Kenai City Hall on Feb. 20, 2020, in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai City Hall on Feb. 20, 2020, in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai approves CARES grants

For small businesses within Kenai, four grant programs ranging from $2,500 to $10,000 are available.

The City of Kenai is ready to start distributing the more than $7 million in federal funding it is set to receive through the CARES Act, which includes $3 million in grants for local businesses and nonprofits that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The $3 million grant program was approved at a city council meeting Wednesday night. A June 5 press release from the city detailed how eligible businesses and nonprofits can receive the funds.

The grants have been divided into different amounts based on the revenue of the business or nonprofit, but if the demand for grants ends up exceeding the available funds, the city may end up prorating the grants equally among recipients.

Small businesses

For small businesses within the Kenai city limits, four grant programs are available and range from $2,500 to $10,000 based on the amount of revenue the business received last year.

There are certain eligibility criteria beyond the business being located within city limits. National chains, C Corporations that are publicly owned and traded on a U.S. stock exchange, businesses with unpaid sales taxes or a borough or city lien, businesses in bankruptcy proceedings, businesses without a permanent physical presence in the city and marijuana businesses are excluded from these grant programs.

Businesses that share physical quarters can each apply for their own grant, as long as each businesses has its own state license, files a sales tax return under its own name and does not share ownership with the co-located business.

If there are any funds left over after all eligible businesses have been paid, the remainder will be distributed equally to the business applicants.

Nonprofits

Local nonprofits will also be eligible for one of four different grant programs. These grants range from $10,000 to $50,000 and are also scaled based on 2019 revenue.

To be eligible, the nonprofit must be an IRS-certified 501 nonprofit. The full list of IRS 501 nonprofit categories is available on the application. The majority of its local board of directors and its officers must be Alaska residents, and national nonprofits must have a locally based board of directors.

Faith-based nonprofits are eligible as long as they provide services that are available to the general public without regard to religious affiliation.

How to apply

The application forms for the grant programs can be found on the city’s website, Kenai.city. Completed applications can either be emailed to grantsadmin@kenai.city, mailed or hand-delivered to:

City of Kenai City Hall

210 Fidalgo Ave.

Kenai, AK 99611

Attn: Grant Review Committee

Applicants will be asked to self-certify that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their business but will not be required to submit financial documents detailing said impact.

Impacts can include, but are not limited to: mandatory shutdown, inventory loss and additional operating expenses of reopening and protecting staff and customers.

Applicants will be required to check a box that states they intend to remain in business into 2021, and the grants must be fully expended by December 30, 2020.

Applications must be received by 5 p.m. June 19.

Editor’s Note: A sentence in this article has been moved to clarify that leftover funds from the grant program will be shared only with eligible business applicants, not businesses and nonprofits.

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