The state is sending out nearly 650 thousand Permanent Fund Dividends today. Its the 30th dividend paid to Alaskans. In all that time, there have been very few studies on how Alaskans spend the extra cash and how that spending affects the state’s economy. But retailers say their sales around dividend time take a big jump.
In rural Alaska, dividend checks do more than pay for new sofas. Meera Kohler is the President and CEO of the Alaska Village Electric Cooperative or AVEC. Kohler says, many people in village pre-pay their winter electric bills with their PFD. She says the day checks get deposited is the busiest day of the year for AVEC.