DMR accepting grant applications for pandemic response in seafood industry

The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources will be accepting applications from seafood processors and processing vessels to recoup money spent in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The application process will run from July 1 to August 16 on the DMR website at dmr.ms.gov/SPRS. The application process will be open for 47 days.

Partnering with the Department of Agriculture, DMR will administer funds for the Seafood Processors Pandemic Response and Safety Block Grant Program. The program will help defray the expenses of preparing for, preventing exposure to and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The amount awarded to applicants will be based on industry needs and amount of funds available. Funds can cover activities associated with the following:

  • Workplace safety measures, such as personal protective equipment, sanitizer, hand washing stations, air filters, thermometers, cleaning supplies or similar items.
  • Market pivots, such as the transition to virtual/online sales costs, supplies and new signage.
  • Retrofitting facilities for worker and consumer safety.
  • Additional transportation costs incurred to maintain social distancing.
  • Additional worker housing costs incurred to maintain social distancing or to allow for quarantining of new or exposed employees.
  • Unreimbursed costs associated with providing or enabling vaccinations, testing or healthcare treatment of infected employees, including any paid leave.

Participation is limited to Mississippi residents who must have possessed a valid Mississippi resident commercial seafood processor license which must be supported by appropriate MDMR agency issued certifications, during the 2019-2020, 2020-2021 or 2021-2022 license year or other activities, such as being licensed as a processing vessel as outlined by the grant. Catfish Processors will also be considered for eligibility and will be identified in reference to Mississippi Catfish Processor Fair Practices Act State Statute § 69-7-661. Beneficiaries will be eligible for reimbursement for costs incurred between January 27, 2020, and December 31, 2021.

The following information will be needed for the application process: contact information, email address, all applicable 2019-2020, 2020-2021 or 2021-2022 fishing year license numbers, social security number or employer ID tax number, completed W-9 and applicable revenue loss information (proper documentation of expenses).

No late applications will be considered and there will be no appeals if the deadline is missed.

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