View this email in your browser ([link removed])
August 31, 2020
It's hard to believe another summer is coming to an end, that our children now attending school, and families are preparing for the fall and winter season. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for more nice sunny days before the snow flies.
My office has been following the updates to the AK Cares Act and extensions to the Unemployment Insurance benefits which are included in this newsletter. Please contact my office should you need assistance with benefits or agencies.
As always, I'm honored to serve and represent Senate District M. Please email me (mailto:[email protected]) , call my office at 907-269-0222, or visit us anytime to share you thoughts and concerns.
Civil-Military Partnership of the Year Award
Congratulations to the community of Unalaska, AK and the 351st Civil Affairs Command, Functional Specialty Team for earning the Military's Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) program's Civil-Military Partnership of the Year Award! It was an honor to become better acquainted with the great people of Unalaska and the IRT team, including Major Tulsi Gabbard. IRT allows military reserve and guard units to use training resources to conduct real-world exercises in remote locations around the country. The program is great for Alaska and helps our military partners better understand the unique opportunities and challenges Alaska has to offer. Thanks to Congressman Young, Senator Sullivan and Senator Murkowski for their enduring support for the IRT program!
Expanded Eligibility to AK CARES Act Funding
On August 27th, the Legislative Budget & Audit Committee approved Governor Dunleavy's modifications to expand the eligibility requirements to the AK CARES Grant Program.
The new changes remove the $5,000 restriction for Payroll Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), as well as those on secondary income businesses. The new changes will take effect on August 31st.
Applications for grants can be from a minimum of $5,000 to a maximum of $100,000. Businesses can apply through the AK CARES Grant portal at [link removed] ([link removed])
On August 13th Governor Dunleavy authorized the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development to begin the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) application process for extend unemployment insurance benefits which will include an additional $300 weekly.
According to the Department of Labor and Workforce development, individuals who have been receiving benefits should continue to file weekly pay certifications. Once the new program is in place, individuals who were eligible will receive retroactive payments for the previous weeks of eligibility.
Here is a list of Frequently Asked Questions with regards to the new unemployment benefits program:
How will eligible Unemployment Insurance (UI) recipients be impacted?
Eligible Unemployment Insurance recipients currently receiving at least $100 in state funded benefits will see a $300 increase in their weekly payment.
Will claimants receive the additional benefits if their state benefit is less than $100?
No. Alaska’s participation in the program requires a 25% match or the equivalent of $100 in a recipient’s current state benefit. Individuals who are currently receiving a state funded benefit less than $100 will continue to receive that amount during the period of their Unemployment Insurance eligibility, but they will not be eligible for the additional $300.
Will PUA beneficiaries be eligible for the $300 payment?
No. Despite early indications from U.S. Department of Labor and Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) , Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) recipients will not be eligible since their entire benefit is paid with federal funds. The new FEMA backed program requires a 25% state share in the costs.
How long will it take to get the new program up and running?
The State of Alaska is required to submit an application for the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) for 75% of program costs. The application period and implementation of the new program are expected to take approximately 8 weeks.
Once the program is in place, how long will it last?
Approximately 6 weeks. The federal funding for the program is being made available through the FEMA budget. Once funds for the Unemployment Insurance expansion are exhausted, the State program will end.
Will Congress make additional adjustments to Unemployment Insurance?
Several proposals to extend UI benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic were introduced recently in Congress. An agreement on a new extension was not reached prior to the August recess. It is anticipated that Congress will take up the issue again when session resumes.
If Congress agrees to an extension, how will the additional $300 payment be impacted?
The FEMA backed program will end.
The above information was provided to my office upon request as the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development website is not yet updated with the above information - please continue to check the website below for additional updates.
For information and updates for unemployment insurance benefits ([link removed]) click on picture below.
Anchorage Offers Small Business Stabilization Grants
ANCHORAGE — The Municipality of Anchorage has opened a second round of CARES Act dollars for small businesses impacted by COVID-19. The application period opens today, August 26, and closes at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 12, 2020. The Anchorage Assembly authorized $5 million for the program, and recipients will be given a $10,000 grant that may be used for payroll, employee benefits, rent, utilities, and payments to vendors. Applications may be found on the Cook Inlet Lending Center (CILC) website ([link removed]) . CILC will process and distribute the funds.
Eligible small businesses are those economically impacted by COVID-19, and:
• had less than $1 million in gross revenue in 2019;
• had no more than twenty total full-time or part-time employees at any one time in 2019; and
• are located in the Municipality of Anchorage.
Sole proprietors and owners of single member LLCs and S-Corps with only one shareholder must make 75% of their annual gross income from the business to be eligible. Franchises, payday lenders, pawn shops, bingo halls, pull tab businesses, and businesses legally restricted to patrons over age 18 or 21 are not eligible to apply.
This grant opportunity follows the first round that awarded $1 million to small businesses and nonprofits, and has been modified based on community feedback. Those changes include:
• Increasing the number of employees in eligible businesses from seven to twenty.
• No prohibition on having applied for or received other government relief funds.
• No cap on the number of awards to sole proprietorships; sole proprietorships are eligible to receive the same amount of funding as other business types.
• Nonprofits are not eligible for this funding. Additional relief funding for nonprofits has been authorized by the Anchorage Assembly and will be administered separately.
To expedite the distribution of funds, businesses that are on the wait list from the first round will be prioritized, and sole proprietorships that received $5,000 during the first round will receive an additional $5,000 grant to make their award equal to the awards received by similarly-sized businesses. These businesses will be required to submit additional information to opt-in to this round of funding, and CILC will contact them via email to initiate that process.
Applications can be submitted online, or mailed to 3600 Spenard Road, Suite 100, Anchorage, AK 99508, or dropped off to a secure drop-box at that location. Applications will be available in Spanish, Tagalog, Samoan, Korean, Vietnamese, Russian, Japanese, and Chinese Mandarin. More information can be found on the CILC website.
August 10th Wild Alaska Salmon Day
August 10th was Wild Alaska Salmon Day! Our world renowned fisheries are an important part of our economy in Alaska and we’re thankful for it. Around 95% of wild salmon eaten by Americans comes from Alaska. Thanks to all those responsible for bringing our fish to market, from our fishermen to our biologists and conservation management efforts in the Alaska Department of Fish & Game ([link removed]) .
I hope you’ve had an opportunity to fill up your freezer this year.
AKCARES Act Fisheries Assistance Update
The Department of Fish and Game continues to update the CARES Act guidance document ([link removed]) to provide clarification to residency requirements, eligibility and fund forgiveness, and the application process. The CARES Act has allocated $50 million of the $300 million to Alaska fisheries participants and will be distributed through the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission based on the guidelines provided by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
Sign up to receive AK Cares Act updates ([link removed])
Our mailing address is:
Session: State Capitol, Room 125, Juneau, AK 99801
Interim: 1500 West Benson, Room 410, Anchorage, AK 99503
** [email protected] (mailto:[email protected])
| ** Senate District M ([link removed])
| 907-465-3879 | ** Website ([link removed])
Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can ** update your preferences ([link removed])
or ** unsubscribe from this list ([link removed])