ANCOHORAGE, Alaska — Anchorage has experienced an increase in business investment this year, despite the state being in a recession exacerbated by low oil prices.

Bill Popp, president of Anchorage Economic Development Corp., said the city’s number of building permits has increased by 4 percent compared to last year. He said the increase has given city officials hope that the recessionary cycle could be ending.

Popp said that even though the increased investment is modest, he believes it’s a sign “that business is trying to gauge when the time is right when to jump in off the sideline and start investing money.”

Both local and national businesses such as Duluth Trading Co. have been setting up shop in Anchorage, KTUU-TV reported ( ) Thursday.

Other businesses opening in Anchorage include Kendall Auto Group and Bambinos Baby Food.

Duluth is remodeling the former Sports Authority storefront, while the auto group is building a new facility.

Zoi Maroudas, founder of Bambinos Baby Food, hosted a grand opening for her new retail store and manufacturing facility on Friday. She said that Alaska has many qualities that other places can’t compete with.

“We are in the last frontier,” she said. “I think this is a great time to motivate, inspire and not give up.”

Information from: KTUU-TV,