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Anchorage

Anchorage awards $1 million in small-business grants to help with pandemic recovery

A display at Bambino’s Baby Food on Friday, Sept. 1, 2017. Bambino's is among the 120 recipients of relief grants from the Municipality of Anchorage to help with business impacts related to the coronavirus crisis. (Loren Holmes / ADN)

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The Municipality of Anchorage on Thursday announced the recipients of its pilot round of small business and nonprofit grants. The program is aimed at helping local businesses that are financially battered due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city approved 40 grants of $5,000 for sole proprietorships. Sixty-five businesses and 15 nonprofits received $10,000 grants. In total, $1 million will be awarded in the pilot round.

According to a city statement, more than 700 businesses applied; 380 met the criteria for the grant program.

The recipients, selected randomly, span the business and nonprofit sector and include a laundromat, a baby food company, a fishing guide, restaurants, manufacturers and more.

Businesses are able to use the funds for a variety of expenses, including rent or mortgage, payroll, taxes or paying vendors.

The program is a partnership with the nonprofit Cook Inlet Lending Center. Cook Inlet Lending Center will vet tax returns and business licenses from the recipients to ensure they are eligible for the grants.

The program is supposed to be backfilled by federal CARES Act funds, city officials have said. The pilot round is intended to help city leaders measure the relief needed by Anchorage’s small businesses. It could be expanded if funding is available, according to the news release.

To be eligible, businesses must have had under $1 million in gross revenue in 2019 and seven or fewer employees. They also must not have received COVID-19 relief funds from the federal government and must serve customers of all ages.

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