All businesses matter: Governor expands CARES aid, Legislature agrees - Must Read Alaska
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Monday, October 26, 2020
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All businesses matter: Governor expands CARES aid, Legislature agrees

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Help is on the way. Starting Monday, Aug. 31, businesses that received any amount of Paycheck Protection Program or Economic Injury Disaster Loan funds will become eligible to apply for AK CARES grants, as will businesses that are secondary sources of income.

Businesses can apply through the online application portal (www.akcaresonline.org) on Monday.

This change to the AK CARES program was made possible by the Revised Program Legislative procedure submitted to the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee by Gov. Mike Dunleavy on Aug. 20, and approved by the committee today.

“I want to personally thank the Legislative Budget & Audit Committee for their focus and prompt response in approving my plan that will provide much needed critical relief to small Alaskan businesses as quickly as possible,” Dunleavy said. “I have directed my team to immediately begin distributing these funds.”

The AK CARES program launched on June 1, and was initially intended to assist Alaska’s small businesses that did not receive any federal assistance. On Aug. 6, the program was expanded to include commercial fishermen, 501(c)6 nonprofit organizations, and small businesses that received $5,000 or less in PPP or EIDL funding.

Now that these businesses have had a few weeks to submit applications and the AK CARES program still has funds remaining, the program is being expanded to ensure the State assists as many small businesses as possible.

Businesses that have received funds through different assistance programs – such as the PPP, EIDL, or a local grant program – can request funds for any eligible expenses under the AK CARES program; with the exception of expenses claimed or paid by other assistance programs.

DCCED encourages businesses that will become eligible on Monday to begin preparing their applications right away. To prepare, businesses should review the AK CARES checklist, examples of eligible expenses, instructional video, frequently asked questions, and the preview of the online application, all of which can be found on the AK CARES Grant FAQs and Checklist webpage.

Once an AK CARES grant application has been submitted, the business may receive follow up phone calls and/or emails from the grant processor. Two of the main processing issues to date have been the lack of complete applications and lack of responsiveness from applicants; thus, DCCED encourages applicants to submit prompt responses to follow up questions and requests for information, which are necessary to finalize these grants. Applicants should also check their voicemails and email inboxes daily, including junk folders, to ensure they receive potential follow up questions timely.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • The State of Alaska should immediately suspend any additional funds going to Anchorage. These funds should be directed from the state to these Businesses because of the failure of the Mayor and radical Assembly to assist our Small Business Owners. The dreadful and Illegal lockdown of our small Businesses by Berkowitz is killing the multitude of business owners who just want to provide workers with the opportunity to make money for their families.

    • So the solution to the problem Berkowitz has caused is to further choke Anchorage?

      • No it would actually help the businesses that are hurting because of inaction of Berkowitz and the Assembly. They have no intention to use the funds for their designated purpose and the State do this would actually help the those who actually produce for Anchorage.

    • Additionally, can the governor withdraw the funds that have been delegated to MOA, that they have failed to pass through and are trying to illicitly spend?

  • The state needs to demand the return of CARES funds from the muni of Anchorage for mismanagement and re disburse it accordingly to small business and families in need.

  • Who is on the budget & audit committee? We should know their names!

  • Lets see, it is nearly the end of August. The business relief portion of the CARES Act funds were in the Alaska treasury last April. Hmmmmm. That means roughly 4.5 months have gone by while the current administration has fiddled around how to provide businesses in Alaska with relief. Does that seems like a remarkably long time to get emergency aid out to ailing businesses.
    Oh well.

    • “The AK CARES program launched on June 1, and was initially intended to assist Alaska’s small businesses that did not receive any federal assistance. On Aug. 6, the program was expanded to include commercial fishermen, 501(c)6 nonprofit organizations, and small businesses that received $5,000 or less in PPP or EIDL funding.

      Now that these businesses have had a few weeks to submit applications and the AK CARES program still has funds remaining, the program is being expanded to ensure the State assists as many small businesses as possible.”

      You must have missed this part.

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