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Best in the West Finalists Announced


The Yupiit Piciryarait Cultural Center is pleased to announcing the third year finalists for the “Best in the West” small business competition for 2011.

This year the partnership supporting the competition has grown to six with KUC/YPCC, Bethel Community Services Foundation, Bethel Native Corporation, Association of Village Council Presidents, Calsita, and Donlin Creek LLC joining in promoting local, YK delta entrepreneurs, with cash awards. This is a unique opportunity to build small businesses in the YK region and promote jobs and economic stability. This is a true grassroots effort to support local entrepreneurs.

The Best in the West Small Business competition received a total of seventeen applications this year. The selection committee choose eleven to be moved to the finalist stage. The final presentations will be made to the selection committee on September 15, 2011 at the YPCC. Prior to the final presentations the finalists may attend a three day workshop to develop their business plans, budget, market analysis and presentations starting September 12, 13, & 14 at the YPCC. September 13 at 7:00 pm a panel of past winners for the Best in the West and Alaska Marketplace will be available for question and answers for the finalists and public. The workshops are open to all Alaska Marketplace finalists and other persons interested in starting a small business. For more information please contact Reyne Athanas, 543-4538 or

This years finalists are: Laura Ellsworth, Good Coffee; Rebecca Wilbur, Yupik Originals; Jesse Alfred, Firewood; Lindsey Meyers, Food as Medicine; Rev. Jana Deiss, Fair Trade Boutique; Gene Peltola Jr. Peltola Rentals; Mary Woods, Tundra Cache; Kishon Joseph, Cold Bites Creations Ice Cream Company; Agnes Phillips, Betty’s Shop; and Chris Nevak, Yupikme Art.

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