Committed to Supporting Relief
Through COVID 19
Mayor's Communication

Supporting Maniilaq Association in providing care and screening for the region.


Supporting Northwest Arctic Borough School District as they work to keep our kids engaged in their education.

Supporting the region’s incident command system to keep the region informed, safe, and reduce effects of COVID-19.

Economic Development is important to the Borough and that happens through our businesses.

Thank you to all those in communities who have supported us getting relief out to the region. Below are the grants we have been able to distribute throughout the region.

Utility Relief – Completed

The Northwest Arctic Borough has completed the Regional Utility Relief Project. Through an application process 1418 residents received a total of $709,000.

Teacher Assistance – Completed

Teachers in the region are critical as they support our greatest asset, our children. The impact to them due to COVID19 has been great as they work to modify their curriculum to work in the virtual world. We were able to support 125 teachers in the region with a total of $87,500.

Sulianich Artist Grant – Deadline December 16

We are happy to say that the Sulianich Arts Center has reopened. The Sulianich Arts Center was closed due to the pandemic. This prevented those that had art in Sulianich to be sold. To support the Sulianich artists grants it is estimated total relief $13,000.

Small Business Grant – Deadline December 16

Economic Development is important to the Borough and that happens through our businesses. Due to the impact on this vital piece of economic development the Northwest Arctic Borough has extended a $1,500 grant for businesses below 50 employees. Estimated relief total $165,000.

Q & A With NWAB Community & Economic Development Director

The Borough is committed to responsibly supporting our region through COVID-19 by providing:

  • Medical & Health Relief
  • Education Relief
  • Public Service Relief
  • Economic Relief

Together we will be a stronger region.

Mayor Lucy Nelson

Protect Yourself
Protect Your Family
Protect Your Community

COVID-19 has impacted our region in many ways from the cost of goods and services to our communities, the loss of jobs, to limitations to our travel. The Northwest Arctic Borough is supporting households with $500 of relief for a household’s choice of electric, water and sewer, or stove oil relief. Here are some things your need to know.

How To Apply

Each household must apply for support by completing the online application and submitting your latest utility bill for the service provider of choice. Upon completion of your online application you will receive a confirmation email that it was received. If you have not received a confirmation email your application was not received. You may also print the application and submit in person or email scans or image of needed documentation to [email protected].

Deadlines for Application

Applications will be accepted from October 19th through November 9th.

Distribution of Payment

Payments will be processed no later than December 4th to regional service providers. You will not receive payment directly, but it will be paid to your utility provider on your behalf no later than the beginning of December. The delay in between payments being mailed out and the application deadline is to ensure that the one payment gets payed to the appropriate account entitled to that relief. Processing all at once allows us to distribute more money into the community by allowing us to cut the administrative costs of the project.


Email questions about applications to [email protected].


Mayor's Message

September 25, 2020


I would like to take the opportunity to inform the Northwest Arctic Borough (NWAB) residents about the CARES Act funding that was received and how the Borough will be distributing those funds based on the CARES Act Guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Treasury.

First and foremost, I would like to thank Governor Dunleavy and our State Legislature for the strong state leadership in addressing COVID-19 and the transparent and frequent communication about what is happening. As you know, the economic impact to residents and communities from COVID-19 has been sudden and severe. It is important that federal assistance be accurately targeted to meet the needs faced by communities.

On April 21, 2020, Governor Dunleavy released his plan for distributing the $1.25 billion in Alaska CARES Act funding to communities, including a formula allocation method established for each community. The Northwest Arctic Borough was awarded a total of $4,077,540.34 which will be paid in three payment allotments as follows:

  1. Payment Allotment 1 $3,691,707
  2. Payment Allotment 2 $192,917
  3. Payment Allotment 3 $192,917

The CARES Act funding is critical for local governments to continue providing for local prevention, mitigation and direct response to COVID-19, all of which were unplanned, significant and created additional expenses. The funding is also essential for maintaining operational and functioning governments during this public health emergency disaster and economic crisis.

NWAB’s Grant Agreement with the State requires that consistent with U.S. Treasury guidance, funds may only be utilized to pay necessary expenses incurred as a result of the public health emergency stemming from COVID-19 for expenses that were not accounted for in its mostly recent budget approved of March 27, 2020.

The purpose of the grant funds is to respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency declared by the Governor on March 11, 2020. Such actions may include expenditures incurred to allow the Borough to respond directly to the emergency, such as by addressing medical or public health needs, as well as expenditures incurred to respond to second-order effects of the emergency, like providing economic support to those suffering from the employment or business interruptions due to COVID-19 related business closures.

All NWAB grant fund expenditures will be formulated in a fiscal spend down plan, that is subject to change based on urgency and in the following:

  • Medical & Health Relief
  • Education Relief
  • Public Service Relief
  • Economic Relief

All relief spending will be carefully scrutinized by the Mayor, Borough Treasurer, CARES Act Technical Assistance Providers and confirmed by approval by the Northwest Arctic Borough Assembly through resolution approvals. The NWAB Administration is committed to maximizing the funds to support relief to the Borough residents and those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The NWAB is working to support spending compliance to avoid penalty and ensure that future funding is available.


Mayor Lucy Nelson

NWAB Community & Economic Development Director Message

October 15, 2020


I hope you have had an opportunity to hear Mayor Lucy Nelson’s message regarding the CARES Act spending plan for the Northwest Arctic Borough (NWAB). She spoke about the $4 million allocated to the Borough to support the region during the COVID-19 pandemic. She also communicated the spending plan for these funds which included: Medical and Health Relief, Education Relief, Public Service Relief, and Economic Relief. You may read the Mayor’s entire message at

As the Economic Development Director, my department is charged with the important task of dispensing economic relief to the communities of the region. In preparation for this we have participated in statewide activities and stayed in communication with regional economic developers to stay up to date on the latest industry best practices, and have received advisement on how others are managing through these difficult times. 

To support region-wide relief, the NWAB went through a robust process to make decisions on how we can best use CARES Act funding to help provide economic relief to the residents of the region. The first step was forming the Northwest Arctic Borough economic relief planning committee. This committee has members from several different departments within the borough, including legal support.  The second step was creating an economic relief committee from the membership of the NWAB Economic Development Commission, which a is an established Borough Commission comprised of local representatives from several regional organizations. Lastly, we reached out to all eleven communities to get their input and support.

Through this process we came to the determination that the most effective way to provide economic relief to households of this region is through utility and stove oil support.  Economic relief support will be provided in the form of assistance for electricity and water & sewer bills, or stove oil for heating households. This support will be distributed directly to the utility providers.

To support spending compliance, and to avoid penalties and ensure future funding, we need an application process to support the relief. We have created a website ( to support the application process and will also provide paper applications which can be printed from the website or picked up locally in every community if needed.

  • Eligibility: Each household in the region is allowed one allocation of relief support of $500 total for utility and/or stove oil costs.
  • Application Process: Applications may be submitted in-person, through our website, mailed, or emailed to [email protected].
  • Complete applications include: Applications will require a completed form, with a copy or image of your last bill or statement from your utility or stove oil provider. Only complete applications will be considered.
  • Date: We will start accepting applications on October 19thand the application deadline is November 9th.  Funding will occur on first come first serve basis while funds are available.
  • Release of Funds: Funds will be released to utility providers no later than December 7 by mail. The delay in payment, from application deadline to vendor payout to is due to the needed processing compliance to support relief.
  • Questions: For fastest response email all questions to [email protected].

We will continue to provide information throughout this process via our website and radio announcements. Please check out our COVID-19 relief website for more information and for other resources.

Protect yourself. Protect your family. Protect your community.


Fritz Westlake, NWAB Community & Economic Development Director
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