USDA makes Seafood Trade Relief Program funding available to fishermen
The USDA announced on Sept. 9 that it is making approximately $530 million available to assist U.S. fishermen through the Seafood Trade Relief Program (STRP). This program is being funded by the Commodity Credit Corporation and administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA).
Staff at local FSA offices will work with fishermen via phone, email, fax, mail or online tools such as Box and in person appointments where applicable. The FSA offices in Connecticut can be found at: https://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=ct&agency=fsa
Through the STRP, the USDA will provide direct support to U.S. commercial fishermen who hold a valid federal or state license or permit and whose catch must be sold or transferred to a permitted or licensed seafood dealer or by a permitted dealer if the catch is processed at sea. Those grown in a controlled environment are not eligible for the program except for geoducks and salmon. www.farmers.gov/Seafood
Fishermen can sign up for relief through the program from September 14, 2020, to December 14, 2020.
Payments are based on 2019 landings of Atka mackerel; Dungeness, king, snow, and Southern tanner crab; flounder, geoduck, goosefish, herrings, lobster, Pacific cod, Pacific ocean perch, pollock, sablefish, salmon, sole, squid, tuna and turbot.
Additional information about this program can be found on the National Sea Grant program’s Seafood Resources page.
Protecting Seafood Processing Workers from COVID-19
- Interim guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), developed in consultation with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-seafood-processing.html
Connecticut Dept. of Labor Resources
- Unemployment Portal for Self-Employed
- Frequently Asked Questions: http://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/DOLCOVIDFAQ.PDF
- CT Department of Labor information about Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, webinars on unemployment, CARES Act and other topics can be found at: http://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/
CARES Act Fisheries Assistance Funding
- CARES ACT fisheries assistance funding provided by Sec. 12005 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The$300 million in fishery assistance funds provided by the CARES Act are intended for states, tribes, and territories whose coastal fishery participants have been negatively affected by the COVID–19 pandemic. Connecticut has been allocated $1,835,424 to assist commercial fishermen, for-hire (party/charter) vessel operators, seafood dealers and marine aquaculture operations that have suffered direct or indirect economic losses related to COVID-19.
National Sea Grant Law Center Resources
- The National Sea Grant Law Center COVID-19 Resource Page The National Sea Grant Law Center, n partnership with the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Legal Program, created this webpage to serve as a clearinghouse of reliable information on CARES Act programs and other issues associated with COVID-19 for the fishing, aquaculture, and seafood industries. This page is updated frequently as questions are received and resources come online.
- CARES Act Tip Sheet for self employed individuals Prepared by the National Sea Grant Law Center
- Q&A from National Sea Grant Law Center CARES Act 101 webinar
Other Financial and Information Resources
- US Small Business Association Loan Program (all loan types)
1-800-659-2955 | e-mail
- US SBA Emergency Economic Injury Grants (COVID-specific) In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. This advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available following a successful application. This loan advance will not have to be repaid.
- US SBA Paycheck Protection Program (COVID-specific) Details on SBA Paycheck Protection Program and How to Apply. The Paycheck Protection Program provides small businesses with funds to pay up to 8 weeks of payroll costs including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities.