Our goal is to build community resiliency. We believe that just as the roots of a tree create a strong base for the entire forest floor, a strong locally controlled economy creates the foundation for a healthy and thriving community.
By design, Spruce Root helps entrepreneurs overcome barriers to financial services and develop local capacity within our Southeast Alaskan communities. Headquartered in Juneau, Alaska Spruce Root was founded by Haa Aaní, LLC in 2012 under the name Haa Aaní Community Development Fund, Inc. with the goal of improving access to capital for entrepreneurs in Southeast Alaska. As an emerging Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), we spent our infancy learning about CDFI best practices and raising capital to lend. By 2016 we had 8 loans in our portfolio and $3M in lending capital. In early 2017 we underwent a name change and re-branded as Spruce Root, Inc. This signified our own transformation from an emerging CDFI to an established organization with the governance, staffing, and resources necessary to operate as an autonomous entity.
Our mission is to assist Southeast Alaska’s people and businesses to reach their full potential through loan capital and support services to promote economic, social, cultural, and environmental resiliency.
how we work
Spruce Root is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that was founded in February 2012, with $500,000 of seed money from Sealaska through Haa Aaní Economic Development. Today the fund has grown to $3.5 million, which is possible thanks to grant, benefactor and partner funds.
Spruce Root is partnered in building capacity and growing the economic strength of Southeast Alaska by providing:
- Technical resources, mentoring and business coaching
- Business planning courses, entrepreneurial and small business training, and one-on-one business assistance
- Small business lending in Southeast Alaska
- Education and access to other funding sources and collaborative partnerships throughout the region.
We take pride in our collaborative approach to economic development, working with diverse people and entities around the state, and as a core partner in the Sustainable Southeast Partnership. Our core team is made up of local experts with roots in our respective communities and a vested interest in improving the resiliency and sustainability of the Southeast region. Our roots are strong and supportive and we welcome the addition of more local businesses to strengthen our collective future. Let’s grow together!
who we serve
Spruce Root serves 23 communities throughout Southeast Alaska from Yakutat to Hydaburg and everywhere in between. Our target market consists primarily of entrepreneurs and businesses residing in low-income rural and historically native communities of Southeast Alaska. However, it is Spruce Roots’ policy not to discriminate and we enthusiastically welcome all regional entrepreneurs.
We operate with the belief that the entire community benefits from locally-owned businesses that are strong and contribute to the local economy. Spruce Root is intimately familiar with the region and the challenges that are unique to business owners and entrepreneurs. Our team has significant capacity to make loans across the region and we are happy to work with entrepreneurs and business owners in both rural and urban communities.
Spruce Root services for small businesses include coaching, training and lending for startup enterprises, working capital, business expansion, leasehold improvements and other business capital needs – We’re flexible! We will consider any business loan opportunity that will promote the economic development of Southeast Alaska.