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NOAA opens up nearly $200 million in loans for six Western Alaska nonprofits

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Courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The CDQ program is made up of six nonprofit corporations that are tasked with supporting economic development and wellbeing in communities on the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands through fisheries revenues.

Six Western Alaska nonprofits can now apply for a slice of nearly $200 million in federal loans to pay for fishing vessels, quota and other industry expenses to support economic development in their region.

The long-term loans are from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and are exclusively available to the Western Alaska Community Development Quota Program. The CDQ program is made up of six nonprofit groups that are tasked with supporting economic development and wellbeing in communities on the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands through fisheries revenues.

“This particular loan program was kind of a follow up to the general concept of the CDQ program,” said NOAA fisheries management specialist Stephanie Warpinski. “This is another opportunity for long-term direct loans for the CDQ groups to use to assist villages with economic development.”

Together, the six CDQ groups represent more than 65 Alaska communities, stretching from the Norton Sound down to the Aleutian Pribilof region.

Each of the groups will be able to apply for nearly $33 million in federal loans, Warpinski said. That money can be used to buy new boats, processing facilities, or cooperative rights in any of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Island fisheries. The loans can’t be used for building a new vessel or toward anything that could contribute to overfishing.

The groups have until April 25 to submit a loan application.

Any leftover funding will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis, according to Warpinski.

Groups that get a loan have 30 years to pay it back, she said.

Find more information on the federal register’s website.

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