Finance and Investment

Objective 1: Assess needs and new sources of capital in Alaska.

Partners: AIDEA, U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, USDA, SBA, UACED, ARDORs, DED, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs).

Action Items:

  • Conduct a formal assessment of capital availability for businesses at all stages of development in Alaska.
  • Seek new sources of capital that spread out risk to multiple parties (i.e. Bureau of Indian Affairs, USDA, U.S. SBA).

Objective 2: Expand use, availability, and knowledge of microfinance and crowdfunding.

Partners: DCCED’s Division of Banking and Securities, statewide angel funds, Launch:Alaska, Alaska Small Business Development Center, The Foraker Group.

Resources: Knowledge base distributed throughout nonprofit leaders, Statewide Small Business Development Centers, AIDEA, and The Foraker Group’s education outreach.

Action Items:

  • Expand public awareness of allowable uses of crowdfunding under recent legislation through promotional channels: web content, news media, and speaking engagements.
  • Use international microfinance models to increase capital for small businesses in rural Alaska not eligible for traditional financing.

Objective 3: Maximize and coordinate the use of state assets including AIDEA, and AHFC.

Partners: AIDEA, Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC).

Resources: Boston Consulting Group report completed in fall 2016, state corporation assets.

Action Items:

  • Develop and utilize a consistent system similar to AIDEA’s project vetting methodology for co-investment as a model for large scale public-private investments.
  • Increase early stage business and project investment from state agencies.
  • Undertake a new strategic plan for AIDEA.

Objective 4: Systematically attract and increase foreign direct investment.

Partners: Select USA, DED, Invest in the USA EB-5 trade association, ARDORs.

Resources: Alaska EB-5 regional center.

Action Items:

  • Utilize EB-5 foreign investment to finance projects in high unemployment areas of Alaska.
  • Identify three priority investor nations on which to focus investment marketing.
  • Identify three priority Alaska industries for foreign direct investment.
  • Work closely with the federal SelectUSA program and participate in targeted promotional activities that reach out to target investment markets.

Objective 5: Increase financing literacy among Alaska businesses and municipal governments.

Partners: Municipalities, Foraker Group, Alaska Community Foundation, Alaska Municipal Bond Bank Authority, University of Alaska.

Resources: Alaska Community Foundation Strengthening Organizations grants, DCCED’s Division of Community and Regional Affairs, Alaska Municipal League.

Action Items:

  • Hold municipal, tribal and borough focused listening sessions to assess and address financial system education needs.
  • Educate municipalities and boroughs about the uses of financing tools and tax exemption programs for economic development.
  • Identify gaps in financing literacy among Alaska businesses and address these gaps through education to increase the number of investible companies in Alaska.
  • Facilitate a transition from grant funding to debt financing for community projects.
  • Involve local Community Foundation Affiliate organizations in facilitation of organizational capacity building.
  • Assist community organizations with credit worthiness in order to access debt financing.

Objective 6: Implement tax incentive and abatement programs that specifically spur economic development projects.

Partners: Municipalities, ARDORs, UACED, DED, private sector developers.

Resources: Other jurisdictions’ knowledge base and use of tax abatement programs that have not been utilized in Alaska.

Action Items:

  • Explore the use of Tax Increment Financing for use in urban areas to finance economic development and community development projects.
  • Assess the potential impact for additional tax-based incentives to spur economically beneficial development.