The Skagway Development Corporation (SDC) was formed at the Municipality of Skagway’s request in 2001. The Municipality believed that a more professional and full-time approach to economic development needed to transpire for Skagway to develop into a vital year round community. Previous efforts towards economic development by the Municipality of Skagway had been by volunteer boards and commissions. These had not seen tangible results and one of the main reasons for this was that efforts had centered solely on recruitment and overlooked other economic opportunities. SDC was incorporated in the State of Alaska in December 2001 and received 501(c)(6) tax-exempt status in August 2002. The Board operated as a volunteer organization and in April 2003 a full-time Executive Director was hired after an extensive nation-wide search.
The Skagway Development Corporation aims to be the economic & community development organization supporting business enterprise and community well-being within Skagway, Alaska. In working towards this vision, we have defined a set of values we feel important to apply in our work. These include: Sustainability, Collaboration, Professionalism, Integrity, Responsiveness, and Confidentiality. Utilizing these values as a guide, we are better able to fulfill our mission, which is:
“To serve the community of Skagway as an advisory, administrative and technical source, by supporting business enterprise and community well being through connecting people, ideas and resources.”
In an effort to work towards this vision and fulfill our mission, SDC wears many hats within the community of Skagway. Our Small Business Resource Center (SBRC) provides assistance to future and existing business owners needing assistance in writing a business plan, expanding a current business, marketing, identifying funding/loans, as well as other business related activities such as printing, faxing, and spiral binding. Occasionally, the SBRC offers small business and computer training classes to the community. In the near future, SDC hopes to expand the SBRC to include a computer lab, which would allow us to offer such training classes on a more frequent basis.
In an effort to diversify the year-round economy of Skagway, the SDC acts as a marketing agent for the Port of Skagway, offering information and facilitating tours to company representatives from around the world. Furthermore, the SDC works closely with regional, state and national economic development organizations, staying on top of the latest economic development trends as well as marketing Skagway to potential economic opportunities. Locally, SDC works very closely with the Municipality of Skagway, assisting with grant writing proposals, as requested, for capital projects. For a list of capital projects and other programs the SDC has been involved in, review the “SDC Highlights” section of this website.
Community Development Services
In 2003 it was recognized by the SDC Board of Directors that a separate entity working on community development issues was needed to compliment the economic development program. To best accomplish this it was necessary to incorporate a separate 501(c)(3) organization, SDC-Community Development Services (SDC-CDS). The philosophy of SDC and SDC-CDS is that economic and community development go hand in hand and generally one is necessary for the other to occur. SDC-CDS was granted tax-exempt status in March 2004 and has been active in pursuing funding for community based activities and projects.
SDC-CDS Mission Statement:
“To implement a process designed to encourage community development, community services, and to increase the quality of life in Skagway, Alaska.”
As a part of our community development services program, SDC-CDS assists in annual events, such as the Yuletide Ball, Buckwheat Awards Ceremony and Home Brewer’s Festival by procuring and purchasing special event liquor permits, purchasing beer/wine, and managing liquor sales at the event. This is possible per our 501(c)(3) non-profit status, which allows us to obtain 5 special event liquor permits each year per Alaska State liquor regulations. Furthermore SDC-CDS provides fiscal sponsorship for various community organizations, acting as an administrative outlet managing funds from donors and fundraising events.
Community organizations currently fiscally sponsored by SDC-CDS:
The Skagway Marathon is hosted by Duff’s Backcountry Outfitters. This annual event takes place in June and is quickly becoming a popular marathon nation-wide. SDC-CDS holds and manages funds for the Skagway Marathon Club.
The Garden City Market is a community organization which hosts a “farmers market” event for local crafters, artists, growers, cooks and entertainers . The Market takes place every other Saturday during the summer months and showcases many of Skagway’s artisianal talents with such items as handmade candles, soaps, skin care products, jewelry, clothing, paintings, culinary treats, fresh veggies and much, much more. SDC-CDS holds and manages funds for the Garden City Market.
The month of December is a very festive time in Skagway, know as Yuletide. Yuletide consists of many fun events put on by the Yuletide Committee, such as home holiday teas, wreath making classes, community ski/ice skating days, business open houses, Christmas tree lighting, caroling, the Santa Train, and Craft Bazaar to name a few. SDC-CDS holds and manages funds for the Yuletide Committee.
Skagway FC is an educational organization whose mission is to foster the physical, mental and emotional growth and development of America’s youth through the sport of soccer at all levels of age and competition. Skagway FC puts on an Adult League every summer, as well as a children’s league. SDC-CDS holds and manages funds for Skagway FC.
The North Words Writers Symposium hosts a 4-day writing symposium at the end of May each year in Skagway. With a different keynote speaker each year, this event draws 50 participants and 8 established writers/faculty. SDC-CDS holds and manages funds for the North Words Writers Symposium.
Past community groups fiscally sponsored by SDC-CDS.
This international organization provides free books to children ages 0-5. Fundraisers in Skagway take place to support this program and the children within the community.
Reverend Neil Down Fund
The Reverend Neil Down Fund was started to assist with large medical bills for a member of the community.
The Skagway Home Brewers Club, in coordination with the Skagway Recreation Center and SDC-CDS, puts on the annual Skagway Craft Brew Festival the last Saturday of every April. Starting out as a small community event for home brewers to share and showcase their winter’s creations, this event has grown to be a popular event with locals and our Canadian neighbors, selling out of all 400 tickets in 2014.
In July of 2013 this organization hosted the Southeast Alaska Garden Conference.
The Heart Beat Fund has an amazing story. In order to raise money for the Dahl Memorial Clinic in Skagway, community member Buckwheat Donahue pledged to walk and paddle from Florida to Alaska.
A local community organization that periodically has fundraisers. CDS-CDS assisted the Have-a-Heart Foundation with funds management for a specific fundraiser.
For a period of time SDC-CDS was partnering with the Skagway School to bring the curriculum of this national organization to the students. There are hopes that it will again be brought back to the Skagway School.
This now defunct community organization set out to discuss and take action on ways to improve the community and help make it more sustainable.
SDC-CDS requested and managed funds from a National Rifle Association Grant, which was used for the Municipality of Skagway to construct a new, safe Rifle Range for the community.
Marshall Islands Project
Previously, two high-school students from the Skagway School were invited to the Marshall Islands to perform their Drama, Debate and Forensics piece, “For the Good of Mankind.” Fundraisers were held for the students to travel to the Marshall Islands.
Skagway Ski Club
This now defunct community organization raised money to help provide local families incentive to get outdoors in the winter and enjoy our big backyard. Funds raised were used for such things as trail grooming equipment and scholarships for children in need to lease ski equipment.
Annual Events assisted by SDC-CDS:
The Yuletide Ball is an annual event held at the Skagway Recreation Center, put on by the Yuletide Committee and SDC-CDS. This community event has a different theme each year, urging attendees to dress up in costume while they enjoy dinner and entertainment.
The Buckwheat Ski Classic is an international cross-country ski race held at the Log Cabin Ski Trails in British Columbia, Canada. This event was started by Buckwheat Donahue in 1987 and continues to be held annually on the last Saturday of March. Following the race, SDC-CDS assists in the hosting of the awards ceremony, dinner and celebration held at the Skagway Recreation Center.
Community Organizations Endorsed by SDC-CDS:
Skagway Marketplace is a Facebook Group intended to act as an online store for local artisans to sell/trade their goods. This group features local businesses, promoting shopping locally, and thereby helping to encourage investment in the local economy. SDC-CDS has endorsed the Skagway Marketplace, supporting and applauding them for their work, as we feel it is directly in line with our Mission.