Help with Alaska CARES Act available

Jun 30, 2020

Credit Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District

In-person help with applications for Alaska CARES Act funds will be available Tuesday at the Homer Chamber of Commerce. Tim Dillon, executive director of the Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District will be there to answer any questions. Dillon will be at the Homer Chamber of Commerce from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. He said he’s also available anytime by phone at the K-PEDD number, 283-3335.

KBBI's Jay Barrett spoke with him about what questions he can provide answers to.

Tim Dillon    We have been working with a lot of the community members down in Homer to help them fill out the forms properly and answer the questions. And also I've been trying to make a visit here once every couple of weeks to be able to spend time and help folks out through that. And I think it's working cause a lot of the people down in Homer that have applied, , have, have done fairly well.

As of today, I believe there's approximately $200,000 that has been put into different business, small business accounts, just down in Homer, and well over half a million here on the, uh, the Kenai peninsula. So I feel pretty good about that.

KBBI        I heard a story on KDLL this week where you were quoted to saying 'we're getting our fair share.'

Dillon        And I believe we are because you know, and this was as of last Wednesday, there were 90-some applications statewide that had been approved and 18 of them were down here on the Kenai peninsula. So I believe we're getting our fair share and I think it's a lot to do with the business owners being prepared and when they talked to me and I tell them exactly what to do and how to, how to put things together on their applications, they're following those directions. And there's little to no problems once the folks from Credit Union 1 get there to get their hands on it.

KBBI        What about, uh, nonprofits?

Dillon        Well, you know, you've got to remember nonprofits first of all, most nonprofits handle the business that government handles down in the Lower 48. So a nonprofit in Alaska is a lot different than what you see in the Lower 48. And unfortunately they get their revenue normally through two different areas. One is through individuals and businesses donating, which has really been slow lately because people are hurting right now and business was shut down, individuals, a lot of them either lost their jobs or things were really tight. The other area is for them to do events, fundraising events, whether it be, you know, music in the park or a dinner or an auction, and those things you can't do right now. So you take that and all of a sudden their revenue streams are really, really down. So, we're fortunate that between the Alaska CARES program, plus the five incorporated communities on the Kenai peninsula has done a great job with putting together programs that not only assist small businesses, but also assist their nonprofit.

KBBI        Have you been seeing very many applications from nonprofits and have they been getting any?

Dillon        Yes they have. And every community is a little bit different. And you have the communities that, you know, Kenai probably was in the lead. They they had their program up and running here starting a couple of weeks ago. As of, not yesterday, but a week ago yesterday, their program closed. They reviewed all their applications, nonprofits and for-profits, and yesterday they put in the mail over a million dollars worth of checks. The money is out there and it's getting to the communities. I was assisting Soldotna this past week, and they are very close. I believe their meeting is on July 8, with their council to finalize some things. I met with Seldovia this past Monday, and they're doing the same thing with nonprofits and for-profits. There's will be approved probably by the middle of July. Seward’s is on their agenda for, I think the 13th of July. So, all of them are pushing along those same lines and the big thing is for those nonprofits and businesses to be prepared once the dollars open up.

KBBI        What kind of questions do you anticipate, or do you want people to bring with them when they meet with you on Tuesday?

Dillon        Well, yeah, it's similar to what we did the last time I was down there and I had another appointment every 20 minutes to bring somebody else in. Everybody's just a little different, whether it's how to fill out the expense form. ‘Hey, do you think this is a legitimate expense that I can claim? How do I fill out this part of the form? How do I do the uploads? What kind of documentation do I need?’ All those kinds of things. And that's what I'm there to do is, is try and assist them and make sure that I'm giving them the best advice so that they can get their fair share out of  the Alaska CARES dollars.