Al Gross and Outside SuperPAC Deride CARES Act Relief Funding for Struggling Alaska Families and Businesses

Al Gross and Outside SuperPAC Deride CARES Act Relief Funding for Struggling Alaska Families and Businesses

Gross Ad: “Look in the $2 Trillion Bailout Bill He Brags About”

314 Action Super PAC Ad: “Just Weeks Ago in Washington, Dan Sullivan Voted for a … Bailout”

ANCHORAGE, AK – In separate attempts to mislead Alaskans, Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate Al Gross and outside Super PAC 314 Action are attacking Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan for his work on emergency CARES Act relief funding for Alaska families and workers in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The recent attack ads by Al Gross and his million-dollar SuperPAC are a slap in the face of Alaska families, workers and small businesses that continue to struggle in the face of COVID-19,” said Campaign Manager Matt Shuckerow. “While Senator Sullivan has worked tirelessly to provide critical relief for Alaskans, Al Gross and his Lower 48 supporters are showing what ridiculous lengths they’ll go to get elected. The CARES Act – and subsequent reforms championed by Senator Sullivan for seasonal workers – received universal support. Al Gross is now on record saying he would have denied Alaskans this relief. It’s sad, but not surprising. There’s no other way to put it.”

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, was passed by Congress and signed into law on March 27, 2020 in the face of COVID-19. The legislation received near universal support, passing the U.S. Senate 96-0 and the U.S. House by voice vote. Of those on record in opposition of the CARES Act, Al Gross joins a limited group of lawmakers including far left Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).

“In the months following the pandemic, Senator Sullivan worked tirelessly to stand up for Alaska businesses and workers. At a time of unquestionable uncertainty, the CARES Act was a critical lifeline to so many Alaskans. Not only did it bring billions to the Alaska economy in the form of the Paycheck Protection Program, State and Community Assistance, the CARES Act bridged the gap for so many out of work Alaskans and families,” said Jim DodsonFairbanks Business Advocate and Sullivan 2020 Campaign Co-Chair.

“Passing the CARES Act was a critical first step during an extremely uncertain and volatile economic times at the beginning of an unprecedented health crisis. This Act provided immediate assistance to Alaskans workers and their families and in turn, saved lives. Why Al Gross would attack Senator Sullivan on this issue is beyond me. The CARES Act was unanimously supported throughout the Senate with a vote of 96-0,” said Joey Merrick, Business Manager of Laborers’ Local 341.

“When the pandemic hit, Senator Sullivan reached out to Alaska businesses – found out what we needed –– and specifically put in place a program in the Paycheck Protection Program that was a lifeline for us. Without Senator Sullivan’s hard work and dedication towards making sure Alaska businesses would have access to funding, we wouldn’t be open. We wouldn’t be here right now,” said Brian Kraft, Owner of Alaska Sportsmen Lodge .

“The ads being run by Al Gross and 314 Action are offensive to every Alaskan family, worker and business who received CARES Act relief funds in the wake of COVID-19,” said Cynthia Erickson, Owner of Tanana Commercial, Co. “Al Gross owes Alaskans an explanation as to why he would have denied Alaskans this support.”

“The pandemic hit Alaska hard, especially the tourism industry. Dan Sullivan fought hard so that seasonal businesses like ours were not left in the dark by securing a provision that ensured our eligibility for critical relief funding,” said Josh Howes, President of Premier Alaska Tours .

The CARES Act is credited with providing more than $1.3 billion in direct economic relief for 12,087 loans to Alaska small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), including workers that benefitted from the seasonal-worker rule and seasonal fishermen and crewmember rule championed by Senator Sullivan and the Alaska congressional delegation.

Under the Act, the State of Alaska and local communities have directly received more than $1.25 billion in federal pandemic aid – with $569 million directed to 228 eligible Alaska communities. And according to a recent study, Alaska has received the third most per capita funding among states under the CARES Act and other COVID-19 relief efforts.

In addition to the Paycheck Protection Program, the CARES Act included:

  • Critical relief to Alaskan families and households through the $1,200 Economic Impact Payment program
  • $250B for expanded unemployment benefits for out of work Americans, including a $600 per week increase to weekly benefits.
  • Surge funding for vaccines and testing
  • Lifeline loans to Alaska businesses through the Expedited Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) program
  • A $300 million direct assistance program for fishermen
  • $150 billion in surge funding for frontline workers, first responders, hospitals and medical professionals
  • $8B for tribal assistance grants to assist in COVID-19 response