State CARES Act funds now available for Alaskan businesses

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) Small businesses who did not receive CARES Act relief funds at the federal level will now be able to apply for them with the state.

State CARES Act Grant amounts will vary between $5,000 and $100,000 depending on eligible expenses, including payroll costs, utilities, and rent/mortgage, among others noted on the program website. (Storyblocks)

On Wednesday, a press release from the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development (DCCED) announced that a framework had been put in place which will allow businesses to apply for the funds at the state level called the AK CARES Grant Program.

The program was developed by DCCED, the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA), and Credit Union 1. Its aim is to provide support to businesses who did not receive COVID-19 relief dollars from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), “or other federal funding programs under CARES Act.”

“From a standpoint of being eligible, [businesses] are certifying to us that they are an eligible applicant that they have not received any funding from [other CARES Act programs],” says Interim AIDEA Executive Director, Alan Weitzner. Other conditions noted on the AK CARES Grant Program website note that marijuana-related businesses may not apply for the funds.

Additionally, the business must have been established before the governor declared a public health disaster emergency on March 11, 2020.

“And in the cases of misrepresentation of a certification, there is an obligation for that party to return the funds,” Weitzner says. He notes that both the state and Credit Union 1 will perform audits on grant recipients to ensure that grant conditions have been met. Otherwise, grant recipients have no obligation to repay the funds.

“Credit Union 1 will begin accepting applications on the program launch date: June 1, 2020,” reads an email from DCCED. “On that date, Credit Union 1 will make the application available on their website, and will activate the application submission button on their website as well.”

“What we wanted to make sure there was equal, non-preferential access to the program,” says Weitzner. The funds are distributed on a first come, first serve basis. This means that all qualifying entities will get their loan. Amounts will vary between $5,000 and $100,000 depending on eligible expenses, including payroll costs, utilities, and rent/mortgage, among others noted on the program website.

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