New York opens applications for COVID-19 relief funding to fishing-related businesses

Fishing-related businesses in New York are now able to apply for direct payments from the second round of COVID-19 related relief funding.

Fishing-related businesses in the U.S. state of New York are now able to apply for direct payments from the second round of COVID-19 relief funding the state received from the federal government.

The money comes from the USD 255 million (EUR 225.4 million) Congress approved in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, which lawmakers passed late in 2020.

In March 2021, NOAA Fisheries announced allocations for each state and territory. New York received nearly USD 5.7 million (EUR 5 million), the 11th-highest amount awarded by NOAA Fisheries. Alaska and Washington each received the largest share at USD 40 million (EUR 35.4 million) each. The funding is different than the USD 300 million (EUR 246 million) in CARES Act relief approved by Congress in 2020.

According to the state’s spend plan, slightly more than USD 5.5 million (EUR 4.9 million) will be available to impacted businesses in New York. Approximately USD 140,000 (EUR 123,771) of the money will go toward NOAA and Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission administrative costs.

Companies eligible to apply for funding from the allocation include seafood processors, commercial fishermen, marine aquaculture operations, and marine recreational charter operators. Among the qualifications to be considered for an award, the businesses must be able to demonstrate that the pandemic caused at least a 35 percent loss compared to revenues they generated during the previous five years.

The 45-day application window started on Wednesday, 1 December. The application is available at the DEC website.

The spending plan acknowledges the funding will not cover all the losses the eligible businesses incurred as a result of the pandemic, but state officials said it will still aid an industry that supports 350,000 jobs in the state.

“This funding is essential to assist businesses and coastal communities that have long played a vital role in the state's economic success,” New York Governor Kathy Hochul said in a statement. “My administration remains committed to supporting marine fishing and seafood industries here in New York and will work tirelessly to ensure financial support is provided to all eligible candidates.”

Including the nearly USD 6.8 million (EUR 6 million) New York received from the CARES Act in 2020, the state will have awarded fishery-related businesses about USD 12.4 million (EUR 11 million) in pandemic relief.

“New York's marine fishing industry is still reeling from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and this dedicated assistance will help one of our oldest heritage industries leave troubled waters and set sail on a path to recovery and a brighter future,” U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) said in a statement.

Other states have either already allocated their share of the funding from the federal spending bill or have ended their application periods. Massachusetts, which received more than USD 23 million (EUR 20.3 million), cut checks to fishing businesses in October.

North Carolina, which received USD 4.6 million (EUR 4.1 million), set a 1 October deadline for applications.  


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