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Mayor’s resignation will not likely have impact on local businesses

With the leadership transition, there’s no stop in work or resources to support local businesses
What is the outlook of Anchorage businesses with the recent resignation of the mayor?
What is the outlook of Anchorage businesses with the recent resignation of the mayor?(Scott Gross)
Published: Oct. 14, 2020 at 4:48 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - At Tuesday night’s Assembly meeting, Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz announced his resignation. His final day as Anchorage’s leader will be Oct. 23.

Anchorage Community Development Authority Executive Director Andrew Halcro says every Anchorage business and resident should know that although the mayor resigned, the city’s goals and objectives still remain.

“There is absolutely no reason why anybody should be concerned,” Halcro said. “The people that are doing the work are still doing the work. The work in this city goes on and this city is far bigger than just one person.”

Bill Popp, the president and CEO of Anchorage Economic Development Corporation says local businesses will not see any changes in government services being provided for local businesses.

“The programs for [Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security] Act relief funds being distributed to businesses such as the hospitality program that was just announced on Monday, is already getting a ton of applications, that’s going to continue to go forward,” Popp said. “There’s an additional $10 million in business grant funding puts a third round of grant funding out there will continue to move forward.”

It was on Monday that the municipality, with partners Alaska Hospitality Retailers and Alaska Cabaret, Hotel, Restaurant and Retailers Association, launched the hospitality relief grant program, getting needed relief into the hands of local bars and restaurants.

“I think the business community should have confidence as well as the community at large that our city will continue to move forward in addressing the challenges we’re facing right now as well as looking for opportunities to get us back on the track to growth,” Popp said.

Despite the change in leadership, the city of Anchorage’s vision to expand and revitalize downtown remains the same. Popp points to the long-term visions which include building a thriving downtown, revitalizing the Chester Creek Greenbelt, and creating a bustling U-Med district.

“We know politics in Alaska, you hit these road bumps all the time,” Halcro said. “We’re Alaskans, we drive right over them and this is no different. It’s a sad situation but the overall impact in the business community and how business owners and investors should view economic confidence, should not be swayed by the political events in the last 24 hours.”

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