Local companies advance in sustainable business contest

Thirteen finalists from coastal communities are advancing in the Washington Coast Works Sustainable Small Business Competition (wacoastworks.org). The first-place winner will receive $10,000 in startup funding, with several runner-up awards. The Quinault Indian Nation is this year’s competition title sponsor. Other sponsors include the Washington State Department of Commerce and Bank of the Pacific.

The 2016 finalists are:

• Alan Richrod (Aberdeen) — Small manufacturing of unique art project holding systems.

• Anna Sablan (La Push) — Solar powered tiny houses.

• Carrie and Jonas Merrill (Beever) — Beekeeping farm.

• Ceantanni Polm (Ocean Shores) — Community supported permaculture farm operating with closed loop systems.

• Earla Penn (La Push) — Cultural eco-tours of the Quileute reservation.

• Evan Mulvaney (Montesano) — Pig farm using sustainable agriculture and pastured pork.

• Jeff Meeks (Montesano) — Sustainable production of boat kits and woodworking.

• Jesse Foss (Amanda Park) — Bio-diesel stump grinding and wood chip recycling.

• Jessica Ellis (Montesano) — Solar- powered dog boarding.

• Laurel Shearer (Aberdeen) — Homemade candies using fair trade chocolate.

• Mike Maki (Hoquiam) — Bio-Char based organic fertilizer.

All are “triple-bottom-line” businesses from coastal communities in Grays Harbor, Jefferson and Clallam counties and designed to generate profits with significant social and environmental benefits.

The finalists have completed an eight-week comprehensive business plan development program, provided by Enterprise for Equity and a two-day Entrepreneurship Summit in Forks facilitated by the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship. At the summit, finalists participated in workshops and activities and connected to experienced business professionals who will help them refine their plans and pitches to be presented to the judging panel in mid-September.