NOME—With the help of Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation’s (NSEDC) Small Business Initiative, three local entrepreneurs will be able to expand or deliver services that were previously unavailable in the region.
On October 5, NSEDC’s SBI program awarded a total of $150,000 to three Nome-based businesses following a review of proposals and business plans, and an interview with the program’s judges. Awards went to a for-hire machine shop, an independent eye care clinic, and heavy equipment services firm. The 2021 recipients have two years to implement their business plans and utilize the available funding.
In its history, NSEDC has allocated a total of $1.4 million to the SBI program, awarding 55 recipients throughout the Norton Sound region. In 2021, 16 proposals were received, and an independent panel of judges narrowed down the applicants to six finalists who gave presentations during the final evaluation process. All six finalists will receive new laptops and QuickBooks Pro software.
A panel of judges, who are independent of NSEDC, reviewed proposals in August and decided which businesses advanced to the final round. The same judges returned for the final round at which time they determined which businesses received funding and award amounts. “The independent panel of judges, who all reside in our region, are an essential and integral component the Small Business Initiative’s success,” said NSEDC Community Benefits Director Paul Ivanoff III. The 2021 judges included former SBI recipient Merle Apassingok of Gambell, Mark Vink and Annabelle Cunningham of Unalakleet, and David Olson and Donna James of Nome.
The SBI is held every other year with the next competition to take place in 2023. A maximum of three awards are made each competition with an individual award cap of $50,000.
NSEDC congratulates the 2021 Small Business Initiative recipients and encourages those who did not receive funding to further develop their applications for the 2023 cycle. For those who have questions regarding the NSEDC SBI program, please contact Community Benefits Director Paul Ivanoff III at (907) 624-3190 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Details on the business proposals awarded funding in the 2021 SBI are below.
2021 NSEDC SBI grant recipients
|Business Name||Owner||Award Amount|
|Arctic Works, LLC||Isaac Thompson||$50,000|
|Last Frontier Eye Care, LLC||Marcy O’Neil & Kamey Kapp||$50,000|
|South Paw Services||David Stickel||$50,000|
Arctic Works, LLC will establish a commercial, for-hire machine shop in Nome. The shop will specialize in machine tools such as a mill, lathe, hydraulic press and other large machine working tools. The purpose of the shop is to service, rebuild, repair or make individual parts for vehicles, boats or other uses. Arctic Works aims to provide services that currently are not available in the region on a commercial scale. The grant funding will allow Arctic Works to expand a shop to house its equipment.
Last Frontier Eye Care, LLC will use the funds to expand their optometry clinic’s ability to serve the Norton Sound region. Last Frontier Eye Care will utilize the funds to purchase equipment that is currently unavailable in the region. The pieces of equipment will be utilized to provide patients with glaucoma and post-cataract care as well as those suffering from dry eyes or bacterial buildup around their eyes.
South Paw Services will expand its business which offers landscaping, trench digging, septic tank installation, hauling gravel and snow removal. South Paw Services targets the needs of residential customers in the Nome area along with commercial properties that need periodic services such as snow removal. The grant funding will allow South Paw Services to expand its equipment and improve its facility.
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