small business

Sabine Poux/KDLL

Another Kenai Peninsula city is putting thousands toward a shop local incentive program.

Seward is following Kenai and Soldotna with “Shop Seward,” which will run this upcoming holiday weekend.

Charlissa Magen

It was the middle of the pandemic and parents were exhausted. Chera Wackler was home with her 8-year-old twins. 

“A lot of us parents were like, ‘I’m out of ideas,’" she said. "We’ve made the goop, we’ve made soap, we’ve tie dyed t-shirts. You know, I’m running out.”

Mitten mania

Feb 2, 2021
Claudette Barber

An unexpected outcome of President Joe Biden’s inauguration last month was the rise of a new meme.

You’ve definitely seen it: Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders sitting cross-legged in a folding chair, looking slightly disgruntled but also incredibly warm in a puffy coat and woolen mittens.

Sanders got his pair from Jen Ellis, a school teacher in his home state. The internet went crazy over them.

“Well, I thought it was really funny. I won’t lie, for being a businesswoman, I thought it was a great business opportunity," said Claudette Barber, of Claudette’s Traveling Boutique in Soldotna.

Sabine Poux/KDLL

Mama Cupcake is a fluffy white Angora rabbit who lives in Cooper Landing. 

On Tuesday afternoon, she was snuggled up with three of her newborns in a big blue bucket.

“I left most of her babies at home, because we’re in the process of weening,” said Rachel Sullivan. She’s the owner of these bunnies and of Hibernation Textiles, a Cooper Landing-based small business.

It was a turbulent year for business owners on the Kenai Peninsula, trying to survive the ecnomic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. What strategies and programs were helpful? What not so much? Brittany Brown, Shanon Davis and Tim Dillon, the executive directors of the Kenai and Soldotna chambers of commerce and Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District, take a look back and peer into their crystal ball for the year to come.