In an effort to help relieve expenses associated with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Washington state Department of Agriculture will make more than $2.4 million in assistance available. The funds come to the WSDA via the USDA, Agricultural Marketing Service Seafood Processors Pandemic Response and Safety Block Grant Program. The 90-day application period opened Wednesday.

Eligible expense categories to protect against COVID-19 include:

  • Implement workplace safety measures
  • Market pivots
  • Retrofit facilities for worker and consumer safety
  • Provide additional transportation options to maintain social distancing and worker and consumer safety
  • Provide worker housing
  • Provide health services

Eligible businesses include those licensed to do business in Washington state and have a:

  • 2022 Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Fish Dealer License; and/or
  • 2022 Department of Health Shucker-Packer License; and/or
  • National Marine Fisheries Service Catcher-Processor Permit or Mothership Permit.
  • Businesses must have had at least one of these licenses or permits between Jan. 27, 2020 and Dec. 30, 2021.

Businesses eligible to apply must be a first receiver of fish or shellfish delivered into or raised in the state and be in the business of changing the physical condition of the product to make it suitable for human consumption, retail sale, industrial uses, or long-term storage, including cooking, canning, smoking, salting, drying, shucking, filleting, freezing, or rendering into meal or oil. The physical change must go beyond gutting, gilling, heading, or icing.

For more information on grants available, visit WSDA's Website

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