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Applications for pandemic relief grant to open up for seafood processors

Photo courtesy of the MSU Extension Service.

The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (MDMR) is partnering with the Mississippi Department of Agriculture (MDAC) to begin accepting applications from eligible participants of the Seafood Processors Pandemic Response and Safety Block Grant Program starting July 1.

The program is funded by pandemic assistance provided in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 and will be used to help pay the expenses for seafood processing facilities and vessels as a result of their response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The MDAC and MDMR will allocate funds based on industry needs and the total amount of available funds. Funds can cover the following:

  • Workplace safety measures, including, but not limited to, personal protective equipment, sanitizer, hand washing stations, air filters, thermometers, cleaning supplies, or similar items.
  • Market pivots, such as the transition to virtual/online sales costs (online platform development and fees, online marketing, credit card processing fees), supplies, and new signage.
  • Retrofitting facilities for worker and consumer safety (retrofitting harvester vessels for onboard vessel processing to maximize open-air activities, plexiglass, walk-up windows, heat lamps, fans, tents, propane, weights, tables, chairs).
  • Additional transportation costs incurred to maintain social distancing.
  • Additional worker housing costs incurred to maintain social distancing or to allow for quarantining of new or exposed employees.
  • Medical: unreimbursed costs associated with providing or enabling vaccinations, testing, or healthcare treatment of infected employees, including any paid leave.

Participation is only available to Mississippi resident applicants who have possessed a valid Mississippi resident commercial seafood processor license (type 16), which must be supported by appropriate MDMR agency issued certifications, between the 2019 and 2022 license years.

In order to fill an application, the contact information, email address, all applicable 2019-2020, 2020-2021 or 2021-2022 fishing year license numbers, social security number (or employer ID tax number), completed W- 9, and applicable revenue loss information must be provided.

Applications will open here between July 1 at 9 a.m. and August 16 at 11:59 p.m.

No late application submissions will be considered.

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