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Financial assistance in the way of low interest loans is now available to eligible fishermen. Here, Provincetown Harbor. Photo by Jane Booth.
Last week the Small Business Association (SBA) approved Governor Deval Patrick's September 5, 2013 request for an economic disaster declaration for local fishermen and associated industries. The declaration makes those affected by catch limits and dwindling groundstock eligible for subsidized loans through the government.
The Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) will be made available to those affected by the fishery failure and may be used to help those fishermen and associated businesses meet financial obligations that could have been met should the disaster not have occurred.
In September 2012, the United States Department of Commerce declared a commercial fishery failure for the Northeast under declaration #13813. The declaration became effective on November 1, 2013 for the incident period May 1, 2013 through April 30, 2014.
Those with fisheries-related small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses and non-profits in Barnstable County and Plymouth County, as well as other counties in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, will be eligible for loans.
Loans are available for up to $2 million based on eligibility. Businesses need not have suffered property damage, according to the SBA website. Loans are made to cover actual economic injury. EIDLs are made available only to those who cannot acquire financial assistance elsewhere. The deadline to file an application with the SBA is August 1, 2014. Apply online here.
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