Novel coronavirus

This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (yellow)—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells (blue/pink) cultured in the lab.

Credit: NIAID-RML

The city of Fairbanks announced it will begin taking applications for coronavirus relief grants on Wednesday.

Businesses and nonprofits can apply for up to $100,000. Individuals can apply for up to $5,000.

The city of North Pole and the Fairbanks North Star Borough are expected to team up and launch grant programs later in the summer.

The city of Fairbanks is receiving about $16 million from the federal CARES Act. The borough qualifies for an allocation of $24.6 million. North Pole is anticipating about $4 million.

“It remains a top priority of the city of Fairbanks to help those in Fairbanks that have suffered economic losses due to COVID19 and we appreciate all those who have assisted setting up the process for distributing funds,” a news release from the city of Fairbanks stated.

The city will distribute its relief funds to medical organizations, businesses, nonprofits and individuals impacted by COVID-19, according to the news release.

To qualify, nonprofits and businesses must have a 2020 city business license as of April 30. Individuals and families seeking relief must reside in city limits.

“Applicants must be the primary lease or mortgage holder and only one application should be submitted per household,” the news release states.

All applicants must be able to prove economic impact due to loss of income related to COVID-19, according to the new release.

What expenses can be submitted for reimbursement? Rent, mortgage and utilities incurred between March 1 and May 31.

“Businesses can also submit expenses related to the purchase of personal protective equipment and expenses incurred to replenish inventory or other necessary reopening expenses,” according to the news release.

The city will accept applications until the funds are spent.

Applications will be accepted online at www.fairbanksalaska.us. Businesses must apply online.

Individuals and families can apply online or in person at Love In the Name of Christ, 609 3rd St. in Fairbanks, during business hours on weekdays. In-person applicants should wear a face mask and practice social distancing.

Questions from businesses and nonprofits can be directed to the city of Fairbanks at 459-6775 or on email at FBKSCARES@fairbanks.us.

Questions about individual and family applications can be directed to 371-2141.

North Pole Mayor Mike Welch said a committee of 10 appointees is meeting in his city to discuss how to allocate the city’s CARES money. Recommendations to city leaders are expected sometime in July. Committee members include business owners, the fire chief and a former North Pole mayor.

“The council controls the purse strings,” Welch said. “They could go with the recommendations. They could modify them.”

The city is pursuing a partnership with the borough because it lacks the capacity to operate a grant program, Welch said. He thinks the application period will open sometime in August.

At the borough, leaders decided to offer grants to businesses, nonprofits and large medical providers. Businesses and nonprofits could apply for up to $15,000.

Smaller grants will be made available for reimbursement for the cost of personal protective gear.

The borough is requesting proposals from parties interested in offering technical assistance with grant administration and marketing. The request for proposals closes on July 20.

Contact staff writer Amanda Bohman at 459-7545. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMborough.