Anchorage Assembly allocates $10 million for small businesses

Many businesses closed or reduced operations early on during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Abbey Collins/Alaska Public Media)

The Anchorage Assembly Tuesday unanimously agreed to allocate $10 million to the city’s Small Business Stabilization Program.

The money, while currently in the city’s general fund, is from the federal CARES Act funding allocated to the municipality in May. In deciding where to spend that money, the Assembly also established a contingency fund.

Assemblyman Chris Constant said he is grateful for that decision.

“To the body I’m grateful that we listened and did reserve some money so we could be flexible to address a hole that became apparent after we had appropriated all of the previous funds, so thank you everybody,” said Constant.

Assemblywoman Suzanne LaFrance said it’s become clear that small businesses are in need of more help.

“This has been part of an ongoing discussion and when we did the initial allocations it wasn’t clear which areas would have higher burn rates and which would emerge as the greatest area of need. Clearly this is an area that has emerged as such,” said LaFrance.

Small businesses in the municipality impacted by the pandemic, including franchises, are eligible to apply for funds through the program.