Homer City Hall. (Homer News file photo)

Homer City Hall. (Homer News file photo)

Relief grants for small Homer businesses now available

Using a portion of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding it has received, the City of Homer is extending a hand to local small businesses as they navigate the financial hardships caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Homer’s portion of CARES Act funding handed down from the state was about $7.9 million. Of that, the city is allocating $3 million to what it’s calling the Small Business Economic Relief Grant Program, or SBERG. The Homer City Council passed a resolution at its June 8 meeting establishing the grant program, and hashed out more details of how the city will spread funds throughout different sectors of Homer at a special meeting before its June 22 meeting.

Grants distributed by the program will be up to $3,000. The funds can be used by small businesses to cover loan payments, to pay workers and benefits, to cover operating costs to purchase personal protective equipment and more.

To be eligible, a business must be physically located within Homer city limits. Businesses located on the southern Kenai Peninsula outside of city limits can seek financial aid at the Kenai Peninsula Borough level. The borough aims to have a process for businesses to access those funds by mid July.

Also to be eligible for the Homer grants, a business must meet the definition of a small business according to the State of Alaska AK CARES Grant Program. That means, on average, that a business has 50 or fewer full-time employees. Any business wishing to apply for Homer’s grant program must have filed a tax report with the borough in the third or fourth quarter of 2019, or the first quarter of 2020, indicating their taxable sales. Businesses must be current on their payments and returns with the borough tax department to be eligible, and must submit a “brief explanation as to how the business suffered a loss of revenue because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to the program criteria from the city.

Marijuana businesses and those who have filed for bankruptcy are not eligible for the program. Federal law does not allow funds supplies by the U.S. Treasury to be used to support marijuana businesses, which are still not legal at the federal level.

A business can only apply for the program once.

The deadline for grant application submissions is 5 p.m. on Sept. 25 of this year. Applicants must also submit a W-9 form. Applicants will be notified via email if their application has been approved, and the $3,000 grants will be distributed on a rolling bases, according to the program criteria.

There are also a certain number of things Homer business owners are not allowed to spend the grant money on. They include employee bonuses, political and charitable contributions, gifts or parties, or to pay down debt by more than is required.

The city has contracted Jody Mastey to run the Small Business Economic Relief Grant Program. For more information, contact her at 907-299-5978 or jmastey@ci.homer.ak.us.

Applications for the program can be found on the city’s website at cityofhomer-ak-sberg.online. Those interested can either fill out and submit the application online, or print one out from the city website and return it to the Homer Finance Department’s dropbox in Homer City Hall. Completed applications can also be mailed to:

City of Homer

ATTN: SBERG – Jody Mastey

491 East Pioneer Avenue

Homer, AK 99603

To read frequently asked questions and to access application documents, visit cityofhomer-ak.gov/covid-relief/small-business-economic-relief-grant-sberg.

Reach Megan Pacer at mpacer@homernews.com.

More in News

Coast Guardsmen and state employees load the Together Tree bound for the Alaska Governor’s Mansion on a truck on Nov. 29, 2021 after the Coast Guard Cutter Elderberry transported the tree from Wrangell. (USCG photo / Petty Officer 2nd Class Lexie Preston)
Governor’s mansion tree arrives in Juneau

No weather or floating lines could stay these Coast Guardsmen about their task.

The Kenai Community Library health section is seen on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021. The Kenai City Council voted during its Oct. 20 meeting to postpone the legislation approving grant funds after members of the community raised concerns about what books would be purchased with the money, as well as the agency awarding the grant. The council will reconsider the legislation on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai council to consider library grant again

The council earlier voted to postpone the legislation after concerns were raised about what books would be purchased.

EPA logo
Alaska Native group to receive EPA funds for clean water projects

The agency is handing out $4.3 million to participating tribal organizations nationwide.

fund
Study: PFD increases spending on kids among low-income families

New study looks at PFD spending by parents

Image via the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation
Nikiski soil treatment facility moves ahead

The facility, located at 52520 Kenai Spur Highway, has drawn ire from community residents.

Commercial fishing and other boats are moored in the Homer Harbor in this file photo. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Seawatch: Bycatch becomes hot issue

Dunleavy forms bycatch task force.

Rep. Chris Kurka, R-Wasilla, leaves the chambers of the Alaska House of Representatives on Friday, March 19, 2021, after an hour of delays concerning the wording on his mask. On Monday, Kurka announced he was running for governor in 2022. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Wasilla rep announces gubernatorial bid

Kurka said he was motivated to run by a sense of betrayal from Dunleavy.

The Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson star is Illuminated on the side of Mount Gordon Lyon on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, just east of Anchorage, Alaska, in observation of the 18th anniversary of the terrorist attacks. A crew from the base went to light the 300-foot wide holiday star, but found that only half of the star’s 350 or so lights were working, the Anchorage Daily News reported. Airmen from the 773rd Civil Engineer Squadron Electrical Shop haven’t been able to figure out what was wrong and repair the lights, but they plan to work through the week, if necessary, base spokesperson Erin Eaton said. (Bill Roth/Anchorage Daily News via AP)
Avalanche delays holiday tradition in Alaska’s largest city

ANCHORAGE — A holiday tradition in Alaska’s largest city for more than… Continue reading

AP Photo/Gregory Bull,File
In this Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, photo, George Chakuchin, left, and Mick Chakuchin look out over the Bering Sea near Toksook Bay, Alaska. A federal grant will allow an extensive trail system to connect all four communities on Nelson Island, just off Alaska’s western coast. The $12 million grant will pay to take the trail the last link, from Toksook Bay, which received the federal money, to the community of Mertarvik, the new site for the village of Newtok. The village is moving because of erosion.
Federal grant will connect all 4 Nelson Island communities

BETHEL — A federal grant will allow an extensive trail system to… Continue reading

Most Read