Welcome to the combined August and September newsletter! Between an ever increasing workload, travel, and our Economic Development Specialist Laura Vaught getting married on an Alaskan mountaintop (Congrats!!), the August newsletter never materialized. In early August, SWAMC staff traveled to Fairbanks to attend the AML Summer Legislative Conference, and then in late August, staff sailed on the Tustumena from Kodiak down the chain to Unalaska. This trip was extremely valuable, and we were able to meet and talk with Municipal, Tribal, and Local Government leaders in Kodiak, Chignik, Sand Point and Unalaska. We hope to visit other communities in the next several months depending on the pandemic situation and interest in onsite presentations to the public.
Interest in investments in mariculture projects in our region continue to grow, but will take time to plan and we are poised to support the investors as they do their due diligence in the region. We are planning for a mariculture education and training program this winter and hope to be able to present this project in our October or November newsletter.
Our Regional Economic Recovery and Resiliency Plan has moved beyond the online survey to phone interviews (person-to-person when possible) and we are gathering valuable information regionwide. The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) is in full swing with billions of dollars available for non-construction (think feasibility studies, design, and engineering) and construction projects that will increase the resiliency of our communities in times of economic upheaval or disasters. There are six different pots of funding available under the Economic Development Administration, and they all have different eligibility requirements and deadlines for applications.
SWAMC has brought Keri Scaggs back on board (you may remember her from our CARES Act FORWARD program) to work with municipalities, tribal entities, and others to help them find the best fit for funding as well as navigate application processes. This level of federal funding has never been seen before, and most likely never will be seen again. Please contact Keri at (907) 242-4077 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in her assistance matching your project with a funding opportunity.
We will be concentrating our efforts on our current SWAMC members, so if you have not yet renewed your membership (our FY22 membership term is July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022), please do so now! If you have not been a SWAMC member before, now is a very good time to join. Learn more at www.swamc.org/membership.
Shirley Marquardt, Executive Director