COVID-19 Resources for NH's Fishing/Seafood Industry

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NH Sea Grant has compiled links and resources for this page, with key input from local fishermen and from New Hampshire business support agencies, as well as the National Sea Grant Network. NH Sea Grant does not have the knowledge or capacity to assist with specific cases for each section below. Please use the contacts in the resource list to seek out guidance of that type.

We will be adding additional resources to this site for seafood producers and for-hire recreational fishing businesses in additional ways over the coming days. Let us know what you think of the content on this page, and how we can help the NH fishing and seafood community, by filling out our brief feedback survey[Page last updated August 12, 2020 at 2 p.m.]

Financial Assistance Icon, clicking here brings you down the page to the financial assistance sectionHealth and Well-being Icon, clicking here brings you down the page to the health and well-being sectionDirect Seafood Sales Icon, clicking here brings you to the Direct Seafood Sales pageLocal Seafood Finder Icon, clicking here brings you to the Local Seafood Finder map

 


 

Icon of a dollar sign inside a blue circleFederal Financial Assistance Opportunities

There are many federal and state opportunities designed to provide economic assistance to seafood producers and for-hire recreational fishing businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis. This section is intended to help commercial fishermen, seafood producers, and for-hire recreational fishermen identify the most relevant opportunities to them, and to provide a list of organizations that can offer guidance and assistance with applications. This is not a complete list of opportunities but the ones that appear to be the highest priority.

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Programs

The National Sea Grant Law Center prepared this CARES Act Tip Sheet for Self-Employed Individuals » 

The tip sheet linked above document was prepared on April 23, 2020. Guidance regarding financial relief for the impacts of COVID-19 is rapidly changing. Please check appropriate state and federal websites frequently for the most updated information.

The tip sheet will answer questions like: I’m a self-employed individual who has lost business due to the COVID-19 pandemic. What relief programs are available to me under the CARES Act?

Self-employed individuals are eligible to apply for three relief programs under the CARES Act: the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL), and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).

  • The PPP is a forgivable loan meant to cover 8 weeks of payroll and other allowable business expenses.
  • EIDL provides low interest loans to small businesses affected by COVID-19.
  • PUA provides unemployment assistance beyond standard state benefits.

UPDATE (June 17, 2020) — The SBA resumed accepting applications for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)-COVID-19 related assistance program (including EIDL Advances) from all eligible small businesses on June 15, 2020. For more information and to apply, click here.

In response to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in the United States, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. The federal Small Business Administration (SBA)’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. The loan advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid.  $10,000 cannot be used to pay a 1099 employee and the monies must be spent on business expenses from February 2020 until June 2020 for it to be categorized with a NO repayment provision. 

UPDATE (August 12, 2020) — NH Fish and Game will disperse funding for marine commercial fishing businesses, marine charter/for-hire fishing businesses, marine aquaculture businesses, seafood wholesale dealers and processors, and tribes in New Hampshire. Eligible applicants for these funds via NH Fish and Game must be residents of New Hampshire (no minors). Currently, New Hampshire is drafting the spend plan to be approved by NOAA Fisheries and is not yet ready to accept applications. For more information about the dispersal of these funds by NH Fish and Game, click here.

All “Fishery Participants” affected by COVID-19 that suffered (1) a greater than 35% economic revenue loss as compared to prior 5-yr average revenue or (2) a negative impact to subsistence, cultural or ceremonial fisheries are eligible for this program. Fishery Participants are tribes, persons, fishing communities, and aquaculture businesses not eligible for the USDA Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program, processors or other fishery related businesses. $300 million from the federal CARES Act is available for the entire nation (not just the region or state). The funds will remain available until September 30, 2021.

NOAA Fisheries will allocate funds to its partners—the interstate marine fisheries commissions, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands—to disburse funds to address direct or indirect fishery-related losses as well as subsistence, cultural, or ceremonial impacts related to COVID-19. The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s Marine Division will be working through the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) to finalize the New Hampshire CARES Act fisheries/seafood relief spend plan to be submitted to NOAA Fisheries. $2,732,492 has been allocated to New Hampshire. 

Update (August 8, 2020) — The Paycheck Protection Program has closed as of August 8, 2020. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is no longer accepting PPP loan applications from participating lenders.

Update (July 6, 2020) — The Paycheck Protection Program resumed accepting applications July 6, 2020, at 9:00 AM EDT in response to President signing the program's extension legislation. The new deadline to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program loan is August 8, 2020. Full details available at sba.gov, click here. 

Update (June 17, 2020) — Paycheck Protection Program loan applications are available following the passage of the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act. Borrowers may now chose to use the original 8-week covered period (for loans made prior to June 5, 2020), OR borrowers may hose an extended 24-week covered period. For more information and to apply, click here.

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. The federal Small Business Administration (SBA) will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. The deadline for loan applications has been extended until August 8, 2020 (previous deadline was June 30, 2020).

Payment on filing an IRS return for either 2018 or 2019, but the IRS filing of a return is required (exempted if you're on social security). Those filing a single person return are eligible for up to $1,200 and if filing jointly with your spouse are eligible for up to $2,400 and $500 for any dependents claimed on the return. 

Update: Individual Stimulus Checks have been mailed to your permanent address or directly deposited into your bank account (if you chose direct deposit for your most recent tax return).

 

Icon of a dollar sign inside a blue circleState Financial Assistance Opportunities (New Hampshire)
 

UPDATE (August 12, 2020) — NH Fish and Game will disperse funding for marine commercial fishing businesses, marine charter/for-hire fishing businesses, marine aquaculture businesses, seafood wholesale dealers and processors, and tribes in New Hampshire. Eligible applicants for these funds via NH Fish and Game must be residents of New Hampshire (no minors). Currently, New Hampshire is drafting the spend plan to be approved by NOAA Fisheries and is not yet ready to accept applications. For more information about the dispersal of these funds by NH Fish and Game, click here.

All “Fishery Participants” affected by COVID-19 that suffered (1) a greater than 35% economic revenue loss as compared to prior 5-yr average revenue or (2) a negative impact to subsistence, cultural or ceremonial fisheries are eligible for this program. Fishery Participants are tribes, persons, fishing communities, and aquaculture businesses not eligible for the USDA Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program, processors or other fishery related businesses. $300 million from the federal CARES Act is available for the entire nation (not just the region or state). The funds will remain available until September 30, 2021.

NOAA Fisheries will allocate funds to its partners—the interstate marine fisheries commissions, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands—to disburse funds to address direct or indirect fishery-related losses as well as subsistence, cultural, or ceremonial impacts related to COVID-19. The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s Marine Division will be working through the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) to finalize the New Hampshire CARES Act fisheries/seafood relief spend plan to be submitted to NOAA Fisheries. $2,732,492 has been allocated to New Hampshire. 

The State of New Hampshire's Unemployment Benefits are processed through NHWorks. All NHWorks offices are closed to the public due to COVID-19. All claims and questions should be directed to nhes.nh.gov or by calling the Unemployment Assistance Hotline at (603) 271-7700.

Because of the COVID-19 crisis, unemployment compensation is available to 1099 employees (crew) where it has NOT been available in the past. The State of New Hampshire's Unemployment Office is experiencing a high volume of requests at the moment, so be persistent if you plan on filing a claim.


To file a claim, visit: https://wfc.nhes.nh.gov/auth/sso/login?execution=e2s1


If you are self-employed and have filed for unemployment benefits:

1. In order to process and complete your claim for unemployment, you will need to provide your wage information. Click on the following links:

2. You will receive a Denial Message that you may ignore. Your unemployment claim requires time to process as a result of you being self-employed.

3. You will receive a second decision once your wages have been entered.

On June 25th, Governor Sununu announced a new relief effort for the self-employed called SELF, the Self-Employment Livelihood Fund. 

Important Dates & Application Details:

  • Application period: July 6, 2020 – July 17, 2020
  • Applications can only be submitted using only the NH Department of Revenue Administration (DRA) web portal. The application portal opens on July 6. No hand-delivered or mailed paper copies will be accepted.
  • Deadline to file a completed application: July 17, 2020 (by 4:00 p.m.)

To be eligible, self-employed businesses must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Be located in NH
  • The owner(s) must be the only employee
  • The business must be for-profit
  • The business can't be permanently closed, not including those that temporarily closed due to COVID-19
  • The business can't currently be in bankruptcy
  • The business must have had gross receipts in 2019 of less than $1 million

The Self-Employed Livelihood Fund grant award amounts will be calculated similarly to the Main Street Relief Fund, with the maximum award amount a business can receive is $50,000.

The State of New Hampshire is not directing businesses on how to spend the money. Businesses must demonstrate they have experienced or anticipate they will experience a financial loss due to COVID-19 in order to qualify for a Self-Employed Livelihood Fund Grant. It is expected that businesses will use the funds to assist in covering their operational costs and legal obligations.

For more information: www.goferr.nh.gov/covid-expenditures/new-hampshire-self-employed-livelihood-fund-self

Individuals unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable to work due to COVID-19 can receive a $600 weekly supplement to state unemployment benefits. Applications must be submitted through state unemployment offices, but in New Hampshire there is nothing you need to do to access these new benefits other than continue to file your weekly claims.

Update from nhes.nh.gov (April 7, 2020) — The Federal CARES Act was enacted Friday, March 27th. This includes an additional $600 per week for all individuals filing in New Hampshire until July 31st. It also provides an additional 13 weeks of eligibility on top of the existing 26 weeks. NHES expects these new benefits to be available very soon and has been working around the clock to implement as quickly as possible. Please continue to file your claims and check this website for updated information. There is nothing you need to do to access these new benefits other than continue to file your weekly claims.

See details in the previous 'NH Unemployment' tab for information about processing unemployment claims in NH.

 

Icon of a dollar sign inside a blue circleGetting Help – Financial Assistance

The following individuals and organizations may be able to provide assistance with questions about federal and state financial assistance opportunities. All of these organizations are extremely busy right now, so be patient and expect delays – in many cases, email might be the best way to make contact: 

Contacts

Webinars

  • SBA Economic Resources for COVID-19
    The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is hosting daily webinars about SBA programs in response to COVID-19 and the CARES Act. Webinar links »
     
  • CARES Act 101 for Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Seafood Businesses
    National Sea Grant Law Center information for industry. Three part series: Part 1 on April 18, Part 2 on April 22, and Part 3 on May 7.
    Part 1 - Webinar recording » 
    Part 1 - Read webinar Q&A » 

    Part 2 - Webinar recording »
    Part 2 - Read webinar Q&A » 
    Part 3 - Webinar recording »

     
  • COVID-19 Financial Aid Webinar for Fishermen, Crew, and Harvesters
    Maine Coast Fishermen's Association webinar covering the Payroll Protection Program, Economic Injury Diaster Advance Loan, and Unemployment (note: some webinar content is Maine specific). Webinar recording »
     
  • What the CARES Act means for you and your business?
    NH Business Review’s webinar was aimed at helping business owners understand the opportunities and benefits this unprecedented legislation provides for businesses. Webinar recording » (You must 'Register' for the webinar in order to view the recording. Make sure to 'check the box' next to the fine print after you enter your name/email.) 
     
  • LocalCatch.org webinars
    Recordings of two helpful webinars hosted by LocalCatch.org. "Resources for the fishing industry during COVID-19" and "Local Catch Network Open Forum." Webinar recordings »

 


 

Getting Help – NH Seacoast

Connections for Health Integrated Health Services – Supported by the NH Department of Health and Human Services

Connections for Health is already engaged in a number of actions to support NH's response to COVID-19 and its impacts. Their webpage is intended to be a source for timely and accurate information on matters related to COVID-19, the emerging science, Federal and State responses, and the collective actions we are all taking in the Seacoast Region to support each other to face this challenge together. Visit website » 


Seacoast Mental Health Center

Seacoast Mental Health Center provides comprehensive mental health services to children, adolescents, adults and their families. Consultation and educational services are also available to community organizations and businesses. Visit website »

 


icon of a fish cartoon in an orange backgroundDirect Seafood Sales Guidance

As many members of NH's seafood industry shift to a direct sales model (off-the-boat and dockside pick-up and/or home delivery/drop-off), NH Sea Grant has compiled information and resources to help support the health and safety of industry members and local seafood consumers during the COVID-19 crisis. PDF guidance documents are available to download/print for your vessel and crew. Access Direct Seafood Sales guidance here » 


icon of a map location cartoon on a gray backgroundLocal Seafood Finder in NH

Where can you buy local seafood in NH right now? Use NH Sea Grant and UNH Extension's Local Seafood Finder and interactive map! Access available product details, addresses, contact information, and COVID-19 safety precautions being exercised by NH's fishing and aquaculture community at storefronts, home delivery, and off-the-boat sales. View NH's Local Seafood Finder here » 


Feedback Survey

Let us know what you think of the content on this page, and how NH Sea Grant can assist the NH fishing and seafood community during this challenging time. Your input will guide future updates and content that are relevant to your needs. The survey is very short and should only take a few minutes of your time. Thank you!

Submit Your Feedback


Sea Grant logo in black 

The National Sea Grant Office has a new Seafood Industry Resources page with even more information. Visit website »