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Anchorage Gig Economy Gets a Boost

ANCHORAGE – Local gig economy workers have the support of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, with its board approving the development of the Anchorage Gig Economy Network and establishing a committee that will prioritize opportunities that foster growth for the budding economic sector. The chamber appointed Far North Fashion blogger Lesli Olson to its Board of Directors and to chair an ad hoc committee responsible for further developing the effort.
 
“Gig workers are a strong segment of Anchorage’s economic makeup, but it’s an often-overlooked category that includes everyone from independent consultants and designers to fishing guides and contractors. It’s important that we consider the needs of independent workers to advance our economy and advance Anchorage,” said Anchorage Chamber President/CEO Bruce Bustamante.
 
The gig economy recognizes the ability and preference of people to be their own boss and is a term for independent workers often providing short-term contract service or freelance work. While the sector is not new, the emergence of technology has exponentially expanded opportunities – with gig work often associated today with Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and app-driven occupations.
 
“I’m excited to the join the chamber board and help build inclusion of the gig economy with the traditional brick and mortar businesses. I believe there’s a lot that we can learn from each other,” said Far North Fashion blogger and Anchorage Gig Economy Network Chair Lesli Olson.
 
Olson started the Far North Fashion Instagram account in 2018 to highlight styles and affordable trends for working moms. A year later, she was accepted as an influencer with rewardStyle’s, “Like to Know It” and has generated an income ever since. Since launching Far North Fashion, her photography and styles have been featured by Target, Old Navy, Carhartt, Eye Buy Direct and Victoria Emerson.
 
The Anchorage Chamber’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiative identified the local gig economy as a trending sector that could benefit from the chamber’s resources.
 
“We’re creating a space for gig workers to network and share lessons learned, challenges and solutions. This also allows the chamber to be more in tune with community business needs so that we can advocate on issues that improve the rights and benefits of the industry,” said Dr. Jocasta Gee Olp, Anchorage Chamber’s diversity coordinator.
 
Advancing opportunities for gig workers expands Anchorage’s workforce opportunities, allowing individuals to move to Anchorage and get to work quickly. “You can work anywhere in these roles, let’s make Anchorage the top choice,” added Olp.
 
Anchorage Chamber membership is not required to join the Anchorage Gig Economy Network on Facebook.
 
ABOUT THE ANCHORAGE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
The Anchorage Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit, member-driven business organization with more than 900 members representing more than 55,000 employees. For over 100 years, the Anchorage Chamber has served as a resource where members can gain business knowledge, insight and strength. More information about the Anchorage Chamber is available at AnchorageChamber.org or by calling (907) 272-2401.

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