Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association organizes Day of Action to make sure
state’s fishing businesses benefit from federal aid
April 24, 2020 (BRUNSWICK) – With a new round of federal funding expected to be released as early as tomorrow, Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association (MCFA) is working to ensure that as many Maine fishermen as possible get the economic relief they need to mitigate the damage to their businesses inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Local members of SCORE’s Portland office, local accounting firms, MCFA staff and other volunteers will be available on a first-come first-served basis to work directly with fishermen to prepare applications to the Pay Check Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan.
MCFA is calling for a “Day of Action” to communicate to fishermen and fishing-related businesses the urgency of applying immediately for economic support so they won’t be left out of this new round of funding. “We are thrilled to be able to offer fantastic professional support to Maine fishermen who may be hesitant to engage in this process,” said Karen Baker, MCFA’s CARES Act Navigator. “Fishermen have to act now though if they want any chance of receiving capital to help support their businesses.”
The Day of Action is a follow-up opportunity in conjunction with a webinar hosted by MCFA on Thursday, April 23, with a panel from SCORE, the Maine Small Business Development Center and Coastal Enterprises Inc. , who explained each program, eligibility guidelines and required paperwork.
“Our fishermen were left behind in the first round of funding,” said Ben Martens, MCFA executive director. “We want to do everything we can to lower the barriers for Maine’s small fishing businesses to participate in the opportunities that the CARES Act is providing and we are incredibly thankful for our volunteers who are able to lend a helping hand through this time of crisis.”
The Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association is an industry led nonprofit working to enhance the ecological and financial sustainability of Maine fisheries through advocacy, education, outreach, and collaborative research projects. MCFA provides a voice for community-based fishermen while identifying and fostering ways to restore the Gulf of Maine and sustain Maine’s historic fishing communities for future generations.