FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 19, 2021
Cindy Mittlestadt, Bristol Bay Development Fund Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org or (907) 301-0504
Bristol Bay Development Fund Congratulates Path to Prosperity Business Competition Awardees
Competition supports Bristol Bay’s economy by boosting emerging businesses and entrepreneurs
Anchorage, AK – Bristol Bay Development Fund (BBDF), a subsidiary of Bristol Bay Native Corporation (BBNC), is pleased to announce the winners of its Path to Prosperity (P2P) business competition. The competition seeks to boost economic development and jobs in the Bristol Bay region by supporting emerging businesses and entrepreneurs.
The awardees receive financial support to advance their start-up or growth initiatives such as consulting services for legal, regulatory, or accounting activities, marketing services, or equipment purchases. The awards are paired with business coaching for a minimum of a one-year period following the award.
Businesses are judged based on their feasibility and their contributions to community development with a selection of three winning companies to benefit from a total of $50,000 in financial awards.
The top two winning companies are awarded $20,000 each. The companies selected for this prize level are:
Sugar and Spice Express: a convenience store owned by BBNC shareholder June Cagungun with locations in Chignik Lake and Perryville.
Little Alaskan Fish Co: a boutique fish processor owned by BBNC shareholder Tiffany Bennett and her husband Conor Downey located in Dillingham.
The third winning business plan in this competition receives a $10,000 financial award:
Nick’s Legacy: a traditional net repair business owned by BBNC shareholders Wassillie and Sally Gumlickpuk located in Dillingham.
The three awardees were selected from a group of 11 finalists after completing an intensive multi-day virtual business education workshop series last fall. The competition is the second cycle sponsored by BBDF, which is open to individuals, innovators, tinkerers, startups, existing for-profit businesses, and tribal enterprises that have or intend to have a significant operating presence in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska. BBDF’s P2P competition has provided $100,000 in grants since its inception in 2019.
“We are so proud of this year’s Path to Prosperity awardees,” said Cindy Mittlestadt, BBDF Manager. “Despite a challenging year and having to conduct our workshops virtually, all the participants put in a fantastic effort. The three winners are meeting early milestones already! One has secured a new building to expand the store footprint, and another has secured a graphic artist to design a company logo. The winning companies offer a genuine care for their communities and their product or service. It will be fun to follow these companies and the prior year’s awardees to measure their successes. “
Created in 2014, BBDF’s goal is to infuse $5 million into the Bristol Bay economy over an 11-year period, investing in businesses that directly benefit our shareholder community. By deploying both financial and non-financial capital—like knowledge, planning assistance, and connections—BBDF acts as a catalyst for the successful launch of startups and helps existing companies advance to the next level of business maturity.
“The P2P competition and BBDF’s support of Bristol Bay businesses is a direct result of BBNC’s commitment to investing in our shareholders and communities,” said BBNC President & CEO Jason Metrokin. “Congratulations to the three awardees and all of this year’s participants.”
About BBDF: Bristol Bay Development Fund is an investment fund that focuses on business start-ups and business growth and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bristol Bay Native Corporation. To learn more about P2P and BBDF’s services, visit www.bbnc.net/our-operations/in-region-investment/path-to-prosperity.
About BBNC: Bristol Bay Native Corporation is a responsible Alaska Native investment corporation dedicated to the mission of “Enriching Our Native Way of Life.” Established through the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971, BBNC works to protect the land in Bristol Bay, celebrate the legacy of its people, and enhance the lives of its shareholders. Learn more at bbnc.net.