Seafood processors, dealers and processing vessels who were financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for relief funds through a new grant program administered by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
North Carolina received $279,234 in relief funds through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Seafood Processors Pandemic Response and Safety Block Grant Program. The program is intended to partially reimburse expenses associated with preparing for, preventing exposure to and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic for seafood processing facilities and processing vessels.
“The application period is now open and runs through Nov. 30, but I would encourage seafood processors to apply early,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Eligible expenses to be considered for relief payments to seafood processing facilities and processing vessels must have been incurred between Jan. 27, 2020 and Dec. 31, 2021.”
USDA guidelines specify that grant funds are to reimburse businesses for qualifying expenses implemented in response to COVID-19. Eligible activities include workplace safety measures, market pivots, retrofitting facilities, transportation, worker housing and medical expenses.
To apply, seafood processors can find the NCDA&CS Seafood Processors Pandemic Response and Safety Block Grant self-certification and assurances initial grant application at https://forms.office.com/g/bpMGEVHqHf .
Applicants can find more USDA information, including answers to Frequently Asked Questions, at the following links: https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/grants/sprs and https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/grants/sprs/faq.