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Fishing businesses urged to take advantage of CARES Act

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Mike Leonard, ASA Vice President of Government Affairs: Encouraging sportfishing businesses to take advantage of the funding available as a result of the CARES Act.

The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) has reminded marine sportfishing businesses that they are eligible for relief from the $300 million recently provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The funds, allocated by the US Department of Commerce, are to be distributed by the coastal states, tribes and US territories to provide relief to coastal and marine recreational and commercial fishing interests.

“While $300 million can get spread thin pretty quickly when divided among more than 30 states, tribes and territories, it is important for coastal and marine sportfishing businesses to know that they may be eligible for these funds,” said the ASA’s Vice President of Government Affairs, Mike Leonard. “Every bit of relief funding can help businesses survive.”

Coastal states, tribes and territories have each received between $1 million to $50 million to provide relief to fishery participants, which may include direct payments. Each state must develop spend plans consistent with the CARES Act and NOAA Fisheries’ guidance. To be eligible for direct payments businesses must show economic revenue losses greater than 35%, as compared to the prior five-year average.

“The sportfishing industry is grateful to US Senate Appropriations Committee leaders Sens. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) for not only securing these funds, but also for ensuring that sportfishing businesses are eligible under the law,” said Leonard. 

“As states develop their spend plans, we urge them to recognise the eligibility of sportfishing businesses such as tackle shops, charter operators and equipment suppliers.

“The ASA is committed to working with each coastal state to help them understand the significant impacts the pandemic has had on the sportfishing industry, and to ensure that these relief funds are put to the best use to help businesses get back on their feet.”

 Interested marine sportfishing businesses should contact their state fish and wildlife agency for more information.

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