The sign outside Soldotna City Hall is seen here on July 16, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

The sign outside Soldotna City Hall is seen here on July 16, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna opens application window for relief funds

Applications are available on the city’s website, Soldotna.org/CARES, and will be available until 5 p.m. on July 31.

Starting today, businesses and nonprofits within the city of Soldotna that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can apply for financial relief through the city’s Soldotna CARES grant program.

The grants will use $2.75 million in federal funds that were distributed to the city of Soldotna through the national coronavirus relief package, with $2 million set aside for small businesses and $750,000 designated for nonprofit relief.

Applications are available on the city’s website, Soldotna.org/CARES, and will be available until 5 p.m. on July 31.

Funds are expected to be distributed in mid-August after applications have been processed.

Grant awards may be prorated depending on the number of eligible applicants.

Small businesses

In order to be eligible for a grant from the city of Soldotna, businesses must have a physical presence in the city. For the purposes of these grants, “physical presence” can mean a brick-and-mortar storefront, booth or food truck at a farmer’s market, or any other type of physical space that relies on foot traffic.

The business must have been in existence with a valid license from the State of Alaska as of Jan. 1, 2020 and have at least $25,000 in gross sales for 2019.

Eligible applicants will receive a grant for up to 5% of their 2019 gross sales, for a maximum of $15,000.

The funds must be used to cover expenses that are incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically for expenses between March 1, 2020 and Nov. 30, 2020. Businesses that have received financial assistance through other state or federal programs, such as the Alaska CARES grant or the Paycheck Protection Program, are still eligible for municipal relief from the city.

Publicly traded corporations are not eligible, but local franchises that are individually owned and operated can apply to receive the funds.

Nonprofits

Nonprofits seeking to apply for the Soldotna CARES grant must provide regular services to the residents of the city of Soldotna, but are not required to have their main office physically located within city limits.

The nonprofit must have been in operation since at least Jan. 1, 2019 and be an IRS-certified 501 nonprofit corporation. Additionally, the nonprofit’s board of directors or local advisory board must be comprised of a majority of Alaska residents. Local affiliates of national organizations must have a local governing board in order to be eligible.

Faith-based nonprofits serving Soldotna residents regardless of their religious affiliation are eligible for the grant, but political and lobbying organizations are not.

Eligible nonprofits will receive up to 10% of their gross revenue for 2019, for a maximum of $25,000.

Like small businesses, nonprofits that have received other forms of financial relief associated with the COVID-19 pandemic can still receive a grant from Soldotna.

For more information on applying for these grants, email CARES@soldotna.org or call 907-262-9107.

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