COVID-19 Resources



SWAMC staff is actively engaged in conversations with other ARDORs, the Alaska Small Business Development Center, Alaska Municipal League, and other State and Federal agency representatives to sift through and understand the many resources available for businesses, municipalities, tribes, and individuals who are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. SWAMC staff doesn’t claim to be experts on these programs, but we will do our best to help in any way that we can.

Southwest Alaska!


The U.S. Small Business Administration announced last Friday that the next round of Paycheck Protection Program borrowing will begin Jan. 11, but there will be a catch.


Select lenders will have exclusive access to accept PPP applications for first-time borrowers on Monday, January 11 and for second-time borrowers on Wednesday, January 13 using what the SBA is calling “community financial institutions.” The SBA defines those as Community Development Financial Institutions, minority deposit institutions, certified development companies and microloan intermediaries, and Alaska has none participating in the State. The SBA has not yet announced a timeline by which other mainline financial institutions will be invited to participate, but it is assumed to be on or possibly before January 18, and both first time and second time borrowers may apply through these mainline financial institutions.


As long as the PPP funds are spent to keep employee and compensation levels maintained, they can be used for other eligible expenses including lease payments, mortgage interest, worker protection costs, utilities, and other business needs. If you spend at least 60% directly on payroll costs, the loan qualifies for full loan forgiveness. The PPP Loan has a 1% interest rate and there are no payments due for the first 10 months. The EIDL Loan has a 3.75% interest rate with a 30-year term, can be forgiven in some circumstances, and offers an advance grant (no payback) of $10,000 on receipt of a complete application. Even if you don’t qualify for the EIDL Loan, you keep the $10,000 with no payback.


The following links will take you directly to the application rules and process for Northrim Bank, First National Bank of Alaska, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Citibank who are all ready to participate when allowed by the SBA. They all walk you through the eligibility/application process and have a FAQ link as well. Choose your provider now and get ready for the rollout before it happens. The application process for PPP and EIDL loans will be open until March 31, but the money is expected to go fast. Please be ready!

Guides to New COVID-19 Relief Bill



Small Businesses: Check out this page (link below) on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce website for information about the new pandemic relief package — changes to PPP and more.


As part of an end-of-year pandemic relief package, Congress has passed several changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and created a “Second Draw” PPP for small businesses who have exhausted their initial loan. Other changes impact eligibility for initial PPP loans, the loan forgiveness process, and the tax treatment of PPP loans.


Congress has also made changes to other programs – including Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL Program), the Employee Retention Tax Credit, a Venue Grant program, and SBA loan programs –that will benefit small businesses.

Below is a link to a page with more details on the Relief Bill passed on December 27, 2020, provided by Jon Bittner, Executive Director of Alaska Small Business Development Center (SBDC) State Office.




SWAMC invites Southwest Alaska businesses to join FORWARD!


FORWARD is a free online tool provided by SWAMC that connects Southwest Alaska businesses (including commercial fishers and non-profits) to a comprehensive list of federal, state, and local resources — grants, loans, deferrals, and more. It’s a one-stop shop for businesses affected by COVID-19.


Many business owners know about PPP, EIDL, and the AK CARES grant, but there is more out there! Log in to FORWARD and browse everything that is available to you.


Note: FORWARD is a new program, and new programs sometimes have bugs. Known bugs are being worked on, but please let us know if you run into any issues. For best results, fill out every field in your business profile. And for businesses signing up for first-time access to FORWARD, there is a one-business-day turnaround time to receive your username and password.


SWAMC team member Keri is available to help answer questions about how to use FORWARD to access COVID-19 relief funding. Contact Keri at 907-242-4077 or

Alaska Small Business Development Center (SBDC)



The Alaska SBDC operates out of the UAA Business Enterprise Institute and they provide business guidance, services, and resources to Alaskan small businesses and entrepreneurs. Alaska SBDC is staffed by certified business advisors across the state and their services are free.

Alaska Municipal League (AML)



The Alaska Municipal League is a statewide organization of 165 cities, boroughs, and unified municipalities with a mission to represent Alaska’s local governments in state and federal decision making and provide training and services to strengthen Alaska’s local governments. Their Coronavirus resource page is tailored to the needs of cities and boroughs who are tasked with ensuring the health and safety of their residents.

Governor Dunleavy’s COVID-19 Economic Stabilization Plan



This page includes health mandates issued by Governor Mike Dunleavy, DHSS Commissioner Adam Crum, and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink; more information about Gov. Dunleavy’s 6-Point Economic Stabilization Plan; and information for Alaskans about unemployment insurance, small business assistance, homeowner information, and Federal government resources.

Alaska Dept. of Health & Social Services (DHSS)



This page includes the latest COVID-19 case count in Alaska, guidance from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) on topic areas of concern, phone numbers for those seeking assistance over the phone, and up-to-date alerts and updates.