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calendar    Jun 02, 2024

Small Business Funding Programs In Alaska- 2024 Guide

Updated on April 25, 2024

Overview of Alaska's Small Business Funding Landscape

Alaska offers a variety of funding programs aimed at fostering economic development and supporting small businesses. These initiatives are designed to provide capital to businesses that may struggle to secure conventional loans.

The State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) plays a crucial role in this landscape. Administered by the Alaska Small Business Development Center (SBDC), the program deploys $59.9 million in funds.

Here's a breakdown of the funding distribution:

  • Loan Guarantee Program: $32 million
  • Loan Participation Program: $15.9 million
  • Equity Investment Program: $10 million
  • Loan Collateral Program: $2 million

These funds are directed towards lenders and investment funds, ensuring small businesses have access to essential financial resources.

Additionally, the U.S. Department of the Treasury awarded Alaska nearly $60 million to support small business growth, highlighting the state's commitment to economic development.

Alaska's small businesses benefit immensely from these funding programs, which aim to enhance the local economy by providing necessary capital. This strategic financial support helps ensure small businesses can thrive and contribute to the state's economic growth.

The involvement of institutions like the University of Alaska underscores the collaborative effort between state entities to support small businesses and encourage economic stability. These programs collectively play a vital role in bolstering Alaska's economy.

Key Funding Programs for Alaskan Small Businesses

Alaskan small businesses have several key funding programs available to aid their growth and sustainability. These programs include a mix of loans, investments, and grants designed to support various financial needs.

One critical initiative is the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). This federally-funded program attracts lenders and investors to help businesses that struggle to secure conventional loans.

The Alaska Small Business Financing Program is also part of the SSBCI. It features several components:

  • Loan Guarantee Program: Provides $32 million to back loans, reducing lender risk and encouraging them to offer credit to small businesses.
  • Loan Participation Program: Allocates $15.9 million to participate in loans alongside private lenders, enabling larger loan sizes and better terms for businesses.
  • Equity Investment Program: Invests $10 million in businesses through equity stakes, providing necessary capital without immediate repayment obligations.
  • Loan Collateral Program: Offers $2 million to cover collateral requirements, making it easier for businesses to secure loans.

These funds will be distributed over 10 years to ensure long-term support for small business development.

Additionally, the Alaska SBIR/STTR Grant Program provides state grant funding to businesses with active federal SBIR/STTR awards or those needing bridge funding between award phases. For FY2024, the program has allocated $125,000.

These programs represent a significant effort by the state to foster a supportive economic environment for small businesses. For more detailed information on specific programs, visit the Alaska SBDC page on SSBCI and the University of Alaska news.

Understanding the Alaska Small Business Development Center

The Alaska Small Business Development Center (Alaska SBDC) offers valuable resources to entrepreneurs and small businesses. Located within the University of Alaska Anchorage's Business Enterprise Institute, it provides free and confidential business advising.

Key Services

  • One-on-one advising: Personalized support for business planning, financial projections, and market research.
  • Workshops: Low-cost and no-cost training sessions on various business topics.
  • Online tools: Resources to help businesses start and grow.

Special Programs

The Alaska SBDC administers several special programs designed to address specific needs, such as:

  • TREND Program: Helps businesses with technology and innovation.
  • BuyAlaska: A statewide initiative aimed at promoting local businesses.

Funding Initiatives

The State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) is managed by the Alaska SBDC. This federally-funded program aims to attract lenders and investors to support businesses that struggle to obtain conventional loans.


The Alaska SBDC is led by Jon Bittner, who oversees its various programs and initiatives. His leadership ensures the center effectively supports the state's small business community.

Contact the Alaska SBDC by phone at 907-786-7201 or via their website to access these resources and support services.

Loan Programs and Financial Assistance Details in Alaska

The Alaska State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) provides a variety of loan programs aimed at fostering economic growth. Key programs include the Loan Participation Program and Venture Capital/Equity Funds. The Loan Participation Program offers loans between $500,000 and $1,500,000, with funding often covering about 50% of the total loan amount.

The Division of Investments, Department of Commerce oversees several loan programs designed to aid small businesses. They offer various collateral options and flexible interest rates to meet borrowers' needs.

Loan Program Maximum Loan Amount Details
Venture Capital/Equity Funds $10 million Aimed at private sector funding and economic growth by supporting startups and expanding businesses with venture capital.
Loan Participation Program $15.9 million Loans range from $500,000 to $1,500,000, targeting socially and economically disadvantaged businesses and very small businesses
Small Business Loan Programs Varies Offered by the Division of Investments, providing funding for working capital, equipment purchase, and other business needs.

Applicants must navigate a loan application process that may include an application fee and an origination fee. The Division of Investments provides support and guidance for completing these applications.

To ensure fair accessibility, the Division of Investments complies with Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. They accommodate borrowers with alternative communication formats upon request.

These programs assist small businesses in securing the financial assistance needed to thrive and contribute to Alaska's economic development. Potential borrowers are encouraged to contact relevant departments for detailed information and application assistance.

Eligibility Requirements and Application Procedures in Alaska

Eligibility for small business funding programs in Alaska varies by program. Applicants must generally own a small business based in Alaska and meet specific criteria set by the funding agency.

Programs like the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) require businesses to demonstrate potential for growth and job creation. Key programs and their requirements include:

Funding Program Eligibility Criteria Application Requirements
Venture Capital/Equity Funds Start-ups, growth companies Business plan, financial statements
Loan Participation Program Small businesses, expansion projects Loan application, credit history

The Small Business Assistance Center aids entrepreneurs and start-ups with navigating these processes.

Applicants needing alternative communication formats due to disabilities can contact the Division of Investments, complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Documents are often in PDF format, and Adobe Reader may be required to view them.

To apply, individuals typically need to gather the following:

  • Business plan
  • Financial statements
  • Credit history

Many applications require an application fee. The Division of Investments, for instance, provides assistance in filling out forms and understanding requirements. For more information, contact the Division at (907) 465-2510.

Programs like AK CARES also have specific guidelines and applications that are updated periodically, allowing businesses to re-apply even if they were previously ineligible.

Using resources like these can help enhance the chances of obtaining the needed funding for start-up or expansion, fostering long-term employment and economic development in Alaska.

Business Growth and Development Initiatives in Alaska

Alaska offers several business growth and development initiatives to foster economic growth and community development. These initiatives focus on providing financial support, fostering innovation, and encouraging entrepreneurship.

Key Programs

  • State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI): This federally-funded program attracts lenders and investors to support businesses that cannot secure conventional loans. Administered by the Alaska Small Business Development Center, the funding is deployed to local lenders and investment funds.

  • Alaska Launches $59 Million Financing Program: This program, announced by the State of Alaska, University of Alaska, and Alaska SBDC, allocates $59.9 million from the U.S. Department of Treasury to drive private economic development. More details can be found on the Alaska SBDC website.

Support for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

  • Local Equity Investment Funds: These funds play a crucial role in supporting startups and innovative projects within the state. They act as a catalyst for expansion and sustainable community growth.

  • Division of Investments Programs: Managed by the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development, these programs provide various loan opportunities tailored to small businesses. Information is available here.

Alaska's initiatives emphasize economic development and create a supportive environment for businesses to thrive and expand, thus contributing significantly to the local economy.

Partnerships and Support Networks in Alaska

Effective partnerships and support networks are essential for fostering small business growth in Alaska. A strong collaboration between various organizations can create opportunities and provide crucial resources for entrepreneurs.

The Alaska Small Business Development Center (SBDC) plays a pivotal role as the administrative lead, facilitating access to funding programs such as the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). This federally funded program is designed to attract lenders and investors.

The University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) and its Business Enterprise Institute (BEI) are key players. They work in tandem with the Alaska SBDC to offer support and resources, promoting an environment ripe for innovation and entrepreneurship.

Additionally, the Small Business Assistance Center under the Alaska Department of Commerce provides valuable direction for start-ups and existing businesses. This includes guidance on marketing, export support programs, and procurement.

Partnerships with the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Association of Small Business Development Centers expand the toolkit available to entrepreneurs. These entities bring national-level resources and expertise to the local Alaskan context.

In Anchorage, collaborations between the public and private sectors are critical. The private sector's engagement enhances funding availability and brings real-world insights to academic and public initiatives.

Communities across Alaska, supported by these networks, benefit from diverse programs designed to promote inclusive entrepreneurship. Initiatives like the Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer programs ensure equitable access to opportunities for all individuals, including women and socially or economically disadvantaged groups.

Together, these partnerships and support networks build a robust ecosystem that empowers Alaskan small businesses to thrive.

Government and Private Sector Collaboration in Alaska

The collaboration between the government and private sector in Alaska is central to small business funding. The State of Alaska, led by initiatives from Governor Mike Dunleavy, leverages funds from the U.S. Department of Treasury to drive economic development.

The State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), administered by the Alaska Small Business Development Center (Alaska SBDC), exemplifies this partnership. Through various funding programs, including $10 million for equity investments and $15.9 million for loan participation programs, the SSBCI fosters private sector investment in small businesses.

Another key element is the Loan Guarantee Program. With $32 million allocated, it reduces the risk for lenders, encouraging them to provide more capital to businesses. This program plays a critical role in supporting businesses that may otherwise struggle to secure funding.

The University of Alaska also contributes to these efforts. By announcing and managing lending programs, the University helps deploy SSBCI funds efficiently. These actions create opportunities for businesses to expand and thrive.

Updates from the Alaska SBDC indicate ongoing efforts to optimize the use of allocated funds. This includes ensuring that resources are accessible to businesses across the state, further strengthening the collaboration between public institutions and private entities.

Such strategic partnerships highlight the importance of joint efforts in fostering sustainable economic development and supporting the growth of small businesses in Alaska.

Investing in Infrastructure and Equipment in Alaska

Small businesses in Alaska have numerous opportunities to invest in infrastructure and equipment. Various programs are designed to provide capital and support to help businesses grow.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers loans with favorable terms. These loans can be used for purchasing equipment, constructing new facilities, or upgrading existing ones. Another option is the Loan Collateral Program managed by the Department of Commerce, which helps businesses secure loans by offering collateral support.

Construction and Equipment Investment Highlights:

  • Federal-Aid Highway Funds: Alaska receives substantial federal-aid for highway and bridge construction, with approximately $3.5 billion earmarked for highway funding and $40 billion for bridge projects over the next five years. Details are available at Alaska-related funding.
  • Pandemic Recovery: Funds are also allocated to assist businesses recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. Programs aim to rebuild infrastructure affected by the pandemic, ensuring businesses remain resilient.

Steps for Securing Infrastructure Investment:

  1. Loan Application: Prepare a detailed business plan. Include financial statements and projected use of funds.
  2. Collateral: Assess available collateral to support the loan.
  3. Funding Priorities: Focus on projects that align with federal and state funding priorities such as transportation, energy, and broadband improvements.

In summary, investing in infrastructure and equipment through these programs can significantly benefit small businesses in Alaska. These resources assist in expansion, modernization, and increased resilience. For more details on available funding, visit the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act Overview.

Education and Training Opportunities in Alaska

The Alaska Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provides free and low-cost training opportunities for entrepreneurs. They offer workshops on various topics such as management, marketing, and finance. These sessions are designed to help small business owners enhance their skills and grow their enterprises.

The University of Alaska is also a crucial player in this field. Under the leadership of University of Alaska President Pat Pitney, the institution focuses on providing comprehensive support to small businesses. This includes access to educational resources and training programs tailored to entrepreneurs' needs.

The Association of Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC) collaborates to offer a range of resources. These include business advising, workshops, and an online ecosystem of tools. Their aim is to support businesses at different stages of development.

The Alaska SBDC and the Small Business Assistance Center emphasize affirmative action and equal opportunity. They strive to be inclusive, ensuring that their programs are accessible to all, without any form of illegal discrimination. This approach strengthens the community and offers equal chances for success.

Available Training Programs

  • Business Advising: One-on-one confidential advising covering essential business areas.

  • Workshops: Sessions on management, marketing, sales, finance, and accounting.

  • Online Tools: An array of digital resources to support business growth.

  • Specialized Programs: Initiatives like BuyAlaska and TREND, focusing on specific business needs.

For more information on these programs, visit the Alaska SBDC Programs and explore how they can assist in your business journey.

Compliance and Legal Considerations in Alaska

Ensuring compliance and understanding legal considerations is crucial for small business funding in Alaska. Businesses must navigate various regulations and standards to avoid legal complications.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Compliance
Businesses should adhere to the ADA, ensuring accessibility for individuals with disabilities. This includes providing alternative communication formats upon request.

Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Employer
Businesses must adhere to affirmative action policies, ensuring they are an equal opportunity employer. This involves taking steps to prevent illegal discrimination during hiring and employment.

State of Alaska Requirements
The State of Alaska mandates specific legal requirements for businesses. These include liability insurance, business licenses, and adherence to state employment laws.

Alternative Communication Formats
Publications and communications should be available in alternative formats to accommodate individuals with disabilities, in compliance with the ADA. For instance, the Division of Investments provides these formats upon request.

Compliance with these standards not only avoids legal issues but also promotes inclusivity and fairness in the business environment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Discover the details about eligibility, financial assistance, nonprofit organization access, grants, and the impact of COVID-19 on small business funding in Alaska.

What are the eligibility requirements for startup business funding programs in Alaska?

Startup businesses in Alaska may need to meet specific criteria, including a detailed business plan, proof of need, and a solid credit history. The State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) focuses on helping businesses that struggle to secure conventional loans.

How can nonprofit organizations access small business funding in Alaska?

Nonprofit organizations in Alaska can access small business funding through various state programs. These include the AK SBDC and other local initiatives designed to support organizations that provide community and economic benefits.

What financial assistance is available to individual entrepreneurs in Alaska?

Individual entrepreneurs in Alaska can find support through programs such as the Loan Participation Program and Venture Capital/Equity Funds. The SSBCI offers $59 million in funding aimed at boosting new and existing businesses.

Are there any grants available to small businesses in Alaska at no cost?

Yes, small businesses in Alaska can apply for various grants. Some opportunities may be available through state programs or federal initiatives targeting specific industries or demographic groups.

How has COVID-19 affected small business funding opportunities in Alaska?

COVID-19 has impacted small business funding, resulting in increased government support and relief programs. Alaska's Small Business Development Center provides updated resources on available funding and relief measures through the CARES Act and other related programs.

What services does the Alaska Small Business Development Center provide to help secure funding?

The Alaska Small Business Development Center offers a range of services. These include guidance on funding applications, financial planning, and connecting businesses with lenders and investors through programs like the State Small Business Credit Initiative.

This post is to be used for informational purposes only and does not constitute formal legal, business, or tax advice. Each person should consult his or her own attorney, business advisor, or tax advisor with respect to matters referenced in this post. Resolve assumes no liability for actions taken in reliance upon the information contained herein.

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