Five Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC) shareholders have been selected as winners of the 2013 North Slope Marketplace (NSM) business plan competition. The competition is funded by ASRC and managed through Alaska Growth Capital BIDCO, Inc. (AGC). AGC is a subsidiary of ASRC.
Two Point Hope residents were selected for their business plans. Emma and Herb Kinneeveauk are awarded $9,000, which will fund the purchase of new equipment and the expansion of their existing DVD rental inventory and food products for their store named Sylver’s. The couple received a partial grant from the 2012 NSM of $15,000, which was used to purchase building improvement materials and a small amount of start-up inventory. Once the Kinneeveauk’s opened Sylver’s in August of 2013, they applied to the NSM again to increase their inventory selection.
"I am very excited for this opportunity to happen in our village of Point Hope. We are in need of more store and entertainment options,” Kinneeveauk said. “I am hoping that my business holds strong and continues to grow in the years to come. Quyanaqpak (thank you) to my family and community for your support.”
Tonya and Eldon Hunnicutt of Point Hope have been awarded $25,000, with the first $11,000 going toward the purchase of equipment and supplies for their startup Ezkimo Ice Cream. Once the ice cream shop is set up and operating successfully, the Hunnicutts will use the remaining $14,000 to improve and expand their shop. Tonya comments: “I was speechless when I found out we had gotten the award. We feel very grateful and lucky to be given this opportunity. We would also like to thank everyone that made this possible and hope to be serving some delicious goodies here soon. Thank you for helping make our dreams come true. We will send pictures when we are up and running.”
The new Point Hope shops will provide opportunities for growth and more local employment, while providing greater dessert and entertainment options for the local people in the village of about 700 residents. At least three new part-time jobs will be created.
Andrew Tooyak, Jr., also from Point Hope but residing in Barrow with his wife Pinky, designed a Whale’s Tail bobble head. The $4,500 award will go toward producing the first 500 units of the bobble head, which will be distributed amongst local gift shops and others throughout Alaska. Mr. Tooyak applied with NSM last year but was not chosen. However, after simplifying his business plan he received the award for 2013. Tooyak commented: “I too, am grateful for the assistance provided to us through the Marketplace. I’m excited to get this business going and to provide unique gifts to the visitors of the North Slope and Alaska in general. I am hopeful that this business grows and continues to be an on-going success in the months and years to come.
Snowbird Housekeeping, a cleaning service owned by Nancy Stotts of Barrow, was awarded $25,000 to purchase new cleaning equipment and upgrade transportation to help support increased cleaning contracts in the Barrow area. Upon learning of the grant, Stotts shared, “We are very excited about the opportunity. The ability to update to more powerful commercial cleaning machines will increase our professionalism in providing service to our clients and customers, having proper cleaning equipment will ensure that our company can grow and flourish in the coming years. After all, Barrow can get pretty muddy and dusty at times of the year!” Approximately seven shareholders are estimated to have been employed by the company in the past three years.
In Atqasuk, a community of 240 people 60 miles south of Barrow, Jessica Itta and Peter Gunderson obtained a business license for a small store to help improve food and snack selection in their community. Once AGC heard of this, Jessica received a call and was asked to apply to the Marketplace. “When I heard of the North Slope Marketplace, I was very skeptical,” Itta states. “With words of encouragement, we agreed to apply for the award.”
P & J Store was awarded $7,300 to purchase equipment and inventory for the business. Itta continued, “Our goal was our people. With the high cost of living, we realized that not only ourselves but others in the village were paying the high cost of freight for groceries (which included beverages & snacks) to be shipped when ordered from Barrow.” P & J Store successfully accommodates the village of Atqasuk with a variety of beverages & snacks. Itta concluded with “We are very thankful for the North Slope Marketplace Award.”
About North Slope Marketplace
Founded in 2009, the North Slope Market Place aims to encourage local, (North Slope based) economic development. ASRC shareholders are invited to compete in the North Slope Marketplace (“NSM”). This is a business idea competition for entrepreneurs who wish to compete for seed money to start a business based or to develop an existing business in one of the North Slope communities we serve. Shareholders will compete for several awards up to $25,000.
The competition is sponsored by Arctic Slope Regional Corporation and managed by Alaska Growth Capital. It is designed to promote economic development opportunities for North Slope communities. The North Slope Marketplace is not a loan program, but rather an award to a winning business idea. Applications are evaluated by a panel of judges. For a complete set of rules and to download an application, go to www.northslopemarketplace.com or ASRC
shareholder website www.iaminupiaq.com.
Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC) is owned by and represents the business interests of
the Arctic Slope Iñupiat. Since opening enrollment in 1990 to Alaska Natives born after 1971,
the corporation’s shareholder base has nearly tripled, growing from the 3,700 original enrollees
to approximately 11,000 today. Corporate headquarters are based in Barrow, Alaska, with
administrative and subsidiary offices located in Anchorage and throughout the United States.
ASRC, along with its family of companies, is the largest Alaskan-owned company, employing
over 8500 people worldwide. The company has four major business segments: petroleum
refining and marketing, government technical services, energy services and construction
About Alaska Growth Capital
Alaska Growth Capital (AGC) is a nationally recognized leader in economic development
finance and a wholly owned subsidiary of ASRC. Founded in 1997 as Alaska’s only Business
and Industrial Development Corporation (BIDCO), AGC works as a CDFI to promote
development of economically underserved areas of its target market of Alaska. Alaska Growth
Capital contributes to not only growth in ASRC communities, and not just in Alaska; we are now
providing services in Hawaii and other states. By giving our businesses the economic boost they
need, we are able to support the creation of jobs and improve the livelihood of Alaskans