The US Small Business Administration exists to assist small business growth and development through loan guarantees, contracts, counseling sessions, and other initiatives. One of those is the 8(a) Business Development Program, which helps “small, disadvantaged businesses compete in the marketplace,” in large part through sole-source contracts.
Alaska Native Corporations formed under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) contribute a vast amount and diverse array of economic stability to the state’s $50 billion-plus GDP.
BBNC’s mission statement is “Enriching our Native way of life,” and Metrokin says it is accomplished through a number of ways. BBNC has followed a goal of paying 35 percent of its net income to shareholders in the form of dividends. Its first dividend paid to shareholders was $0.25 a share in 1978, and in the current fiscal year BBNC anticipates paying $32.40 a share, most recently averaging $17 million in shareholders dividends annually.
When Irene Sparks Rowan stepped off a plane in Bethel she carried a white umbrella and wore white boots, a white hat, and a pink raincoat. She was there to start her first job as a teacher at the high school. “I dressed as I had in college,” she says.
“We’re a very rural state. Other than the Anchorage area, the rest of the state is rural, and it has so many unique perspectives in all parts of Alaska. Large or small, the communities are all in special places and are special to the people that live there.
He is an Alaskan leader that few know. His name is James (Jimmy) Stotts. An Iñupiat from Barrow, he is the president of Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) Alaska. For several decades he has worked out of the limelight advocating for his people, trying to focus state, national, and international attention on issues, such as food security, that are of concern to the Inuit.