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 offering marketing grants

The city council set aside $50,000 of the CARES Act funds to pay for the new program.

As part of an ongoing effort by the city of Kenai to provide relief for residents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, business owners within the city can now apply for a new $1,000 grant to help boost their marketing and advertising efforts.

“These grant funds can be used to help build or redesign websites, develop systems for online sales, expand marketing on social media – whatever can help the business adapt, survive and, hopefully, thrive as the retail and service sectors have changed and will continue to change,” City Manager Paul said in a Thursday press release.

The grants will be available to businesses located in Kenai that have experienced a loss in sales or other difficulties due to the ongoing pandemic, as long as they can show they had at least $10,000 in gross revenue in 2019. Businesses who already received a COVID-19 relief grant from the city as part of the $2.2 million that was distributed last month are still eligible for the new marketing grant, but owners must file a separate application for each.

Ostrander told the Clarion on Tuesday that the recipients will be able to use the funds how they see fit while working with a company that has contracted with the city of Kenai.

“The plan will vary for each business, and how to use the money will be up to the business — not the city of Kenai,” Ostrander said.

The city council set aside $50,000 of the CARES Act funds they received from the federal government to pay for the new program. The grants will use the services of a marketing company called Diving Point, which already works with the city of Kenai, the Kenai Peninsula Tourism Marketing Council and other Alaska organizations.

Under the program, businesses who receive the grant will have the first $1,000 worth of work with Divining Point covered. Businesses can then decide whether they wish to continue with the services after the $1,000 has been spent.

Applications are available at the city of Kenai’s website as of Thursday. The deadline for submitting an application is 5 p.m. on Nov. 6. Businesses who receive the grant must use the funds by Dec. 30.

For more information about the new grant program, potential applicants can contact the city’s project lead, Larry Persily, at 907-283-8226 or lpersily@kenai.city.

Reach reporter Brian Mazurek at bmazurek@peninsulaclarion.com.

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