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- On February 15, 2016
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The Fisheries Finance Program (FFP) is a direct government loan program that receives annual authorization from Congress to provide loans to the aquaculture, mariculture and commercial fisheries industries, on a long-term basis. This program finances up to 80 percent of the cost of projects that have met certain eligibility criteria.
But what projects are deemed eligible? These include aquaculture and mariculture facilities and fisheries shore side facilities. The FFP may provide financing or refinancing of projects. The program can also provide funds for the purchase or refinance of an existing fishing vessel. Reconstruction of an existing fishing vessel can also be financed by the program; as long as the reconstruction does not increase the vessel’s harvesting capacity. However, FFP funds cannot be used to build a new fishing vessel.
In order to be eligible for Fisheries Finance Program, there are certain eligibility standards that must be met. These include:
- You must be a U.S. citizen.
- You must have a good credit and earnings record, net worth and liquidity behind the project.
- Your project needs to be fully secured with your assets, which includes personal guarantees.
- You should have owned or operated the fisheries project that you are hoping to get financed for a minimum of three years. And if not, you must have at least three years’ experience owning or operating a similar project.
The long terms are as follows: the loans are long term and fixed rate. The interest rates are two percent over the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s cost of funds. The loan maturities go up to 25 years, but should not exceed the duration within which your project will be considered economically useful.
The application process for the Fisheries Finance Program varies depending on the project at hand. However, there are some things you are expected to provide for review and analysis. These include:
- A business plan for your project
- Statements of the current condition and valuation survey and a current appraisal of the vessels and facilities respectively.
- All the fishing and licensing permits owned and utilized by the project
- A list of your major customers and credit terms
- A list of your major suppliers and credit terms and limits
- If the applicant is a corporation, Limited Liability Corporation or a partnership, additional information is required. For instance a listing of all owners, shareholders and members will be necessary.
The first step is to begin the FFP loan application process, by contacting your regional Financial Services Branch and discuss your project. If your proposal is approved, you will receive an application form which you will be required to complete and submit. A one-time filing/commitment fee that is equal to half of one percent of your proposed loan amount is charged.
If the paperwork and timing associated with obtaining an FFP loan does not meet your business objectives, National Business Helpers offers business owners access to working capital in as little as 24 hours with an easy loan application and approval process. NBH has a range of financing alternatives from bad credit business loans, a business cash advance, as well as secured loans and term loans.