Business briefs

Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2002

Ferries switch from Pepsi to Coke

JUNEAU - The Alaska Marine Highway recently changed the brand of soft drinks it carries in beverage dispensing machines on its ferries and ferry terminals.

"We had the fountain soft drink business, but they were buying cans from Food Service of America," said Rob Erickson, area sales manager of the Anchorage office of Odom Corp. "So we put in a bid for the can business, and got the contract."

Erickson declined to reveal the value of the contract.

Odom is a wholesale liquor distributor, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. representative, and food distributor. Beginning Jan. 11, Odom Corp. began removing FSA's Pepsi machines from ferries and replacing them with Odom's Coca-Cola machines. Machines were exchanged Monday on the ferry Matanuska while it was moored at Auke Bay.

Soft drinks are cash cows requiring minimal attention, said Odom's manager for Southeast Alaska, Marvin Newton. "It's a pretty big deal in my eyes. We are now exclusively Coca-Cola from fountain to vending." Newton estimates canned beverage sales account for 3,000 to 4,000 cases (24 cans to the case) a year for the ferry system.

Bank contributes to pavilion campaign

JUNEAU - The campaign to raise funds for a University of Alaska Southeast outdoor pavilion recently received a $10,000 contribution from First National Bank Alaska. The money qualifies for matching funds under the Rasmuson Foundation grant.

"We are particularly proud when statewide companies like First National Bank Alaska are willing to invest in Juneau projects," said UAS Development Director Lynne Johnson. "This kind of corporate support is a recognition of the value of this campus/community pavilion."

The Noyes Pavilion will be used for presentations involving drama, music, lectures, classes, seminars and informal gatherings. The First National Bank Alaska contribution and the Rasmuson Foundation match bring the total raised so far to $445,000. The estimated cost of the privately financed facility is estimated at $525,000.

The kick-off for the public phase of the fund-raising campaign is scheduled for Jan. 25. For details, call the UAS Development Office at 465-6416, or Scott Foster at 465-6530.

Donation covers start-up kits

JUNEAU - First National Bank has donated $1,000 for a second year to Juneau Small Business Development Center to cover the cost of providing free Business Start-up Kits to new clients for 2002.

The donation will allow Juneau SBDC to include the Alaska Small Business Planning Guide in each kit. The guide is an easy-to-use manual to help entrepreneurs evaluate a business concept, formulate and use a business plan and prepare a financing proposal. The kits also include state of Alaska and U.S. Small Business Administration business start-up information and SBDC and SBA Small Business Resource Guides.

First National Bank offers commercial loans and other financial services to businesses throughout Alaska. For details about the kits, contact the Juneau SBDC office at 463-3789.

Applications open for partnership grants

JUNEAU - Application is open for Russian Far East Partnership Activity Grants for noncommercial projects.

The grants range from $70,000 to $100,000. They are funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development and administered by the Foundation for Russian American Economic Cooperation. A 25 percent match is required. Deadline to apply is Feb. 15.

For grant applications or instructions contact Robbyn Kistler, partnership activity director, FRAEC, (206) 443-1935, or e-mail her at

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