NOME—The Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation’s (NSEDC) Small Business Initiative (SBI) program awarded a total of $134,028 to three regional entrepreneurs at a ceremony on Friday, October 13, 2017 in Nome. Awards went to a mobile vehicle operation repair service, a tool and equipment rental business, and a laundromat, all located in Nome. The 2017 recipients have two years to implement their business plans and utilize the available funding.
In its history, NSEDC has allocated a total of $1.15 million to the SBI program, awarding 49 recipients throughout the Norton Sound region. In 2017, 19 proposals were received, and an independent panel of judges narrowed down the applicants to six finalists who gave live presentations during the final evaluation process. All six finalists received a new laptop and Quickbooks Pro software.
A panel of judges, independent of NSEDC, reviewed proposals and decided which businesses advanced to the final round. The same judges return for the final round at which time they determine which businesses receive funding and how much they will be awarded. “This program is impossible without the judges, who are all from the Norton Sound, who make the tough decisions regarding all the final proposals,” said NSEDC Community Benefits Director Paul Ivanoff III. The 2017 judges included former SBI recipient Merle Apassingok of Gambell, Mark Vink and Annabelle Cunningham of Unalakleet, and David Olson and Donna James of Nome.
This year’s competition marks the first round of the SBI under some new guidelines. With the goal of seeing a higher success rate for the businesses receiving SBI funding, NSEDC established a higher maximum award amount of $50,000 while reducing the number of grants to be awarded to a maximum of three per competition. Additionally, the SBI will now be held every other year with the next competition to take place in 2019.
NSEDC congratulates the 2017 Small Business Initiative recipients and encourages those who did not receive funding to further develop their applications for the 2019 competition.
If you have questions regarding the NSEDC SBI program and the 2017 competition, contact Community Benefits Director Paul Ivanoff III at (907) 624-3190 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2017 NSEDC SBI grant recipients
|Farley Mobile Sales and Repair||Howard Farley, Jr.||$50,000|
|JB Enterprises||Jesse Blandford||$34,028|
|Sea Laundry||Colby Engstrom||$50,000|
Farley Mobile Sales and Repair is a full-service mobile repair operation for vehicles in Nome, owned and operated by Howard Farley, Jr. Farley Mobile initially will focus on tire repair, tire change overs, tire balancing and new and used tire sales. He also plans to provide roadside assistance for issues such as lock outs and dead batteries. The service will use a box truck outfitted with the necessary tools and supplies to make repairs on the spot.
JB Enterprises is a tool and equipment rental business providing expensive, specialized construction equipment for those who would not use them regularly. Established by Jesse Blandford, JB Enterprises also plans to offer a small line of accessory products for sale, such as saw blades, tape measures and drill bits to complement the equipment rented out. Additionally, JB Enterprises plans to have in stock a limited selection of common building materials.
Sea Laundry aims to fill a need in Nome by providing a laundromat to serve residents and visitors. Owned by Colby Engstrom, Sea Laundry will initially focus on providing basic laundry services with an eye to eventually expand to larger-capacity washers and dryers. Engstrom also envisions a shower facility at Sea Laundry, meeting the needs of those who visit Nome by boat during the sailing season.
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