California Fisheries Relief Funding Soon to be Available for Select Sectors Affected by COVID-19

Marine Region Webpage Link

Coastal and marine fishery participants – including licensed commercial fishermen, fish buyers, aquaculture businesses, charter boat owners and guides – who have experienced a loss of income due to the effects of COVID-19 may be eligible for federal relief funding disbursed through the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).

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Additional Commodities Eligible for Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

United States Department of Agriculture
USDA Office of Communications
press@oc.usda.gov Additional Commodities Eligible for Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Applications for New Commodities Accepted Beginning July 13  

(Washington, D.C., July 9, 2020) – Today, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced an initial list of additional commodities that have been added to the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), and that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) made other adjustments to the program based on comments received from agricultural producers and organizations and review of market data. Producers will be able to submit applications that include these commodities on Monday, July 13, 2020. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) is accepting through Aug. 28, 2020, applications for CFAP, which helps offset price declines and additional marketing costs because of the coronavirus pandemic. USDA expects additional eligible commodities to be announced in the coming weeks.  “During this time of national crisis, President Trump and USDA have stood with our farmers, ranchers, and all citizens to make sure they are taken care of,” said Secretary Perdue. “When we announced this program earlier this year, we asked for public input and received a good response. After reviewing the comments received and analyzing our USDA Market News data, we are adding new commodities, as well as making updates to the program for existing eligible commodities. This is an example of government working for the people – we asked for input and we updated the program based on the comments we received.”  

USDA collected comments and supporting data for consideration of additional commodities through June 22, 2020.  

Changes to CFAP include:
Adding the following commodities: alfalfa sprouts, anise, arugula, basil, bean sprouts, beets, blackberries, Brussels sprouts, celeriac (celery root), chives, cilantro, coconuts, collard greens, dandelion greens, greens (others not listed separately), guava, kale greens, lettuce – including Boston, green leaf, Lolla Rossa, oak leaf green, oak leaf red and red leaf – marjoram, mint, mustard, okra, oregano, parsnips, passion fruit, peas (green), pineapple, pistachios, radicchio, rosemary, sage, savory, sorrel, fresh sugarcane, Swiss chard, thyme and turnip top greens.

Expanding for seven currently eligible commodities – apples, blueberries, garlic, potatoes, raspberries, tangerines and taro – CARES Act funding for sales losses because USDA found these commodities had a 5 percent or greater price decline between mid-January and mid-April as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Originally, these commodities were only eligible for marketing adjustments.

Determining that peaches and rhubarb no longer qualify for payment under the CARES Act sales loss category.

Correcting payment rates for apples, artichokes, asparagus, blueberries, cantaloupes, cucumbers, garlic, kiwifruit, mushrooms, papaya, peaches, potatoes, raspberries, rhubarb, tangerines and taro.  

Additional details can be found in the Federal Register in the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) and Final Rule Correction and at www.farmers.gov/cfap.  

Producers have several options for applying to the CFAP program:

Using an online portal, accessible at farmers.gov/cfap, allows producers with secure USDA login credentials—known as eAuthentication—to certify eligible commodities online, digitally sign applications and submit directly to the local USDA Service Center. New commodities will be available in the system on July 13, 2020.

Completing the application form using our CFAP Application Generator and Payment Calculator found at farmers.gov/cfap. This Excel workbook allows customers to input information specific to their operation to determine estimated payments and populate the application form, which can be printed, then signed and submitted to their local USDA Service Center. An updated version with the new commodities will be available on the website on July 13, 2020.

Downloading the AD-3114 application form from farmers.gov/cfap and manually completing the form to submit to the local USDA Service Center by mail, electronically or by hand delivery to an office drop box. In some limited cases, the office may be open for in-person business by appointment. Visit farmers.gov/coronavirus/service-center-status to check the status of your local office.  

USDA Service Centers can also work with producers to complete and securely transmit digitally signed applications through two commercially available tools: Box and OneSpan. Producers who are interested in digitally signing their applications should notify their local service centers when calling to discuss the CFAP application process. You can learn more about these solutions at farmers.gov/mydocs.  

Getting Help from FSA
New customers seeking one-on-one support with the CFAP application process can call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer general assistance. This is a recommended first step before a producer engages the team at the FSA county office at their local USDA Service Center.  

All other eligibility forms, such as those related to adjusted gross income and payment information, can be downloaded from farmers.gov/cfap. For existing FSA customers, these documents are likely already on file.  

All USDA Service Centers are open for business, including some that are open to visitors to conduct business in person by appointment only. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service or any other Service Center agency should call ahead and schedule an appointment. Service Centers that are open for appointments will pre-screen visitors based on health concerns or recent travel, and visitors must adhere to social distancing guidelines. Visitors may also be required to wear a face covering during their appointment. Field work will continue with appropriate social distancing. Our program delivery staff will be in the office, and they will be working with our producers in office, by phone and using online tools. More information can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.    

Newsom Launches Website With Free Resources For Small Businesses

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Your guide to California policy and politics by Emily Hoeven

These are inauspicious times for California’s small businesses, but some help is on the way in the form of (yet another) state website.

Newsom unveiled Wednesday a new partnership between the state and some of the country’s largest corporations: a one-stop-shop website where businesses can learn about COVID-appropriate guidelines, source personal protective equipment and track down free resources from companies including Google, GoDaddy, Yelp, Slack, Salesforce, Uber, Square, UPS and Nextdoor.

The freebies include tech company give-aways like free website hosting, discounts on business products and access to possible loans. Check them out here.

Bill calls for grant funding for projects to bolster US coastal, fishing communities

By Steve Bittenbender July 1, 2020

U.S. Representatives Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-Florida) and Don Young (R-Alaska) filed a bill in Congress on Friday, 26 June, that calls for USD 3 billion (EUR 2.67 billion) in grants funding designed to restore the country’s coastal ecosystems, including fisheries.

The goal behind H.R. 7387, titled the “Shovel-Ready Restoration Grants for Coastlines and Fisheries Act of 2020,” is to fund resilience-building projects that could help coastal communities regain jobs lost to the coronavirus pandemic.

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URGENT: Payroll Protection Plan update for vessel owners

June 26, 2020 — We at Saving Seafood have been working with the Commerce Department and the White House to address a problem with the Payroll Protection Plan (PPP) that prevented vessel owners from applying, because under the IRS code they pay crew-members via 1099. We worked closely with David Frulla of Kelly Drye, David Borden of the Offshore Lobstermen’s Association, and Pamela Lafreniere of the Port of New Bedford, who all provided a great deal of technical assistance.

The issue is discussed at length on our Saving Seafood Coronavirus information portal, https://www.savingseafood.org/coronavirus/ .

The link to go directly to the PPP section is here.

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Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loans Reopen and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Available Through June 30th, 2020

Updated guidance and deadlines for the PPP issued by SBA.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Deadline: The last day for approved applications to be submitted to the SBA under the Paycheck Protection Program will be June 30th, 2020. If you are working with a lender to submit an application for the PPP program, please ensure that the approvals are submitted prior to the close of the program. No new approvals will be accepted following June 30th, 2020 and many lenders are creating earlier cutoff dates for applicants to be sure all paperwork is finalized.

Updated Guidance: SBA has issued new guidance to PPP made possible by the signing of the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (“The Flexibility Act”) on June 5th. These new rule changes cover the following provisions:

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USDA Rural Development Business and Industry (B&I) CARES Act Program Webinar

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is making available up to $1 billion in loan
guarantees to help rural businesses meet their working capital needs during the Coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, agricultural producers that are not eligible for USDA Farm Service Agency loans may receive funding under USDA Business & Industry (B&I) CARES Act Program provisions included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

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COVID updates

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An archive of resources related to COVID funding and assistance for your aquaculture business is consolidated by following the ‘COVID Updates’ tab above.

Assistance Fact Sheet and Webinar Recording: Aquaculture Farm Financial Management During the Pandemic

NOAA Sea Grant and the National Aquaculture Association collaborated to sponsor a 40-minute webinar by Dr. Carole Engle, Aquatic$, LLC, to share her experience and guidance as to how aquaculture farms and businesses can manage their finances to survive an unanticipated market collapse.  Dr. Engle also shared basic financial analytics to determine whether taking on new or additional debt in the form of loans is a wise decision.

 A recording of the April 3rd webinar entitled Aquaculture Farm Financial Management During the Pandemic is now posted for viewing or download.  Click here.

Webinar participants received an economic assistance fact sheet that included links to the Southern Regional Aquaculture Center publications that describe the analytical tools Dr. Engle reviewed.  The Economic Assistance Fact Sheet can be viewed by selecting the “Continue Reading” link.

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