On Friday, the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development announced that the COVID-19 small business grants program was being expanded. Starting Aug. 6, commercial fishermen across Alaska can apply for grants worth between $5,000 and $100,000. Before that date, fishermen were ineligible for help as they typically don’t have business licenses. Many in Alaska’s fishing industry need the assistance. Robert Venables, the executive director of Southeast Conference, said fishermen across the region had been reporting poor returns. “This year it’s been a perfect storm, the slump has continued. The catch is even worse than last year, by far,” Venables said. >click to read< 13:56