Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Region 10 Administrator of the Small Business Administration was a guest on KINY Radio's Capital Chat Tuesday to talk about federal funding coming Alaska's way as the result of the Infrastructure Act.
Alaska is part of Mike Fong's region. Among his duties has been prioritizing the allocation of American Rescue Plan Act funds for recovery from the pandemic. "In addition to ARPA, the federal government under the Biden-Harris Administration's leadership just pushed through the Infrastructure law which will also have dollars flowing to states all across the country. My understanding is that Alaska will be receiving more money per capita than any other state in the nation. Those dollars will invest in infrastructures such as road and broadband and other investments intended to build a solid foundation for a neglected infrastructure in the past."
Capital Chat Host Dano asked when the results of the funding funds will start to show up in Alaska. Fong said this is where it gets to some of SBA's wheelhouse. He said those dollars will flow to state and local governments and will need to be contracted out to private sector businesses to deliver that work.
Fong said one of SBA's core programs is around supporting businesses and rating them for government contracting whether that be procurement for everything from office supplies to construction work to professional services such as communications or other types of technical expertise that the federal government will need for all these range of projects.
Fong said they are fortunate to have a team here on the ground here which is focused on providing those direct one-on-one consultation supports with their resource partners to help people be able to find the resources they need and be ready for some of those dollars coming down the pipeline.
Fong shared an announcement on the program. "I'm very excited to announce that we will be bringing a women's business center to Alaska. The first one. So that's going to make a huge difference."
Fong said the centers are part a national network of entrepreneurship centers throughout the United States and its territories, which are designed to assist women in starting and growing small businesses. The centers seek to "level the playing field" for women entrepreneurs, who still face unique obstacles in the business world, he added.
Information about the SBA's work in Alaska and Juneau is available at www.sba.gov/ak