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The ECSGA Blog

Relief for Shellfish Farmers: CFAP 2

By Bob Rheault | 09/18/2020 |

USDA announced today that it will provide an additional $14 billion for agricultural producers facing market disruptions and associated costs due to COVID-19. Unlike the first go-round of Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) funding, this time shellfish farmers are eligible for relief. Signup for CFAP 2 will begin September 21 and run through December 11, 2020. A number of questions about the CFAP 2 program have been clarified thanks to…

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Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness FAQs

By Ann Kane Rheault | 08/11/2020 |

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has published guidance to address borrower and lender questions concerning forgiveness of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, as provided for under section 1106 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), as amended by the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (Flexibility Act). Read the PPP forgiveness frequently asked questions.

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Storm Preparation Tips

By Ann Kane Rheault | 08/03/2020 |

A series of newly published fact sheets, “Tropical Storm and Hurricane Preparedness for Off-Bottom Oyster Aquaculture in the Gulf of Mexico” provide guidelines and suggested safety procedures to prepare for tropical storms and hurricanes. Florida Sea Grant, the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium and Louisiana Sea Grant created the series to help oyster farmers reduce damages related to wind, storm surge and decreased salinity from flooding. The six publications focus on…

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Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act

By Bob Rheault | 06/09/2020 |

The SBA has made several changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to give applicants greater flexibility and make the program more workable, including extending the time and clarifying some of the terms for loan forgiveness. We still have not been able to determine if seed purchases would qualify as non-payroll expenses that might be forgiven. June 8, 2020The Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with Treasury, will promptly issue rules…

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CFAP and Fisheries Disaster Funding

By Bob Rheault | 05/29/2020 |

The USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) was formally rolled out in the Federal Register last week. We have finally received guidance that shellfish aquaculture will NOT be eligible to be considered for these funds, despite language in the Federal Register suggesting that “saltwater aquaculture” would be eligible. Despite not being eligible for CFAP relief payments, the USDA has requested that we share data on pricing, sales volume and inventory.…

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Members: Get Listed on Our “Buy Shellfish” Search Page

By Ann Kane Rheault | 04/24/2020 |

As a service to our members, many of whom have been hit hard by restaurant closures, ECSGA is beefing up its Buy Shellfish page with information about growers who offer products and services direct to consumers. If you’re a member and you want to be listed, head over to the Farm Sign-Up page and fill out the form. The categories are: type of shellfish or merch (knives, t-shirts, oysters, clams,…

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Impacts of COVID-19 on U.S. Mollusk Businesses

By Bob Rheault | 04/21/2020 |

Many of our members participated in a survey last month to evaluate the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our industry. Thanks to the hard work of Jonathan van Senten and Carole Engle (who did this work without financial support!), the results are in, and it’s not pretty. The mollusk-related summaries for the 1st Quarter (March 23, 2020 to April 10, 2020) are available here:Mollusks Quarter 1 Results / Mollusks Detailed…

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Assistance For Small Businesses

By Ann Kane Rheault | 04/08/2020 |

An Update from NAA Executive Director Paul Zajicek Assistance for Small Businesses The Paycheck Protection Program prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses. Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, and Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also…

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CARES Act Update

By Bob Rheault | 03/31/2020 |

Paul Zajicek of the National Aquaculture Association shares the following: The Small Business Administration (SBA) programs keep evolving and it appears they are hearing that no one wants to assume debt with such an uncertain future. The CARES Act 7(a) lending program will go through qualified lenders and should help farmers in getting faster responses when they reach out locally, and it clearly says “these loans may be forgiven if…

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Guide to the CARES Act

By Bob Rheault | 03/29/2020 |

Staff working for Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey helpfully shared a link to a pdf entitled, Small Business’ Guide to the COVID-19 Economic Relief Package (aka the CARES Act). It includes information on Paycheck Protection Program loans, the Small Business Debt Relief Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Emergency Economic Injury Grants, Small Business Counseling, Small Business Contracting, and Small Business Tax Provisions. Small Business Administration funds that were authorized a…

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