2019 was quite the year for Alaska Growth Capital (AGC) as we worked across Alaska and beyond to grow economic opportunity, rooted in community. Please see the three infographics accompanying this note for some of the impressive statistics about our impact last year. Here are a few more highlights I’d like to share:
-We received the 2018 Alaska Community Lender of the Year award from the Small Business Administration (SBA) for the 9th time. We are honored to again be recognized as an innovative and community-focused small business lender.
-We were awarded $650,000 through the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Fund’s Native American CDFI Assistance Program to support loans in Native communities in Alaska.
-We submitted a competitive application to the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program, hoping to once again bring these federal tax credits to Alaska to benefit large infrastructure projects in rural and Native communities. We also participated in important federal advocacy around the NMTC program, hoping to increase the tax credits allocated to Native organizations like ours that do work in indigenous communities.
-We said farewell to our former President & CEO Logan Birch, who transferred to fellow ASRC subsidiary, ASRC Energy Services, in summer 2019. Upon his departure, I transitioned from my previous position as Senior Vice President of Lending to President & CEO. We also said goodbye to loan officer Hilary Upicksoun, who accepted a new opportunity with fellow ASRC subsidiary, Petro Star Inc.
-In 2019 we welcomed three new staff members – Julie Woodworth, Cody Beech, and Penny Gage. We also welcomed an intern, Brendon Doyle, who is an ASRC Shareholder pursuing an economics and finance undergraduate degree at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Two of our staff – Jennifer Snodgrass and Penny Gage – received the Alaska Journal of Commerce’s “Top Forty Under 40” award in 2019.
-Our North Slope Marketplace business plan competition for ASRC Shareholders, founded in 2009, underwent significant changes in 2019, including revision of the application process, creation of a cohort model with a three-day intensive businesses training on the North Slope (rather than flying in Semi-Finalists to do a training in Anchorage), and incorporation of a mentor program. We also initiated new partnerships to support the program in 2019 with the Arctic Education Foundation, three fellow ASRC subsidiaries, and the Minority Business Development Association.
I join the entire team at AGC in having gratitude for what was accomplished in 2019. We hope to build on this work in the coming year to help grow Alaska’s economy and support small businesses.
Here’s to a productive and impactful 2020!
President & CEO, Alaska Growth Capital