Courtesy of KPEDD

The annual Industry Outlook Forum, put on by the Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District, is Thursday, Jan. 6 at the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center. It’s a snapshot of the economy of the Kenai Peninsula today and a forecast of what’s to come. According to Tim Dillon, executive director of KPEDD, the forum has changed substantially over its 15-year history, just like the peninsula’s economy.

Find the 2022 agenda and registration link for the 2022 Industry Outlook Forum at

Almost a fifth of the $1.9 trillion in the newly approved American Rescue Plan is headed straight to state and local governments.

Most details about how that money will be distributed are still up in the air, said Tim Dillon, executive director of the Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District. His team helped distribute Alaska CARES funding last year.

He’s not sure whether KPEDD will be playing an official role in distribution this time around. But he says what he does know is cities and boroughs will likely start parsing through their funds next month.

The Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District is working on updating the borough's Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy for 2021 to 2026, to aid in planning for the next five years. This helps in directing policy, obtaining and distributing governmental funding, attracting new businesses to the borough, identifying roadblocks to development and, ideally, bettering the quality of life in our neck of the woods.

Courtesy of KPEDD

Officials are still processing applications but as of Tuesday, the Alaska CARES grant program had approved relief funding amounting to over $128 million for businesses across the state. A sizable portion of those funds have been allocated to the Kenai Peninsula — over $21 million, to around 500 different applicants.

The Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District is collecting follow-up information to identify the economic impact of COVID-19 on businesses in the borough. This peninsula-wide, confidential survey is live until 7 p.m. Friday, May 1. The overall data will be used to identify the needs of the region to the state and federal governments. An identical version of the survey was conducted last month. This one wants to see how things have changed. Businesses and organizations large and small, in all sectors are welcome to take this survey, even if they didn’t take the first one.

Courtesy of KPEDD

A survey to quantify impacts to Kenai Peninsula businesses from the COVID-19 pandemic shows disheartening results.

The Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District collected responses throughout the borough last week and crunched the numbers over the weekend. Executive Director Tim Dillon says the cheeriest number was participation.

“I was hoping for 250, 300 responses from businesses on the peninsula and, low and behold, we had 721 businesses across the borough respond. I have 45 pages of comments,” Dillon said.

KPEDD on economy: 'We're on our way back'

Jan 9, 2019

The Kenai Peninsula Industry Outlook Forum is Wednesday in Homer. As we’ve mentioned on the two most recent episodes of Econ 919 the forum is an opportunity for business and community leaders to check in with each other as they try to grow the peninsula’s economy.

It’s not always easy.

“Well, I think we’ve weathered the storms. And we’re on our way back," said Tim Dillon of the Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District. "There’s a lot of neat things going on.”

Dillon says industry is making headway during this Alaska economic downturn.

The Kenai Peninsula Economic Outlook Forum is coming up on Jan. 9. Presented by the Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District, the forum will be held in Homer this year. I spoke with K-PEDD's executive director Tim Dillon about the day-long gathering.