Aleutian businesses awarded funding

Three Aleutian businesses have won a total of $20,000 in funding from the Aleutian Pribilof Island Community Development Association and the Aleut Corp.

The Aleutian Marketplace Business Plan competition winners were announced in late April by the Aleutian Pribilof Island Community Development Association and the Aleut Corp.

First place winner Dustan Dickerson of Raven Bay Seafoods, an Unalaska based octopus bycatch specialty seafood business, was awarded $10,000.

Piama Oleyer of Island Packer Alaska Co., an Unalaska based tender and cargo vessel whose owners plan to deliver hot meals directly to the fishing fleet, was awarded $7,000.

The Kufiinkax project, sponsored by the St, Paul Island Youth Tribal Council, won $3,000 for their proposed coffee shop and community gathering place.

The three winners, who were among 10 firms who submitted business plans, moved forward to the presentation round based on their written plan scores. An independent panel of judges, comprised of small business owners familiar with rural Alaska, determined the final ranking of the finalists.

APICDA’s chief executive officer, Larry Cotter, said the community development quota entity was proud to have invested over $60,000 in the region through the Aleutian Marketplace initiative to stimulate commerce ad help new businesses get started.

“The residents of the region are deeply committed to community sustainability and they know economic diversity is a key strategy to meet that goal,” he said.

Thomas Mack, president and chief executive officer of the Aleut Corp., gave special thanks to GCI, Wells Fargo and TelAlaska for sponsoring the competition this year.

“It is great to see established companies supporting the growth of small family-run businesses in rural Alaska,” Mack said.