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.
- This week, 88 Energy announced they've started setting up a rig on the North Slope to drill a second well for Project Icewine. According to a recent 88 Energy presentation, the company thinks its leases may hold between 1.4 and 3.6 billion barrels of oil.
- The state is fining oil and gas company Hilcorp an additional $160,000 for using nitrogen without permission while working on two wells in 2015 -- the same practice that nearly killed three North Slope workers.
- Roughly 6,000 state workers were unable to log in to their computers, affecting two in five executive branch workers.
- The totem pole is an icon of the Pacific Northwest. The carved art form showcases clan stories and family crests in museums around the world. After more than 30 years in the Anchorage Museum, a century-old pole from Southeast has made it back to Sitka, where curators are prepping a permanent home.