Update on funding programs
Citywide: COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grants
The application period for the Municipality's COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grants is now closed. Cook Inlet Lending Center (CILC) received more applications than available funding, so there will be a random selection on Thursday, September 17th to determine which applications will be funded. If you have already submitted an application, you will receive a notification about the status of your application by Friday, September 18th.
Questions about the Municipality’s small business relief? Contact CILC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AK CARES Program Oversubscribed
As of September 2, 2020, it appears we are oversubscribed, meaning more funds have been requested than are available through the AK CARES program. You are still welcome to apply, but if you do choose to submit an application, it’s important to be aware that there is a high likelihood your application will not be funded due to a lack of available grant funds. If you are looking for other funding programs that may be available to you, please visit DCCED’s COVID-19 Recovery Resource Portal for Business website.
September 24, 2020 - Alaska families are spending more time cleaning and disinfecting their homes and hands to protect loved ones from COVID-19. The Alaska Poison Center provides 24-hour professional advice and management information regarding exposures to poisons, chemicals, drugs, bites, and medications to residents of Alaska. Since January 2020, the Alaska Poison Center has received over 200 calls associated with possible poisonings from disinfectants and cleaners. READ MORE
Anchorage School District outlines plans for return to school buildings
On Wednesday, the Anchorage School District announced a phased plan for reopening school buildings to students over the next few months.
In a letter to families, the district wrote that in-person classes for elementary students, will resume on October 19, five days a week for 5.5 hours. In-person classes for middle school students in grades 6-7 will resume November 12-13 and on November 16th for other middle school grades, five days a week for 5.5. Hours. And in-person classes for high school students will resume January 4, 2021, five days a week for 5.5 hours. READ MORE
Municipality of Anchorage to Distribute Cloth Masks to Community
The Municipality of Anchorage Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is partnering with community organizations and other municipal departments to distribute 160,000 cloth masks to Anchorage residents beginning September 14. The EOC has done two other rounds of community mask distribution, resulting in 44,500 masks given out to residents. This round of cloth, reusable masks came from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in their effort to distribute 1,000,000 masks around the State of Alaska. PRESS RELEASE
AHD partners with CDC, HUD to address COVID-19 outbreak in people experiencing homelessness
The Anchorage Health Department will receive federal support from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in response to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak among persons experiencing homelessness (PEH) in Anchorage. PRESS RELEASE
CARES Act funding used to support mental health and suicide prevention efforts
The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) will distribute $750,000 of federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on mental health and address associated risk factors for suicide. The funds will provide direct support to Alaska’s communities and behavioral health providers as they respond to increased mental health needs that have arisen due to the COVID-19 pandemic. PRESS RELEASE
Mayor issues Emergency Order EO-14 v2
Mayor Ethan Berkowitz signed Emergency Order EO-14 v2 to protect health and save lives in the Municipality of Anchorage. EO-14 v2 returns our community to a modified version of Phase Two in the Safe Anchorage: Roadmap to Reopening the Municipality of Anchorage plan. EO-14 v2 sets limitations for individuals, gathering sizes, the hospitality industry, indoor gyms, bingo halls, theaters and other recreation and entertainment facilities. These regulations supersede EO-10, in part, and take effect Monday, August 31, 2020 at 12:00 a.m., once EO-15 expires. The portions of EO-10 (“Maintenance") and its attachments that do not conflict with this order remain in effect.
Notice To Travelers Arriving in Alaska
Beginning August 11th, travelers arriving into Alaska from another state or country must follow new protocols. Read the new rules at the Traveler Information Page.
Governor Expands AK CARES Eligibility To Help Alaska Small Businesses
Taking additional steps to better expedite the AK CARES Act Funding for small businesses in need of help, Governor Mike Dunleavy today notified the Legislative Budget & Audit Committee that he is submitting modifications to the AK CARES Grant Program to expand the eligibility for applicants. The expanded program details, delivered by the established Revised Programs Legislative (RPL) Review Process, was sent alongside other routine business for the committees consideration in response to mitigating the effects of the COVID-19 public health crisis.
Alaska ranks highest in the nation for COVID-19 testing, per capita
For COVID-19 testing, Alaska is currently the most tested state in the nation, per capita, followed by Rhode Island, according to Worldometer, a website that ranks states and countries on several key measures in the COVID-19 response. The testing measure is cumulative and based upon all tests administered since the start of the pandemic. Alaska also ranks first among states based on the current weekly trend, according to the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Coronavirus Research Center.
Municipality of Anchorage distributes more than $800,000 in child care provider relief funds
More than $800,000 is on its way to seventy licensed child care providers in the first disbursement of economic relief funds from the Municipality of Anchorage's COVID-19 Child Care Provider Assistance Program. The funds, drawn from $10 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds allocated by the Anchorage Assembly, are available for licensed child care providers to:
- reduce fees and tuition for families in need;
- pay staff for COVID-19 safety measures; and
- pay rent and utilities to keep facilities open.
Fake SBA Emails
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is currently tracking phishing emails imitating the Small Business Administration (SBA) COVID-19 relief webpage. These emails include a malicious link to a fake page used for malicious re-directs and credential stealing. Small business owners and organizations should be aware of this threat and take appropriate action to protect themselves. bit.ly/2FcQCav
Tents for Business Use
In the face of COVID-19, our business community has met calamity with innovation, moving operations outside, and into parking lots. The Municipality has now simplified the application process for businesses seeking to utilize tents. Find out more here: bit.ly/2PMMaRK.
Coronavirus Nonprofit Relief Fund
For nonprofits impacted by COVID-19: the State of Alaska has set aside funds to support you. The Coronavirus Nonprofit Relief Fund is managed by the Alaska Community Foundation. Learn more and see the application at alaskacf.org/cnrf.
Municipality of Anchorage to Open Five Additional Testing Sites
The five testing sites will be located in the parking lots of the following:
- ChangePoint Church, 6689 Changepoint Drive
- Fairview Community Recreation Center, 1121 East 10th Avenue
- Anchorage Church of Christ, 2700 Debarr Road
- Muldoon Community Assembly, 7041 Debarr Road
- Z.J. Loussac Library, 3600 Denali Street
Resources for businesses to encourage COVID-19 precautions
Alaska businesses now have access to a new suite of printable resources to help encourage COVID-19 precautions among employees and customers. The COVID-Conscious Business Toolkit features Alaska-themed artwork to communicate and encourage measures, such as physical distancing and mask-wearing. Visit dhss.alaska.gov/dph/epi/id/pages/COVID-19/business.aspx.
COVID-19 has caused tremendous financial strain for many in our community. If you’re experiencing a COVID-related financial hardship, please call United Way of Anchorage’s 2-1-1 to ask about rent and utility assistance. We’re stronger together.
Text Alerts for Anchorage Businesses
A new texting service for Anchorage businesses is being launched to provide you with the most up-to-date information as you navigate the pandemic.
To sign up, text 'STRONG' to 907-891-7192.
You'll receive text alerts when relief funds become available, reopening protocols are updated, and more. Expect an average of 1-3 texts per week. You can also access on demand resources via text once you sign up.
After you check it out, tell us what you think in this quick 5-question survey. We want to make sure you have the information you need, when you need it.
U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
The Digital Resources Center includes the latest state guidelines, industry-specific information, small business advice, an employee screening questionnaire, and many more tools and resources to help employers and employees return to work safely and successfully. GUIDE
The Cost of Inaction is Too Great: Congress Must Pass A Phase 4 Coronavirus Relief Package
Congress and the administration deserve credit for their swift action early on to support American businesses and workers amid the coronavirus pandemic, but a lot is still riding on the passage of a Phase 4 economic relief package. READ MORE
Making Sure Parents, Students and Educators Shop Smart This Fall
Right now, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone is working toward one goal: getting children back to school safely and responsibly.
As public officials tackle dizzying logistics around in-person versus virtual learning, mask ordinances, and social distancing, parents are beginning their back-to-school shopping. It’s no question that this year’s shopping will look different than in years past. Still, the same rule applies: parents should be extra vigilant to avoid counterfeit goods. READ MORE
The K-Shaped Recovery and the Cost of Inaction
Depending on where you sit in the COVID economy, business could be booming or on the brink of bankruptcy. The pandemic’s uneven economic impact on industries and workers has been stark. Enter the K-Shaped Recovery.
Long gone is the notion that we’ll have a V-Shaped Recovery—a deep economic decline followed quickly by sharp rebound. Instead, what we’re looking at is a recovery that will be vigorous for some sectors while others remain in freefall. READ MORE
Coronavirus pandemic disproportionately affecting female-owned small businesses, according to new U.S. Chamber poll
WASHINGTON, D.C.— Female-owned small businesses have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic and corresponding economic crisis, and they are now less likely to expect future revenue, investment and staffing growth, according to data released today by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Federal Unemployment Assistance Proposals: State Impact Comparison
Congress is currently considering proposals to renew federal unemployment assistance. The U.S. Chamber released a new interactive map—Federal Unemployment Assistance Proposals: State Impact Comparison—demonstrating how the current House Democrat and Senate Republican proposals would affect each state. The interactive map outlines how much assistance the average unemployed individual would receive, average wage replacement rates, the resulting increase compared to state-only benefits, and more. Click here to view the interactive map.
READY TO REOPEN: A Playbook for your Small Business
Download this step-by-step guide to help your company reopen safely and keep employees and customers healthy and informed as restrictions lift across the country. The playbook includes safety and sanitation guidance, communications advice, and other best practices information.
Path Forward Virtual Event Series
Each episode of Path Forward will feature experts sharing their perspectives on the complex issues involved in a responsible reopening strategy. The first program will focus on the state of the pandemic, potential scenarios for reopening, and lessons America can learn from businesses in other parts of the world.
Thursdays - 11 am to Noon AKST
View recordings of past episodes HERE.
COMMUNITY UPDATES & OUTREACH
Relaunching BuyAlaska! Think Local First
Alaskans know that when we buy local goods and services, our local economies prosper.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a global economic recession unlike any in recent memory. It has negatively impacted all sectors and communities across the state almost without exception, forcing businesses to close or restrict operations severely. Alaska’s businesses and core industries of tourism, retail, service, and hospitality are particularly susceptible to these restrictions.
What are learning pods or cohorts, and are they safe?
As Alaskans prepare to send children back to school, whether by homeschooling, remote learning or in a classroom with other students, you’ve probably heard the terms “pod” or “cohort” suggested as methods to help keep kids safe from infection with COVID-19 while learning. READ MORE
Critical Need Due to Increased Number of Patients
Blood Bank of Alaska (BBA) began collecting convalescent plasma in May of 2020 to help patients recover from COVID-19. To date, BBA has worked with more than 30 recovered COVID-19 patients to ensure that convalescent plasma is available for local area hospitals. We are currently critical for additional donors.
If you or someone you know has recovered from COVID-19, please ask them to contact Blood Bank of Alaska to donate plasma to help other Alaskans at 907-222-5630. For more information, you can visit the BBA website at bloodbankofalaska.org/covid-19-donor/
As extra unemployment runs out, Food Bank of Alaska braces for elevated need to grow
By Tegan Hanlon, Alaska Public Media
"For now, the food bank is estimating that the need is up about 75% statewide compared to last year." READ MORE
Alaskans Find a Way
There are still many things we can’t do. But we are Alaskans. And we find a way. That’s what the AK Can Do fund is doing. Right now, thanks to ConocoPhillips Alaska, your impact will be doubled when you make a donation to help support families who have lost jobs and frontline nonprofits that provide critical services.
Anchorage Live. Work. Play. is Back in Action!
Follow the community-driven Instagram account and learn how different individuals in our community love to live, work and play in Anchorage!
If you're interested in hosting, contact Tara at email@example.com and tell us a little bit about yourself and why you love to live, work and play in Anchorage!
At-Risk & Senior Shopping Hours
Alaska Mill & Feed: Mon. – Fri. 8 am to 10 am
Carrs Safeway: Tues. & Thurs.: 6 am to 9 am
Costco: Tues. & Thurs.: 8 am to 9 am (masks required)
Fred Meyer: Mon. thru Thurs.: 7 am to 8 am
Walgreens: Tuesdays 8 am to 9 am
Walmart: Tuesdays 7:30 am to 8:30 am
ANCHORAGE CHAMBER MEMBER UPDATES
Anchorage Chamber Members Open for Business
To add a business, simply add their information to the spreadsheet or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
While some companies are on a hiring freeze, others are looking to add to their team.
Trick or Treat Street 2020
Participation in this downtown activation is FREE. The Anchorage Downtown Partnership (ADP) is asking businesses to provide Halloween window art/displays throughout the month of October. ADP will provide businesses with an item to include in the window display that will act as a clue for the scavenger hunt. By transitioning this event to a scavenger hunt spread out across downtown throughout the entirety of the month we hope to provide the space for entertainment while increasing physically distanced traffic downtown. 3-6 pm Thursdays and Fridays, and 12-4 pm Saturdays. SIGN UP FORM
Local lenders make the difference in Payroll Protection Program
By Gretchen Fauske, Alaska Journal
“Have you heard that (insert name of local business) is closing?”
Restaurant Recovery with Todd Graves
NEW TV DOCUSERIES “RESTAURANT RECOVERY” IS NOW CASTING America’s most iconic and diverse restaurants, eateries, bakeries, craft breweries that are currently in need!
Join philanthropist and entrepreneur Todd Graves, founder and CEO of Raising Cane’s, as he travels to cities across the country to help restaurants that are suffering or on the verge of closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Anchorage Public Library's Safe Opening Plans and Services
While our community is dealing with a higher number of COVID-19 cases than ever before, the public’s need for library services has also never been greater. In order to balance health concerns with providing the library services our patrons depend on, we have partially opened our buildings for limited core services. READ MORE
Open Streets ANC
In partnership with the Municipality of Anchorage (MOA), Anchorage Downtown Partnership, Ltd. (ADP) announces “Open Streets ANC”, a long-term road closure initiative to stimulate economic activity, encourage physical distancing, and provide opportunities for community connection downtown. Street closures (G St. between 3rd & 4th Ave, and F St. between 6th & 7th Ave) will provide pedestrians more space to spread out. LEARN MORE
Stay & Play in Anchorage
Visit Anchorage is kicking off the summer season with a special campaign encouraging Alaskans to stay and play in our own backyard. Visit anchorage.net/stay-and-play-in-anchorage for deals, trip itineraries, and more.
COVID-19 phobia? Why you should not delay emergency care
Delaying medical care can have serious consequences, and unfortunately, data suggests this is happening due to the pandemic. For conditions like heart attack, stroke and appendicitis, minutes MATTER. With extensive safety measures in place to prevent disease from spreading, delaying care in an emergency is much more dangerous than going to the ER. Read on to learn when to call 911. READ MORE
HEALTH, WELLNESS & LIFESTYLE
6 Ways for Leaders to Support Your Team’s Emotional Health
By Bridget Castellini, PRSA
If you asked any of us back in February to describe what our spring and summer months would look like, the terms “national emergency,” “lockdown” and “shelter-in-place” would almost certainly not have been mentioned, nor would uttering “unprecedented times” over and over in conversations with clients and colleagues. READ MORE
Resource highlights from DHSS's COVID-19 website
COVID-19 Planning for Families with Children
You’re feeling sick, it’s the middle of a pandemic, your two-year-old is jumping on you, and your six-year-old needs help with online school work. You’re scrambling to figure out where to get tested for COVID, how to keep your kids safe and fed, and how to manage it all if it gets any worse. Many parents have found themselves in difficult situations like this. While these are inevitably stressful times, having a plan can help reduce some of the burden of that stress. READ MORE
Keeping work professional, even from the kitchen table
It’s safe to say that many people will continue working from home, or “WFH”, for the foreseeable future. While a 15-foot commute to the office comes with ups and downs, a positive attitude and a few solid tips can ensure you remain professional through days full of video calls. READ MORE
National Preparedness Month
National Preparedness Month (NPM) is recognized each September to promote family and community disaster planning now and throughout the year. As our nation continues to respond to COVID-19, there is no better time to be involved this September.
The 2020 NPM theme is: "Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today."
Apple Launches COVID-19 App
The COVID-19 app has up-to-date information from trusted sources about the coronavirus disease that is impacting people across the world. It has a screening tool so you can find out what you should do now for yourself or for a loved one. And it gives you access to resources you may need to feel supported and informed. APP STORE
Take a Break from Pandemic Stress with Some Help from Alaska Musicians and Writers
With the stress of sheltering in our homes and a daily barrage of worrisome news about the global pandemic, it’s important to find time to decompress, relax and find hope for the future. READ MORE & LISTEN
Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority Provides More Than $1.2 Million in COVID-19 Response Grants to Partner Organizations Across Alaska
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority (Trust) has awarded 62 COVID-19 response grants totaling more than $1.2M to partner organizations across the state. Based on the response to the program, and assessed partner need, trustees approved up to $1.5M for this program. READ MORE