The state of Maryland is offering seafood companies another round of financial support in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Governor Larry Hogan and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced $ 3.4 million in economic relief for “commercial, rental, aquaculture and seafood processing operations with revenues in 2020 or 2021 suffered a loss of more than 35% in 2020 or 2021 due to COVID-19. “
The funds come from the Federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. The funding will support activities previously authorized under the Coronavirus Assistance, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES). It targets workers who have yet to receive aid from the $ 4.1 million Maryland distributed in 2020. The DNR says more than 1,000 applicants have received portions of $ 3 million in direct aid. An additional $ 1 million has been allocated to marketing programs for the commercial fishing, charter and aquaculture industries in Maryland.
“We are proud to continue to help the Maryland seafood industry access the help it needs so much during these difficult times,” said Governor Hogan. “Our goal is to ensure that these relief funds provide direct aid for today, but also to make Maryland’s economy more resilient by strengthening markets for the future.”
Members of the seafood industry eligible for the new funding round can apply online starting August 9, 2021 on the Maryland OneStop website. Applications will be accepted until August 27. Businesses and individuals who applied for funds in the first round of CARES do not need to reapply. “The candidates selected in the first round will receive an additional payment in the fall of 2021. The amount of this payment will depend on the number of candidates selected in the second round,” explains the MRN.
Seafood businesses, from oyster farms to boatmen, suffered from a lack of demand for restaurants in the early months of the pandemic. More recently, seafood processors have faced labor shortages, in line with a nationwide trend.
–Meg Walburn Viviano