The city of Kodiak announced a new program to distribute small business emergency grants to local businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic on Monday. City council member John Whiddon says the city’s Economic Task Force will work to distribute a portion of $11.2 million in grant money the city received from the state.
The task force had to set up a nonprofit corporation called the Economic Development Corporation, independent from the city, to process applications and distribute the money. Whiddon says no one is being paid to operate the nonprofit.
“Nobody receives any kind of a salary or compensation doing this. It’s all strictly volunteer to help our small business community, our nonprofit community.”
Grants range from $2500 to $25,000. The money is expected to be used to bridge gaps in salaries and pay for existing or expected income losses. Sarah Phillips, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, says all businesses that can demonstrate need are eligible for a grant.
“What we really noticed was a lot of people were getting excluded or didn’t have an opportunity or weren’t qualified for other grants and loan options. We’re trying to get money in the hands of people who really need it, who have or have not gotten any of the grant funding process before.
Additionally, businesses that have already received Paycheck Protection Program money through the federal government are still eligible for Kodiak’s Economic Development Corporation money.
Phillips says businesses will be scored for a number of criteria including need – meaning how urgent the money is — and longevity, or how long the money will be able to keep a business afloat. The Economic Task Force urges all businesses, regardless of qualification, to apply. The task force is also offering help completing the application, if needed.
Applications are available in English, Tagalog and Spanish at the Economic Development Corporation website, kodiakedc.org, or outside the Discover Kodiak office downtown. They can be submitted to PO Box 669 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline to submit is June 9. Call (907) 486-4782 with any questions.