Alaska’s tourism industry has been uniquely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Cruise ships bring about half of the state’s visitors in a normal year.
Some of those cruise tourists — along with some independent travelers — end up spending some time in Metlakatla. And there, they might run into business owner Lindarae Shearer. She’s the owner of Laughing Berry Companies — that’s a suite of businesses that includes a gift shop, a tour company, a car rental service, and cottages, among other things.
But in 2020, those tourists never arrived. I sat down with Shearer to talk about how the last year has been for her businesses.