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.
- Gov. Bill Walker put a hold on an administrative order he issued in February, saying he needed more stakeholder feedback.
- Hundreds of people gathered Thursday at Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve to celebrate the opening of a newly completed Huna Tribal House and the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary. But not everyone could make it. Tribal members and elected officials were stuck at the Juneau International Airport.
- "We’re all expecting to see this fiscal contraction and a reduction in economic indicators. But the reality is that what’s going on at the state level hasn’t hit the communities yet. It hasn’t hit Juneau yet," local analyst Meilani Schijvens says.
- Scattered throughout Alaska are hundreds of pieces of land that have been transferred to Alaska Native Corporations by the federal government.Some came with contamination. Getting them cleaned up has been a decades long process, and a new report catalogs those contaminated sites, but leaves some questions about who will orchestrate cleanup – and when.