Wednesday, June 17, 2020
Is Government Helping Small Businesses?
The House Finance Committee will hold a meeting later today to examine the programs available in Alaska to help small businesses survive the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the hearing, the committee wants to hear from you.

I think its vitally important for the members of the Alaska Legislature to hear from small business owners and workers about how hard it's been staying open and on the job during a global pandemic and economic downturn. If you can, please call in and tell your story.

Today's House Finance Committee meeting begins at 3 p.m. with invited testimony to discuss the ins and outs of the various state and federal programs to help small businesses in Alaska. Public testimony will be taken from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. You can watch the meeting on Gavel Alaska and on the Alaska Legislature's website.

If you are unable to watch today's hearing or receive this notification after the hearing, you can still make your voice heard by emailing House.Finance@akleg.gov. You can also watch a recording of the hearing and the public testimony on the legislature's website.
  • In Anchorage call (907) 563-9085.
  • Call toll-free 1-844-586-9085 if you are outside of Anchorage.
  • Public testimony limited to 2 minutes per caller.
The AK Cares Grant Program allows small businesses in Alaska to apply for grants of between $5,000 to $100,000. Unfortunately, the Dunleavy administration wrote a restriction into the authorization for the program that legally prevents many small businesses from getting a grant.

Right now, small businesses that have previously received federal relief funds can't apply for help through the AK Cares Grant Program. In some instances, small businesses applied for federal loans months ago when they could have applied for a state grant today. That's unfair.

I support a special session to fix the flaw in the AK Cares Grant Program so it can help more Alaskans and more of our vital small businesses. Given the size and scope of the sudden economic downturn it's the right thing to do.