The Delaware Department of Agriculture (DDA) will be distributing $199,400 in relief funds through the USDA Seafood Processors Pandemic Response and Safety (SPRS) Block Grant Program to eligible Delaware seafood processors, dealers, and processing vessels who were financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
DDA can issue relief funds to eligible seafood processing facilities and processing vessels, including at-sea processors or dealers, who incurred expenses between January 27, 2020, and December 31, 2021.
• A processor means the owner, operator, dealer, or agent responsible for any activity that changes the physical condition of a fisheries resource suitable for human consumption, retail sale, industrial uses, or long-term storage, including cooking, canning, smoking, salting, drying, shucking, filleting, freezing, or rendering into meal or oil. Any owner, operator, dealer, or agent exclusively gutting, gilling, heading, or icing seafood without performing any of the above activities is not considered a processor.
• An at-sea processor is a vessel or other platform that floats and can be moved from one location to another, whether in State waters or water of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ), receiving fish and operating as a processor.
• A dealer is an entity that first receives fish by way of purchase and sells directly to restaurants, markets, other dealers, processors, or consumers without substantially altering the product.
Each processing facility or vessel may apply separately for funding. Processors may only apply once for each location or vessel.
The grant is intended to defray expenses associated with preparing for, preventing exposure to, and responding to COVID-19. DDA can reimburse costs associated with the following categories:
• Workplace Safety Measures: Workplace safety measures, including, but not limited to, personal protective equipment, sanitizer, hand washing stations, air filters, thermometers, cleaning supplies, or similar items.
• Market Pivots: Market pivots such as the transition to virtual/online sales costs (online platform development and fees, online marketing, credit card processing fees), supplies, and new signage.
• Retrofitting Facilities: Retrofitting facilities for worker and consumer safety (retrofitting harvester vessels for onboard vessel processing to maximize open-air activities, plexiglass, walk-up windows, heat lamps, fans, tents, propane, weights, tables, chairs).
• Transportation: Additional transportation costs incurred to maintain social distancing.
• Worker Housing: Additional worker housing costs incurred to maintain social distancing or to allow for the quarantining of new or exposed employees.
• Medical: Unreimbursed costs associated with providing or enabling vaccinations, testing, or healthcare treatment of infected employees, including any paid leave.
All applications and supporting documents must be postmarked on or before November 30, 2023, or received electronically by DDA by November 30, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. EST. Applications that are late or missing documentation will not be considered.
Applicants must complete a W-9 form online (https://esupplier.erp.delaware.gov/) before receiving payment.
The State of Delaware does not accept the federal W-9 form. Registration, updates, or changes must be made through the eSupplier portal at https://esupplier.erp.delaware.gov
Note: If you select ACH for payment, it will be deposited directly into the account you provide. This does expedite the payment process.
To register for the first time as a supplier with the State of Delaware, the New Supplier Registration Guide will help walk you through the process.
If you still have questions, visit the State of Delaware’s Division of Accounting W-9 Frequently Asked Questions.
If you signed up in the past as a supplier to receive payment, you might still need to update your information to reactivate your account.
For questions regarding Supplier Maintenance that you have not been able to answer via the links above, contact:
Delaware Division of Accounting
820 Silver Lake Blvd., Suite 200
Dover, DE 19904
Funds for this program are limited to $199,600. DDA will review all applications for completeness. Depending on the number of complete applications received and the amount requested by all eligible beneficiaries, DDA may prorate funds distributed.
With review and processing, payments will be made within 4 to 6 weeks. If you select ACH for payment when completing Delaware’s online W-9 form, the relief funds will be deposited directly into the account provided, expediting the process.