Posted: Tuesday, May 30, 2000

AML wins customer service award

Alaska Marine Lines has been honored with the Juneau-Gastineau Rotary Club's annual Customer Service Award. The award of recognition acknowledges Juneau businesses that provide excellent customer service. Businesses are nominated by their customers.

Dawn Tompkins and Neil Murphy accepted the award for AML. Kerri Tonkin of Rotary said AML was selected not only for customer service, but because of its contributions and support of community groups and activities.

The other two finalists were the Goldbelt Mount Roberts Tram and Alaskan and Proud Market. The award has been given since 1992.

On-line remodeling help

Alaskans can log on to www.ahba.netthis month to ask a panel of experts questions on remodeling their homes.

The Anchorage Home Builders Association is providing the special informational forum as part of National Remodeling Month.

``Consumers are unknowingly taking a huge risk when hiring non-licensed contractors,'' said Elaine Taylor, chairwoman of the AHBA remodelers' council. ``We would like to prevent the shoddy and unsafe work we are often called upon to correct.''

The Web site will take questions through June 15. Replies will be made within 24 hours. Phone calls also can be taken at 522-3605.

Small business bill targets Natives

Alaska U.S. Sens. Ted Stevens and Frank Murkowski have proposed relaxed requirements in a demonstration program for small business that would make it easier for Alaska Native corporations to win government contracts.

``Given the unemployment levels in the Bush, there is no question that more needs to be done to try to increase economic development and employment opportunities in rural Alaska,'' Murkowski said.

Last year, Congress created an economic development designation called a HUBZone, for Historically Underutilized Business Areas. HUBZones have bidding incentives for federal contracts. Murkowski says the pending legislation would expand eligibility to maximize the number of Native corporations that could participate.

``We hope to see more contracting dollars flow to the state and to distressed communities,'' Stevens said.

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