Business Briefs

Posted: Thursday, June 03, 2010

Chambers set luncheon schedules

* The Soldotna Chamber of Commerce meets Tuesday at noon at Froso's. For more information, call 262-9814.

* The Kenai Chamber of Commerce meets Wednesday at noon at the Kenai Merit Inn. For more information, call 283-7989.

USDA Rural Development increases housing loan limit

The limit for the maximum value of homes financed through the 502 Rural Housing Loan Program has been raised to $213,000.00 on the Kenai Peninsula. Through this program, eligible low income applicants may qualify for a direct, subsidized loan to purchase a new or existing home which meets program standards. Home loans for purchase do not require a down payment or mortgage insurance. The current interest rate is 4.875 percent before subsidy.

Rural Development also has a program available to provide needed home repairs and fund energy efficiency improvements for current home owners. Income eligible homeowners may qualify for long term home repair loans up to $20,000 at a 1 percent interest rate. Grants up to $7,500 are available for senior home owners, age 62 and up to complete repairs for weatherization; to improve health and safety standards; or improve accessibility.

Interested applicants may contact the USDA Rural Development Office at 110 Trading Bay Road, Suite 160, Kenai, AK, 99611; or call 907-283-6640, ext. 4 to find out if you qualify to purchase a home.

Solstice Music Festival seeks musicians, vendors

Now is the time for musicians and vendors to apply to be a part of the 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.

Free document shred event comes to the Kenai Peninsula

The Better Business Bureau serving Alaska, Oregon, and Western Washington will host a Secure Your ID Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Wells Fargo in Soldotna on July 17. Consumers will be the first line of defense against identity theft as they shred sensitive, personal documents for free and take home scam and identity theft prevention tips.

In 2009, over 278,000 people filed identity theft complaints, according to the Federal Trade Commission's Consumer Sentinel Network report. Victims of identity theft usually spend an average of 44 hours and $500 repairing damage, according to FTC reports. Taking the time to destroy personal documents now can help prevent hassle and cost later.

Drive up and drop off up to three grocery bags or file boxes of unwanted documents (no cardboard or three-ring binders). Items will be securely shredded on-the-spot by Shred Alaska for free. Any unwanted or outdated documents that contain personal information should be shredded when disposing, including: credit card applications, insurance paperwork, health forms and financial statements. To learn how long to keep specific personal records, go to

For details visit

Small business development center plans business fair

There are craft fairs, job fairs and state fairs -- now come to the Small Biz Fair to revitalize and expand your business opportunities!

Bryan Zak of Alaska SBDC and our local businesses and experts will devote June 25 to give you tips to grow your marketing proficiency by learning new ideas and to network. Especially with so much competition that surrounds us, find answers to gain more marketing skills, such as: Do you know what your customer wants? Do you know who will buy your product? Do you know why they will? Are you marketing techniques working? Are there affordable venues?

Sign in at 8:30 a.m. at the Alaska Christian College; the first presentations start at 9 a.m. To register online by June 18 deadline, go to to get all the details or email Bunny for more info

After lunch, our community businesses will share their methods with you and later, attendees will be able to visit their table to ask questions or buy their product or services. Only those who are registered will be allowed to participate in the Biz Fair.

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