Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund (CSSF) in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba
The focus of the CSSF in Western Canada is to protect the health and safety of workers at fish and seafood process facilities so that facilities can remain open and in operation and food supply is not jeopardized. Furthermore, the CSSF will support processors as they safely and efficiently increase plant capacity to process, store, and distribute seafood products. The program also aims to help fish and seafood processors adopt processes and new marketing tactics to suit changing consumer demands in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On this page
- Goals and objectives
- Eligibility criteria
- Program funding
- Eligible and ineligible costs
- How to apply
Goals and objectives
In Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, the CSSF program will focus on the following priorities:
- worker health and safety: new equipment and activities that allow processors to address health and safety measures for workers
- plant operations: new equipment and activities that allow adaptation to product and packaging changes due to COVID-19
- market responsiveness: product development and/or adaptation, market development and market entry activities to respond to requirements and consumer demands (including viable transportation options)
- storage capacity: increased storage capacity to more effectively deal with raw material and manage inventory
Outcomes and expected results
The fund aligns with Western Economic Diversification Canada's (WD) core responsibility of economic development in Western Canada by supporting the economy and helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Specifically, the CSSF will aim to stabilize Western Canada’s seafood processing sector by helping to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the sector.
The fund will have 2 outcomes:
- seafood processing sector businesses enhance worker safety measures and are equipped to respond to recovery challenges because of the COVID-19 outbreak
- the survival of seafood processing businesses through enhanced capacity to process and distribute healthy, high quality seafood products
Eligible applicants for the CSSF are for-profit and not-for-profit entities in the fish and seafood processing sector that meet the following criteria:
- located in Alberta, Saskatchewan or Manitoba
- federally or provincially licensed fish processing facilities or registered processors of wild capture or aquaculture products
- viable businesses before the COVID-19 pandemic that plan to continue to operate or resume operations
- businesses that can demonstrate that they currently meet health and safety requirements
- not-for-profit organizations not engaged in fish and seafood processing, but whose activities support the fish, seafood and processing industry in Western Canada
Note: Financial assistance provided to not-for-profit entities (NFPs) will normally be non-repayable contributions. However, NFPs are required to demonstrate how they are supporting the fish and seafood processing industry as it relates to one or more of the eligible activities under the CSSF.
Funding for priority 1 (under Goals and Objectives, above) is is non-repayable up to $100,000 and can cover up to 100% of eligible costs. Funding for priorities 2, 3 and 4 are repayable up to $500,000 and can cover up to 75% of eligible costs.
Funding structure and eligible activities
Funding available through the CSSF is structured into 2 types of contributions: non-repayable and repayable funding assistance.
Non-repayable financial assistance
Non-repayable financial assistance is available only for priority 1.
Priority 1 is worker health and safety: new equipment and activities that allow processors to address health and safety measures for workers in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
To qualify for funding under this priority, funding requests must be targeted to equipment or products strictly required to meet health and safety requirements (and will not generate revenue for the business), or targeted to one-time investments in products and professional services to address worker health and safety due to COVID-19.
Eligible activities under priority 1 include:
- adjustments to current processes and manufacturing lines to accommodate social distancing
- HVAC modifications or upgrades
- equipment such as safety barriers (Plexiglas dividers) and handwashing stations
- non-disposable personal protective equipment such as body temperature screening/fever detection systems, washing stations, workstation dividers, full- and half-face-piece respirators, impact goggles and face shields
- N95 masks or similarly effective disposable surgical/medical face masks
- thermal scanners
- purchase and rental of portable buildings and installations/site modifications
- professional technical services (e.g. plant re-organization)
- training for workers on additional health security measures
Repayable financial assistance (unconditional)
Repayable financial assistance is available for priorities 2, 3 and 4.
Priority 2 is plant operations: new equipment and activities that allow adaptation to product and packaging changes due to COVID-19.
Eligible activities under priority 2 include:
- modernization of seafood processing or manufacturing
- rental or purchase, shipping and installation of automation equipment new to the plant
- rental or purchase and installation of additional production or packaging equipment
- equipment or technicians’ fees, travel and accommodation directly related to installation
- equipment required to retrofit or accommodate plant production lines
- other activities, other than labour, that can be demonstrated as needed as a result of the installation of the automation
Priority 3 is market responsiveness: product development and/or adaptation, market development and market entry activities to respond to requirements and consumer demands (including viable transportation options).
Eligible activities under priority 3 include:
- development or adaptation of product offerings (new products, extended shelf life)
- development and implementation of new market strategies (including market intelligence, networking, branding and promotion activities)
- development and implementation of new or adapted market entry strategies (including viable transportation options)
- development of frozen or canned retail products
- packaging and branding changes to meet new consumer demand
- professional services for market intelligence
- promotion activities, including web-based promotion
- packaging changes to meet new product safety requirements stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic
Priority 4 is storage capacity: increased storage capacity to more effectively deal with raw material and excess inventory.
Eligible activities under priority 4 include:
- live, frozen and/or processed inventory
- temporary or permanent storage solutions, such as freezers, cold storage, live storage capacity and other refrigeration technologies
- domestic and international storage solutions
Funding limits and cost sharing
Non-repayable financial assistance
For non-repayable projects, funding will be limited to a maximum of $100,000 per project. Up to 100% of the eligible project costs are eligible to be funded through the CSSF if the contribution is for costs related to incremental non-revenue generating, equipment/material associated with worker health and safety measures due to COVID-19. Up to 90% of total approved funds will be immediately advanced upon execution of contract; there will be a minimum of 10% held back to incent final reporting and survey response. Specific advance and holdback amounts will be determined based on the nature and timing of approved project activities.
Repayable financial assistance (unconditional)
For repayable projects, funding will be limited to a maximum of $500,000 per project. Up to 75% of the total eligible project costs can be shared with the applicant responsible for contributing the other 25%.
Total stacking from all government sources, including federal, provincial, territorial and municipal shall not exceed 100%.
Eligible and ineligible costs
All eligible costs are retroactive to and including the date of March 15, 2020, and must be completed by March 31, 2021.
Eligible costs are the costs directly related to the project that fall within the WD standard cost categories and respect all conditions and limitations set out in this guide and the contribution agreement if the project is approved.
While the program allows for retroactive activities and costs to be submitted, the applicant assumes the risk of not being reimbursed should:
- the application not be approved
- some activities or costs not be approved or deemed ineligible
- funding not be available
Eligible costs include:
- capital assets (with the exception of land and buildings) specifically required for the completion of the project, which are tangible assets that are purchased, constructed, developed or otherwise acquired
- contracted services, which are professional or specialized services for which a contract is entered into
- salaries and benefits directly related to completing the activities of the project
- administration costs necessary to complete the project
- travel costs directly related to the project
- other direct project costs for project-related deliverables
The costs must be eligible under the terms and conditions of the Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program, and include those costs incurred by the recipient that are reasonable and necessary for carrying out eligible activities, and required by the firm or organization to maintain operations notwithstanding the impacts of COVID-19. Eligible costs will be retroactive to March 15, 2020.
Ineligible costs include:
- labour costs other than as part of installation costs, including wage subsidies
- administration costs such as office supplies, materials, space, telecommunications, audiovisual, postage and freight
- costs associated with the Quarantine Act for isolation of temporary foreign workers
- capital items not specifically required for the execution of the project
- costs for activities that are deemed to be part of normal business practice for any recipient
- land and building acquisition
- refinancing of an existing debt
- working capital
- hospitality (for example, alcohol, meals, entertainment, gifts, etc.)
- travel *
- in-kind contributions
- legal fees
- refundable portion of the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST), value-added taxes, or other items for which a refund or rebate is received
- costs to prepare the Contribution Agreement or related schedules
- any portion of any cost that, in WD’s opinion, exceeds the fair market value for that cost item
- any cost, such as amortization, that would not result in a direct, out-of-pocket expense for the recipient
- costs being reimbursed under an existing federal, provincial or territorial program
- any other expenditure not specifically listed as eligible or otherwise approved as eligible
Definition for NAICS 3117 Seafood Product Preparation and Packaging: this industry group comprises establishments primarily engaged in canning seafood, including soup; smoking, salting and drying seafood; preparing fresh fish by removing heads, fins, scales, bones and entrails; shucking and packing fresh shellfish; processing marine fats and oils; and freezing seafood. Establishments known as floating factory ships, that are engaged in shipboard processing of seafood, are included.
Illustrative examples of activities under NAICS 3117 are:
- preparing fresh fish by removing heads, fins, scales, bones and entrails
- manufacturing fresh, chilled or frozen fish products (e.g. blocks, fillets, caviar)
- manufacturing fresh, chilled or frozen crustaceans or mollusks products (e.g. crab, shellfish)
- canning fish, crustaceans, or mollusks (e.g. shellfish, salmon)
- smoking, salting, curing, pickling or drying of fish or seafood
- shucking, cleaning and packing fresh shellfish
- processing marine fats and oils
- processing seaweed (e.g., dulse)
- manufacturing of ready-to-serve seafood products (e.g. frozen dinners, soup, chowders, broth, stew)
How to apply
For clients in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, apply now by contacting us directly at one of our regional offices by calling 1-888-338-9378.
* Travel is ineligible except for essential services, such as technicians needed for plant retrofits or adjustments.
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