Disaster assistance deadlines.
The clock is ticking to apply for low-interest federal disaster loans for physical and economic damages suffered due to certain storms occurring last fall. This economic assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration is available for individuals and businesses to repair or replace property damaged by high winds and flooding across much of Alaska Sept. 15-30, 2013, and to seek help due to economic injury suffered as a result of the storms.
After Gov. Sean Parnell declared the disaster, and amended it when the storms and damages continued, the current administration failed to do the same. However, on Dec. 18, 2012, Alaskans got some relief when the Sacramento office of the SBA issued the following statement: "The SBA acted under its own authority to declare a disaster following the denial on Dec. 6 of the state's request for a major disaster declaration."
SBA Alaska Disaster Declarations No. 13423 (physical damage) and No. 13424 (economic damage) cover the Kenai Peninsula Borough, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, and the contiguous Alaska jurisdictions of Chugach REAA, Copper River REAA, Delta/Greely REAA, the Denali Borough, Iditarod Area REAA, Kodiak Island Borough, Lake and Peninsula Borough, and the Municipality of Anchorage.
Businesses and individuals in these areas have until Feb. 18 to apply for loans to mitigate physical damage, and until Sept. 18 to apply for loans to assist with economic injury. Businesses may apply for up to $2 million in loans.
To apply, go online to SBA's secure website and submit an electronic loan application at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Alternately, request information and forms by calling 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 if deaf or hard of hearing), email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.
Speaking of deadlines, the Alaska Legislature will have gaveled in by the time this issue rolls off the presses--and our legislators have a lot of work to do before the session ends. It will be interesting to see how things progress this year. Let's hope it doesn't mirror the movie "Groundhog Day" again.
We've put together a host of stories to read. Included topics are: fisheries, telecom, oil and gas, transportation, construction, insurance, mining, energy and the visitor industry. In addition to a slate of great articles exploring so many sectors of our economy and spanning the state geographically, we're bringing you two special sections this month: Engineering and World Trade. We'd like to thank our friends at World Trade Center Alaska for showing us how important export trade is to Alaska's economy--thank you Greg, Alex and Aaron!
The team put together another really great magazine this month--enjoy!
--Susan Harrington, Managing Editor