WSDA
Seafood Processors Pandemic Response and Safety (SPRS) Grant Program

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Program Overview

The Seafood Processors Pandemic Response and Safety (SPRS) Block Grant Program provide grants to support seafood processors, including at-sea processing vessels, to respond to coronavirus, including for measures to protect workers against COVID-19.

WSDA will award grants to eligible businesses to provide relief to seafood processors who incurred costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Grant Amount: Grants amounts are variable depending on impact and the quantity of applications.

NEED SUPPORT? 
If you need help with this online application, please email us at forward-support@forwardplatform.com
 or call us at (855) 582-FWRD (3973). The hours for the support line are as follows: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM Monday-Friday.

General Timeline

  • June 15th – December 1st: Open application period. The application portal will remain open for a period of 90 days. All applications will be reviewed after the close of the application period.

  • Early December: Notification of grant awards.

  • Late December: Funds will be dispersed to successful grantees.

Eligibility Requirements

The applicant must meet the following requirements:

  • Hold an Active Department of Health shucker-packer license, and held a D.O.H. shucker-packer license during the eligibility period (January 27, 2020- December 30, 2021)

  • Hold an active 2022 WDFW Fish Dealer License, and held an active Fish Dealer License during the eligibility period (January 27, 2020- December 30, 2021)

  • Hold an active NMFS Catcher-Processor Permit or Mothership Permit, and held active NMFS Catcher-Processor Permit or Mothership Permit during the eligibility period (January 27, 2020- December 30, 2021)

Defining Processor/Dealer

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.

Means 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.

Means 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.

Required Documents

Application information to have ready:

You can store documents in your profile so that you can easily find them to include in your applications. These file formats are supported: .doc, .docx, .gif, .jpeg, .jpg, .pdf, .png, .xls, and .xlsx

Frequently Asked Questions

General

These grants are intended to support Washington Seafood Processors. Washington’s Seafood Processors were significantly impacted when COVID-19 safety protocols mandated by Washington state.

The portal will be open for 90 days. It will open on June 15th and close on December 1st at 11:59 PM PDT.

No. All applicants who meet eligibility requirements and apply between June 15th and December 1st at 11:59 PM PDT, will be considered.

WSDA is distributing funds from the USDA Seafood Processors Pandemic Response and Safety Block Grant Program. Washington state was awarded $2,426,509 to distribute to Seafood Processors impacted by COVID-19 pandemic.

Application

You will need to register for a FORWARD account to start the application process online. 

Watch tutorial on how to create a FORWARD account here.

Yes. Please contact Forward Support directly: forward-support@forwardplatform.com or (855) 582-FWRD (3973)

A UBI number is a nine-digit number that registers you with several state agencies and allows you to do business in Washington State. A state-issued UBI number is sometimes called a tax registration number, a business registration number, or a business license number. You are required to enter a UBI number unless you are a tribal-member-owned business operating on a reservation and licensed or registered with a federally recognized tribe in Washington State.

If you have applied for a UBI# but haven’t received it yet from the State of Washington, please enter “UBI application in process” to respond to the UBI# question.

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number (TIN) and is used to identify a business entity. Generally, businesses need an EIN. Like a Social Security number, the EIN number is nine digits long and assigned by the federal government. The IRS uses the number to identify taxpayers who are required to file various business tax returns if you do not have an EIN because you are a sole proprietor, type “111111111” as you are not required to provide your security number in this application.

Yes. You will receive an email confirmation from forward-notification@forwardplatform.com once your application is received. Check your spam/junk folder if you do not receive an email shortly after submitting your application.

No. However, if you do need to correct an error, please contact forward-support@forwardplatform.com and our team can work with you to provide additional and correct information to your application.

Logistics and Portal

This provides the opportunity for all applicants the chance to participate in an equitable way. This is not a first come first serve application process. It takes time to process all of the applications fairly, distribute payments, collect the required documentation for 1099 tax forms, and complete required reporting in accordance with Washington state law.

The FORWARD Technical Support will be provided by phone and/or email to any applicants with questions related to the FORWARD platform where the WSDA Seafood Processors Pandemic Response and Safety (SPRS) Grant Program online application is housed. For technical support, call (855) 582-FWRD (3973) or email forward-support@forwardplatform.com. The hours for the support line are as follows: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM Monday-Friday.

Washington State Department of Agriculture has partnered with FORWARD to manage the application process and distribute awards. FORWARD is a Washington state technology company that powers the FORWARD application portal. FORWARD offers application services for programs such as this nationwide.

Grant Awards

The grant funds will be vary depending on the amount of applications received and impact of each business will be weighted accordingly.

You will receive an email from forward-notification@forwardplatform.com notifying you if you have been awarded a grant and included in the email will be “Next Steps”.

FORWARD will email you to request additional required information if you are awarded a grant. You will need to provide a signed award letter and a completed and signed ACH form that includes your bank account and routing number. We will provide you with both documents if awarded.

Grants are considered taxable income at this point in time; however, businesses should contact an accountant or tax attorney to be advised on any federal tax obligations.

No, the grant does not need to be repaid, but all taxes associated with the acceptance and use of the cash awards are the sole responsibility of the grantee.

There will be no reporting requirement. However, each awardee will be required to sign an agreement and complete bank wire instructions to receive the funding if and when awarded. The agreement will re-certify the self-attest statements you made on the application, along with other provisions regarding the program and what documents the business should retain.

This grant is to be used to provide relief for seafood processors and processing vessels for expenses associated with responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible expense categories include:

  • Implement workplace safety measures to protect workers against COVID-19

  • Market pivots to protect workers against COVID-19

  • Retrofit facilities for worker and consumer safety to protect against COVID-19

  • Provide additional transportation options to maintain social distancing and worker and consumer safety to protect against COVID-19

  • Provide worker housing that protects workers against COVID-19

  • Provide health services to protect workers against COVID-19

Costs that have been previously reimbursed by other funders, including prior state, federal or private grant programs, are not eligible to be reimbursed by this program’s grant funding. Other ineligible expenses include lobbying, salary increases, bonuses, and/or personal expenses.

Once all submissions are reviewed, awardees will be notified via email to take next steps in the granting process by early October. An Awardee will be asked to sign a grant agreement and provide their bank information. Once both the grant agreement is signed and their banking information is verified, grant awardees can expect to receive payment via direct deposit within a few business days.

WSDA’s partner, FORWARD, will be using a direct bank transfer of funds referred to as an ACH. Knowing your correct business bank account and routing number for your bank branch is critical to successfully obtaining funds.

There may be additional small business funding provided through federal or state government action. If additional grant funding becomes available through the Department of Agriculture, the information will be updated on the Department’s website. Please visit COVID-19 Business Resources for Washington State to learn more.

FORWARD Online Application Tutorials

FORWARD Online Application Tutorials

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How to Apply

Washington State Department of Agriculture has partnered with FORWARD to manage the application process and distribute awards.

To access the online application form, you will need to set up an account in FORWARD.

On the login page, click on the link to “Create business, non-profit, or landlord account.” You will be prompted to register for an account, the prompt will ask for your Business/Organization name and email address.

FORWARD will send an email to your email account that you used to create an account to set a secure password. After you set your password, login and start the application process. Please check your SPAM/Junk folder if you don’t receive the email.

Signing up with FORWARD is free. It is required to submit an application for the WSDA Seafood Processors Pandemic Response and Safety (SPRS) Grant Program.

When you logged in to your profile, you’ll be on the Programs homepage tab. 

Click on the “WSDA Seafood Processors Pandemic Response and Safety (SPRS) Grant Program” card for details about the program or click the “Apply” button to start the application process.

Fill out the necessary sections and answer questions. Please note that some of the sections are required while others may be optional.

Click on the edit button in each section to fill out your information.

Once you’ve submitted your application, you’ll receive a confirmation email from forward-notification@forwardplatform.com to the email address you used to sign up with FORWARD.

We recommend using Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Apple Safari as browsers.

Please note: Communications about the application and award will come by email from forward-notification@forwardplatform.com. Please make sure to check your spam/junk folders as the award emails will come from FORWARD on behalf of the Washington State Department of Agriculture. 

FORWARD is administering the Seafood Processors Pandemic Response and Safety (SPRS) Grant Program on behalf of the Washington State Department of Agriculture. 


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