Alaska Business

Covers COVID-19

We’re in the midst of an uncertain social and economic environment. COVID-19 has sparked worldwide health concerns, and attempts to prevent the spread of the virus are creating challenges for small and large businesses alike.

Alaska Business believes in our mission to be a resource for Alaska businesses, and as a member of the media, we do receive ongoing updates about the virus and how Alaska’s businesses are responding to it. We have compiled below information economic resources for businesses and individuals, links to mandates and advisories, and a few examples of Alaska businesses that are stepping up to help.

As this pandemic continues, please always be conscientious and prioritize your safety and the safety of others.

Get Tested

The Municipality of Anchorage is providing free COVID-19 testing. Participants can register with Visit Healthcare (which is providing the testing services) ahead of the test and save time while at the testing site.

For up-to-date information on free testing sites around Anchorage, visit anchoragecovidtest.org. The site includes information on new, additional pop-up testing sites that will be open to the public in December.

Current guidelines recommend that the following persons are tested for COVID-19:

  • Anyone with even mild symptoms of COVID-19.
  • All close contacts of people who tested positive for COVID-19.
  • People involved in discrete COVID-19 outbreaks as identified by appropriate public health officials
  • Healthcare workers in hospitals and congregate living settings (regular testing to monitor)
  • Residents in congregate living settings (regular testing to monitor)
  • Frontline workers such as grocery and restaurant workers (regular testing to monitor)

Resources for Businesses

Hospitality Industry Relief Program

Starting at 9 a.m. on Monday, October 12, bars, breweries, restaurants, and other hospitality businesses in Anchorage can apply for grants ranging from $7,000 to $30,000 to offset financial challenges due to COVID-19. Businesses with liquor licenses should apply through Alaska CHARR and other hospitality businesses should apply through AkHR.

ANC Small Biz Alerts

The Anchorage Economic Resiliency Task Force and the Anchorage Innovation Team have launched ANC Small Biz Alerts, a text messaging tool, to keep Anchorage business owners informed during the pandemic.

The service send texts to subscribers with information on everything from relief funds to safety criteria for businesses to operate.

Text STRONG to 907-891-7192 to subscribe.

The Employee Retention Credit from the IRS

The IRS launched the Employee Retention Credit, designed to encourage businesses to keep employees on their payroll.

AK SAFE Guarantee Program

AIDEA is collaborating with Alaska’s financial institutions to provide loan guarantees up to $1 million per borrower for Alaska businesses impacted by the COVID-19 economic crisis. Information on the program can be found here.

Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority Grants

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority  has awarded sixty-two COVID-19 response grants totaling more than $1.2 million to partner organizations across the state. Based on the response to the program, and assessed partner need, trustees approved up to $1.5 million for this program. The Trust is still accepting applications for its COVID-19 response grant funding. For grant guidelines and eligibility information, please visit the Trust COVID-19 response grant webpage.

 

Resources for Individuals

COVID-19 Hotline

The Alaska Bar Association has launched a free hotline to help Alaskans who are struggling with legal issues as a consequence of the statewide impact of COVID-19 related to employment, family law, and debt and foreclosure issues. Call 1-844-263-1849 with a non-criminal legal question on Monday (employment), Wednesday (family law), or Friday (debt/foreclosure) between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. to speak with a volunteer lawyer.

Alaska Job Center Network

Job seekers and employers in The Last Frontier have access to a variety of employment services through Alaska’s Job Center Network.

AK Can Do

United Way and The Alaska Community Foundation, with support from the Rasmuson Foundation, have partnered to create AK Can Do, which allows Alaskans with the means to donate to COVID-19 relieve and Alaskans with a need to get assistance.

Vaccinations

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services is providing a COVID-19 Vaccine Status Update page that includes information on eligibility, scheduling an appointment, and other statewide vaccination information.

According to the Department, as of January 6 Alaskans age 65 and older can start to schedule appointments to be vaccinated; the appointments begin January 11.

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