Task Force makes recommendations on CARES funds

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Federal CARES Act dollars could play a key role in keeping Juneau's economy afloat over the next 12-18 months.

    That is the gist of several recommendations penned by the Economic Stabilization Task Force to the assembly Finance Committee.

    The committee was expected to discuss these suggestions Wednesday night.

    The CBJ will be facing severe economic hardships in the next year due to the loss of taxes and other revenues.

    Businesses provide 40% of the property tax revenue and all of the CBJ sales tax revenue.

    The federal money could be used for funding and grants to individuals and businesses.

    "The list of ideas is intended to provide stop-gap measures for business stabilization that may help current business owners to survive, and assist their employees with payroll continuity," the report stated.

    The task force recommended business sustainability grants to equal four months of rent, lease and long-term debt costs, and the costs for physical retrofitting their businesses due to COVID-19.

    The business must have at least 50% local ownership as of February 15, 2020.  They must also show a decrease in sales of at least 20% compared to 2019.

    Another proposal is relief from water and sewer utility bills.  The business would receive a discount on the bills equal to the percentage decline in year over year sales as reported on its sales tax return.

    The business must have at least 50% local ownership as of February 15, 2020.

    They must show a minimum decrease of 20% in revenue from 2019.

    Another suggestion is a local citizen support program called "Support Local and Save."

    This would benefit households in Juneau.

    Customers can receive a rebate on utility bills if they spend money at local businesses for non-essential products.

    The cap on purchases is up to $300.  They would be eligible to save $150.

    The program would run from June 1 to August 31 with possible extensions.

    The group also supports the CBJ purchasing its own rapid testing equipment.  They suggest it would enable more ease of travel into our city to reduce quarantine requirements.

     

     

     

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