Business Briefs

Posted: Thursday, November 30, 2000

Business finance seminar is today

The Kenai Peninsula Small Business Development Center sponsors a seminar titled Financing a Business today from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Red Diamond Center, Suite 16. For information, call 262-7497.

Seafood marketing forum planned for Kenai

"Responding to Global Markets" is the title of a free seafood industry forum Dec. 6 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center, sponsored by the Alaska Division of International Trade and Market Development.

The division invites seafood producers, transportation and logistics providers, food industry specialists, government officials, educators, utilities and others with stakes in the industry. The World Trade Center Alaska will facilitate the forum. Special guests include Pat Shanahan, an international seafood consultant with more than 15 years experience in marketing, market research and strategic planning.

Speakers include representatives of the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation, Alaska Manufacturer's Association, Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, World Trade Center Alaska, Movers Inc., FedEx, Alaska Airlines, Net Systems and Surefish.

Registration is required, but there is no admission fee. RSVP to the World Trade Center Alaska by Dec. 1 at or call 278-7233.

Long-distance deal overloads phone network

Alaska Communications Systems says so many Alaskans are using its new Infinite Minutes long-distance program that its network has been overloaded, and some customers have been receiving recorded messages rather than completing calls.

More than 15,000 Alaskans have signed up for the new program, which offers unlimited interstate long-distance calls for $20 per month, with no per-minute charges. ACS recently tripled its capacity over 30 days, but long-distance usage grew faster.

"ACS has not yet caught up with its callers and continues to enhance the network with the hope of reaching the required optimum by the height of this holiday season," a press release said last week.

Hotel group announces board, seeks award nominees

Cathy Schultz, of the Sophie Station Hotel in Fairbanks, is the 2000-2001 chairman of the Alaska Hotel & Motel Association, and Terry Latham of the Best Western Golden Lion in Anchorage is president. Carol Giliam of the GuestHouse Hotel in Anchorage is vice president, and Jeff Butcher of the Goldbelt Hotel in Juneau is secretary-treasurer.

Kenai Peninsula representatives on the board are Bill "Waz" Wasowicz, of Land's End Resort in Homer, and Brad Snowden, of the Best Western Hotel in Seward.

The hotel association also invites nominations for its 2000 Stars of the Industry Awards, which recognize workers who symbolize the highest quality of service. There are seven categories from restaurant to housekeeping employees of the year. There also are separate divisions for hotels with less than 150 rooms and those with more than 150 rooms. There also will be Member of the Year and Community Service Achievement awards.

The winners will be honored at a Jan. 20 banquet at the Westin Alyeska Prince Hotel.

Modest rise in Alaska exports

Alaska exports to Japan from January through August totaled $966 million, up $10 million from the same period last year, according to the Alaska Department of Community and Economic Development. Japan remains Alaska's top export market.

That compares to a 53 percent increase from 1998 to 1999.

Looking at the pieces, seafood exports through August decreased by 7 percent from the same period last year, to $531.8 million.

Crude oil and natural gas exports increased by 32 percent to $319.5 million.

Those two commodities comprise 88 percent of Alaska's exports to Japan.

The strong Japanese yen has favored Alaska exports. In July 1999, it took more than 120 yen to buy a dollar. For most of 2000, though, the value has ranged from 105 to 110 yen per dollar.

Meanwhile, Japan's economy appears to be entering a new period of growth following the recent Asian economic meltdown.

North Peninsula chamber announces speakers

December speakers at the North Peninsula Chamber of Commerce are Mike Nugent of Agrium on Dec. 7 and a representative of Phillips Petroleum Co. on Dec. 14.

The North Peninsula chamber meets Thursdays at noon at the Lighthouse Inn. There are no chamber meetings Dec. 21 or Dec. 28.

Soldotna chamber announces speakers

December speakers at the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce are Diana McKenny of the League of Women Voters on Dec. 5, Liza Sizemore and Kara Merrill on Sharing the Spirit on Dec. 12, and Kelly Wolf of the Youth Restoration Corps on Dec. 19.

The Soldotna chamber meets Tuesdays at noon at the Riverside House. There is no meeting Dec. 26.

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