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Originally published in Castine Patriot, April 7, 2022 and Island Ad-Vantages, April 7, 2022 and The Weekly Packet, April 7, 2022
Grant program opens to support seafood dealers and processors
Applications due April 28

Gov. Janet Mills announced the opening of a nearly $16 million grant program through her Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan to help Maine’s wholesale seafood dealers and processors recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and invest in infrastructure improvements that will make their businesses more resilient to potential future market disruptions, according to a press release.

Applications for the Maine Seafood Dealer and Processors COVID-19 Response and Resilience Program opened April 1 and will close on April 28, 2022. The Maine Technology Institute is administering the program on behalf of the Maine Department of Marine Resources.

“This program will not only help Maine wholesale seafood dealers and processors recover from the significant economic challenges of the past two years, but it will also deliver important and timely investments to support the resilience and future prosperity of Maine’s working waterfront and blue economy,” said Maine Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher.

“The program is very important to all the dealers and processors right now,” said Ron Trundy, manager of the Stonington Co-Op. “With these funds, we can better adapt our business infrastructure to handle the serious financial burden of supply chain and work force problems brought on by the pandemic.”

To be eligible for a grant, businesses must have held a wholesale seafood dealer, lobster processor, seaweed buyer, worm dealer or elver dealer license since April 1, 2020, among other requirements.

Eligible uses of the funds may include: payroll costs and expenses; rent or mortgage payments for business facilities; utilities payments; purchase of personal protective equipment required by the business; business-related equipment purchases; investments to strengthen businesses’ ability to mitigate pandemic-related market disruptions; or expenses incurred to replenish inventory or other necessary operating expenses.

For application materials and additional information, visit the program website. For more about the Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan, visit maine.gov/jobsplan.