Kenai starts next round of relief funds; borough online, Soldotna on deck

Jul 16, 2020

Last Friday, Kenai launched the second part of its relief program for small businesses, and this time, it includes commercial fishermen.

Applications for this round of coronavirus relief became available last Friday and don’t close until August 30. That’s in part because commercial fishermen are busy, well, fishing right now.

Small businesses with revenue of at least $25,000 and less than $50,000 are eligible for this round of funding as well as any Kenai residents that hold a commercial fisheries limited entry permit. Fishermen have to have landed at least $10,000 worth of fish last year to be eligible, according to the city. Applicants can receive up to $1,000 in this round.

Applications and more information are available on the city of Kenai’s website.

Kenai moved fast on its CARES funding. Of the $7.7 million it’s slated to receive over all, the city has sent out $4 million, or about 98 percent of the first bucket of money it was eligible for, according to city manager Paul Ostrander.

About $2 million of that went directly to businesses and nonprofits in the city, while another chunk went to pay police, firefighters, and other city employees involved in the COVID-19 response. The city had set aside about $1 million for resiliency projects, but city finance director Terry Eubank told the council the city wanted to switch that back to pay for police, firefighters, and emergency response after the council extended the pandemic emergency declaration into September.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough’s CARES funding program applications opened Monday, with the borough planning some open houses in the coming days to help businesses apply for that funding, and Soldotna’s CARES grant program for businesses and nonprofits opens for a two week period starting on Friday.

Reach Elizabeth Earl at eearl@kdll.org.