Although the Municipality of Anchorage received $156 million in CARES Act funds, only 3.8 percent of it will be designated for small businesses and nonprofits suffering from the COVID economy. That’s $6 million.
The Municipality on Saturday closed its application period for grants for businesses that have been hurt by government mandates.
The Muni says that more grant applications came in than there is funding set aside for businesses, so the Muni will hold a random drawing on Thursday, Sept. 17, to pick which businesses and nonprofits will survive.
The $6 million is likely inadequate to make up for an unknown millions of dollars of lost revenues in the Anchorage city limits, but the method is supposedly color blind. That means it is 180 degrees opposite the method Assembly Chairman Felix Rivera insisted on, when he demanded a color-based equity distribution in July.
“And I stated emphatically that we must not be color blind in our policies, and we must not be color blind in how we distribute this money. Because if we are color blind, then these systems of racism, these systems of oppression will continue to perpetuate,” Rivera said, as seen in the video posted in the story below.
“This next tranche of money, if there is one, that comes for the small business and nonprofit relief program, must have some type of equity measure built into it … or I will make sure it is defeated on this floor.”
The Anchorage Assembly meets next on Sept. 15.
The Anchorage Assembly has allocated the funds into the following priority areas:
- Economic Stimulus: $33,442,380.04 ($6 million for small businesses and nonprofits)
- 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