Posted: Tuesday, January 18, 2000

JEDC holds seminar

``How Much is Your Business Worth?'' is the topic of a half-day seminar for business operators, brokers, investors, accountants and bankers being sponsored Jan. 27 by the Juneau Economic Development Council and Alaska InvestNet.

Michael Hanrahan of Valuation Associates in Anchorage will present different approaches to valuing companies, suggesting examples of how parties in negotiation can reach agreement on business worth.

The limited-seating seminar will be 1 to 5 p.m. Jan. 27 at the Goldbelt Hotel. Registration is $75 per person, or $65 per registrant for two or more from the same firm. Call 463-3662.

Jobless-tax refunds available

Employees who had excess taxes deducted for unemployment insurance can apply for a refund from the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

``An employee who worked for more than one employer in 1999 may be eligible for a refund if taxes were deducted for more than $132.30 from all employers combined,'' said Ed Flanagan, commissioner of the state department.

Alaska is one of only three states where employers and employees share the responsibility for building reserves from which jobless benefits are paid. The employee share for 1999 was 0.54 percent of the taxable wage base of $24,500.

Refund forms are available from the Employment Security Tax Office in Juneau at 465-2757, toll-free at 1-888-448-3527, P.O. Box 25509, Juneau, AK., 99802-5509. Forms can be downloaded from

Food permit extension

Food service operators have an additional 10 days to pay sharply increased state permit fees.

The Department of Environmental Conservation announced that Feb. 1 is the new deadline for paying fees, which are increasing 200 to 240 percent due to the Legislature's budget cutbacks last year.

``However, many people were taken by surprise now that they've actually received their invoice,'' said Janice Adair, director of environmental health for the state. ``To say we have some unhappy campers is an understatement.''

For a supermarket operating a deli, meat market and bakery, the fees have increased from $530 to $1,255, said Nancy Napolilli, state manager of food safety.

DEC is waiving the deadline for seasonal food service operators, so that their fees aren't due until 30 days before opening.

Outfitters, guides get new fees

Outfitters and guides operating on national forest system lands in Alaska usually will pay a single per-client-day or per-hunt fee for each type of service provided, under a U.S. Forest Service interim flat-fee policy going into effect Feb. 14.

The interim policy is ``very close'' to the proposed fee schedule issued for public comment last year, according to the Forest Service. Still in effect is a policy allowing for competitive awarding of permits when there are new opportunities for outfitting or guiding, or when existing permits are revoked for poor performance.

During a three-year review of the interim flat-fee policy, the Forest Service also will assess potential fee systems based upon appraisals, competitive bidding and other methods for determining fair market value, according to Regional Forester Rick Cables.

Oil-gas conference set

``Keeping Alaska's Oil Patch Open for Business'' is the theme of the 17th annual Meet Alaska Conference being sponsored in Anchorage Jan. 28 by the Alaska Support Industry Alliance, a statewide non-profit trade organization for the oil and gas industries.

Confirmed speakers include Gov. Tony Knowles, University of Alaska President Mark Hamilton, Exxon Pipeline Co. President Richard Rabinow, and Phillips Petroleum Co. President, Chairman and CEO Jim Mulva.

Registration for the one-day program at the Sheraton Anchorage Hotel can be arranged through the Alliance at 907-563-2226.

New housing group forms

Juneau Housing Trust, a non-profit organization with a new model for providing affordable housing for first-time homebuyers, was formed in late December.

The group hopes to secure foundation grants, government assistance and other financing to buy land that could be leased to first-time homebuyers for single-family homes and condominiums, said Steve Sorensen, the president of the organization.

Homebuyers would use conventional financing. But with land costs taken out of the equation, they could achieve home ownership at a price reduction of one-third to one-half, Sorensen said. With the trust retaining ownership of the land, affordable housing would continue on the same sites if the initial buyers can't make it, he said.

Sorensen said he hopes to get one project off the ground this year.

Second Juneau Job Fair set

Businesses can scout for potential employees at the second annual Juneau Job Fair Feb. 5 at the Nugget Mall.

Last year, about 30 businesses, non-profit organizations and government agencies distributed applications and information, did pre-screening for hiring and even conducted interviews. The Juneau Job Center, the sponsor, also provided information on its one-stop office for job training and information, and human services.

Booths for this year's affair are being assigned on a first-come, first- served basis. Applications are available from the Juneau Job Center. Contact John Osborne at 465-6857 or Michael Hutcherson at 465-2958. The application deadline is Jan. 28. There is no fee.

Bone-removal machine funded

The Alaska Science & Technology Foundation has awarded $675,000 toward the deployment of a total bone-removal machine to make salmon fillets.

The state grant is being matched by $9.2 million in financing from inventor Ray Wadsworth of TBRS, Inc., in Sequim, Washington.

Last summer, Wadsworth produced 150,000 pounds of boneless fillets while working on the technology in Southeast, said Jaimie Kenworthy, executive director of the foundation. Up to 2 million pounds of boneless products, particularly pinks and chums, could be produced this year, Kenworthy said.

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