Business Briefs

Posted: Thursday, May 13, 2010

Chambers set luncheon schedules

* The Soldotna Chamber of Commerce meets Tuesday at noon at Froso's. Rod Pfleiger will discuss the 2010 season and cruise line-related issues. For more information, call 262-9814.

* The Kenai Chamber of Commerce meets Wednesday at noon. The upcoming meeting will focus on the tourism industry and be held at the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center. Speakers will include Rod Pfleiger of the Alaska Cruise Association; Shanon Hamrick of the Kenai Peninsula Tourism Marketing Council; Natasha Ala of the Kenai Convention & Visitor's Bureau; Scott McMurren of Alaska TravelGram; and Vinnie Catalano of Alaska State HOG Rally, Inc. The meeting will run until 1:30 p.m. For more information or to RSVP, call 283-7989.

Clarion staff recognized for work

The Peninsula Clarion took home seven prizes at this year's Alaska Press Club awards ceremony.

Top nods went to reporter Dante Petri, who took first place in the education reporting category for his story "All under one roof." The piece highlighted enrollment issues in Cooper Landing. Petri also took third place in the sustained coverage category for his work following last year's Mount Redoubt eruption.

Managing editor Will Morrow won second place in the Suzan Nightingale Award for the state's best columnists. Morrow's "Voices of the Clarion" column about family life "makes his relatives and experiences immediate and human with fondness and respect that eschews easy mockery," wrote contest judge Samantha Bennett.

Photographer M. Scott Moon captured three awards, including second place in the best audio slideshow category for his "Learning to ski" package. Moon's "Ear Gauger" won him third place in the best portrait category and his "Bear Rescue" was deemed Alaska's third best news photo of 2009.

Former reporter Joseph Robertia won second place in the best use of story and photos category in his coverage of "Dipnet disaster averted."

Soldotna Chamber plans block party

The Soldotna Chamber of Commerce is sponosring a block party from 5 to 7 p.m. today at 35557 Kenai Spur Highway, hosted by Cold Stone Creamery, AK Rays, Kenai Peninsula Tourism and Marketing Council, Kenai Peninsula Scrub Shoppe and The UPS Store. The event will include food, fun and prizes.

Solstice Music Festival seeks musicians, vendors

Now is the time for musicians and vendors to apply to be a part ofthe Summer Solstice Music Festival. The event, held at the Diamond M Ranch and sponsored by the Kenai Peninsula Bed and Breakfast Association, will take place this year on June 19. The festival will continue on June 20, sponsored by Peninsula Grace Brethren Church.

In addition to good music, Contra Dancing, good food, great local crafts and other items for sale, games and activities for kids will be on tap at an event called Matti's Farm Fest. Mathias "Matti" Martin was killed last summer in a animal related accident. In his honor an agricultural educational farm is being developed for adults and children to learn first-hand about where their food comes from, how to raise and care for animals, and how to make better food choices that will result in better health. Homes on the farm for foster families are also part of the vision. A good portion of festival profits will go to Matti's Farm.

Preferred genres include country, western, bluegrass and rhythm and blues, but if you have a following and can draw a crowd you are encouraged to apply. Also, all types of food, arts and crafts, games and other vendors are needed, both commercial and non-profit. Contact JoAnne Martin at 283-9330 for application forms. Selection of musicians will be made prior to June 1 so that the names can be printed on the T-shirts.

Homer business owners earn kudos

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced that Donna and Kevin Maltz, owners of Sourdough Express Bakery & Caf in Homer, will be honored as one of the Nation's Top State Small Business Winners for the National Small Business of the Year Awards. Donna Maltz, along with her husband, Kevin, created Alaska's first "green restaurant" by adopting sustainable practices such as conserving water and energy, composting, recycling, and using non-toxic cleaning products and chemicals. They also started an organization called "Sustainable Homer" to encourage other local businesses to adopt environmentally friendly procedures.

Business was off by 15 percent in 2009, yet the Maltz's managed to show a greater profit then in years past. They did this by implementing additional conservation measures and, as always, providing consistent quality to their customers. One measure they took was to reduce the amount of take-out packaging by 50 percent this season simply by educating the consumer as to the lifecycle of the unnecessary waste.

Karen Forsland, SBA Alaska District Director, said, "Small businesses like the Sourdough Express Bakery & Caf have tremendous impacts on their communities, especially in rural Alaska. We are pleased to recognize Donna and Kevin Maltz and their team as the 2010 SBA Alaska Small Business Persons of the Year."

Small business development center plans seminars

Social Media as a Marketing Source -- What is social media? Why Facebook or Twitter or Blog? Why choose social media over continuous search engine optimization? Attend this seminar in Suite 12 in the Red Diamond Center on Wednesday from 10 a.m. to noon and Maggie McCormick will tell you why! Payment of $40 and online registration deadline is Friday.

Building a Website Basics -- Learn the basics of building a website as Dave McCormick shows you the easy way to market your company. Some of Dave's agenda will include: Can I build my own website -- Pros and Cons; how do I choose the best web designer; how much should I expect to spend, etc. Sign up now for the Wednesday seminar from 1 to 3 p.m. and get the whole scoop. Payment of $40 and online registration deadline is Friday.

Creating a Busines Plan -- You can learn methods to establish budgets, evaluate your successes and failure and use strategies to create your business plan. On May 26 from 1 to 3 p.m. Bryan Zak will walk you through the steps. Cost is $40. Register online by Tuesday.

To register online for a workshop, visit and click Training Event, Kenai Peninsula, select the seminar you'd like to attend and enter your information.

For more information, contact Bunny at 260-5629 or e-mail

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