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Offices Closed to Public

The Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development offices are closed to the public at this time. We are still open for business and encourage you to contact us via phone or email.

AK CARES Grant Program: No Longer Accepting Applications

The AK CARES online application portal closed at 5:00pm on Tuesday, September 15th, after more than $100 million in excess of the program’s cap had been requested.

If remaining AK CARES grant funds are available after all applications received between June 1st and September 15th have been processed, we will reopen the online application portal with advance notice to the public.

If you chose to submit an application on or after September 2nd after the program was oversubscribed, please be aware that there is a high likelihood your application may not be funded. If you are looking for other funding programs that may be available to you, please visit COVID-19 Recovery Resource Portal for Business website.

AK CARES Grant Program

In response to Governor Mike Dunleavy's Public Health Disaster Emergency Declaration on March 11, 2020, the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development (DCCED), working with the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA), established a grant program to provide economic relief to small Alaskan businesses impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency. DCCED contracted with AIDEA to manage and implement the program, and AIDEA contracted with program operators – Credit Union 1 and the Juneau Economic Development Council – to process grant applications and disburse funds. In an effort to speed up processing times, AIDEA and DCCED are also acting as program operators.

A program compliance audit of the AK CARES program is currently underway by Yukon Accounting and Consulting, Inc., a contractor for the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA). To confirm validity of correspondence, please contact AIDEA at (907) 771-3019 or DCCED appreciates the full cooperation of grantees in the auditing process.

The AK CARES program has been oversubscribed since September 2, 2020, meaning more funds were requested than are available through the program. We continued to accept applicants because we know not all requested funds will be approved – either due to the business or individual expense being ineligible. However, the online application portal closed at 5:00pm on Tuesday, September 15th after more than $100 million in excess of the program’s cap had been requested.

If we have remaining funds available after all applications received between June 1st and September 15th have been processed, we will reopen the portal with advance notice to the public.

To expedite the application process, small businesses were strongly encouraged to review the checklist and FAQs carefully prior to submitting the application. These materials are provided through the "FAQ and Checklist" link below. Incomplete application packages do not preserve an applicant’s priority in the processing queue. The AK CARES Program is operated on an equal access/non-preferential (i.e. first-come, first-served basis).

The application period for the AK CARES Grant Program opened on June 1, 2020. The expanded eligibility criteria (which made commercial fishermen, 501(c)6 nonprofit organizations, and businesses that received $5,000 or less in PPP/EIDL funds eligible) went into effect on August 6, 2020. As of August 31, 2020, businesses that received any amount of PPP/EIDL funding and secondary income source businesses became eligible as well.

Please click here for a PDF preview of the online application to prepare your application package accordingly. Please click here to view a 30-minute instructional video on how to fill out the application correctly , created by the Alaska Small Business Development Center.

Once you have applied for an AK CARES grant, you may receive follow up phone calls and/or emails from the grant processor. Your prompt response to these follow up communications is necessary in order to finalize the processing of your grant application. Please be sure to check your inbox(es) and voicemail(s) daily, including the junk folders. Please also ensure you have room in your voicemail to receive messages.

If you have questions on the AK CARES grant program or application process, please contact (907) 771-3019 or

Click here for a printable version of these FAQs and the application checklist.

Who Can Apply

The AK CARES online portal closed at 5:00pm on Tuesday, September 15th.

Small businesses based, licensed, and located in Alaska with an Employer Identification Number (EIN) – including C-corps, S-corps, Partnerships, LLCs, Nonprofits (501(c)3 501(c)6, and 501(c)19 organizations) and sole proprietorships – impacted by COVID-19 that meet the following criteria:

  • Business was licensed and established when the public health disaster emergency declaration was issued by Governor Dunleavy on March 11, 2020;
  • Business has, on average, 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees; and

Commercial fishermen impacted by COVID-19 who held and fished a Limited Entry Permit or Interim Use Permit issued by the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commissioner (CFEC) and meet the following criteria:

  • Fishermen who held a Limited Entry Permit or Interim Use Permit in 2019 and 2020, including an embossed gear card, and participated in an open fishery that produced income in 2019.
    • Exception: Card Holders who purchased a Limited Entry Permit for the first time in 2020 must have been a crew member in 2019 that actively participated in an open fishery in Alaska to be eligible.
    • Exception: Card holders who emergency transferred their permit in 2019, and are actively fishing in 2020 are eligible.
    • Exception: The temporary permit holder who held Limited Entry Permit(s) by emergency transfer are eligible.
  • Fishermen who engage primarily in Alaskan fisheries.
  • Fishermen with, on average, 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees.

Who Is NOT Eligible to Apply

  • Marijuana related businesses
  • Out of State businesses
  • Business with more than 50 full-time equivalent employees (on average).
  • Businesses that has filed for bankruptcy
  • Businesses who do not otherwise meet the eligibility criteria.
  • Commercial fishermen who did not actively fish in 2019.
  • Commercial fishermen that did not renew their permit and did not receive a gear card for 2020.
  • Commercial fishermen who hold a permit for a fishery that was closed in 2019 and 2020.
  • Commercial fishermen that emergency transferred their permit and did not actively fish themselves in 2019 and 2020.

Grant Amount

$5,000 to $100,000 based on eligible expenses.

Eligible Expenses

Amount of grant award based on the following COVID-19 emergency-related eligible expenses incurred by the applicant business between March 11, 2020 through the application date, and eight (8) weeks following the application date:

  • Payroll costs and expenses;
  • Payment of eligible expenses incurred during the eligible timeframe and charged to a credit card or charge account (a copy of the credit card or charge account statement is required for verification, and eligible expenses should be highlighted on the document);
  • Rent or mortgage payments for business facilities (unless otherwise waived by lessor/lender);
  • Utilities payments;
  • Purchase of personal protective equipment required by the business;
  • Business related equipment; and
  • Expenses incurred to replenish inventory or other necessary re-opening expenses.

(See the AK CARES FAQs for examples of eligible expenses.)

** AK CARES funds cannot be used for any expenses claimed or paid by other assistance/relief programs; including, but not limited to: PPP, EIDL, and municipal/local grant programs. (I.e., no “double dipping”.)

Technical Assistance

Online application assistance:

Phone: (907) 771-3019

Alaska Regional Development Organizations (ARDORS)


  • Anchorage Economic Development Corporation: (907) 258-3700
  • Bering Strait Development Council: (907) 443-5231 or (907) 304-1154
  • Copper Valley Development Association: (907) 822-3071 or
  • Fairbanks North Star Borough Economic Development Commission: (907) 459-1000
  • Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District: (907) 283-3335 or
  • Northwest Arctic Borough Economic Development Council: (907) 442-2500 or
  • Prince William Sound Economic Development District: (907) 222-2440
  • Southeast Conference: (907) 586-4360 or
  • Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference: (907) 562-7380
  • Yukon-Kuskokwim Economic Development Council: (907) 543-7460

Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs)

Contact information for SBDC Offices around the state:

  • Statewide: (907) 789-7201 or
  • Anchorage: (907) 786-7205
  • Fairbanks: (907) 456-7232
  • Juneau: (907) 463-3789
  • Ketchikan: (907) 225-3184
  • Kenai Peninsula: (907) 260-5643
  • Mat-Su: (907) 373-7232
  • Rural Alaska: (907) 463-3430

AK CARES: FAQs and Application Checklist