud of our teams and how they are handling things this year! About a quarter of the teams, though, have been meeting entirely online, which has definitely created some extra challenges. All of our teams have been working to keep it fun and uphold the FIRST Core Values of Discovery, Innovation, Impact, Inclusion, Teamwork and Fun. We are very proud of them, and we can't wait to see what they are able to do at the upcoming tournaments.

Choose Juneau

With the ability to work from anywhere in the world Choose Juneau is focusing efforts around recruiting individuals working remotely to "Experience Juneau" as part of an extended stay opportunity.

The Experience Juneau package will include housing, transportation and activity recommendations from a curated list of partners in and around Juneau.

Email choosejuneau@jedc.org  if you have a car, home or apartment that you would like to connect to Experience Juneau.

Encourage your network to fill out the remote worker survey.

Federal CARES Act Relief Bill Extension

The Alaska SBDC has provided a comprehensive overview of the Federal CARES Relief Bill Expansion. Outlined below are details taken from the overview and full details can be viewed on their website.

The $600 stimulus payments began being dispersed on December 29, 2020 into eligible bank accounts. The enhanced unemployment insurance payments which provide an extra $300 per unemployment payment are coming soon.

The paycheck Protection Program will [reopened] on Monday January 11 for new borrowers and certain existing borrowers.

For full details on the overview visit the Alaska SBDC Website.
SBA Debt Relief
  • 3.5 Billion to resume debt relief payments for principal and interest (P$I) on 7A, 504 and microloan programs.
  • SBA will resume P&I payments for the first six months for new loans approved between February 1, 2021 - September 30, 2021 
Paycheck Protection Program
  • Extended through March 31, 2021
  • Existing PPP recipients have the option to seek a second PPP 
Shuttered Venue Operators
  • 10 billion allocated for grants to live venues, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions.
EIDL Advance
  • Small Businesses and nonprofits in low income communities are eligible to receive $10,000 grants and those that have applied previously are eligible for additional funding.
  • Special Consideration for the Agriculture, Fishery and Child Care Industries.

Indicator of the Month:

Juneau houses have continued to sell quickly through the pandemic. A total of 456 units were sold in 2020, the second highest in recent history (record is 474 units sold in 2018). The median days on market hit a historic low despite the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Single family homes are selling 60% faster than last year. Spending more time at home and working from home has caused many to look for more spacious living situations and is likely contributing to the quick selling of single family houses. Additionally, those with jobs and money saved have much more buying power with record low interest rates and are taking advantage of the opportunity.

Learn more about our investor program, please visit

Become a 2021 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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Garrett Schoenberger, Chair
Dr. Karen Carey, Vice Chair
Jake CarpenterTreasurer
Melissa Kookesh, Secretary
Mayor Beth Weldon
Alec Mesdag
Marc Guevarra
Alexander Kotlarov
Chris Dimond
Jill Weitz
Raymond Paddock III
Maria Gladziszewski, CBJ Assembly Liaison
Alaska Marine Lines




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