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ILGP Borrower Success Story: Bayview General Merchandise Inc.

Bayview General Merchandise was established in 1999 to provide retail items to the people of Toksook Bay and Nelson Island.

Bayview General Merchandise (BGM) is a retail store operating in the village of Toksook Bay, on southwestern Alaska’s Nelson Island, and is only accessible by air or sea. The average temperature in the winter there is 1 to -10 degrees Celsius. 

BGM provides groceries, appliances, hardware, hunting and fishing gear, and Honda parts.

Details

Date of Commitment: 2015Type of Service: Loan GuaranteeLenderFirst National BankBorrower: Bayview General Merchandise Inc.Project: Building construction of Bayview General Merchandise Inc.Financing Amount: $100,000Location: Toksook Bay, Alaska

Description

Bayview General Merchandise (BGM) is a retail store operating in the village of Toksook Bay, on southwestern Alaska’s Nelson Island, and is only accessible by air or sea. The average temperature in the winter there is 1 to -10 degrees Celsius. 

Alexie Jimmie, a shareholder of the Village Corporation of Toksook Bay, established BGM in 1999 to provide retail items to the people of Toksook Bay and Nelson Island. BGM began in an 850 square foot rental space. In 2015, Jimmie used the loan guarantee program to secure a loan to build a store that is over 2500 square feet. 

When asked what the people from his village need most from his store, Alexie responded, “Everything!”

Bayview General Merchandise provides groceries, appliances, hardware, hunting and fishing gear, and Honda parts. “ATVs are the transportation mode here on Nelson Island, so we have to keep these machines running,” Jimmie said.

BGM has received overwhelming support from the community. It continues to be a successful business that supports festivals and donates to the local church.

“It’s important to be able to provide goods to the village,” Jimmie said. “We are only closed when the power goes out.”

Successful business leads to economic growth. Jimmie would like to continue exploring economic development for the community of Toksook Bay and is looking into processing Musk-Ox wool that would be knitted then sold online.

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