Ketchikan might have heard that sigh of relief this week.

It was the one coming from the community’s seasonal small businesses.

Alaska’s congressional delegation announced at week’s start that the CARES Act’s Payroll Protection Program will allow these businesses to apply based on actual payroll costs instead of an off-season computation.

The difference is huge. Seasonal businesses can expand from one or two people on payroll up to and including triple-digit numbers overnight once the spring and summer seasons come.

This happens in both the fishing and tourism industries.

The numbers in a February or March wouldn’t nearly compensate a May or September payroll.

The CARES Act’s PPP originally stated that small business’ forgivable loans would be calculated on a 12-week period that started either on Feb. 15, 2019, or March 1, 2019.

The regulation being implemented by the Department of the Treasury now will allow the seasonal businesses to calculate on a 12-week period between May and September.

President Donald Trump has signed two PPP bills. The first one allotted $350 billion for small business loans. The second provides another $310 billion.

It is yet to be determined whether small seasonal businesses that applied under the first allotment can amend their application under the second.

But given the Treasury’s intent, it’s likely.

Local lending institutions and the Small Business Association are the contacts for loans and loan information.

Not in recent memory has small business needed the type of hand up that it needs presently. But it has a history of lending a hand. So it’s their turn to be given a hand.