Business news

■ The Kenai and Soldotna chambers of commerce will host a joint luncheon at noon April 3 at the Kenai Visitor Center. A presentation on Alaska and U.S. energy policy by Steve Pratt, executive director of the Consumer Energy Alliance, Alaska, is planned. RSVP to 262-9814 or 283-7989.


Bear Creek Winery now uses American-made products for its bottling operations. The winery now buys all of its green glass bottles through Bennu Glass in Kalama, Wash. Corks for the winery come from South Carolina and all wine labels are printed right in Homer at Superior Labels.

Alaska-grown fruits and berries are used for most of the winemaking.

“We pay a little more for American made raw materials because they help us make a superior product, which we present to our customers,” said Bill Fry, co-owner of the winery.

“Bennu took over and re-opened the glass melter last year, after it had been shut down in 2008 after suffering massive equipment failure and bankruptcy. The plant now employs 100 people.”

The locally-minded winery is also very proud of its green star award. Co-owner Louie Maurer commented, “At Bear Creek we consider the environment in every decision that we make. Our buy local philosophy reduces our environmental impact by limiting our carbon foot print associated with shipping, in addition to supporting America’s economy.”

Holiday Stationstores, a Midwest-based convenience store/gas station chain, announced that Lori Ralston, store manager in Soldotna, will be inducted into the organization’s 2012 Pinnacle Club during events April 3 and 4 in Minneapolis.

The Pinnacle Club is reserved for store and district managers of Holiday Stationstores who have consistently exceptional results in the areas of sales growth, expense control, age-restricted sales compliance and overall business efficiency.

The City of Soldotna is now accepting new applications for the 2013 Storefront Improvement Program. Business owners or lessees can apply for a 50-50 matching grant, up to $5,000, to improve the exterior of their business. This year the city is expanding the program so that it is open to all businesses in the Commercial or Limited Commercial zoning districts.

More information is available online at or by calling Stephanie Queen at 714-1240.

The Alaska Small Business Development Center has scheduled seminars in Suite 12 at the Red Diamond Center. For more information or to register online, go to:, click training events, go to Centers Location, select Kenai Peninsula/South West, click Browse: find seminar, click Sign Up and complete registration.

■ Profit Mastery ($200) — 2 1/2 days, April 15 to April 17. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 15-16, 9 a.m. to noon on April 17. Bryan Zak of AKSBDC presents our Profit Mastery Seminar, so you can explore your best opportunity for knowledge-driven financial management education. This hands-on course will help you set goals for the future of your business, control spending and pricing, and leave with a process to assess the performance of your business and a strategy to implement change. Creating Value and Building Wealth will empower you to make better business decisions and keep more of your hard earned money. To qualify for Job’s Bill Funding’s Limited Time Special Offer of $200, you must register online and meet payment deadline which is by 5 p.m. on April 8.

■ “QuickBooks 2011: Payroll” ($80) — April 17, 5-9 p.m. Alaska SBDC wants to help you to be efficient in tracking your payroll records. Lesson 1 is getting started; Lesson 2 is Doing Payroll with QuickBooks 2011; Lesson 3 is Tracking time, and we include handouts for payroll responsibilities, payroll item types and a list of payroll expenses and liabilities. Registration and payment deadline is April 12.

■ “QuickBooks 2011: Inventory” ($80) — April 23, 5-9 p.m. Alaska SBDC wants to help you to be efficient in tracking your records so to get an overview of inventory in QuickBooks, practice filling out a PO for items; track the receipt of the inventory items in QuickBooks, to adjust inventory manually or enter stock loss or increase, the create, build and edit inventory assemblies (finished goods) and also to set up and use units of measure. This is all part of the Inventory workshop. Registration and payment deadline is April 12.

■ Start a Business (free) — 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. April 30. Register by April 26. Bryan Zak will answer your questions on starting a business on the Kenai Peninsula while preparing you for a productive relationship with Alaska Small Business Development Center and our partner programs. You will learn why you should register for our free counseling services and how to sign up for our various training events.

Have you opened a new business, moved to a new location, hired a new person or promoted an employee?

The community wants to know, and so do we. Send us your information at, fax it to 907-283-3299, or drop it by the Clarion at 150 Trading Bay in Kenai.

Questions? Call 907-335-1251.

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