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.
- Alaska’s oldest Native organizations are trying to attract younger members. That and other issues are on the table at the ANB-ANS Grand Camp Convention Oct. 5-8.
- As the air gets colder and the days shorter, the Skagway tourism season is coming to a close. Overall, tourism staff says this summer was a success. The last cruise ship of the season has come and gone and shop owners around Skagway are preparing for winter, cleaning up and closing their doors. The streets that were recently busy with visitors are quieting down.
- These are the days when a president turns to thoughts of legacy. As the months tick down on this Administration, President Obama has created a marine national monument off new England and last month vastly expanded one near Hawaii. Alaska interest groups are working to get his attention, too. Some want him to take bold action in the 49th State before he leaves office, and others are urging him to resist those calls.
- Homer Electric Association held an informational meeting on September 28 to answer questions about the upcoming vote on deregulation. The meeting, which was held at Islands and Ocean Visitor Center, attracted more than 100 people. The overwhelming majority were HEA customers who expressed concerns about the consequences of deregulation.