Juneau businesses could get additional financial help

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The CBJ Finance Committee discussed another round of financial help for local businesses hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The ordinance would appropriate $8.5 million for the Business Sustainability Grant Program from funds created by the CARES Act.

    The focus has been on getting revenue into the hands of local business, Economic Stabilization Task Force Co-Chairman Max Mertz said.

    This funding would be available to all businesses regardless of whether they have applied for or have obtained any other state or federal COVID-19 related assistance.  They must disclose if they applied for or received these other funds and be able to prove this additional grant is still necessary to sustain the business operation.

    The business must have been registered in Alaska on or before January 1, 2020 and have a physical presence in Juneau on or before February 15, 2020. 

    An applicant must prove a year over year decrease in revenue starting April 1, 2020 of at least 20 percent.

    Mertz said he would not be surprised if 400 to 500 businesses apply for this funding.  Close to 1,700 Juneau workers have collected unemployment since the pandemic hit.

    The assembly this week approved $3.5 million in assistance for businesses. 

    The economy has been hit hard by hunker down orders for residents, the closure or limits on business operations, and a mostly dormant cruise ship season.

    Phase 2 will provide $5 million.  Each business can receive up to $33,000 and up to $66,000 from the first two phases.

    Phase 3 provides another $3.5 million.  Again, a business can receive a maximum of $33,000 during this phase.

    If the number of grant applications exceeds the available grant funds, remaining grants shall be awarded on when the application was initially submitted.

    The ordinance will be the subject of a public hearing before the full assembly on July 13.

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