$11.2 Million In Cares Act Funds Available For Nj Fishing Businesses - The Fisherman

$11.2 Million In Cares Act Funds Available For Nj Fishing Businesses

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy Administration announced last month that $11.2 million in financial assistance is being made available to commercial and recreational fishing businesses impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency. The funding will be made available as grants to eligible businesses that document a 35% loss in revenues as a result of the pandemic.

“Fishing is an integral part of New Jersey’s identity and a critical component of our economy”, said Gov. Murphy “This grant program will help these businesses recover losses they have incurred during very difficult times. And we can all play a role in supporting New Jersey’s fishing industry by buying from local seafood suppliers and enjoying fishing through charter boat operations and bait and tackle shops.”

Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe said she is pleased to assist in bringing this much-needed financial support to New Jersey’s fishing industry and communities hard hit by the COVID pandemic.  “We are especially grateful to New Jersey’s legislative delegation and our federal partners at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for their support of this program,” McCabe said.

“This is another step in the right direction to ensure that New Jersey’s fishing industry gets the funding it needs to weather the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and ongoing economic storm,” said Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ), adding. “This pandemic has been devastating to the men and women of our state’s fishing industry, and I am fighting to make sure they receive the federal funds promised. Our fishing communities need assistance now, which is why it is so important that these funds be released quickly.”

In April, New Jersey’s congressional delegation comprised of members on both sides of the political aisle sent a letter calling on the Trump Administration to fairly and quickly distribute financial aid to the fishing industries in states like New Jersey that incurred greater economic losses as a result of the pandemic. Rep. Pallone later announced New Jersey would receive more than $11 million in federal funding to help the state’s fishing industry.

The funding comes from a $300 million allocation for fishing industries in coastal states provided by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This assistance is made possible through the collaboration of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) and the members of the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council. The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Marine Fisheries Administration will review applications and administer financial assistance to eligible business.

An online application through DEP’s electronic grants management system, NJDEP SAGE at njdepsage.intelligrants.com.  Details on the specific information that must be provided are available on the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife’s homepage under the Cares Act section at www.njfishandwildlife.com.

Applicants will have 30 days from the date of the posting of the online application to request funding. The amount of individual payments to applicants will be based on the number of total eligible applicants and the allocation of funds across three different sectors, Commercial and aquaculture businesses; processors and dealers; and recreational fisheries

Eligible fisheries-related businesses include commercial fisheries, aquaculture businesses, processors, dealers, and recreational fishery businesses, including for-hire businesses as well as bait and tackle shops. The program requirements stipulate that some businesses in the sector, including vessel repair shops, seafood retail locations, and restaurants, are not eligible to receive assistance under this program.

Eligibility for applicants:

– Must have experienced a greater than 35 percent loss in fishery related revenues between March 1, 2020 and June 30, 2020, as compared to their 5-year average revenue for the same time period.

– Must be New Jersey residents and business applicants must be located in New Jersey.

– Must have been in business for at least one year prior to 2020.

– Will be required to provide a total estimate of revenue for the full year of 2020 and provide information on all Covid-19 related financial assistance that they are receiving.

– Must meet all mandatory licensing and permitting requirements in their sector for 2020.

Questions may be submitted by email to njfisheriesaid@dep.nj.gov. For more CARES Act information and resources from the ASMFC visit www.asmfc.org.