Posted: Tuesday, May 16, 2000

Small business workshop Thursday

Charles Christy, senior technologist at the Alaska Technology Transfer Center, will talk with small business operators about competing for innovation research grants from the federal government during a workshop on Thursday in Juneau.

The free workshop, from 3-5 p.m. on the third floor of the Empire building, is being sponsored by the ATTC, a program administered by the Alaska Small Business Development Center, and is being coordinated by the Juneau Small Business Development Center.

Attendees will learn which federal agencies are looking for research and development assistance from businesses. The three-phase Small Business Innovation Research Program is competitive and is to conclude with entrepreneurs selling their products to the government or to consumers.

More information is available from the Juneau Small Business Development Center, 463-3789.

Cameron back on Shee Atika board

Kenneth Cameron, a former director and board chairman for Shee Atika, the Native corporation for Sitka, was elected to a three-year term on the board of directors at the May 6 annual meeting.

Cameron replaces John Davis, who retired after 18 years on the board. Re-elected to the board were Marion Berry and Loretta Ness.

President and CEO Bob Loiselle reported that Shee Atika realized a net income of $1.7 million for 1999, up from $800,000 in 1998.

Loiselle also said the Shee Atika Fund Endowment, which pays most shareholder dividends, gained $6.5 million from investments, up by $2.6 million from a year earlier. A distribution of $9 per unit will be made from the endowment on June 12.

Most wild salmon comes from Alaska

Alaska supplied 52 percent of the world's wild salmon in 1999, according to the Salmon Market Bulletin put out by the McDowell Group and the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute. Japan followed with 25 percent and Russia with 20 percent.

Alaska is also the top producer of wild high-value salmon, accounting for 79 percent of the world's coho, sockeye and king supplies last year, the bulletin says. Russia was next with 12 percent.

Last year's total Alaska salmon harvest was 899,800,000 pounds, up from 712,800,000 in 1998, according to the bulletin. This year's projected harvest is 750,400,000.

GCI doubles Internet patronage

GCI added 2,000 Internet customers in the first quarter of 2000 to bring the total to 56,000, or more than twice the 27,000 customers being served a year earlier, the company said.

The company had almost 9,000 cable modem customers.

Internet revenues for the quarter were $1.7 million, an increase of 70 percent from the first quarter of 1999.

Overall, GCI incurred a net loss of $5.5 million for the quarter, which the company says it anticipated.

Slow job growth forecast

Employment growth for Alaska is projected at 1.7 percent this year and 1.4 percent in 2001, according to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

In Southeast, the projections are for 1.3 percent this year and 1.1 percent next year.

In both cases, the services industry is driving the increase, while the timber industry suppresses what would have been bigger gains, according to an analysis by labor economist John Boucher.

Last year, there was employment of 277,600 in Alaska, and it is projected to grow to 286,100 in 2001, Boucher said. In Southeast, 1999 employment of 35,650 is projected to grow to 36,500 next year, he said.

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