On July 4, President Trump signed into law legislation passed by Congress that extends the deadline to apply for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans from June 30 to August 8. As reported here previously, commercial fishing businesses may now include crew wages in the PPP Loan application pursuant to recent changes to the program adopted by U.S. Treasury and the Small Business Administration.
On June 25, the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Department of Treasury released a rule that will allow commercial fishing businesses to account for crew member payroll when applying for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. While commercial fishing businesses have been eligible to receive PPP loans, these businesses were not able to account for crewmember wages when calculating payroll costs in applying for a PPP loan. However, this rule change allows these businesses to include crew wages in the PPP Loan application. More information about the rule change can be found here in SBA’s most recent guidance. Note: Commercial fishermen have until June 30, 2020 to apply for a PPP loan.
King County is now in modified Phase 1 of Governor Inslee’s Safe Start reopening plan, which allows for limited openings of business activities. PSVOA’s office will reopen to members and visitors on Tuesday, June 9. For the safety of our staff, access to the office will be limited to one person at a time. In addition, visitors are required to wear a mask (or other suitable face covering) to gain entry, and office visits will be limited to 30 minutes.
United Fishermen of Alaska (UFA) announced it will be hosting a free webinar for commercial fishermen with Alaska officials to explain recent updates to Mandates 10 and 17, and to conduct a question and answer session. The webinar will take place on Wednesday, May 27 at 10 a.m. AKDT (11 a.m. PDT). Registration to participate in the webinar is required. You can register here.
COVID-19 testing is currently available for the commercial fishing fleet at Fishermen’s Terminal. Testing will be available through Tuesday, June 30. Testing includes both a nasal swab (PCR) to test whether a person is positive for the coronavirus, and serology testing to determine whether a person has antibodies for the virus. A single PCR test is $280 per person; a combination PCR/serology test is $330. Discovery Health, a Seattle based medical consulting company with strong ties to the commercial fishing industry, is providing this service in collaboration with the University of Washington and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Currently, testing is available by appointment only. To schedule an appointment or to learn more, please call Discovery Health at 206.309.3507, or send an e-mail to: [email protected]. Discovery Health has plans to ramp up testing in the coming days to align with demand.
United Fishermen of Alaska (UFA) will be distributing flyers containing a “Message to the Fleet,” regarding the importance of complying with Mandate 17 and other local health mandates to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The fliers will be widely distributed throughout Alaska and will be posted at harbors, processing plants, tender vessels, and other locations. A link to the “message” can be found here
The “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Security Act” (“CARES”) included $300 mil. in direct relief payments to commercial fishermen and other seafood businesses for losses related to the COVID-19 pandemic. On May 7, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that the states of Washington and Alaska will each receive $50 mil. of the $300 mil. previously appropriated by Congress. The Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission will work with both states to develop spend plans consistent with the CARES Act and NOAA Fisheries’ guidance. For more information, you can find the Commerce Secretary’s press release here.