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Study Determines SHI Economic Impact to be More Than $10 Million

Jan 28, 2019 | Alaska Native, Education, Featured, Media & Arts, News, Nonprofits

Research marks first time institute’s total economic impact quantified

©Ken Graham Photography

A study in 2012 found SHI’s biennial Celebration has a $2 million economic impact on the city each year it is held, but this is the first time research has quantified the institute’s total economic impact on Juneau and beyond.

“I realized that SHI was growing, but the numbers were beyond my expectations,” said SHI President Rosita Worl, noting SHI generated $170,000 in sales and bed taxes alone. “It was astonishing to see how high the numbers actually are. It’s very gratifying to know that we contribute this much to the economy of Juneau and the state.”

The study, The Economic and Value-Added Impacts of SHI, 2018, by the McDowell Group found that SHI’s direct expenditures in the Juneau economy totaled $4.8 million for the purchase of goods and services from Juneau vendors and contractors, SHI payroll and Sealaska scholarship recipients’ educational expenditures in Juneau. The study found that in 2018:

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· 200 Juneau businesses and individuals benefited from SHI purchases and contracts.

· $800,000 was paid to 60 Juneau-based contractors for an average of $13,500 each. Contractor payments were primarily in support of SHI grant programs.

· $750,000 was provided to the Juneau School District and the University of Alaska Southeast for additional teachers and staff, teacher education, and arts programs.

· $120,000 in Sealaska scholarships was awarded to 59 Juneau students, of which $70,000 was spent on education at UAS.

The study also found that the economic impacts of SHI’s operations go beyond direct expenditures in the Juneau economy. Indirect impacts include employment, income and output generated when SHI purchases goods and services in Juneau. Induced impacts include employment and wages generated when SHI employees and vendor employees spend their income in Juneau. These impacts are commonly known as the “multiplier effect.”

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The study found that SHI operations supported a total of 85 employees in the Juneau economy (including direct, indirect, and induced effects), who earned nearly $4 million in labor income; and SHI-related spending in Juneau totaled $7.1 million (including direct, indirect, and induced effects).

In 2018, SHI held Celebration, which generated an additional $2.1 million in visitor spending in Juneau and drew more than 5,000 people, including about 2,600 people from outside the city. The spending impacts of SHI’s operations and Celebration resulted in an estimated $170,000 in sales and bed tax collections for the CBJ, the study found.

The study attributed SHI’s ability to affect the economy to that extent to its success in securing grants to fund programs. The institute spent nearly $40 million in grant funds between 2009 and 2018, the study found.

Worl noted that the study speaks to the economic benefits, but not the qualitative benefits resulting from SHI’s educational and cultural programming, such as the improved academic achievements of Native students and school retention.

Sealaska Heritage Institute is a private nonprofit founded in 1980 to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian cultures of Southeast Alaska. Its goal is to promote cultural diversity and cross-cultural understanding through public services and events. SHI also conducts social scientific and public policy research that promotes Alaska Native arts, cultures, history and education statewide. The institute is governed by a Board of Trustees and guided by a Council of Traditional Scholars, a Native Artist Committee and a Southeast Regional Language Committee.

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The Marx Bros. Café

January 2020

Jack Amon and Richard “Van” Hale opened the doors of the Marx Bros. Café on October 18, 1979; however, the two had already been partners in cuisine for some time, having created the Wednesday Night Gourmet Wine Tasting Society and Volleyball Team Which Now Meets on Sunday, a weekly evening of food and wine. It was actually the end of the weekly event that spurred the name of the restaurant: hours after its final service, Amon and Hale were hauling equipment and furnishings out of their old location and to their now-iconic building on Third Street, all while managing arguments about equipment ownership, a visit from the police, and quite a bit of wine. “If you’ve ever seen the movie ‘A Night at the Opera” starring the Marx Brothers, that’s what it was like,” Hale explains.

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