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Alaska Gets $ To Keep Workers on Payroll


More than 11,000 Alaska businesses are getting Paycheck Protection Program loans in the second round of the federal Program. The Small Business Administration released two lists yesterday (Monday) naming the businesses that got the biggest loans, but did not disclose the names of Alaska businesses which are borrowing less than $150,000. The loans are supposed to preserve 46,000 jobs. Businesses that use the money to keep employees on the payroll do not have to pay it back.

Alaska has received $1.2 billion from the Paycheck Protection Program, and the Small Business Administration has released the names of those that got the biggest share, those on the list of loans greater than $150,000.

A dozen Alaska companies got  $5 million to $10 million apiece. About half of them are subsidiaries of Alaska Native Corporations. Three are privately-owned oilfield support companies. 

Homer’s hospital received $6.3 million.  South Peninsula Hospital spokeswoman Derotha Ferraro says the PPP was a lifeline when the hospital was facing a drastic loss of revenue.


“We're kind of like the greatest example of the purpose of the payroll protection program. And that's to keep critical infrastructure, small businesses alive in the rural areas in the local communities.”


Other big recipients of PPP money  include  JL Properties, a real estate development company in Anchorage. It is  owned by two of Alaska’s wealthiest men, John Rubini and Leonard Hyde. Their firm landed between $2 million and $5 million. As did Alyeska Resort in Girdwood. Law firm Birch Horton Bittner & Cherot got at least $1 million. 

Churches and affiliated groups that are benefitting include the nonprofit Corporation of the Catholic Archbishop of Anchorage, Catholic Schools of Fairbanks and Anchorage Baptist Temple.

The first list had big borrowers like corporations, medical providers, oil field service companies and contractors. 186 companies are borrowing more than a million dollars. About 1,500 more are borrowing more than 150 thousand dollars each. The Small Business Administration is distributing the loans.

“The Paycheck Protection Program is keeping people’s jobs, keeping people employed, keeping businesses running. And it’s that lifeline of financial support that a lot of our businesses need to pull through.”

Melanie Norton, Regional Communications Director for the Pacific Northwest Region of the U.S. Small Business Administration. She says the second list is for businesses borrowing 150 thousand dollars or less.

The second list of smaller loans will bring $350,798,134 into the state. 1,155 Fairbanks/North Pole businesses will borrow $45,533,066.13. Norton says the SBA won’t be sharing who got how much of these small loans.

“To be as transparent as possible while also protecting individuals’ personal information.”

Many of these smaller loans are going to individuals – like independent contractors and those who are self-employed. The smallest loan in this second wave is for $130. About 40 loans in Alaska are for under $1,000.

How much each borrower is eligible for is based on guidelines from the federal Treasury Department.

The idea behind the PPP, of course, is to keep workers getting a paycheck during the pandemic. The list of these smaller loans promises to preserve 46,441 Alaska jobs. The applications vary widely. On the spreadsheet is a $500 loan for a Ketchikan business that promises to protect 12 jobs, as well as a $5,000 loan in Wasilla that says only 8 jobs will be preserved.

The SBA is not forthcoming with the details on those variables.

“You have salary or payroll that different employees make, but they could include benefits, and like some utilities, or other expenses, a PPP loan for some of those expenses, too.

Applications opened again Monday for the next phase of the Program. Norton says the next round has updates and changes that will cover more Alaska businesses who might not have been able to apply before.

“We are also hearing non-profit organizations who are able to apply for the PPP, sole proprietors, independent contractors, we’re able to open it up so that fishing boat owners can use PPP funds to cover their crew members.”

A business can apply to the Program only once. So, these 10,000 Alaska businesses cannot apply a second time. The new deadline is August 8.

In the under $150,000 category:

$139,668,784.28 went to 3,495 Anchorage businesses.

982 businesses in Fairbanks got $38,848,347.97.

173 North Pole businesses got 6,684,718.16.

10 Tok businesses will get $427,352.26

44 businesses in Delta Junction/Fort Greely were awarded $1,850,485.77.

39 businesses in Denali National Park/Healy got $2,033,961.39.

More than 100 banks are signed up to take the next batch of PPP applicants.