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The ECSGA Blog

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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SBA Loans and Other News

By Bob Rheault | 03/27/2020 |

It is a little overwhelming to deal with the flood of local, regional and national news and legislation coming out. We are doing our best to digest and process and pass along what we feel is accurate and helpful to our members. It is obviously a two-way street and we need to hear from members what is going on, what you are experiencing, what programs are working for you. You…

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Coronavirus Response Bills – What Do They Mean for Your Business?

By Bob Rheault | 03/26/2020 |

On March 6, 2020 Congress passed an $8.3 billion supplemental appropriation, then a Families First Response Act on March 18, and then the CARES bill, which has passed the Senate and now heads to the House for consideration. CARES contains hundreds of pages of heavy legal jargon, and there is lots to unpack.  Thanks to the dogged work of many of our Senate allies on the Appropriations Committee (especially Collins,…

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R.I. Judge Rules Cultured Oysters Are Livestock

By Ann Kane Rheault | 12/31/2019 |

On December 26, 2019, a Rhode Island Superior Court judge upheld a local zoning board’s decision allowing oyster grower and restaurateur Perry Raso to continue using a portion of land on the salt pond where he grows his oysters to support his aquaculture operation. In making his ruling, the judge accepted that shellfish farming meets the definition of agriculture, setting a valuable precedent for those who seek to use their…

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So much good news it feels like Christmas!

By Bob Rheault | 12/13/2018 |

Many of our efforts are starting to bear fruit and it gives me great pleasure to highlight a few year-end success stories: The House and Senate have passed the Farm Bill so it now goes to the President for signing (probably today or Friday). Contained in the bill is an amendment we have been working on for years that should greatly improve the crop insurance options for aquaculture producers. Thanks to…

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FDA Responding to Comments on EU Trade Embargo

By Bob Rheault | 10/18/2018 |

The FDA reports that it is addressing the comments received in response to the March 2018 publication of the Federal Register announcement on the equivalence determination regarding the European Union food safety control system for raw bivalve molluscan shellfish, aka the EU trade embargo issue. The agency hopes to have new regulations issued in the Federal Register allowing the resumption of trade at the end of  2018 – presumably with…

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Updated Model Ordinance NSSP Guide Published

By Bob Rheault | 10/18/2018 |

The FDA has just published an updated Model Ordinance NSSP Guide, which means that all the changes that were voted on in the 2017 ISSC meeting are now official, enforceable regulations.  States should be able to exercise some discretion on certain items while industry becomes familiar with new elements, but you should try to get up to speed to avoid violations. Some of the more significant changes include: Dealers need…

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Milford Oyster Festival Shucking Contest Results

By Ann Kane Rheault | 09/04/2018 |

The results of the shucking contest held at the Milford Oyster Festival on August 18, 2018 are: First Place ($1,000 prize): Honor Allen of Hunt’s Oyster Bar in Panama City, Fla., with a final time of 153 seconds. Second Place ($500 prize): Max Dawson of Hunt’s Oyster Bar in Panama City, Fla., with a final time of 181 seconds. Third Place ($250): Patrick McMurray of Ceili Cabin, Toronto, Canada with…

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