Inside Alaska Business

After several years of steady but flat giving through Alaska’s premiere charitable giving campaign, Pick.Click.Give. is experiencing an increase in overall pledged totals as well as the amount pledged per donor. By the end of March, the total amount pledged by Alaskans was $2.9 million, the average pledge per donor is $113.88, and the average pledge per gift (each gift represents the amount a donor gifts per nonprofit organization) is approximately $62.53.

The current average pledge per donor increased nearly $9 over last year and is a record for the program

Travel Juneau

Travel Juneau released its 2018-2019 Convention Survey and 2018 Visitor Survey, both conducted by McDowell Group. Economic impacts of Juneau conventions and meetings revealed total direct spending for meetings at $2.7 million and a total of $3.6 million in indirect and induced economic impacts. Meetings held from 2017-2018 generated approximately $113,000 in sales tax to the City and Borough of Juneau. The survey also highlighted satisfaction for Juneau’s friendliness as a community and Travel Juneau’s services to planners.

Both survey reports can be found on the Travel Juneau website:

Northrim Bank

Northrim Bank opened its newest branch, the Soldotna Financial Center, located at 44384 Sterling Highway, Suite 101 in the Peninsula Center Mall. The new location is the newest iteration of Northrim’s “branch of the future” blueprint used in the design of its Lake Otis Community Branch, opened in 2015, and its Eastside Community Branch, opened late last year. The focus of the new branches is on customer interaction in a more efficient footprint.

The Soldotna Financial Center brings Northrim Bank to sixteen branches throughout Alaska and expands its reach onto the Kenai Peninsula, a new market area for the bank.


MTA Fiber Holdings, a subsidiary of MTA, is building Alaska’s “first and only” all-terrestrial fiber network connecting Alaska to the Lower 48. Construction on AlCan ONE (Alaska Canada Overland Network) has commenced in North Pole with a projected completion date of mid-2020. The network will run along the Alcan to the Canadian border where it will interconnect with fiber optic infrastructure being built by Canadian carriers. AlCan ONE will allow for more geographic diversity, increased bandwidth, and protect against underwater incidents that could disrupt submarine cables.


The US Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is investing to help the Native Village of Napaimute acquire vital equipment needed to spur economic growth in the wood products sector.

The $589,000 EDA grant will help Napaimute acquire a waterborne landing craft that will aid the transport of harvested wood products. The addition of the waterborne landing craft will help increase economic transactions and foster conditions that will be conducive to the creation of business and employment opportunities.

Sitka Food Business Innovation Contest

This year’s winners of the second annual Sitka Food Business Innovation Contest are Brittany Dumag and her food cart, Castaway, in the start-up business category (younger than two years); Tamara Kyle of Sitka Sauers in the established business division; and Abigail Ward, age twelve, who won a special youth business award. The Sitka Food Business Innovation Contest awarded a $1,500 prize each to Dumag and Kyle, while Ward won $250.

The contest is sponsored by the Sitka Local Foods Network as a way to encourage Sitka entrepreneurs to start businesses using food from Sitka or Alaska. It also is meant to promote better food security with more locally made food products.


Ukpeaġvik Iñupiat Corporation (UIC) intends to enter into a new relationship to operate the local grocery store in Utqiaġvik. Following a Request for Proposal process, UIC is now in negotiations with Begich Capital Partners and their partnership with JB Gottstein team as the new store tenant and operator. The team has strong Alaska roots, a commitment to the local community, and a vision to efficiently and effectively deliver fresher and more affordable groceries to the community. Current negotiations have Begich Capital Partners and JB Gottstein taking over the grocery store in November.


The Division of Oil and Gas will offer Special Alaska Lease Sale Area (SALSA) blocks in conjunction with the Fall 2019 oil and gas lease sale. The Harrison Bay, Storms, and Gwydyr Bay lease sale blocks will be offered again in 2019 with the same or similar terms and conditions as were offered in the Fall 2018 sale. Each lease sale block has 3D seismic data acquired through the State of Alaska Tax Credit Program, which are available through the Department of Natural Resources.

The bid opening for the Fall 2019 lease sale is tentatively set for 9 a.m. on Wednesday, December 11, 2019, in Anchorage. An updated version of the SALSA data guide is posted on the DNR website to prepare potential bidders for the Fall 2019 lease sale.