In early April, the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) released the following related to the COVID-19 crisis

Just about every business in the recreational fishing industry has been impacted by COVID-19 and actions taken by federal, state and local governments to slow the spread of the novel virus. Beginning on Friday, April 3, small businesses including marinas and tackle shops, can apply for loans available through the Small Business Administration (SBA). These loans are part of the $2 trillion COVID-19 relief package, CARES ACT, passed by Congress and signed by President Trump last week. The CARES Act includes upwards of $350 million of forgivable loans to pay for up to eight weeks of payroll costs, including benefits. The loans can also be used to pay mortgages, rent and utilities.

These loans become available at a time when many recreational fishing related businesses are experiencing massive declines in revenue and short falls with cash flow. These loans may prove to be extremely helpful for businesses and their employees to get through the next two months as policies remain in place to minimize the impact of virus on our nation. Use the following link to learn more about these loans and to check your eligibility

While there has been guidance and financial support provided at the federal level, most policies regarding social distancing, essential businesses and stay at home orders have been carried out at the state and local levels. Thus, policies that impact our ability to go recreational fishing and recreational fishing businesses vary from state to state. The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) has put together a useful list which allows you to review the COVID-19 mitigation rules by each state at

Specifically as it relates to local retailers, Joe Sills of Fishing Tackle Retailer magazine released the following which may also be of interest to local tackle shops affected by the COVID-19 crisis looking for small business loan information.

The $2 trillion CARES Act was passed on Friday, March 27. It includes an up to $1,200 individual check for many Americans. However, those on social security or government disability benefits that do not typically require an income tax return must file one in order to qualify. Checks are expected to begin going out by April 17.

The Small Business Administration is offering forgivable loans funded by the CARES Act, the most prominent of which is the Paycheck Protection Program Loan Guarantee. This program backs loans from local banks with SBA funding and is available to small businesses with under 500 employees, along with a few businesses with less than 1,500 employees. Self-employed, freelance and gig economy workers can also apply for these loans. The maximum amount available is $10 million, or 2.5 times the average monthly payroll cost. Interest rates are capped at 0.5% and payments are deferred for six months. Loans under this program are forgiven if spent on payroll costs, rent, utilities or group health insurance premiums and some other healthcare costs. In order for the loan to be forgiven, a business must maintain the same average number of employees on payroll for two months. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce offers an online checklist to help determine if your business qualifies. Apply at:

Other loans are still available via the Small Business Administration. For the first time in history, a pandemic has been defined as a disaster. That qualifies businesses for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2M with an interest rate of 3.75% (2.75% for nonprofits). EIDL Loans can be approved based on your credit score, and loans below $200,000 can be approved without personal guarantees. These loans also include a $10,000 emergency grant cash advance that can be forgiven if spent on payroll, supply chain disruption costs, mortgage or rent payments or obligations that cannot be met due to loss of revenue. The first payment of each EIDL loan is deferred for 12 months. The CARES Act includes $10 billion for these loans. Apply at