Help for Alaskan Businesses and Nonprofits

This section provides business and nonprofit employer information related to grants, loans, and tax credits.

Contact the Alaska SBDC (for small businesses) or Foraker Group (for nonprofits) to consult on accessing or utilizing these federal relief measures.

As the State – and potentially tribal and local governments – announce their funding programs for businesses or nonprofits, those opportunities will be listed here as well. 

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

This is the Small Business Clearinghouse of all opportunities available.

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Employee Retention Tax Credit

Businesses that experienced a decline in gross receipts by more than 20% in any quarter of 2020 compared to the same quarter in 2019 are eligible. As of March 2021, this refundable tax credit can be worth up to $7,000 per employee per quarter. This means companies could receive a credit for $28,000 per employee during 2021, a substantial sum that can help companies recover to pre-pandemic revenue numbers.

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Nonprofit Unemployment Insurance Reimbursement

For self-insured nonprofits, ARPA extends federal coverage of the unemployment costs of reimbursing nonprofits. The current reimbursement rate of 50% continues to March 31, 2001. On April 1, reimbursement increases to 75% and remains at that rate until September 6. The ARPA also continues coverage for self-employed nonprofit workers and staff of religious and smaller nonprofits.

COBRA Expansion

Employers are required to offer COBRA coverage to the majority of former employees for up to 18 months. Still, the former employee often has to pay the total cost of the coverage without the employer subsidizing the cost. The ARPA changes this so employers, plans or insurers must provide subsidized COBRA coverage to eligible individuals from April 1 through September 30, 2021. While employers will incur higher upfront costs, the ARPA also created new advanceable and refundable tax credits to offset the costs. Employers (or plans or insurers) are able to recover the cost by claiming a tax credit against standard payroll taxes.

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Deduct from Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans

The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service today issued Revenue Procedure 2021-20 PDF for certain businesses that received first-round Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans but did not deduct any of the original eligible expenses because they relied on guidance issued before the enactment of tax relief legislation in December of 2020.  Under prior guidance, businesses that received PPP loans to cover payroll costs, interest on covered mortgage obligations, covered rent obligation payments, and covered utility payments could not deduct corresponding expenses.

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Vaccination Tax Credit

  • For businesses and nonprofits under 500 employees.
  • Up to $511/day for up to 10 days time off between April and September, 2021.

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Shuttered Venue Operators

Congress created the Shuttered Venue Operators (SVO) grant program in December 2020 to help live venues that were harmed by COVID-19 restrictions. The SVO grant program will distribute $16 billion in funds to live venue operators, including eligible movie theaters, concert spaces, museums and performing arts organizations. A significant change in the SVO grants occurred in March 2021, with the ARPA revising eligible venues. As of this writing, venues can receive first and second-draw PPP loans and still apply for SVO grants, but grant amounts will be reduced by the value of their PPP loans. These grants are administered directly by the SBA, and the application portal is open. Notably, interested applicants should create a login.gov user account, obtain a D-U-N-S number, and sign up for SAM.gov immediately if they want to apply quickly. The application portal for SVO grants is now open.

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Restaurant Revitalization Fund

The American Rescue Plan Act established the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) to provide funding to help restaurants and other eligible businesses keep their doors open. This program will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as funds are used for eligible uses no later than March 11, 2023.

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Expanded Family and Sick Leave

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was signed into law in March 2020 with the goal of providing assistance to employees and households affected by COVID-19. One important provision was making it possible for employers with fewer than 500 employees to receive tax credits to cover the costs of emergency paid sick leave. The employer tax credits for FFCRA benefits were first expanded in the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) through March 31, 2021. Then the ARPA extended the same tax credits through September 30, 2021. Under the current law, employers are not required to offer sick leave, but if they choose to, they can receive tax credits for up to $5,000 per employee.

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Businesses Can Deduct Food and Beverage Expenses

The Treasury Department and the IRS issued Notice 2021-25, providing guidance under the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Relief Act of 2020. Beginning January 1, 2021, through December 31, 2022, businesses can claim 100 percent of their food or beverage expenses paid to restaurants as long as the business owner (or an employee of the business) is present when food or beverages are provided and the expense is not lavish or extravagant under the circumstances.

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