Current Projects

A Location Neutral Economy

What does “location neutral” mean?

A location neutral worker  is someone who doesn’t need to be in a specific location to make a wage, or someone who works elsewhere but resides in Haines. In either case they can live wherever they want.  Examples include:

  • North Slope workers who live in Haines
  • Telecommuters who choose to live in Haines
  • Miners at Greens Creek or Kensington who raise their families in Haines 
  • Artists, writers, digital nomads, retirees

Location neutral workers come from different geographies, fields of study, and industries. As they settle into Haines, making homes and lives, they effectively diversify our economy, bringing outside money and lifting our schools and our infrastructure.

Our economy is often at the whims of market forces outside of our control. The cruise ship industry is one example of a single industry having an outsize role on our economy. A downturn in the cruise industry is a downturn in Haines. But by making Haines an attractive place to live and work for families with the flexibility to live anywhere, we all will enjoy the benefits, whether you yourself are location neutral or not.

Are you a location neutral worker living in Haines? Please fill out our survey and help us understand what you see as the benefits and challenges of working and living in Haines, Alaska.

byHaines Shop Local & Save Program Starts Today

UPDATE 10/13/2020: The byHaines Shop Local program is complete! Through this program, more than $80,000 was spent at local businesses in less than two weeks. Thank you for all of those who participated. Remember, gift certificates must be redeemed by 12/31/2020!

Your participation helps stimulate $80,000 in local discretionary spending.

When we choose Haines, together we thrive!

How does it work? The process is easy:

  1. In the month of October 2020, spend $300 on discretionary purchases at any local Haines business. Purchases can be made from multiple businesses. “Discretionary” is defined as things other than necessities. Groceries, fuel, utilities, and gasoline are not eligible. A detailed description of eligible purchases can be found at &
  2. Complete application. Only one application per person!
  3. Submit application with receipts online at, or drop off in a sealed envelope at the Chamber office (Gateway Building Suite #14). Only the first 200 submitted applications will be eligible!
  4. The Haines Chamber will issue $100 in gift certificates on behalf of the first 200 applicants to a business selected from list of participating merchants.
  5. Gift certificate(s) must be redeemed by December 31, 2020.

You can bring $29,590 to Alaska with your Census

Every year, the State of Alaska receives more than $2 billion in federal funding. The amount the state receives is determined by the once-a-decade U.S. Census count. A single Alaskan missed in the U.S. Census count can equate to $29,590 in federal funding deprived from the state over the next 10 years (“Counting for Dollars 2020”, The George Washington University). 

Federal funding is a major driver for economic development in rural communities such as Haines. U.S. Department of Transportation funds are used locally on the Haines Highway project and support, in part, the Alaska Marine Highway System. The U.S. Health Resource and Services Administration funds SEARHC’s Sliding Discount Program to provide health services to our local Haines & Klukwan citizens. The National School Lunch Program provides low-cost or free lunches to our school children and the Bureau of Indian Affairs funds the Chilkoot Indian Association to develop strategies for changes in Eulachon and sockeye fish populations.

Completing the 2020 Census ensures the continued support of federal funding to our community. Respond online today at or at the HEDC office in Bell’s Store on 2nd Avenue, Tuesday – Friday from 9am to 4pm.

Haines Business COVID-19 Response Survey Results

This survey was issued March 27-April 4 after similar surveys by the Southeast Conference and Spruce Root did not capture many Haines respondents. The questions on this survey were modeled after those surveys. These results are not meant to represent a “statistically accurate” selection of all Haines’ businesses, but it is meant to take a snapshot of business owners immediate concerns under present circumstances. The results will be shared with local leaders, state government policy makers and others as we try to determine the immediate impact of this health crisis on the local economy. The data may also be used to gauge need for additional state or federal aid or any other programs that become available to support small business during this time. Below are some highlights of the results; please follow the link at the bottom to see complete results. Thank you to all the businesses that took part in this survey.

Survey Results Overview

35 respondents

  • Majority respondents are Retail businesses (31%)
  • Manufacturing/Wholesale (14%)
  • Tour or Guiding Services (11%)
  • Other Leisure or Hospitality (including Lodging) (11%)
  • Restaurant, beverage or food service (11%)

Other businesses responding include commercial fishing, health or social services, professional services/consulting, childcare, transportation, resources management.

  • The businesses responding employ a total of 29 full-time year-round employees, 13 part-time year-round employees and 20 seasonal employees.
  • All respondents have experienced some business disruption of business due to COVID-19.
  • 63% are still operating; 37% are not operating.
  • 17% of respondents are at no at risk of closure at this time; 37% are at a moderate or significant risk of closing under current circumstances. Of those 37%, 9% expect to close within the month; 21% within 1-3 months.
  • Just over half of the responding businesses said they have experienced 50% or more in revenue decline in the last 30 days compared to the same time in 2019. Two businesses reported significant increases in revenue.
  • About 46% reported they are considering some type of emergency or short-term financing, with the majority of these needing the financing in the next 1-3 months. The majority of these said the financing would be used for operating expenses.
  • About 27% of respondents have already laid off employees with about 12% having reduced hours for employees. 27% have told seasonal employees not to report for work.


For complete results:

Early Education By the Numbers

HEDC recently worked with Juneau Economic Development Council, Southeast Alaska Association for the Education of Young Children and thread Alaska to compile data on the state of child care and early education in Haines. We hope the community finds this information useful, as well as the survey we conducted recently, in discussing the accessibility and availability of child care and early education in Haines. Download the Early Education in Haines By the Numbers report.

For more information about the economic impacts and importance of child care and early education in economic development, check out the following resources: