Over $1.5 billion is coming to Alaska in federal COVID-19 relief money. Speaking during a press conference Monday evening, Governor Mike Dunleavy said $568.000,000 of that destined for
Alaska communities can be spent in several ways.
"There's allowable expenditures for medical expenses, public health expenses, payroll expenses for public safety and health, compliance with health mandates, economic support, and any other COVID-19-related expenses reasonably necessary to the function of government, so its pretty broad.”
Dunleavy added that he’s looking for clarification on whether the money can be spent to replace local revenue losses due to the pandemic. Transfer of the funds to communities requires legislative appropriation, and Governor Dunleavy said the budget and audit committee is supposed to meet Wednesday.
Commissioner of Commerce, Community and Economic Development Julie Anderson joined the governor during the online press conference and provided information about the how the community funds and are divvied up.
"The funding is allocated, using a combination of quantified economic community metrics, and population as distributed through the community assistance program.”
Anderson said there’s also money in the package for small businesses that are not able to get federal PPP and EIDL program loans. She said $200,000,000 in small business relief fund loans will be made available.
"The intent is to make sure these funds are used similar to SBA, to offset the costs incurred during this COVID response, to keep workers connected to their employers, to make sure that there is working capital available to these businesses for costs that occureed between March and December of this year.”
Anderson said there’s additional CARES funding to extend federal forgiveness provisions to existing state business loan programs.