Stories about the local, state, or national economy.

Courtesy of BCSF

The Bethel Community Service Foundation has eight $2,000 grants from the COVID-19 Response Fund to help nonprofits and businesses that are on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Katie Basile / KYUK

The article originally appeared on Alaska Public Media. 

According to documents filed in federal court, Alaska’s largest rural airline is $90 million in debt and could be forced to sell its assets and shut down permanently. This would put rural travel and supply lines in peril unless the government or new investors come to the aid of the bankrupt company.

Dean Swope / KYUK

The Orutsararmiut Native Council in Bethel has chosen a new executive director: longtime Bethel resident, and current city council member, Mark Springer. Springer is not Alaska Native, but he doesn’t think that’s a problem. He says that his experience in politics and nonprofits will help the tribe continue its goals to provide for its members.

The Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan are two forgivable loans available to businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Small Business Administration

Small businesses in the Y-K Delta that are struggling financially during the COVID-19 pandemic should apply for forgivable loans paid for by the $2.2 trillion CARES Act. It may be confusing how much money is available, how you can apply, and when you would receive those funds. 

A boat rides down a river near Quinhagak.
Krysti Shallenberger / KYUK

Quinhagak community leaders are asking the State of Alaska to close sport fishing in the waterways of the Kuskokwim Bay this summer. The request precedes an appeal from Dillingham city and tribal leaders asking the governor to close Bristol Bay’s commercial salmon fishery.

Dean Swope / KYUK

Donlin Gold has suspended its drilling program, and plans to remove most of its employees from its remote work camp in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta starting April 9. This comes as the state ramps up health mandates to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. 

An Alaska Airlines plane at Juneau International Airport on March 3, 2003.
Creative Commons photo by Gillfoto

Alaska Airlines says that it will keep flying to all the communities it currently serves. The company issued a news release stating this commitment after Ravn Air Group’s abrupt announcement that it would end all flights, lay off employees, and file for bankruptcy.

Courtesy of Alaska Department of Transportation

The tiny Kuskokwim River village of Stony River is trying to figure out how to get basic medical and food supplies for its residents after RavnAir halted flights to Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta villages on April 2. While one airline will bring mail to Stony River, how the community will get medicine and sanitation supplies is still in question. Ravn’s decision made it harder for Stony River to prepare for a COVID-19 outbreak.

Virus or not, the U.S. Census is underway. Americans are going online, to the phone, and to the mailbox to complete the once-a-decade questionnaire. But so far, Alaska has the lowest response rate of any state in the union.

Ravn To Stop All Service, Lay Off All Staff, And File For Bankruptcy

Apr 5, 2020
RavnAir Group is suspending all operations and temporarily laying off all staff.
Katie Basile / KYUK

After announcing a drastic cut to service last week, RavnAir Group said on April 5 that it would park all 72 of its planes, lay off its remaining staff, and file for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.