New JEDCO financing program connects underserved commercial fisheries with access to capital – Biz New Orleans

Avondale, LA (press release) – The Jefferson Parish Economic Development Board (JEDCO) has launched a new small business financing program to support the historically underserved seafood industry. Tailored to meet the specific needs of commercial fishers and fisheries, Fisheries company support The (SEA) Fund offers loan repayment terms that match the seasonality of the seafood industry and fisheries. The program will make it easier for commercial fishers to repay their loans at the time of catch.

In Jefferson Parish, commercial fishers and businesses in the seafood industry play a vital role in the local and statewide economy, supplying the state and the United States with fish, shrimp, oysters and more. Despite the economic and cultural importance of the local fisheries industry, it remains underserved. COVID-19, Hurricane Ida, and increased access to imported seafood have had a devastating impact on the Jefferson Parish seafood community, creating significant barriers to sustainable profitability for already disadvantaged businesses. I’m here.

JEDCO is Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), managed by the Jefferson Parish Community Development Authority and established the SEA Fund. It is one of the only existing financing programs developed to provide access to capital for commercial fishers. Through the SEA Fund Program, commercial fishers and small fisheries companies operating in Jefferson Parish can borrow between $25,000 and $150,000 to purchase or improve equipment. SEA Fund loans have fair and competitive fixed interest rates. JEDCO has already funded him in four of his SEA Fund loans totaling approximately $300,000.

Unlike grants and other short-term programs, the SEA Fund is intended to be an ongoing source of funding for commercial fishers and fisheries-related businesses. This program is designed to be replicated along the Gulf region.

“Our fishermen and seafood-related business owners constitute one of the state’s most iconic industries. We are committed to providing the “The injection of resources and capital into this industry will have a catalytic impact on both our community fishermen and the many different businesses they serve and supply. We are proud to offer the SEA Fund to companies.”

“Thanks to the efforts of the Jefferson Parish Community Development Authority and JEDCO, our commercial fisheries have the opportunity to grow and thrive in Jefferson Parish,” said Jefferson Parish President Cynthia Lee Shen. “JEDCO’s innovative use of this funding could have a long-term impact on the resilience and success of the fishing industry in Jefferson Parish. We applaud you for taking a groundbreaking approach to funding an industry that doesn’t exist.”

The development of the SEA Fund is part of a larger, longer-term strategy to sustain Jefferson Parish’s fisheries. In addition to initiating the loan program, JEDCO continues to invest time and resources to restore profitability and sustainability to Jefferson Parish’s commercial fisheries. The organization secured a $100,000 technical assistance grant from. Economic development in Louisiana Further supporting seafood businesses through business retention meetings, industry partnerships, business attraction, supply chain development, marketing and events.

“Louisiana Economic Development is proud to partner with JEDCO to support the growth and sustainability of Jefferson Parish’s seafood industry,” said LED Secretary Don Pearson. “Agribusiness continues to be a strong driver of job creation and economic activity across the state. This collaboration between LED and JEDCO is a great example of state and local economic development organizations working together for the benefit of the state as a whole.”

With the technical assistance grant, JEDCO will: Coastal Community Consultingis a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization serving fishermen, fishery dependent small businesses, and their families in southeastern Louisiana. Coastal Communities Consulting (CCC) provides outreach services, SEA Fund loan support, and translation services.

“Coastal Communities Consulting (CCC) is thrilled to partner with JEDCO on this very important initiative,” said Sandy Ha Nguyen, Executive Director of CCC. “Since 2011, thousands of people have turned to our programs and I look forward to an open dialogue between our clients and JEDCO as the organization works together to create a fairer and more stable environment for commercial fisheries and fisheries industries. We are stronger when united in this effort and look forward to this exciting work with JEDCO.”

The Technical Assistant Grant is valid until June 2023.

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