Bristol Bay watershed residents wishing to acquire limited entry fishing permits can save a lot of money by qualifying for the Bristol Bay Economic Development Corp.’s permit loan program, a cooperative effort with the Commercial Fisheries and Agriculture Bank.
BBEDC, one of six community development quota organizations established by the state of Alaska, is working cooperatively with CFAB to guarantee appropriate loans to qualified Bristol Bay drainage residents to purchase drift or set permits.
The program also will provide financial assistance in the form of interest subsidy and “sweat equity” as well as business counseling and educational opportunities to improve the permit holder’s ability to manage their business successfully.
Patience, however, will be appreciated, for as BBEDC notes, this is a new program for administrators as well as participants.
The first step for those interested is to apply for a loan with CFAB in Anchorage. If the loan is denied the resident then becomes eligible to apply for the BBEDC permit loan program. Qualifications include being a resident of one of 25 Bristol Bay watershed communities, and at least 18 years of age. Applicants must have no overdue child support payments or be delinquent in their IRS tax obligations. They must also demonstrate active participation for three years previously in the Bristol Bay drift or set net fishery for which the permit is being acquired. Approval will be based on credit worthiness that can be addressed via the permit loan program.
There are several benefits of this program over some other existing loan options.
The loan guarantees are from 25 percent to 75 percent of the permit costs.
They require 5 percent rather than 20 percent down payment. Loan terms do not exceed 15 years.
A reduction of principal is available through sweat equity, as well as an interest subsidy. BBEDC will pay CRAB on behalf of the borrower up to 4.5 percent of the original loan amount under the CFAB loan annually as an interest subsidy for the duration of the loan term, not to exceed 15 year, payable on the anniversary date of the agreement, with the annual payment not exceeding $4,000 or the total amount of the interest due, whichever is less.
More information is at www.bbedc.com