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Fishery businesses severely hurt by COVID to get help from DNREC

Wes Townsend

Delaware saltwater fishery businesses hurt by severe pandemic-related revenue declines in 2020 can get some help.

Fishery-related businesses with a greater than 35% decline in net revenue because of COVID in 2020 can apply to DNREC for financial relief through March 17.

Delaware was awarded almost $3 million from the 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act to provide aid to fishery-related businesses. The minimum award will be $100.

Businesses that can apply for these funds include commercial fishing, shellfish aquaculture, for-hire recreational fishing, seafood dealers, and seafood processors - as well as shops where 75% of revenue comes from the sale of saltwater bait and tackle

Eligible businesses can apply to DNREC by completing an affidavit.

John Clark, the fishery section administrator for the Division of Fish and Wildlife, says the applicants have to self-certify their net revenue decline.

"The business is certifying us that they meet the criteria that they've lost greater than 35% of the revenue during the impact period which was March 1 to December 31, 2020 and then we will review them and if accepted they will receive relief funds," said Clark.

This isn’t the first time these businesses have been able to receive help according to Clark.

"With the original CARES Act back in 2020 they had access to things like the paycheck protection program if they had employees. They had some of those other small business programs that got up and running much faster," said Clark.

The net decline of 35% is compared to the business’s average annual net revenue during 2015 through 2019.

For those in business less than five years, but in business for at least one, it would be the average of their years in operation.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.