COVID-19 Economic Recovery Resource Portal for Business Alaska and the Nation are pulling together to face this health and economic challenge. On this page, you will find updates and links to resources to help weather these hard economic times and prepare for the recovery thereafter. Updates will be made as additional information and resources become available. Latest News SBA Community Navigator Pilot Program On May 25, the U.S. Small Business Administration launched the Community Navigator Pilot Program, a $100 million grant program enacted through the American Rescue Plan Act, which will provide counseling, networking and the assistance needed during this time of economic recovery to the nation’s smallest businesses. The program will target small businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, as well as women and veterans. The SBA will engage with states, local governments, SBA resource partners, and other organizations in targeted outreach efforts. These partners and people in the community are key to this pilot program as they will serve as a two-way information stream, enabling enterprising business owners to receive the help needed from the SBA. Learn more Restaurant Revitalization Fund What to expect next: As outlined by Congress, the SBA will focus their reviews on the priority applications that have been submitted. Applicants who have submitted a non-priority application will find their applications remain in a Review status while the priority applications are processed during the first 21 days. Applicants in this status should not anticipate any outreach from the SBA during this period. Following a successful application submission, all applications will first enter a stage called “IRS verification”. This process may take up to seven days and allows the SBA to validate your application submission. If you have questions about the award calculation, see the program guide, pages 7–9. The 4506T form is signed with your application during the e-sign process. You do not need to submit an additional 4506T. If you are entering a state in the address section(s) use the abbreviation in capital letters (e.g., PA, TX, ME, WA, etc.). For application support, you may submit a message using the platform inbox. For quick answers, this may be your best route. SBA Announces Shuttered Venues Grant program 4/15/2021 On April 9, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) application portal would remain temporarily suspended through the weekend as they worked to resolve technical issues. As of 4/15/2021 the site is still inaccessible. The SBA has not yet accepted any applications or distributed any funding. The eligible entities – an important part of regional and local economic ecosystems across the country -- include: live venue operators or promoters; theatrical producers; live performing arts organization operators; relevant museum operators, zoos and aquariums who meet specific criteria; motion picture theater operators; talent representatives; and each business entity owned by an eligible entity that also meets the eligibility requirements. The SVOG program page provides: program details; supplemental documents; who can apply; grant amounts; how to apply; allowable use of funds; and video tutorials. NGA Partner resource for businesses The Health Action Alliance offers a range of free resources and events to help businesses share facts about COVID-19 vaccines, encourage employee vaccination, and contribute to a stronger, healthier recovery for everyone. This includes: A Quick Start Guide, to help businesses make it as easier for employees and workers to get vaccinated; Communications Guidance, with sample CEO statements, social media posts, conversation guides, audience insights and key messages for employees; A suite of Small Business Resources, with tailored content to help small employers support workers and encourage vaccination; and, A comprehensive Vaccine Education Program for Diversity Professionals and Employee Resource Groups Leaders, offering coaching and support to engage communities of color and other disproportionately impacted workforce populations. Federal Government Approves $50 Million Pandemic relief for Alaska’s Fishing Sector Alaska’s plan to pay out nearly $50 million to the fishing industry for pandemic relief has been approved by the federal government. Commercial applicants will need to show that the COVID-19 pandemic caused them at least a 35% loss in revenue last year. Applications will be accepted during a two-month window that opens March 1. This program will not be administered by the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development. Please contact the Department of Fish and Game for details. Full Article Final Spend Plan Application Paycheck Protection Plan 4/9/2021- The U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the Treasury Department, announced today that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has re-opened the PPP program until May 31,2021. The SBA also made four additional changes to open the PPP to more underserved small businesses. The SBA has: Allowed sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals to receive more financial support by revising the PPP’s funding formula for these categories of applicants Eliminated an exclusionary restriction on PPP access for small business owners with prior non-fraud felony convictions. Eliminated PPP access restrictions on small business owners who have struggled to make student loan payments by eliminating student loan debt delinquency as a disqualifier to participating in the PPP Ensured access for non-citizen small business owners who are lawful U.S. residents by clarifying that they may use Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to apply for the PPP. For guidance regarding the PPP or EIDL program, please visit the SBA’s website: http://www.sba.gov/paycheckprotection Coronavirus Nonprofit Relief Fund The State of Alaska has set aside $35 million from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to specifically support nonprofits in Alaska adversely affected by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) has partnered with The Alaska Community Foundation to establish the Coronavirus Nonprofit Relief Fund (CNRF) with the set-aside funding. Eligible organizations are encouraged to apply to ACF for grants from CNRF. SBA Guide to CARES Act The Small Business Administration has prepared a Guide for Small Business Owners to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The guide provides information on SBA programs including the Paycheck Protection Program, the Small Business Debt Relief Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loans, and Emergency Economic Injury Grants. To read the final enabling language click here Resources for Business In addition to the working capital loans now available through the Department of Commerce, Community, & Economic Development, a myriad of State and Federal resources are available to support commerce as Alaskans continue to do what needs to be done to contain the spread of COVID-19 and begin the process of recovery. A directory of business-focused organizations able to assist in this recovery effort is available on the Business Response Directory. Below are links to listings of available State and Federal resources for businesses navigating their way through the COVID-19 landscape. Updates will be provided to these listings as access to new resources are made accessible. If you have any recommendations on resources not already listed, please contact the Alaska Development Team at AlaskaDevelopment@alaska.gov. Emergency & General Assistance Grants Emergency & Business Assistance Loans Tax Incentives Benefits For information on the steps being taken by the State to combat the spread of COVID-19, please visit the COVID-19 Update page available through the Department of Health & Social Services as well as the Governor’s Reopen Alaska Responsibly Plan and the State’s COVID-19 Traveler Information page. If you would like to see the status the COVID-19 pandemic in Alaska or beyond, please refer to the sites listed under the COVID-19 Updates tab. Please visit the following site for a listing of all State Health Mandates. Please email AlaskaDevelopment@alaska.gov if you have a recommendation on links to relevant state and/or federal business recovery program information.