Thursday, February 25, 2021

ADFG Update on Section 12005 CARES Act Funding

 

CARES Act Update

 

For Immediate Release: February 25, 2021

Spend Plan Approved – Section 12005 CARES Act Funding

(Anchorage, AK) – On May 7, 2020, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce announced allocations of Section 12005 CARES Act fisheries assistance funding to all costal states and territories. Alaska will receive $50 million of the $300 million available for this assistance program. The spend plan provides eligibility criteria for participants in each of the sectors, which are seafood processing, commercial harvesting, sport charter, subsistence, and aquaculture. The spending plan will allocate 100% of available funds as direct payments to fishery participants in eligible sectors. While all sectors have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, available funds will only cover a portion of the losses incurred by affected fishery participants.

On February 25th the state received approval on the state’s draft spend plan, with required changes from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) The approved spend plan is available on the Department of Fish and Game’s home page www.adfg.alaska.gov.

To receive approval from NOAA on the spend plan, the state was required to change residency requirements for commercial harvesters. The spend plan draft submitted by the State of Alaska allowed all nonresident commercial harvesters to apply to Alaska for relief if they held Alaskan permits. The state was notified by NOAA during the review process that only nonresident commercial harvesters who do not reside in a state that received a Section 12005 allocation could be eligible in Alaska.

Applications for all sectors, except subsistence, will be made available on the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission webpage on March 1st www.psmfc.org/cares-act-the-coronavirus-aid-relief-and-economic-security-act. NOAA is currently working with US Fish and Wildlife Service to identify subsistence users across Alaska. Once they have completed this task, subsistence will be come available. Completion date is unknown at this time.

For questions or inquiries related specifically to Alaska’s Sec. 12005 CARES Act Fisheries Assistance relief please email AKCares@psmfc.org or call toll-free: 1-888-517-7262. If you have the ability to email, you may receive a quicker response due to the large volume of calls anticipated to be received.

 

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ADF&G CONTACT:

Kari Winkel, (907) 465-6141, dfg.com.caresact@alaska.gov 

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Alaska Board of Game delays consideration of Southwest Alaska game proposals; Board of Fish to consider future meeting schedule changes next week

The Alaska Board of Game met today in Work Session via webconference, the first agenda item in the afternoon was rescheduling of meetings for the 2020/2021 Board of Game meeting cycle. The Board decided to delay all future in-person meetings of the Board for one year, due to COVID-19 pandemic concerns, and to move the entire cycle forward one year. 

The Board of Game was scheduled to meet January 22nd through the 29th 2021 in person in Wasilla to consider game proposals for Central and Southwest Alaska, including game management units (GMU) 9 & 10. That meeting is now postponed for one year, until January 21-28, 2022. The call for proposals will be re-released for public input. The Board of Game will hold a special teleconference meeting March 18th 2021 to address only pressing issues.

Current game proposals in GMUs 9 & 10 of interest to Aleutians East Borough residents: 

  • Proposal 25: Review the management findings for Unimak caribou and determine objectives 
  • Proposal 26: Determine customary and traditional uses of the Unimak Island caribou herd 
  • Proposal 28: Remove the resident bag limit of one brown bear every four years in Unit 9 
  • Proposals 33 through 50 propose varying solutions to nonresident harvest of Emperor geese in game management units 9, 10 & 17. 

The current Alaska Board of Game proposal book for the 2020/2021 cycle can be found here

The Joint Boards of Fish and Game Committee had met on January 19 to review options for meeting during the COVID-19 pandemic. Committee members agreed that in-person meetings are the real strength of the Board process, but in-person meetings are currently extremely problematic due to COVID-19. 

The Alaska Board of Fisheries is scheduled to consider any changes to their meeting schedule at a special meeting on January 25th at 1pm, to be livestreamed here

Board of Fish currently scheduled meetings that may be impacted: 

  • Statewide All Shellfish March 5-10, 2021 
  • Prince William Sound Finfish and Shellfish March 30-April 5, 2021 
  • Southeast and Yakutat Finfish & Shellfish April 17-29, 2021 
  • Alaska Peninsula, AI,BS & Chignik Pacific Cod October 22-23 , 2021 
  • Bristol Bay Finfish November 28-December 4, 2021 
  • Arctic / Yukon / Kuskokwim Finfish January 8-12, 2022 
  • Alaska Peninsula/Aleutian Island/Chignik Finfish February 18-23, 2022 
  • Statewide Finfish and Supplemental Issues March 11-14, 2022

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

PPP and EIDL application information IMPORTANT!

Sharing this info on behalf of SWAMC 1/12/21 Southwest Alaska! The U.S. Small Business Administration announced last Friday that the next round of Paycheck Protection Program borrowing will begin Jan. 11, but there will be a catch. Select lenders will have exclusive access to accept PPP applications for first-time borrowers on Monday, January 11 and for second-time borrowers on Wednesday, January 13 using what the SBA is calling “community financial institutions.” The SBA defines those as Community Development Financial Institutions, minority deposit institutions, certified development companies and microloan intermediaries, and Alaska has none participating in the State. The SBA has not yet announced a timeline by which other mainline financial institutions will be invited to participate, but It is assumed to be on or possibly before January 18 and both first time and second time borrowers may apply through these mainline financial institutions. As long as the PPP funds are spent to keep employee and compensations levels maintained, they can be used for other eligible expenses including lease payments, mortgage interest, worker protection costs, utilities and other business needs. IF you spend at least 60% directly on payroll costs, the loan qualifies for full loan forgiveness. The PPP Loan has a 1% interest fee and there are no payments due for the first 10 months. The EIDL Loan has a 3.75% interest rate with a 30 year term, can be forgiven in some circumstances and offers an advance grant (no payback) of $10,000.00 on receipt of a complete application. Even if you don’t qualify for the EIDL Loan, you keep the 10K with no payback. The following links will take you directly to the application rules and process for Northrim Bank, First National Bank of Alaska, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Citibank who are all ready to participate when allowed by the SBA. They all walk you through the eligibility/application process and have a FAQ link as well. Please choose your provider now and get ready for the rollout before it happens. The application process for PPP and EIDL loans will be open until March 31, but the money should go fairly fast. Please be ready! https://www.northrim.com/coronavirus/loan-relief-and-aid-programs https://www.fnbalaska.com/business-solutions/fuel-your-business/loan-relief-programs https://www.wellsfargo.com/biz/paycheck-protection-forgiveness https://about.bankofamerica.com/promo/assistance/latest-updates-from-bank-of-america-coronavirus/small-business-assistance https://online.citi.com/US/JRS/pands/detail.do?ID=paycheck-protection-program Shirley Marquardt Executive Director SouthWest Alaska Municipal Conference (SWAMC) 3300 Arctic Blvd, Suite 203 Anchorage, AK 99503 (907) 562-7380 Office (907) 538-9088

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Relief programs for fishery and other businesses

On Tuesday August 4th, 2020, Sand Point Radio KSDP General Manager Austin Roof interviewed officials regarding two COVID-19 relief programs.
At 11AM Austin had on ADFG Commissioner Doug Vincent-Lang and Deputy Commissioner Rachel Baker on the CARES Act funding for Alaska Fishery Participants. That interview can be found archived here: https://apradio.org/mp3-interview-with-commissioner-vincent-lang-and-deputy-commissioner-rachel-baker-from-the-alaska-department-of-fish-and-game/. A guidance document on the program can be found here: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/home/news/hottopics/pdfs/cares_act_guidance_062420.pdf
At 2PM Tuesday Austin interviewed Small Business Administration District Director John Veal on the Paycheck Protection Program. That interview can be found archived here: https://apradio.org/mp3-interview-with-district-director-john-veal-of-the-small-business-association-regarding-the-paycheck-protection-program/


Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Payments for 2016 Pink Salmon Fishery Disaster Delayed

By Sarah Lapidus

Kodiak Daily Mirror, seafoodnews[dot]com 11/20/19
Fishermen who were expecting payments from the 2016 Gulf of Alaska pink salmon fishery disaster relief in December will have to wait until March to receive their checks, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
Many Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission permit holder applicants misreported their crew percentages or did not list any crew at all, said Karla Bush, the Fish and Game federal fisheries coordinator.
The Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission will delay payments until after the crew member application deadline on Jan. 31.
"I know participants were expecting checks to come six to eight weeks after the Oct. 31 deadline. That's now going to be pushed back," Bush said.
The Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission is an interstate agency that helps resource agencies and the fishing industry manage fisheries resources. Member states include Alaska, California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho.
After crew members send in their applications, Fish and Game will match crew members to the permit holders they work for. Payments will be sent to permit holders and crew at the same time, Bush said.
Payments to crew will be deducted from the permit holder's total disaster payment based on the crew shares provided in the permit holder's application.
The amount each permit holder received was calculated by averaging the value of pink salmon caught in even years from 2006 to 2014, minus the value of fish caught in 2016.
However, fishermen were concerned that the payment calculation did not take into account the unique circumstances in the fishing industry.
For example, some fishermen switched from a lower volume gear type to a higher volume gear type. Others had a partial catch history instead of a full or no catch history, causing their payments to be substantially less than others who fished alongside them, according to a letter written by Rep. Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak.
To address such issues and review calculations, an appeal process was put in place. Friday was the deadline to appeal.
These payments are part of the $53.8 million approved by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in July to restore losses caused by a poor 2016 salmon season in the Gulf of Alaska. The areas receiving funds are Kodiak, Prince William Sound, Chignik, Lower Cook Inlet, South Alaska Peninsula, Southeast Alaska and Yakutat.
Fishery permit holders and crew will receive $31 million, fish processors will receive $17.7, municipalities will receive $2.4 million and $3.63 million will go to research.
The payments to municipalities will be based on losses of fish taxes, Bush said.
Calculations for municipality payments are not yet available because NOAA is working the office of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget on the approval process.
Municipalities will use the funds for specific projects related to the pink salmon fishery such as projects that support the pink salmon fishing fleet.
"The people at NOAA grants are trying to work with the office of OMB in the White House to see at what level the projects need to be approved," Bush said. "OMB wants to approve the list of projects that each municipality will put forward themselves. We know that that will cause some additional delays, so we hope those will be approved by Pacific States or NOAA grants and not have to be forwarded all the way to the highest level."
Fish and Game is also waiting on fishery tax information from the Alaska Department of Revenue as a basis to calculate the payments, Bush said.
The tax information is vital before calculating the payment amount, because the Department of Revenue does a "split between the cities and boroughs and so I would expect the city of Kodiak and the Kodiak Island Borough would be getting a share of those moneys," Bush said.
To expedite future fisheries disaster funding, Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., chairman of the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, sponsored legislation that would reform NOAA's Fishery Resource Disaster Relief program of the National Marine Fisheries Service to expedite relief for fishermen during fishery disasters.