Inside Alaska Business
Municipality of Anchorage

Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson has taken the mayoral oath of office, replacing Ethan Berkowitz, who has resigned. The oath was administered in the mayor’s office by Chief Magistrate Judge Deborah Smith. Quinn-Davidson will remain in the office until the next mayoral election in April 2021. Quinn-Davidson is an attorney who was first elected to the Anchorage Assembly in 2018. She is the first woman and first openly gay person to serve as mayor or acting mayor of Anchorage since the municipality was created in 1975.

Gulkana Village Council | State of Alaska
After almost fifty years, the Gulkana Village Council has reached a resolution with the State of Alaska on the return of former village lands and traditional burial grounds. Representatives from Gulkana Village Council and Ahtna, Incorporated joined Governor Mike Dunleavy in Gulkana for a deed signing and parking lot groundbreaking ceremony. The lands were developed nearly eighty years ago without permission of the Ahtna people. |
USDA ReConnect Program
The US Department of Agriculture is investing $46.5 million to provide broadband service in unserved and underserved rural areas in Alaska. This investment is part of $550 million Congress has allocated to the ReConnect Program’s second round. AP&T Wireless will use a $21.5 million ReConnect grant to deploy a fiber-to- the-premises network in the Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area and Unicom will use $25 million to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network in Kodiak Island Borough, Lake and Peninsula Borough, Aleutians East Borough, and Aleutians West Census Area.
The Alaska Native Heritage Center (ANHC) has been named one of “America’s Cultural Treasures,” a national initiative from the Ford Foundation that provides grants to support BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) arts and cultural organizations severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This collective effort brings together sixteen major donors and foundations to award $1 million to $6 million grants to twenty different organizations across the country, including ANHC. The “America’s Cultural Treasures” designation recognizes the grant recipients’ unique and vital work, even in the face of historically limited resources and funding streams.
US Small Business Administration
The US Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Treasury Department, released a simpler loan forgiveness application for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans of $50,000 or less. This action streamlines the PPP forgiveness process to provide financial and administrative relief to America’s smallest businesses while also ensuring sound stewardship of taxpayer dollars. SBA and the Treasury have also eased the burden on PPP lenders, allowing them to process forgiveness applications more swiftly.
Hecla Greens Creek mine has filed an amendment to its General Plan of Operations to expand its tailing disposal facility by approximately 13.7 acres. The expansion is primarily inside the existing US Forest Service lease area and will allow mine operations to continue past 2031, when the current facility is expected be full. Greens Creek is a major economic and philanthropic pillar in Southeast Alaska—and Juneau’s largest taxpayer and largest private- sector employer.
Chugach Electric
Chugach Electric has closed the acquisition of Municipal Light & Power from the Municipality of Anchorage, more than two years after Anchorage voters approved the estimated $986 million transaction. The combination of the two utilities is expected to lower long-term rates for all ratepayers in the utility’s service area with an estimated savings of more than $200 million over fifteen years. Chugach has committed to make job offers to all ML&P employees who want to continue their employment following the acquisition.