Anchorage, Alaska (KINY) - Starting Thursday, Aug. 6, the AK CARES grant program will be expanded to include Alaska’s commercial fishermen.
It will also include 501(c)6 nonprofit organizations, and small businesses that received $5,000 or less in Paycheck Protection Program or Economic Injury Disaster Loan funds.
“Setting up a completely new grant program to assist businesses through this unprecedented pandemic and its economic impacts, with constantly evolving federal guidance, has been challenging to say the least,” said DCCED Commissioner, Julie Anderson. “However, we continue to adapt the program to assist as many businesses as we can, as quickly as we can. I expect to see significant improvements in processing times and the number of businesses we can reach as a result of the program changes that will go into effect next week.”
In response to concerns regarding processing timelines, the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development and the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority have made substantial changes to the AK CARES processing procedures, created an online portal for applications, and continue efforts to bring on additional program operators.
“Providing broad and rapid relief to small businesses is critical to ensuring that every Alaskan can pay their bills and collect a paycheck during this global crisis,” said Gov. Mike Dunleavy. “These program improvements make certain that Alaskan businesses, non-profits, and their hardworking employees are not left behind as we continue to manage the health and economic impacts of COVID-19.”
The online application portal will go live next Thursday, at which point applications will no longer be submitted through Credit Union 1’s website. Instead, they will be completed and submitted online at akcaresonline.org. This will allow all program operators to access the applications from one central location to facilitate faster processing, and safeguard multiple processors from issuing grants to the same business.
Businesses that will become eligible on Thursday should wait for the portal application to become available, as it will differ from the application currently available on Credit Union 1’s website. However, businesses are encouraged to begin preparing their supporting documentation now.