Alaska SBDC Updates
A Note from the Alaska SBDC Executive Director
Slowly but surely things have been getting back to normal around the state with masks being seen less frequently and stores opening up more fully. People are even traveling again!

That's good news for the small businesses across Alaska that have been hit hard by the last 16 months of lockdowns and economic turmoil. There may not be as many cruise ships this summer as we're used to, but the individual travelers are coming up to Alaska in droves and that's helping the hard-hit hospitality industry start its recovery.

It's not all good news though, we are hearing from many businesses in industries all over the state that there is a significant workforce shortage in Alaska and the rest of the US. I was recently on an Anchorage Chamber panel along with other business leaders to talk about this problem and what it means for the state's recovery. You can find the details and the video below.
We're also seeing a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the state due to the arrival of the more virulent Delta variant. The last thing any of us want is to head back into a 2020 style lockdown, so if you haven't gotten vaccinated, please go get it done!  

That being said, we here at the Alaska SBDC are optimistic about the state's future and the future of the small businesses that power our economy. Alaska's entrepreneurs have weathered some of the worst economic times in living memory and come out of them stronger and busier than ever. That's thanks in large part to all of you that came together during these trying times to support buying local and protect the businesses that make our communities vibrant and unique.

The Alaska SBDC is proud to be a part of that effort and we look forward to getting back to normal and just as importantly, back to business!
Jon Bittner
Alaska SBDC Executive Director
Alaska SBDC Offices Reopening in Alignment with UAA Aug 2
In alignment with the University of Alaska Anchorage’s timeline, we are excited to share that our statewide offices will reopen with meetings available by appointment on Monday, August 2nd! 

You may read Chancellor Parnell’s letter on UAA's plan for reopening safely here

Be sure to make an appointment with your Business Advisor or send us a message to get started as a client with us. 

We'll see you soon!
Make it Monday
On Monday, July 19th, the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce's Make it Monday Forum hosted an engaging panel, including Alaska SBDC Executive Director Jon Bittner, to discuss the workforce shortage across America and the state of Alaska. The forum was live-streamed courtesy of Upper One Studios Inc. and is available on YouTube.

A few takeaways: 

  • Labor shortages are hitting Alaska (and the nation) across multiple industries. 

  • Restaurant, Tourism, health care, transportation were especially hard hit

  • There doesn’t appear to be one single driving factor for the labor shortage

  • COVID concerns, childcare, population decline, J-1 visa processing problems, unemployment payments, changes in workforce outlook all contribute to the shortage

  • Businesses are responding in multiple ways: reduced hours, reduced services, increased pay, increased benefits, more outreach, leveraging existing workforce, signing bonuses, remote work, etc.

  • There are larger employers with more resources offering better benefits and moving expenses outside Alaska than in. Businesses also have access to a larger pool of regional workers being in the contiguous US. 
Rediscovering Alaska with BuyAlaska and FlyLocal
Find out what Alaska's remote towns have to offer this month as we visit Alaskan restaurants, resorts, shops, galleries, and more - all of which are open for business!

In the spirit of Rediscovering Alaska, BuyAlaska will feature adventure travel ideas to set you on your locally-jet-setting way for your Alaska bucket-list vacay, all the while #supportinglocal businesses across our stunning state.

FlyLocal allows you to explore and book flights to unique Alaskan destinations aboard local air carriers. FlyLocal and support local Alaska businesses this July. Learn more!
September 15 and 16: Introduction to Quickbooks Online
This beginner's level course is geared towards small business owners who are ready to start using the cloud-based, QuickBooks Online. This will be held virtually from 9:00 am-1:00 pm on both Wednesday, June 23rd and Thursday, June 24th.

Normally $225, we're offering this valuable class for only $25 to cover the fee for the book, "Master Intuit QuickBooks Online: From Set-Up to Tax Time." This is the only scheduled Quickbooks class for this fiscal year, so don't miss out!
Topics covered are good record-keeping, how to get set up on Quickbooks, create an Items list, work with customers, work with vendors, link bank accounts, reconcile bank statements, run reports, and more!

Need help deciding if this is for you? Check out this recent review:
"It is not an exaggeration to say this class was life-changing; sounds odd to say about a Quickbooks class but it's true. I'm SO grateful to SBDC for having this class & at such an affordable price."
Lemonade Day Alaska
Lemonade Day Alaska 2021 was a great success and our team is busy collecting final registrations and business results to provide some amazing prizes to participants.

Special thanks to Bear Tooth Theater, Borealis Candy Bouquets, and Alaska 529 for providing generous prizes to this year’s participants.

Additionally, thank you to our stewards from 2020 and 2021: MTA Foundation, Carr Foundation, Sitnasuak Native Corporation, and Wells Fargo.

Remember to submit your entrepreneur's business results to be entered to win fantastic prizes and to share their story! Business Results can be submitted by participants and their mentor(s) via either:
🍋 The Pre-Paid Post Card
Inside of the printed workbooks, there is a pre-paid postcard that can be filled out and mailed in at no cost!

🍋 The Lemonade Day Alaska Website
Fill out the digital form online!
Client Highlight: Anadyr Adventures
Anadyr Adventures is a wildlife and glacier kayaking tour agency in Prince William Sound. The name may sound familiar as Anadyr Adventures pioneered kayak-based exploration from Valdez, AK back in 1989. With over 30 years of experience, the guides are just as passionate today about introducing the beauty of Prince William Sound and providing unique experiences for Anadyr Adventures guests.
Professionals at guiding others through the beauty of Alaska, owner Scott Hocking worked with Alaska SBDC Business Advisors, Ian Grant, and Jennifer Adams, in steering Anadyr Adventures through the coronavirus pandemic. In working with the Alaska SBDC, Hocking navigated the impact of the pandemic to apply for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). In the work done over the last year, he is preparing for a more robust guiding season for travelers and locals alike.

Whether guests are interested in a day trip, a camping trip, or a wilderness lodge-based or a mothership-based excursion, Anadyr Adventures offers four different options for them to plan the perfect adventure for their budget and expectations. Experience the beauty Prince William Sound has to offer at and on Facebook and Instagram. Read the full entrepreneurial story here!
Alaska SBDC SBIR Workshops
Statewide Updates
Path to Prosperity 2021 Finalists
Congratulations to this year's cohort of tourism-focused Path to Prosperity finalists!

As part of the 2021 Path to Prosperity, the finalists are setting the pace for local job creation and sustainable economic growth in Southeast Alaska.

Good luck in the next stage!
Upcoming Statewide Events At-a-Glance
National Updates
2021 National SBIR Week: July 19 - 23
The 2021 National SBIR Week is a virtual, collaborative outreach effort connecting entrepreneurs working on advanced technologies and the organizations that support them to the country’s largest source of early-stage funding.

Also known as America’s Seed Fund, the SBIR/STTR programs provide over $4 billion in funding to small businesses each year in a wide variety of technology areas.
The 2021 National SBIR Week will provide attendees with an opportunity to hear directly from the participating federal agency program managers that administer over 7,000 new awards annually and to meet virtually one-on-one with program decision-makers.
SBA Administrator Announced RRF Program Closure
On July 2, U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Isabel Guzman announced the closure of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) program, signed into law by President Joe Biden as part of the American Rescue Plan. The program provided much-needed economic aid to restaurants and other establishments struggling to make ends meet as a result of the pandemic. Underserved populations received approximately $18 billion in grant awards including:

Women-Owned businesses ~ $7.5 billion
Veteran-Owned businesses ~ $1 billion
Social and economically disadvantaged-Owned businesses ~ $6.7 billion
Businesses Owned by Reps of Multiple Underserved Populations ~ $2.8 billion

The remainder of the $28.6 billion was awarded to eligible applicants not identified as part of an underserved group.
The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) Remains Open
The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, and amended by the American Rescue Plan Act. The program includes over $16 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance.

Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. $2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees. Learn more!
Understanding Tax Credits - SBA Workshop on July 22
Join the SBA Pacific Northwest Region for this webinar when a local IRS representative will provide detailed information to help you navigate various small business tax credits and how they can benefit your business.

This includes Paid Leave for the Vaccines tax credit, Employee Retention Credit, Sick and Family Leave Credits and other helpful tax information.
SBA's State Trade Expansion Program
The STEP grant program has helped thousands of small businesses obtain grants and find customers in the international marketplace since 2011. Through awards to U.S. states and territories, STEP helps small businesses overcome obstacles to exporting by providing grants to cover costs associated with entering and expanding into international markets. Learn how to apply for funding here.
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.