Inside Alaska Business
The Anchorage Economic Development Corporation released the results of its COVID-19 Business Impact Survey, which ran April 14-23; the second round of findings contained some unsettling numbers. Of the roughly 250 respondents, more than 1 in 5 claimed they were unsure whether their business would remain open or closed following the COVID-19 lockdown; however, and more encouragingly, 62 percent responded they were confident that their business will remain open.

Alaska Airlines
Picking up where RavnAir left off, Alaska Airlines began offering year-round services to Western Alaska and the Aleutians in May, with passenger service between Anchorage and Cold Bay on Wednesday and Friday; Anchorage and Dillingham on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; and Anchorage and King Salmon on Tuesday and Thursday.
Office of the Governor | REAP
With Governor Mike Dunleavy’s signature, Senate Bill 123 allows for the creation of an electric reliability organization (ERO) for the Railbelt region. Lower electricity costs and increased utility efficiency are two expected effects of the new partnership. The ERO is also expected to increase renewable energy development, with the Renewable Energy Alaska Project being a major proponent of the bill. “Efforts to reform the Railbelt electric grid to improve coordination and efficiency among the six utilities is something people have been trying to do for several decades. This is a major win for everyone,” says Chris Rose, REAP executive director.
Permanent Fund Dividend Division
Governor Mike Dunleavy announced that Alaskans will see their PFD payment distributed July 1. Efforts to expedite PFD payments are in response to the devastating economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the 671,364 applications received, the PFD Division estimates nearly 600,000 Alaskans are expected to receive payment on July 1. Following this initial payment, the division will disburse the remaining payments monthly until all eligible applications are paid.
PDC Engineers has been acquired by RESPEC Inc. of Rapid City, South Dakota. PDC is an infrastructure design firm focused on facilities, utilities, transportation, and land development services; RESPEC specializes in geoscience, engineering, data, and integrated technology solutions. PDC President Matt Emerson is excited about RESPEC’s “complementary know-how” and expanding PDC’s services in and outside of Alaska.|
The Anchorage Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is relocating to the University Center. The new midtown location is expected to improve the customer experience, with a goal of getting customers “in and out in less than thirty minutes for most transactions,” according to Deputy Director Jenna Wamsganz. The DMV’s new location opens Monday, August 3.
Alaska State Fair
CEO Jerome Hertel announced the cancellation of the 2020 Alaska State Fair. The decision was made amidst continued uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. This marks the fair’s first cancellation since World War II. Those who pre-purchased tickets will be refunded. Hertel says that the event plans on returning in 2021 with a fair that is “bigger and better than ever.” Until then, the organization is offering new, socially distant experiences such as its popular Pop-up Drive-in movie events.
Small Business Administration
The US Small Business Administration (SBA) released the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application, including detailed instructions for filing. The SBA is also issuing regulations and guidance to further assist borrowers and advising lenders on their responsibilities. The PPP was created by the CARES Act to provide forgivable loans to eligible small businesses to keep American workers on the payroll during the COVID-19 pandemic.