The state is expanding its support for mariculture.
Governor Sean Parnell this week signed a bill creating a revolving loan fund for shellfish farms.
“The fund will be capitalized and if you want to engage in and begin operating a small business of that kind, you’ll now have greater access to capital in the state to do it,” Parnell said at the Juneau bill-signing. “You will also have an opportunity for a loan from the Alaska microloan revolving fund. This is a niche where the banks don’t offer it typically as a product. But (it’s) focused on access to capital for entrepreneurs of our state.”
The bill-signing was part of the kickoff reception for the Haa Aani OysterFest.
The event is connected to the Celebration 2012 Native culture festival. Haa Aani, part of the Sealaska regional Native Corporation, has helped start several oyster farms in rural Southeast.
The legislation also provides financial support for other business opportunities.
“There are two more revolving loan funds created in here related to communities being able to buy quota, something our communities have not had access to capital for, as well as the commercial charter revolving loan fund to allow individuals to get into the halibut charter business,” Parnell said.
OysterFest features cooks demonstrating recipes using Southeast-grown shellfish. It continues through Saturday across from the Sealaska parking lot in downtown Juneau.
- The management slate won this year’s Sealaska board election. Three incumbents and a newcomer who ran with them beat out eight independent candidates.
- A local archaeologist says there may be the remains of a historic Alutiiq fish trap on the north end of Kodiak Island. Those types of man-made formations are rare to discover in the region, he said.
- Senate Republicans have tweaked their Obamacare repeal bill in hopes of keeping more healthy customers in the insurance market. Customers who fail to maintain coverage could be temporarily locked out.