Business Briefs

Chambers to host joint luncheon
The Kenai and Soldotna Chambers of Commerce will host a joint luncheon Wednesday at noon at the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center. A presentation about small business development is planned. Lunch will be $15, RSVP is required by Tuesday. For more information call the Kenai chamber at 283-7989 or the Soldotna chamber at 262-9814.

Small business workshops available
The Alaska Small Business Development Center has scheduled May seminars. To register online, go to:  http://aksbdc.ecenterdirect.com, click training events, go to "Centers Location", select Kenai Peninsula/ South West; click Browse: find seminar, click sign up and complete registration.

* "Starting A Business"  -- May 8 and May 15 at 10 a.m.
Bryan Zak will cover basic questions and offer helpful resources in our free 2-hour workshop on "Starting a Business" while preparing you for a productive relationship with Alaska Small Business Development Center and our partner programs, and explain the value of our free counseling services. This seminar is in Suite 12 at the Red Diamond Center and is from 10 a.m. to Noon so please register for the date that best fits your schedule. 

*  "Energy Efficiency Audits" -- May 8 - 1 to 3 p.m.
Are you a small business that wants to reduce your energy costs? Sign up for this $10 seminar where Taz Tally who has been a strong Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Advocate, will provide information on how to obtain energy efficiency audits and which programs are available to help pay for your energy efficiency upgrades - right here in Suite 12 in the Red Diamond Center. This one-hour presentation and Q&A session is followed by a 30 minute session to complete the audit application if you qualify. Space is limited so please register online by May 4th.

*  "Beginning Quickbooks" --  Tuesdays from May 8 to May 29
Learn to use QuickBooks as the best tool to collect and organize your business data so you're prepared when tax time rolls around. Four Tuesday sessions, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. covers 10 chapters. Payroll and Inventory are separate classes. Fee is $190 on Tuesdays: May 8, May 15, May 22 and ends May 29 in Suite 12 at AK SBDC- Red Diamond Center. Bring a thumb drive to save your lessons to practice at home. Seating limited May 4 is deadline to register. Experience in Typing and computer keyboarding  is required 

*  "Smart Solutions for Small Businesses" -- May 16 from 1 to 3 p.m.
Whether you work for yourself or employ other people, you should have a retirement plan for the same reasons many big corporations have them: As important tax advantages and to attract and retain high caliber employees. Most importantly, a retirement plan offers you an avenue to your own financial security. Meg Cicciarella will offer an overview of the various retirement plans available to small businesses and their employees here in Suite 12 in the Red Diamond Center. Fee is $20 and participants will gain a clear understanding of the retirement plan best suited to their individual business and receive a voucher for an individual consultation to discuss their specific needs.  Deadline to register is May 11. 

* "Grant Writing" -- Soldotna:  May 16 from 5 to 8 p.m.
On Wednesday, May 16, from 4:30 to 8:00 p.m. Loretta Spalding will walk you through the basics to successfully launch your grant writing skills -- starting with how to search for grants when a great percentage is for non-profits, what to include in your grant application and procedures you must follow once you receive a grant. This once a quarter three-hour class is $70 and held at the Soldotna Middle School. To confirm your seat register and payment due by Friday, May 11. Please call Bunny 260-5629 for questions.

*  "Marketing Your Business" -- May 22 from 1 to 4 p.m.
What is Advertising -- What is Marketing? Both are important and Bryan Zak will show you why with tips that will help you plan your sales strategy to get your company's service or product information to your buyers -- while keeping within your budget. You need more than passion to succeed in business and both advertising and marketing should be on your list. The workshop is in Suite 12 in the Red Diamond Center and  May 18 is the deadline to register.

High Tunnels for gardening cost-shared by USDA
USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service will continue to fund high tunnel garden structures through the Environmental Quality Incentive Program through fiscal year 2013. Applications must be completed by June 15.

Land and producer eligibility criteria must be met and a NRCS cost-shared high tunnel will be part of a comprehensive conservation plan.

For more information or an application package call the NRCS Kenai Field Office at 283-8732 or visit www.ak.nrcs.usda.gov.

Aquatic farm application period is now open
The Division of Mining, Land, and Water is now accepting aquatic farm lease applications for shellfish operations in state waters. The application period opened on Jan. 1 and ends on April 30. During the application period, existing farmers may apply for lease amendments.

An aquatic farm lease enables the recipient to use state waters to commercially farm Pacific oysters, mussels, littleneck clams, geoduck clams or other shellfish.

Applications and information can be viewed and/or downloaded from the division's website at:  http://www.dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/aquatic/index.htm.

For additional information or to set up a pre-application meeting, contact John Thiede, Aquatic Farm program manager, at 269-8543 or via email at john.thiede@alaska.gov.

Submit business news to news@peninsulaclarion.com.

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