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Success Stories

Heather Kelly, owner of Heather's Choice Meals for Adventuring in Anchorage, Alaska


Being a lifelong outdoor enthusiast and nutritionist, Heather Kelly identified a need for high-quality backpacking food in Alaska and beyond. She founded Heather’s Choice Meals for Adventuring in 2014 to provide healthy dehydrated backpacking food for outdoor adventurers. As a new entrepreneur, however, she had many questions about running a business.


After starting her business, Kelly came into contact with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and scheduled an appointment with a business counselor. She explained that SBDC mentoring was always just a phone call away. “When things get too perplexing, it’s nice being able to call someone to talk you through it,” she said. As Heather’s Choice grows, Kelly is also considering an SBA loan to help buy the business its own commercial kitchen to expand production.


During the past three years, sales have increased from $15,000 in the first year to $95,000 per month. Kelly... Read More

Connie Core-Dubay

CONQUERING THE WORLD FROM THE BACK OF A STATION WAGON In 1986, Connie Core-Dubay had her hands full with four young kids. She didn't want to send them to day care and couldn't afford it anyway. The family income was waning as the pipeline construction days were coming to a close and she was looking for something she could do from home while raising a family. After lots of thought and research she came up with the idea to sell feed specifically to dog mushers. Cold Spot Feeds was born! From a humble beginning selling dog food from the back of her station wagon, she listened to what the mushers needed and rose to the occasion adding harnesses, collar clips, and other mushing gear. This was the birth of one of the first suppliers geared expressly to dog mushers. Operating out of the same small bedroom where her son was born, the infant business grew, quickly overflowing into the garage. "It hit me one day when George Attla and Harry Southerland, both legendary dog mushers, were in my... Read More

Alaska Center for Natural Medicine - SBA AK Success Story

Alaska Center for Natural Medicine is a physical therapeutic natural health clinic that is composed of practitioners with a variety of specialties. Practitioners use Naturopathic primary care medicine, acupuncture, chiropractic, massage, counseling, and other modalities to treat health problems.

The health professionals at Alaska Center for Natural Medicine utilize laboratory test findings and physical exams in addition to a wide array of diagnostic tools to address and treat patients’ health issues. Once identified, their team works together to create a treatment plan directed toward specific healthcare needs to help patients reach their full health potential.

Heather Carmichael has been involved in natural medicine, primarily acupuncture, since 1993. She was the Clinic Director at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine from 1997 to 2000 and headed its acupuncture program. Carmichael moved to Fairbanks in 2000 to start a natural health practice. She became co-... Read More

AGVIQ LLC - SBA Success Story

By Scott Swingle, U. S. Small Business Administration Northern Area Manager (Fairbanks, AK)

AGVIQ LLC Two hundred miles north of the Arctic Circle and 4,359 miles from Washington, D.C., Point Hope, Alaska, is the oldest continuously-settled Native American site in North America. This community of approximately 900 residents is home to the Tikigaq people, who in 1971, under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, established the Tikigaq Corp. With 1,000 Inupiaq shareholders, the corporation provides arctic construction, rural and urban environmental expertise, and logistics services experience. AGVIQ LLC, which was later created as an environmental subsidiary of Tikigaq Corp. and qualifies as a minority owned (Native American) small business through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 8(a) Program, partners with clients to provide a wide variety of environmental services with a commitment to proven technical solutions, health and safety, and quality. However, as a... Read More