Economic Development

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The City of Seward is beautiful, unique and has limitless potential to grow and expand with an unbeatable quality of life.  The City is very accessible, only a two hour drive from Anchorage with an active, ice-free, deepwater port and rail line. We pride ourselves in being friendly and caring about our community. The City is committed to promoting economic development and courting new businesses and existing business expansions within the City boundaries. The City will make every effort to assist you in your business venture. We encourage you to utilize the Seward Chamber of Commerce to help initiate business opportunities in the City, and are committed to the following:

  • Endorsing the Seward Chamber of Commerce to promote economic development in the City of Seward.
  • Proactively marketing Seward as a viable business location.
  • Endorsing our Port and Commerce Advisory Board (PACAB) as the City's economic development advisory board to the City Council. 
  • Working with and assisting local businesses and prospects/site selectors interested in the area.

The Seward Chamber of Commerce can serve as a conduit for information and provide resources to businesses and industries seeking to locate or expand in Seward. The Seward Chamber of Commerce provides a variety of services such as:

  • Actively seeking and encouraging new industry and business in Seward.
  • Assisting new businesses with City, Borough and State resources to help jump start new businesses.
  • Providing economic information such as commercial real estate and demographics.
  • Working with other economic development organizations in the area.
  • Working with both public and private sectors to encourage collaboration.
  • Educating and advocating for issues that impact the business community and economic development activities.

Be sure to visit for the Alaska Small Business Development Center. It's another great resource for small business assistance.


The Alaska Railroad provides year-round Seward-Anchorage-Fairbanks freight hauling. Seasonal passenger services are available. More detailed information about the rail schedule can be found on their website at or on the Alaska travel website at

The Seward airport is unmanned and operated by the state under visual flight rules. Some air service, flight-seeing and charter services are available. Two paved runways are utilized with one being 4,240' long by 100' wide, and the other is 2,279' long by 75' wide. Flight time to Anchorage is about 45 minutes.

Although the Alaska Marine Highway System no longer serves Seward, this system does service areas around us such as Kodiak and Homer. Over 320,000 cruise ship passengers visit Seward annually.  Come and visit our newly renovated boat harbor. Seward welcomes a variety of vessels and offers barge services, fishing and charter boat tours, moorage, sailing, and a shipyard. The boat harbor offers over 5,000 linear ft of moorage, 2 boat launch ramps and 4 fish cleaning stations.

Inter and intra-state trucking and daily freight service is provided by companies such as City Express, Two dogs Trucking and Carlile Enterprises.

Bus/Taxi/Rental Car
Seward Bus Lines offer year round daily service to Anchorage. Taxis and shuttle bus services are provided year round and seasonally, along with local service for our senior citizens. For rental vehicles, contact Hertz.

The Seward highway, designated a National Scenic By-way, provides paved year-round access to Anchorage, 125 miles to the North, and the Sterling highway to the west provides paved access to the rest of the Kenai Peninsula all the way to Homer.


State Incentives

  • Alaska Export Assistance Center
  • Alaska New Business Incentive Program
  • Alaska Products Preference Center
  • Alaska Science & Technology Foundation (site development)
  • Buy Alaska Program
  • Community Arts Development Grants
  • Community Development Block Grants
  • Industrial Revenue Bond Financing
  • Loan Participation Program
  • SBA Bond guarantees for Small Business
  • Small Business Economic Revolving Loan Program
  • Special Incentive District
  • State Training & Employment Program
  • Tax Abatements
  • Tax Deferrals
  • Tax Increment

Please refer to the State of Alaska website for more information.

Local Incentives

  • All-America City in 1963, 1965 and 2005
  • Rapid processing of Development Permits with an average 15 working day from submission of application to issuance of building permit
  • Accessible zoning information at the City Community Development Department
  • City owned electric, water and sewer utilities
  • Low property tax rate of 3.12 mils, which equals $312 for every $100,000 of property valuation
  • 4% local sales tax, where 1% is used for the City's 24-hour hospital
  • Pro-business city government dedicated to customer service
  • Local Fire Department
  • Local Police Department
  • City-owned 24-hour emergency hospital
  • City-owned Community Clinic
  • Good ISO Rating of 5/9
  • Year-round ice free deep water port
  • City owned boat harbor for recreational and commercial fleets
  • Connected by rail to Anchorage and the Interior of Alaska
  • Opportunities to buy or lease city-owned property
  • Strong Chamber of Commerce with national and international marketing strategies receiving the 2007 Alaska Outstanding Chamber of the Year Award
  • University campus classes and vocational trade school opportunities
  • 125 miles from Anchorage via the state highway
  • State-owned unmanned airport with 5000 foot paved runway


Seward encourages diversity and economic growth for business. As the southern terminus of the Alaska Railroad, and the only multi-service, ice-free port with rail and road services to the Interior, Seward has historically been an important transportation center. Types of businesses already established in Seward are: fish processing companies, canneries, the Alaska Vocational Technical Center, a state maximum-security correctional facility, ship services and repairs, the northernmost sea research facility, the Alaska Sealife Center, the Kenai Fjords National Park headquarters, many tourism related businesses, and the University of Alaska's Institute of Marine Science home-port of the Arctic Research vessel M/V Sikuliaq.

Seward Marine Industrial Center (SMIC)

Large vessel repair and maintenance can now be done in our state of the art drydock and shipyard facility. The facility consists of and 80-foot by 350-foot synchrolift rated to lift vessels up to 5,000 long tons and 300 feet, upland rails, a lateral transfer cradle, and a dock on the north side. The pier north is used exclusively by the City's 330-ton Travelift, this machine can lift most vessels up to 100 feet and is used to transport the vessels to the City's wash down pad and the uplands for storage and maintenance seven days a week. These shipyards are located within the Seward Marine Industrial Center across Resurrection Bay east of Seward, and offer over 60 acres of leasable uplands to support your business. Though municipal leases are based on fair-market value, the city has used various tools to assist development such as incentive leases based on job and/or capital investment, industrial development bonds, and land sale.

Facilities, Utilities, Schools and Health Care

Our high quality water is supplied by nine wells and treated and distributed throughout Seward. Wastewater is collected via pipes to a secondary treatment sewage lagoon. Refuse collection is provided by the City under contract and the Kenai Peninsula Borough provides solid waste disposal via their refuse transfer facility. Seward owns their own electric utility and purchases power from Chugach Electric. The City also owns a 15MW generation system for emergency back-up. There is a grade school, middle school and high school. The local hospital is owned by the City and managed by Providence Seward Medical Center. Seward also has 1 City owned clinic and 2 other clinics, run by North Star Health Clinic and Glacier Family Medicine Center. Seward also has a long-term care facility called Seward Mountain Haven, which offers professional care to the elderly, with the facility being patterned around the Greenhouse model. There are counseling services, emergency services and two area volunteer ambulance Corps.


See an area of interest you wish to inquire about?  We invite you to submit a letter to our Community Development Department describing your business and intent to locate to Seward. A pre-application meeting can be arranged within 5 working days to assist in guiding and directing you through the appropriate process. We would love to hear of any proposals you have to offer. Contact our Community Development Department, ATTN: Jackie Wilde, City Planner at (907) 224-4048 or

Another source for economic development in the state can be found at the following websites:

Thank you for inquiring about our amazing City!