Click HERE for a handout of links to household, health, and business assistance programs
DIRECT CASH ASSISTANCE
Housing Relief Fund from the Housing Assistance Corporation can help you pay your rent or mortgage.
Women of Fishing Families Emergency Financial Help for Fishing Families
Chatham Coronavirus Impact Fund from Monomoy Community Services & Lower Cape Outreach Council will help pay bills of Chatham residents ($800/family, $400/single).
Economic Assistance (cash benefits) from the State of Massachusetts
Save Small Business Fund - $5,000 grant for small businesses with 3-20 employees, struggling from COVID-19 (if you 1099 your crew, they don't count as employees)
Society of St. Vincent de Paul Holy Redeemer Conference Emergency Fund. First line of defense against foreclosures, evictions, utility shut offs and delinquent payments. This group provides assistance on a non-sectarian basis (you don't need to be Catholic) and need is the only requirement for assistance. If you don’t live in Chatham, you can still call them and they will put you in touch with the contact for your town. Helpline: 508-237-7983
The Shaw Fund for Mariner's Children provides short term financial assistance to children or widows of mariners OR to incapacitated mariners and their wives. Please call: 508-477-6708.
SCAM ALERT: The IRS will NOT call you to get direct deposit information for the $1,200 per taxpayer that the federal government is handing out. If you did not previously receive a tax refund via direct deposit, the IRS will MAIL that relief check to you or you can provide your direct deposit info to the IRS through their online portal.
FRAUD RISK: The Better Business Bureau is reporting that government imposters are calling about COVID-19 relief. As part of the scam, callers suggest that you might qualify for a special COVID-19 government grant and that it's necessary to first verify your identity and process your request. If you receive a call like this or texts and emails claiming that you can get your money faster by sending personal information or clicking on links, please ignore them.
View all COVID-19 Scams as reported by the U.S. Treasury
SMALL BUSINESS DISASTER ASSISTANCE
The information provided does not represent legal or financial advice but has been collected from official and expert sources. Please consult with your own banker, attorney, or accountant to confirm your eligibility and discuss the details of your particular situation.
Appropriations Notice: The federal government has re-funded the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (including EIDL Advances). If your business needs economic assistance due to COVID-19, you MUST ACT QUICKLY TO APPLY before the new funds are gone. Get your paperwork together and contact your lender.
Need business counseling or help navigating all the disaster relief options? Click HERE for the Small Business Administration's local assistance resources on Cape Cod.
Fishing Partnership Support Service Navigators can help you apply for for unemployment, SNAP benefits, loans, etc. Click HERE for contact information.
Pandemic Unemployment Benefits are now availble to fishermen if they are not fishing due to COVID-19 or are fishing but not making money. Self-employed and independent contractors can apply at Mass.gov HERE. More information and details are available HERE.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a loan to cover payroll costs for small businesses for an 8 week period. The loan will be forgiven if you keep paying your employees (or yourself, if self-employed). Captains & Crew are both eligible to apply. Click HERE for details. As of April 23, Congress added $310B to PPP. Contact your lender NOW to apply.
Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing from COVID-19. EIDL includes an emergency advance of up to $10,000 that does not have to be repaid. Click HERE for details. As of April 23, Congress added $60B to EIDL; currently only agriculture businesses can apply, including aquaculture; if you already applied, your application is being processed on a first come, first served basis.
Expanded Access to Emergency Paid Sick Leave is for companies with less than 500 employees. It should be noted that the employer must front the cost of the sick leave, but they are eligible for a reimbursement. Click HERE for how to access to emergency leave or check out the guide to FFCRA
The Covid Relief Coalition is providing free legal assistance to Mass. small businesses.
Check out the Guide to the CARES Act
If you already had a non-disaster SBA loan for your business, there are additional options:
- you can request a $25,000 express bridge loan
- current 7(a), 504, and microloans are eligible for debt relief
NATIONAL ECONOMIC RELIEF
We are pleased to be a part of the national effort that put forward 10 government actions that would help the fishing industry. Read the March 27th update HERE.
A special thanks to Senators Edward J. Markey and Elizabeth Warren and Congressman Keating for their support. Stay tuned for details on how to access relief funds.
Small Business Assistance & Resources from SCORE Cape Cod
Maintaining Emotional Health & Well-being from Mass.gov
Health & Coping Resources from Fishing Partnership Support Services
Massachusetts COVID-19 Information from the Mass. Dept. of Public Health
Instructions for Getting Tested for COVID-19 in Barnstable County
Mental Health Crisis Support -211 from Mass.gov
Buoy Health - provide guidance to check symptoms and connect with the appropriate health care resource. Buoy Health’s online 24/7 tool is free for Massachusetts residents and uses current COVID-19 guidance from the CDC and Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
MIT Sea Grant Resources for the seafood industry during COVID-19
NOAA Sea Grant Resources for the seafood industry during COVID-19- scroll to bottom for links on how to ship fresh seafood and other distribution resources.
National Fisherman Compiling Companies doing Direct-to-Consumer-Sales
If you are a fish house or commercial fisherman who is able to sell directly to the public, National Fisherman is compiling a list of businesses who can ship or are selling fish at pick up points. Submit your information HERE.
Are you staying safe during direct sales transactions? Check out these best practices from GMRI.
Read HERE to find out about how XTRATUF is connecting consumers to seafood.
NOAA Emergency Action Regarding Observer Coverage
NOAA Fisheries issued an emergency action to provide the authority to waive observer coverage. The waiver has been extended through May 30th.
Council and Committee Meetings Held Via Webinar
All New England Fishery Management Council meetings, including upcoming AP, Committee, SSC, and the April Council meeting, have been converted to webinars.
Please review the instructions on how to participate in NEFMC webinars. To participate (ask questions/make comments) you must REGISTER for the webinar, otherwise you can only listen/watch. Go to the NEFMC calendar, click on the meeting you are interested in; once on the meeting page you can then click on the orange "Register Now" link. You can also click on the "Meeting Notice" link to access the call-in information and agenda.
NOAA Fisheries is Collecting Ideas to Bolster Recovery
Fishermen and Seafood Supply Chain are "Essential Businesses"
Fishing businesses are allowed to operate during government's closure of non-essential businesses. The closure for non-essential businesses (i.e., restaurants) has been extended to May 4.
Many fishermen's businesses are being crippled by COVID-19 because of the sudden lack of consumer demand. With restaurant closures and the switch to take out only, fishermen have taken an economic hit. You can help support local fishermen by purchasing seafood from local fish markets and restaurants that are doing curbside pick up, or directly from fishermen permitted to sell directly off their boats.
Check out our curated list of local fishermen and seafood markets offering the freshest catch through local delivery, pick up, or even shipping anywhere in the country.
You can also help the national fishing community by buying any American-caught seafood when you go to the grocery store or fish market!
Not sure how to cook seafood at home?
Visit our RECIPE page to watch short videos that feature local fishermen and their catch, along with a watch and learn cooking demonstration.
Need more help? There are lots of online recipes and cooking courses. Through April, Milk Street Cooking School has a free fish course. Eating with the Ecosystem is sharing recipes at Local Seafoodies. Or check out the Walking Fish CSF Cookbook.
Be sure to share with your friends to encourage them to cook seafood at home!
Follow along on our social media pages for Stories from the Sea - a daily series highlighting the local fishermen and the working waterfronts of Cape Cod.