ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan, in conjunction with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), yesterday announced an additional $3.4 million in economic relief funds for the state’s commercial seafood industry through the federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.The funding will support activities previously authorized under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, for those who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are proud to continue helping Maryland’s seafood industry access much-needed assistance during these difficult times,” said Governor Hogan. “Our goal is to ensure that these relief funds provide direct aid for today, but also make Maryland’s economy more resilient by strengthening markets for the future.”
Under this second round of CARES funding, direct payments will be provided to commercial, for hire, aquaculture, and seafood processing operations whose 2020 or 2021 revenue has suffered a loss of greater than 35% in 2020 or 2021 due to COVID-19. The second round of direct assistance is targeted at individuals who have not yet received aid, but have determined a loss of greater than 35% in 2020 or expect a loss of this magnitude to occur in 2021.
The assistance is in addition to the $4.1 million Maryland received and distributed in 2020. Under the first round of funding (CARES 1.0), Maryland disbursed $2.1 million in direct assistance to more than 1,000 applicants. An additional $1 million will be used for programs to strengthen fishery markets for Maryland’s commercial fishing, charter, and aquaculture industries.
The online application will be available beginning Aug. 9 to eligible members of the seafood industry on the Maryland OneStop website. The deadline to apply is August 27, 2021. Entities and individuals that have already successfully applied for CARES relief funding through the CARES 1.0 should not reapply on this round. Successful first-round applicants will receive an additional payment in fall 2021. The amount of this installment will depend on the number of successful second-round applicants.
Complete eligibility guidelines and detailed instructions are available on the DNR website.