Dubberly's Seafood (Dubberly’s), a Savannah, Georgia family-owned and operated commercial fishing business, operated a fleet of shrimp boats harvesting and selling "wild caught" Georgia shrimp. Dubberly’s needed to expand its product line and overall business since it was gradually losing market share and profits due to increased foreign competition selling "farm raised" shrimp at significantly lower costs. See website for more information.
Dubberly's initially requested SCORE counselors to provide assistance with marketing their business and preparing a business plan to help secure expansion funding.
Dubberly's decided to expand their operations from just harvesting shrimp to the processing and packaging of shrimp for both wholesale and retail outlet
SCORE counselors worked with Dubberly's staff on the development of an applicable business plan and the preparation of the USDA grant application.
On September 4, 2008, the USDA awarded a $300,000 matching grant to Dubberly's Seafood.
In addition, Dubberly's also applied for and received a $27,500 matching funds grant from the Southeastern Trade Adjustment Assistance Center (SETAAC) administered at Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia. The SETAAC grants are funded by the US Commerce Department's Economic Development Administratin and are awarded to "assist import-impacted manufacturers with business plan development and projected funding to better compete in global trade".
To date, Dubberly’s has used the matching grant funds to block freeze their excess harvest and inventory this harvest until the market price increases during the off-season. This excess inventory capability has also enabled Dubberly to pick up additional retail customers and distributors who require year-round suppliers. Dubberly’s has also been able to increase it sales margin by about 10% since it no longer has to sell its excess harvest to processing plants that pay the lowest prices for a shrimper’s harvest.
Dubberly’s has also used grant funds to better brand and market their shrimp as being “locally” harvested. The National Marine Fisheries Service states that “only about 10% of the shrimp consumed in the United States are caught in U.S. fisheries. The rest are imported, and most are grown in aquaculture”.