Business Briefs

■ The Soldotna Chamber of Commerce meets at noon today at Froso’s Restaurant in Soldotna. A presentation on the Kenai Peninsula Borough Sales Tax Code is planned. RSVP to 262-9841.

■ The Kenai Chamber of Commerce meets at noon Wednesday at the Kenai Visitor Center. A KPEDD Community Update from Tim Dillon, Executive Director of the Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District, is planned. RSVP to 283-1991.

Ross Baxter has been awarded the prestigious Certified Residential Specialist Designation by the Council of Residential Specialists, the largest not-for-profit affiliate of the National Association of Realtors.

Realtors who receive the CRS Designation have completed advanced professional training and demonstrated outstanding professional achievement in residential real estate. Only 29,000 Realtors nationwide have earned the credential.

Ross is a Realtor with Jack White Real Estate. He is a member of the Kenai Peninsula Association of Realtors. Ross is also on the Kenai River Sport Fishing Association Board of Directors and has contributed to local charities for many years; one of his favorites is Hospice of the Kenai Peninsula.

“It’s important to offer my clients the best representation available, that’s why I chose to earn the CRS designation. I believe it will benefit my career through the strong referral network with other CRS Realtors worldwide as well as the local word of mouth referrals from existing clients” said Baxter.

Clear Creek Cat Rescue of Southcentral Alaska and the Kenai Peninsula has been awarded an $8,000 grant from the Petco Foundation to support its efforts to rescue and care for cats most in need — the sick, injured, and/or older — and find them good homes.

Clear Creek Cat Rescue, serving Southcentral Alaska and the Kenai Peninsula, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to rescuing, caring for, and rehoming stray, injured, homeless, and feral cats. Since 2009, Clear Creek Cat Rescue has saved and found loving homes for more than 2,000 cats and kittens.

The Petco Foundation investment will help to spay/neuter and provide vaccinations, microchips, feline leukemia testing, and other needed veterinary care for rescued cats.

“This generous Petco Foundation grant is vitally important for us as we continue our work rescuing cats that many rescue groups turn away. These are cats and kittens that are often require significant medical care and rehabilitation in order to find their forever homes,” said Kelleigh Orthmann, Clear Creek Cat Rescue Board President

For more information about Clear Creek Cat Rescue or the Petco Foundation, visit www.clearcreekcatrescue.org or www.petcofoundation.org.

The Alaska minimum wage will increase from $9.75 to $9.80 in 2017. Alaska voters approved a ballot initiative in 2014 that increased the minimum wage from $8.75 to $9.75 in 2016 and requires the Alaska minimum wage to be adjusted annually for inflation.

“Alaskan workers deserve a fair process to ensure Alaska’s minimum wage keeps up with inflation, and this is the first year the new law requires it to be adjusted,” said Labor Commissioner Heidi Drygas. “This modest increase will protect low wage workers and their families against inflation over time.”

Alaska Statute 23.10.065(a) requires the Alaska minimum wage to be adjusted using the Consumer Price Index for urban consumers in the Anchorage metropolitan area (Anchorage CPI-U) for the preceding calendar year. The Anchorage CPI-U increased 0.5 percent in 2015, rising from 215.805 to 216.909. As a result, the minimum wage will rise from $9.75 to $9.80 effective Jan. 1.

The Alaska minimum wage applies to all hours worked in a pay period regardless of how the employee is paid: whether by time, piece, commission, or otherwise. All actual hours worked in a pay period multiplied by the Alaska minimum wage is the very least an employee can be compensated by an employer. Tips do not count toward the minimum wage.

Junior Achievement and Mountain View Elementary in kenai are excited to put together another JA in a Day event for the spring semester. This event will take place on March 9, 2017. Junior Achievement programs align with state standards and teach students the value of workforce readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. The hands-on, age appropriate curriculum equips students with the knowledge needed to be successful in today’s ever changing global economy. Volunteers are needed for this event. A light breakfast, lunch, training and program materials will be provided. Visit alaska.ja.org to learn about the JA programs that will be offered to all K-5 students. For more information, contact Amarin Ellis, Program Manager, at 907-344-0101 or aellis@ja-alaska.org.

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service has launched a series of short videos to help Alaskans manage their finances.

Topics in the Mastering Money Management series include improving your credit score, reading your credit report, children’s allowances, living on a seasonal income, automating your bill payments and what to do before choosing bankruptcy.

The videos are available at www.uaf.edu/ces/money.

Anyone with ideas for additional video topics may contact Dinstel at 907-474-7201 or at rrdinstel@alaska.edu.

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