Assembly considers economic help for Juneau

    Assemblymember Carole Triem.

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Mayor and Assemblymember Carole Triem has been working on a local package to help Juneau.

    The purpose of the small business relief program is to get money out into the community as quickly a possible.

    Triem said they have not finalized any details but have kicked around several ideas.  She said loans could be available for small businesses.

    One proposal is a bridge loan for businesses to meet payroll, purchase equipment, or purchase materials.

    Triem said they would be low-interest loans with repayment in 24-30 months.  She said the business must make a good faith effort to make payroll.

    Mayor Weldon said this would help businesses meet payroll until further help arrives.

    Assemblymember Rob Edwardson said whatever the CBJ does needs to be done quickly.  He said he didn't want it to interfere with federal stimulus or unemployment benefits.

    City Manager Rorie Watt said he felt strongly that support of small business was a public purpose.

    Assemblymember Loren Jones said other options include sales tax forgiveness.  He said many businesses did not want to go into further debt.

    Assemblymember Wade Bryson said the CBJ should protect every small business they can because everyone they lose is a sales tax provider that they won't get back.

    The group also discussed the idea of rental assistance.

    The mayor said she is thinking of forming a task force or group to study the issue and make recommendations.

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