Kenai, Fairbanks give out far more grant money to small businesses than Anchorage - Must Read Alaska
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Monday, June 21, 2021
HomePoliticsKenai, Fairbanks give out far more grant money to small businesses than Anchorage

Kenai, Fairbanks give out far more grant money to small businesses than Anchorage

The Berkowitz Administration in Anchorage is granting $6 million to small businesses and nonprofits in Anchorage, and the CARES Act grants are limited to $10,000 each, to be determined by lottery on Thursday.

But on in the Kenai Borough, over $7 million has already been given out to businesses and nonprofits. Another $2.2 million has been set aside for Phase II grants, for a total of $9.2 million.

That’s for a population of businesses that is a fraction of the size of Anchorage.

Kenai Peninsula has a population of 58,000 compared to the 291,000 people who live in the Anchorage municipality. Each of the senior centers on the peninsula have already been awarded $50,000.

Fairbanks has also been more generous with its businesses and nonprofits than Anchorage. The City of Fairbanks, population 31,000, was awarded more than $16 million in CARES Act money and is granting more than a third of it — $6.25 million — to businesses.

Some $2.8 million has already been awarded to 174 businesses in Fairbanks. Grants are $15,000, a third more than the Anchorage grants are going to be during the Thursday lottery.

Fairbanks will also award $7.75 million to medical facilities, $1 million to individuals and families, and $1 million for direct expenses and administration costs.  Applications for Phase II of the distribution is available through Sept. 30.

Anchorage is spending most of its CARES Act money on government-related and health services. It has given out $14 million to hospitality and tourism businesses in a separate tranche of Economic Stimulus grants. Nonprofits have already received $3 million. Another $4.5 million is being spent on a pet project of the unions — hiring laid off members question to build trails around Anchorage, Girdwood and Eagle River, and to help with the installation of an “Indigenous Wayfinding” project, which means signage in Native language, in a sweetheart deal pushed by Rep. Zack Fields

  • Economic Stimulus: $33,442,380.04
  • Family Support: $18,850,000
  • Housing & Homelessness: $38,050,000
  • Public Health & Safety: $31,300,000
  • Community Investments: $5,500,000
  • Direct Municipal Response: $14,635,000
  • Contingency Fund: $14,936,186

Total: $156,713,566.04

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Written by

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

  • Y’all come on down now, heah? We got us a good borough mayor – Charlie Pierce!

  • Berkowitz and the assembly think government know best how to blow through cash instead of actually supporting the people they bankrupted with their idiotic mandates and pontificating.

  • I agree, check out the housing and land deals…and the outdoor pleasures are great.
    Medical services are up to date, if you want live here and work from home. The borough has lands for sale easy to find at the borough website. Why live where only your wallet is valued?

  • Looks like the ANC lefty loonies are going to try to blow a lot of money on paying for drunks and druggies before the needs of the productive sectors. Sad!

  • This says alot about our Mayor and assembly. And not in a good way! It seems criminal when so many small businesses need help in Anchorage. Im seeing shuttered up businesses all over town. Now the homeless have a ton more places to sit and shit!

  • Pretty simple really. Kenai and Fairbanks do not place the comfort of the homeless at a higher priority than the needs and requirements of the taxpayers.

  • I beg to differ as to Kenai care of housing challenged person…
    I personally was housing challenged… Here on the kenai. The locals and the church built my family a 1200 square foot home with a full basement.

    With my community ‘s help I was able to get off of welfare…now I can give back .. This was not a fluke as the church and community seek out permanent solutions to homeless and government dependence making homelessness a temporary situation and not a permanent generational reality.

    This is factual and documented
    Kenai cares

  • From the Muni website, under Economic Stimulus Programs – CARES Act Funding:
    Small Business and Nonprofit Relief: $6,000,000 (under Small Business and Non-Profit Relief program)
    Hospitality and Tourism Small Business Stabilization: $14,142,380 (under Small Business Stabilization fund)
    Total: ~$20 million

  • This is Assemblyman John Weddleton’s response:

    No it is not correct. That blog is often off the mark so I appreciate your checking on it.

    We have several allocations to business. Here’s the broad picture with ‘small business’ in bold. That totals about $33 million. I include non-profits in that as they act much like a small businesses in Anchorage. We also have another $15M in reserve that is likely to go towards business relief.

    The Public Lands Jobs goes to business to do things that were thought to hire lots of people who needed little training. You can add that $4.5M as business support if you want.

    The backdrop on our allocations is we looked to fill gaps in the federal funds through the PPP and EIDL and the far larger pot of money the State has. Those focused on business but left gaps. We also cut permit fees 25%, taxi permits fees were eliminated and B&B fees will be terminated in September. We are also looking at expanding the personal property tax deduction for homes to apply to business personal property (mostly inventory).

    CARES Act 8-12-20
    Economic Stimulus: $33,442,380.04
    Hospitality and Tourism $14M
    Public Land Jobs $4.5M
    Visit Anchorage Marketing $2M
    Small Business and NonProfit Relief
    Non-Profit Stimulus
    Family Support: $19M
    Childcare Businesses Relief $10M
    Childcare Assistance $5M
    Housing – Rent assistance etc $26M
    Homelessness: $12.5M
    Public Health & Safety: $31M
    Girdwood Clinic $5M
    AHD Capacity $2.3M
    First Responder Payroll Reserve $21M
    Community Investments: $5.5
    Cultural Pillars Stabilization (Museum, PAC, Alaska Native Heritage Center, Zoo, Wildlife Conservation Center): $3.5M
    Direct Municipal Response: $15M
    FEMA Match $12M
    Contingency Fund: $15M

    The blog is correct in one respect; there will never be enough money to make up for the disruption of C-19.

    Thanks for writing,

    John Weddleton
    Anchorage Assembly
    South Anchorage, Girdwood and Turnagain Arm

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