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Hospitality and nonprofit grants applications rolling out in Anchorage

(Scott Gross)
Published: Oct. 19, 2020 at 6:45 AM AKDT|Updated: Oct. 19, 2020 at 7:12 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Applications are now open for grants to Anchorage businesses in the hospitality industry and starting Monday at noon, non-profit grant applications will open as well.

For the hospitality industry, grant applications are being accepted through the Alaska Cabaret, Hotel, Restaurant, and Retailers Association (CHARR), as well as the Hospitality Retailers Association.

“Alaska CHARR is administering the grants for businesses that have liquor licenses, and the Alaska Hospitality is administering the grants for all the other businesses that do not,” said Chris Schutte, Director of Anchorage’s Office of Economic and Community Development.

He added applications can be filed through those organizations online, and are intended to be simple to fill out so as many businesses can apply as possible.

Nicki Hale, one of the owners of Van’s Dive Bar said the application process was much simpler than other similar grants.

“I think I started mine at 9:00 and submitted it at 9:06, so it was really made easy for us to do,” she said.

Unlike the Municipality’s small business grants, Schutte said these are administered on a first-come-first-serve basis, and the amount depends on the type of business applying.

“The highest level, or tier A, is for those businesses that were shut down by EO-15, namely the bars, and so they are eligible for a $30,000 grant,” he said.

Van’s is one of the businesses in that category, and Hale says she believes that, on top of an incoming grant from the state, will go a long way to help her business.

“It’s gonna be amazing,” she said. “I’m going to be able to pay my rent up a little bit ahead of time, catch up on my past rents.”

But other businesses won’t qualify for that $30,000. Restaurants with liquor licenses that were restricted, but not completely shut down qualify for a $15,000 grant, and the rest a $7,000 one. Hale said she worried for those getting the $7,000.

“I’m grateful for what we got, you know, for what everyone’s got, I’m sure everybody’s grateful,” she said. “But Winter is coming, and we just want to try and stay open.”

Schutte and Hale both said they’re looking to the federal government in hopes of another relief bill, especially since they believe the hospitality grants, like many of the other relief programs such as the small business grants, will be oversubscribed.

“We will evaluate that over the coming week to see how we’re tracking and if needed, we may look to additional funding for those programs,” he said.

As for nonprofits, applications open Monday at noon for a grant program through the Cook Inlet Lending Center, and after applications close Octoober 30, Schutte said they’re looking at a third round of small business grants using $10 million recently appropriated by the Anchorage Assembly. He added that a $7 million relief program specifically for the tourism industry is in the works as well.

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