A new sign welcoming people to the City of Soldotna is photographed on May 1, 2019, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

A new sign welcoming people to the City of Soldotna is photographed on May 1, 2019, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna begins accepting applications for new grant programs

The city will open the application period on Thursday to help residents impacted by COVID-19.

The City of Soldotna will open the application period for two new grant programs on Thursday to help residents adversely impacted by COVID-19. Applications for both programs can be submitted Oct. 1-30 via mail, email or in person at Soldotna City Hall. Full guidelines can be viewed at www.Soldotna.org/CARES.

The Economic Relief for Residents program, to which the city allocated $1.5 million, will provide eligible Soldotna households with a one-time payment of $1,500 that can be used to help pay for essential services such as food, child care, utilities, insurance and medical bills. Households will be asked to provide proof of residency in Soldotna, copies of receipts or invoices documenting qualifying expenses and must self-certify that their household has suffered economic harm due to COVID-19. Interested households can email residentrelief@soldotna.org or call 907-262-9107 with further questions.

The second grant program is Phase II of Small Business Grants, to which the city allocated about $2.654 million. Soldotna businesses that experienced a drop in sales during the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible for a grant award of up to 15% of their gross sales from 2019 with a maximum award cap of $35,000. Smaller businesses with annual revenues between $15,000 and $25,000 are eligible for a $1,000 grant. Interested parties can email CARES@Soldotna.org or call 907-262-9107 with further questions.

The city also partnered with the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank to provide weekly food boxes for local households struggling to get basic needs due to COVID-19. The food boxes will be free of charge to any household in need and will be available at three pickup locations in Soldotna beginning in early October. Pickup days, locations and times will be posted on the city’s website when available.

Additionally, there is still time to apply for the city’s other COVID relief programs, including housing relief, utility relief and the Virtual Storefront Improvement Program for local businesses.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

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