Homer population, business sales up in 2016

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to clarify that population and business sales in Homer rose in 2016.

Homer’s population and gross business sales have been on the rise, though there’s still a ways to go in that regard to reach past sale levels.

Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District Executive Director Tim Dillon presented a portion of this year’s Situations and Prospects Report to the Homer City Council at its Aug. 28 meeting. The nonprofit located in north Kenai compiles and publishes several economic reports detailing the Kenai Peninsula, and pursues areas of economic development, such as with its business incubation center.

For the first time this year, Dillon said KPEDD has created individual summaries of the reports specific to the four major towns on the peninsula: Kenai, Soldotna, Homer and Seward.

“This is the kind of document that, if you have local groups — especially nonprofits that are trying to apply for grants — this is where they can find a lot of the little pieces of information that will help them an awful lot,” Dillon said.

According to the situations and prospects summary specific to Homer, total gross business sales within the city were up 2 percent from 2015-2016, but down 4 percent over five years from 2012-2016.

“Homer and Seldovia were the only places on the peninsula where gross business sales were higher in 2016 versus 2015,” Dillon said.

Some business types saw gains during those same time periods, according to the report, such as arts and entertainment, the hotel industry, transportation and warehousing, and public administration. Areas that saw losses include construction contracting, health care and educational services.

Dillon cautioned, however, that because the business type categories are compiled by the state and are subject to editing, the numbers can sometimes be skewed. Council member Tom Stroozas asked specifically about the manufacturing sector, which on the report showed a 41 percent decrease from 2012-2016.

“These business types are not ours, they’re the state’s. And periodically they change what they’re including and how they’re including it,” Dillon answered. “They went through and changed some of the fish processing, and they call some of it manufacturing still (and) they’ve broken things down differently.”

The peninsula overall is up by 376 people. Homer saw an influx of 111 people from 2015-2016, Dillon said, while Kenai lost 126.

“The Kenai Peninsula Borough is one of the only places in the state that increased in census numbers (in terms of) population change,” he said.

In addition, 36 new homes were built in Homer in 2016, and 58 homes were sold, with an average sales price of $245,572. Homer’s median household income is $55,849.

“Over the last decade, Homer led every year in new home construction for all peninsula cities, except in 2010 when it was (second) to Soldotna,” the report states.

When it comes to the commercial fishing industry, 73 percent of the total commercial catch harvested by peninsula residents in 2015 was made by Homer fishermen, according to the report. Homer residents caught 2 percent of all commercial fish harvested in Alaska that same year.

Find the Homer summary and the full situations and prospects report at kpedd.org.

Reach Megan Pacer at megan.pacer@homernews.com.

More in News

Christie Hill prepares to play “Taps” during the 9/11 memorial service on Saturday. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
Homer honors lives lost during 9/11

The Homer-Kachemak Bay Rotary held a Sept. 11 memorial ceremony at the… Continue reading

Judith Eckert
COVID-19 patient says monoclonal antibody infusion saved her life

Antibody infusions highly effective in reducing risk of hospitalization, according to FDA trial ..

A sign flashing “Keep COVID down” also offers information on where to get testing and vaccines on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021, on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
SPH holding steady in COVID-19 surge

Despite hospital crisis in Anchorage, Homer’s hospital not impacted, spokesperson tells Homer City Council.

Brie Drummond speaks in support of mask mandates on Monday, Sept. 13, for the Kenai Peninsula School Board meeting at Homer High School in Homer, Alaska. During a work session before the meeting, the district presented revisions to its COVID-19 mitigation protocols. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
School district revises COVID-19 mitigation plans

The revisions come as COVID-19 cases continue to surge in Alaska and on the Kenai Peninsula.

A protester stands outside the George A. Navarre Borough Admin building in Soldotna on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Parents square off over masks at school board meeting

Some parents said they will keep their kids home if masks are required, while others say they’ll keep their kids home if masks aren’t required.

Borough School Board election

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, elections will be held for Homer City Council,… Continue reading

Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly election

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, elections will be held for Homer City Council,… Continue reading

Homer City Council election

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, elections will be held for Homer City Council,… Continue reading

Janie Leask, a Homer resident, spoke in support of the new multi-use community center during Monday night’s city council meeting, stating the need for community recreation is vital.
Council moves forward with HERC plans

After years of discussions and planning, the Homer City Council is quickly… Continue reading

Most Read