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Homer, Soldotna businesses see most state CARES funding so far

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Courtesy of KPEDD
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Officials are still processing applications but as of Tuesday, the Alaska CARES grant program had approved relief funding amounting to over $128 million for businesses across the state. A sizable portion of those funds have been allocated to the Kenai Peninsula — over $21 million, to around 500 different applicants.

There are still hundreds of Kenai Peninsula applicants who are waiting for state approval, says Tim Dillon, executive director of the Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District. That agency has been helping peninsula residents apply for Alaska CARES funding since summer.

“We’re hoping that with the next couple of weeks that we’ll be able to see our number go from somewhere between 25 and 30 million,” he said.

Dillon says the average approved business is getting a check for around $40,000.

The geographical distribution of those funds skews toward Homer.

“Out of the entire peninsula, the city of Homer has gotten the most approved at this stage,” Dillon said. “They’ve got 179 businesses approved for $8,490,000. But the other thing is, we’ve made sure that all the unincorporated communities are involved. I can tell you the community of Hope, we’ve got six businesses approved up there for $210,000. Or Seldovia for five different businesses for $154,000. That’s a lot of money for those little communities.”

Soldotna has seen over $3 million in funding so far, with Kenai at $2 million. Businesses in Seward have received almost $2 million, as well.

Dillon says his office is still receiving calls from commercial fishermen, a lot of whom were still on the water when the application period closed Sept. 15. But, despite the state oversubscribing its program, Dillon says there might be some money remaining at the end of the process that the state could allocate in a second round.

Sabine Poux is the news director at KDLL. Originally from New York, she's lived and reported in Argentina and Vermont, where she fell in love with local news. She covers all things central peninsula but is especially interested in stories related to energy and fishing. She'd love to hear your ideas at spoux@kdll.org.
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