*Wednesday's Newsletters are Member Announcements. Friday's Newsletters are Chamber Announcements.
February 10th, 2021
Don't Forget

Chamber Lunch Forum is Today, Wednesday February 17th from 12:00-1:30

Governor Dunleavy + Annual Chamber Membership Meeting
Dunleavy Administration Releases COVID-19 Transition Plan

February 14, 2021 (Juneau, AK) – Governor Mike Dunleavy has released a new COVID-19 recovery and transition plan that begins the process of moving Alaska to the path to normalcy while still effectively managing the virus. Today, Governor Dunleavy issued a directive to all commissioners and state employees to continue following all policies regarding COVID-19 that were in place under the COVID-19 disaster declaration that expires today, February 14, 2021.

Over the next several weeks, commissioners will review and advise the governor on which policies are still necessary to keep in place to ease the burden on the public’s interaction with government, and which items he should allow to lapse. The administration is also issuing four health advisories that address general safety, travel and critical infrastructure, with appendices focusing on the seafood industry. The advisories are based on the latest epidemiological data and expertise within the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services and outline best practices to continue mitigating the spread of COVID-19.

“My administration will begin moving Alaska, its economy and our lives forward through this transition and recovery process,” said Governor Mike Dunleavy. “Make no mistake about it, the virus may be with us for some time. But the data shows that the worst is most likely behind us. Alaska’s vaccination plan is one of the most successful in the country and we have faith that the health care system is robust and prepared. My plan can get us there if we continue to keep an eye on the data and, Alaskans continue taking personal responsibility for their health and wellbeing.”

The State of Alaska has issued four new Health Advisories:

Health Advisory 1 – Recommendations to Keep Alaskans Safe – Addresses the safety measures Alaskans can take to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Health Advisory 2 – International and Interstate Travel – While Alaska resident and non-resident travelers will no longer be required to have pre-travel negative tests upon arrival, it is still considered one of the best mechanisms to track the virus and prevent community spread. The existing airport testing infrastructure will remain in place to protect Alaskans and visitors alike.
As a reminder, anyone positive for COVID-19 is not allowed to travel.

Health Advisory 3 – Intrastate Travel – Outlines expectations of communities for allowing travel Critical Infrastructure personnel, as well as for community members and Critical Personal needs. The advisory recommends COVID testing three days prior to travel to locations on the road system and the Alaska Marine Highway System. For locations off the road system and the Alaska Marine Highway System, a test is recommended for trips lasting longer than 72 hours before returning to a rural community. Without a test, strict social distancing should be followed.

Health Advisory 4 – Critical Infrastructure – The advisory provides clear guidance for Critical Infrastructure businesses operating in Alaska to protect both communities and industries.

“Throughout the response, the goal of the state has been to support and provide resources to communities and to Alaskans,” said Commissioner Adam Crum. “While we have amended our plans, we will continue to find ways to serve Alaskans as we transition to a recovery phase. We all know there is still a ways to go, but we are in this great position because of Alaskans continuing to do the right thing by protecting themselves and each other, and we will come out stronger on the other side, together.”

Governor Dunleavy will continue to follow what happens throughout Alaska and our healthcare system, and reserves the right to declare a future emergency if the data indicates stricter measures are needed to protect the health and wellbeing of Alaskans.
Visit Anchorage

2021 Report to the Community - View HERE
Anchorage Economic Development Center

2021 Economic Forecast - View HERE


Video rebroadcast on KAKM, Channel 7:
Feb. 19, 8-9:30pm 
Feb. 20, 1:30-3am
Feb. 22,  3-4:30pm

Radio rebroadcast on KSKA 91.1 FM:
Addressing Alaskans, Sunday Feb. 21,1-2 p.m.
Anchorage Assembly votes to set aside proposed mask ordinance

Read ADN Article HERE
Anchorage Assembly Meeting

View 02.09.2021 Assembly Meeting - View HERE
As Reported by Visit Anchorage:

Anchorage Tourism Grant Program Offers Business Relief

The Municipality of Anchorage will begin accepting applications for the Tourism Grant Program beginning Feb. 3, 2021. This $7 million business relief program is supported by the municipality's $156 million in CARES Act funding. 

The Tourism Grant Program supports Anchorage tourism businesses facing economic hardship and loss of income from the pandemic’s effects on outside visitation. The program will provide three tiers of grants – $10,000, $25,000, or $50,000 – to a wide variety of businesses and organizations who rely primarily on visitation to the community. Grant amounts depend on the size of the business as measured by 2019 income. 

The eligibility criteria for businesses are: 
  • Must have a business address located within the Municipality of Anchorage. 
  • Must be an existing business or nonprofit organization with a significant reliance on leisure and business travel (70% or more of annual gross receipts dependent upon visitors traveling to Anchorage from outside the municipality, based on 2019 receipts). 
  • Must have loss of income greater than 60% in 2020 compared to 2019 due to the reduction in out-of-community visitors as customers, cancellation of meetings and conventions, etc. due to COVID-19. 
  • Must be able to provide a Social Security Number (SSN) or Employer Identification Number (EIN).
  • Businesses that have received grants through the municipality’s Hospitality Business Relief grant program tiers A, B, or C are not eligible. Businesses that received funding through other grant programs may be eligible for the Tourism Grant Program, provided grants already received and/or loan amounts that are eligible for forgiveness are included as revenues when calculating overall revenue for 2020. 

Applications and review will be managed by a panel comprised of representatives from the Municipality of Anchorage and Visit Anchorage, as well as community and philanthropy advisors. Visit Anchorage will oversee disbursement and accounting. 

Businesses may apply online beginning Wednesday, Feb. 3. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021. Additional information about the Tourism Grant Program may be found here. Applicants can email grant@anchorage.net with questions or for technical help with the application process. 

This program is supported by a grant from the Municipality of Anchorage.
2021 Anchorage Market update***
We have been receiving many inquiries about the 2021 Anchorage Market.
For those of you that do not know much about our market or ourselves; I want to start off by introducing the owners of your Anchorage Market. My name is Mike and together with my significant other, Michelle, we own, manage, and operate the Anchorage Market in downtown Anchorage – more commonly known to Alaskan’s as the “Saturday” or “weekend” market. The goal of our Market is and has always been to help small businesses in Alaska grow. With 2000+ vendors over the past 28 years, we have seen many success stories with businesses that are still in operation all over Alaska. Our market along with the vendors we work with contribute to over 1,000 full time, part time and seasonal jobs each and every year.
It is with a very heavy heart that we must make you aware that this season and our market cannot continue in size or in the same location where it has been for the past 28 years. Due to the impacts of COVID19, local mandates, a lack of visitors and the very large financial burden that it takes to operate such a market, we cannot remain in the same downtown location. To put this into a financial perspective, we must earn a minimum of $199,000 just to pay rent for the parking lot and business we utilize each season. This is a huge burden for a small business ran such as ours. These funds come directly from vendor participation and fees as well as sponsorship donations from our executive sponsors Coca-Cola of Alaska, Alaska Waste & Rent-A-Can. Because we believe in free to attend events, we do not collect admission fees or parking fees from customers looking to spend a few bucks with a local vendor at our market.
As of today, 2/8/2020 our landlord ACDA/Easy Park and ourselves have agreed to terminate our financially burdensome lease. We are working very aggressively on securing a new, more affordable location for our Market in Anchorage, Eagle River or the Valley.
If you have a location available with ample parking, we would love to hear about it!
Once we have secured a more affordable location, we will notify you very promptly!
We have done everything within our capabilities to keep our Market open for you to enjoy and for our vendors partners to earn an income. We have sold nearly all of our business and personal assets to include our home. But the financial impacts brought on by COVID19 are not showing any signs of slowing.
We ask that if you can, share this story or stories like ours to help a small business, even if you only help one business – that is a fellow Alaskan that may be able to keep their doors open. 
Support Local, Support Your Chamber
During this unprecedented time, GCU is helping to bring a sense of normalcy to our lives by taking advantage of this current time at home to invest in personal educational goals and potentially move up on the pay scale at the same time. As many parents have unexpectedly become teachers they are showing their children and students the value of education in the face of uncertainty, there is still no time like the present! GCU is currently offering a 25% scholarship on all master-level education programs and we also offer 10% off to all Chamber Members on all other programs. I am offering Zoom Meetings in lieu of face to face meetings at this time to help with everything from the application to the first day of class. Call, text, or email me today to start taking advantage of this rare opportunity during this unexpected time at home. 907-201-1965 hannah.meneses@gcu.edu
Disclaimer: One of the many benefits to Chamber Membership is Members may add announcements in the Chamber Newsletters. The views and opinions expressed in the Newsletters by our Chamber Members do not necessarily represent the position of the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce.