Borough CARES grants close tomorrow, still time for Soldotna

Jul 23, 2020

Credit CDC

 Friday is the deadline for nonprofits and businesses to apply for CARES Act grant funding through the Kenai Peninsula Borough.

The borough has made $15 million available in the first round of funding for nonprofits and businesses outside city limits for pandemic-related relief, whether or not they have previously received relief. The catch is that only expenses that haven’t been covered by other relief are eligible, and the borough will require proof of how the funds were spent.

The amounts vary based on the business or nonprofit’s gross revenues in 2019, with the smallest being up to $1,750 and the largest being up to $35,000. The bottom threshold is at least $20,000 in gross revenue in 2019. More information is available on the borough’s website.

The City of Soldotna’s grant application period is open for another week, through 5 p.m. on July 31. The city has $2.75 million available for businesses and nonprofits within city limits, with $2 million set aside for businesses and $750,000 for nonprofits. Business grants are capped at $15,000 and are based on 5 percent of the applicant’s gross revenue from last year, while nonprofit grants are capped at $25,000 and are based on 10 percent of the applicant’s gross revenue from last year.

Businesses have to have done at least $25,000 in gross annual sales in 2019, and nonprofits have to have been in business since at least January 1 of 2019 and provide services to city residents. Applications are available online or in person and be submitted online or in hard copy at city hall, either in person or by mail.

The statewide Alaska CARES Act program funding is still available as well. As of Thursday, about $1.27 million from the state has gone out into the peninsula’s communities, with recipients spread among Homer, Seward, Soldotna, Kasilof, Kenai, Sterling, Anchor Point and Hope. On the central peninsula, 15 recipients have received a total of about $652,000.

While the Alaska CARES Act funds are available, the applications are reportedly significantly backlogged with Credit Union 1. The state Legislature has been having teleconference hearings about problems with the act over the past several weeks, but has not proposed to go back to Juneau to revise it yet.

The City of Kenai just finished its second round of CARES Act funding for businesses and nonprofits, with 30 additional applicants receiving funds, including 22 businesses and 8 nonprofits. Larry Persily, a consultant with the city on the grant program, said the city is preparing to send out about $300,000 to the businesses from the second round. Applications for commercial fishmen and businesses that did between $20,000 and $50,000 in gross sales in 2019 are still open through Aug. 31. With any money left over, the Kenai City Council members have said they would be interested in doing an additional round for just businesses later in the fall.

Reach Elizabeth Earl at eearl@kdll.org.