Economic Development | Native Village of Barrow

The Economic Development Department’s Mission is to help Tribal Members by assisting to develop Affordable Housing, New roads, New Business Development, Educational programs, subsistence & industry, Tourism, Maritime logistics study, alternative fuels & energy, and broadband infrastructure.

A. Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy or CEDS Grant for $200,000 is for developing the region-wide Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) for Utqiagvik (Barrow). The CEDS is an actionable plan for creating opportunities for economic growth and for strengthening economic resilience through the collaboration of regional stakeholders.

B. Broadband Grant 2.5 GHz Spectrum Business Development for $50,000 is to conduct a feasibility study to identify the development of high capacity broadband infrastructure with the Quintillion undersea fiber landing at its shores, among other elements of broadband development. This is an incredible opportunity for NVB to possibly develop a self-sustaining subsidiary business that can be developed for telecommunications and internet services, or licensed to companies serving the area. There are unique Economic Development opportunities associated with this offer, for the development of local networks, tribally owned Wi-Fi, rural internet networks for the North Slope.


Barrow Area-Wide
CEDS 2018-2023
Version 1.2, April 2020


  • Native Village of Barrow
  • Ukpeagvik Iñupiat Corporation
  • Arctic Slope Regional Corporation
  • North Slope Borough
  • City of Utqiagvik
  • Iḷisaġvik College

Sponsored by the US Economic Development Administration Grant Award #07-84-07382


The Native Village of Barrow (NVB) Iñupiat Traditional Government is responsible for developing the region-wide Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) for Utqiagvik (Barrow). The CEDS is an actionable plan for creating opportunities for economic growth and for strengthening economic resilience through the collaboration of regional stakeholders.

The NVB Department of Economic Development, towards achieving this goal, formed a CEDS Advisory Committee comprised of the NVB, Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC), Ukpeagvik Iñupiat Corporation (UIC), City of Utqiagvik (City), Iḷisaġvik College, North Slope Borough (NSB) and a number of small business representatives.

Meetings were conducted between February 2018 and July 2018, with 60 participants to determine Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT meetings) at the offices of each major stakeholder. The SWOT and strategic advisory meetings included discussions on:

Economic Resilience, defined as “the ability of an economic region to prevent, withstand and quickly recover from major disruptions to its economic base”, and

Vision, Goals and Objectives towards achieving those goals which leverage strengths and address areas of concern, while working towards the creation of new opportunities.

The SWOT analysis was weighed against the highest risks to the economic base. The resulting Action Plan represents the strategic priorities for the region, and includes the following Goals and Objectives (download full pdf for details).

The overall goal of this Barrow Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy is to respect our rich culture and traditions and act on opportunities for economic development to create new revenue streams, grow a diverse workforce and improve the safety and health of all Barrow residents.

Objective 1.1: Create Barrow Housing Master Plan
Objective 1.2: Create New Low and Very-Low Income Housing
Objective 1.3: Create Homeless Shelter
Objective 1.4: Create Family Homes and Apartments for Skilled Workers
Objective 1.5: What does a Modern Alaskan Home in the High Arctic Look Like?

Objective 2.1: Shareholder Lot Roads Phase 2-5
Objective 2.2: Complete the Uivaqsaagiak Road (BARC Road)
Objective 2.3: Research and Develop New Methods for Building Arctic Roads
Objective 2.4: Barrow Walkway and Sidewalks Project
Objective 2.5: Planning a Permanent Road to Atqasuk

Objective 3.1: Barrow Economic Development Corporation
Objective 3.2: Repository of Business Opportunities

Concept 3.2.1: Barrow Shopping Mall
Concept 3.2.2: Movie Theater
Concept 3.2.3: Cozy Coffee Shop
Concept 3.2.4: Conference Center
Concept 3.2.5: Nice Restaurant, Pizza and/or Burger Place
Concept 3.2.6: Recycling Station
Concept 3.2.7: Hydroponic Farm Business
Concept 3.2.8: Indoor Activity Grounds for Kids
Concept 3.2.9: Child Care and Day Care Centers
Concept 3.2.10: Substance Abuse Center and Jail
Concept 3.2.11: Develop Business of Local Grocery Store in Barrow
Concept 3.2.12: Purchase Mixed use Commercial Space in Barrow

Objective 4.1: Build New Campus for Iḷisaġvik College
Objective 4.2: Reindeer Herding Revitalization Project

Objective 5.1: Visit Barrow: Eco-Tourism Center

Objective 6.1: Planning for The Barrow Deep Sea Port

Objective 7.1: Investments in Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)
Objective 7.2: Wind and Solar Feasibility Projects

Objective 8.1: Microwave Internet Backhaul Network
Objective 8.2: Barrow Datacenter: “US Arctic Data Fortress”

How to Work with the Tribe to Develop your Business

The NVB working with local stakeholders has identified the economic development and resilience priorities which are listed in our CEDS.

If you are working in any of these fields, or would like to develop a business which aligns with these priorities, then please get in touch with us to discuss how we can motivate the idea.

Start by emailing a description of your existing business or new business idea to and identifying the Goal, Objective or Concept as described above.

The tribe would then work with you and the Economic Development Administration review the documents. If the business is eligible we will work with you to secure funding to develop a business plan, startup funds, or new construction funding as needed.

Thank you for your interest in developing Barrow’s economic infrastructure and well-being.