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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.

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Goals and objectives

In Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, the CSSF program will focus on the following priorities:

  1. worker health and safety: new equipment and activities that allow processors to address health and safety measures for workers
  2. plant operations: new equipment and activities that allow adaptation to product and packaging changes due to COVID-19
  3. market responsiveness: product development and/or adaptation, market development and market entry activities to respond to requirements and consumer demands (including viable transportation options)
  4. 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:

Eligibility criteria

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:

OR

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.

Program funding

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:

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:

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:

Priority 4 is storage capacity: increased storage capacity to more effectively deal with raw material and excess inventory.

Eligible activities under priority 4 include:

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%.

Stacking

Total stacking from all government sources, including federal, provincial, territorial and municipal shall not exceed 100%.

Eligible and ineligible costs

Eligible 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:

Eligible costs include:

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

Ineligible costs include:

Definitions

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:

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.

Footnote

* Travel is ineligible except for essential services, such as technicians needed for plant retrofits or adjustments.

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