Six local entrepreneurs won funding from Bethel’s Best in the West competition this year, and are taking home their portions of the $33,500 that was awarded. That's up from $26,000 last year, all to help finance potential businesses. The winners talked about what they’ll use the money on.
Carole Jung-Jordan: Hi, my name is Carole Jung-Jordan and this is my husband John Jordan. We started a business called Jung and Jordan Trucking which is a dirt hauling business. We have everything that we need. We’re going to be setting up a Facebook page shortly. This grant money is going to be helping immensely with our business needs, mainly with the dozer that we have purchased, so it’ll be a very good use of the money and we’re very excited to get started. We’ll be getting started in the next couple of weeks.
Joe John Pete: Hi, my name is Joe John Pete. I’m starting up a handyman business here in Bethel, Alaska. For the award money that I’ve gotten, I’m looking to buy power and hand tools to get the company going, and also to help with the license requirements and yes, that’s what I look forward to doing.
Patrick Samson: My name is Patrick Samson. My business is Tundra Leather, and I make leather products for everyday uses, et cetera. And with the money I won from the Best in the West competition I’m ordering me a top-of-the-line leather working machine, and that’s going to make my production go probably 10 times faster than I’ve been doing by hand.
Teddy Berry: My name's Teddy Berry and my business is Berry’s Upholstery Shop. And with the award, I plan to purchase an embroidery machine for our business so we can offer embroidery and order stocks of supplies for our business.
Yvonne Jackson: My name is Yvonne Jackson and I am the owner of Alaska Rural Profession Development, LLC. It’s a for-profit training company, and we provide training and soft skills and occupational skills to employers, and we also partner with organizations who fund youth training programs for high school students. And I’ll be using the Best in the West funding for hiring trainers and booking conference rooms for training seminars and workshops.
The last of the six winners of this year's Best in the West awards, Aleashia Huber, couldn’t make the ceremony. Her business is Cooper Cleaning and she's going to do residential and commercial cleaning.