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  • 04/02/2020 9:53 AM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)
    An Update For Our Community
    As the coronavirus begins to spread more widely in our community, we’d like to share some guidance on how you can receive care if you become sick. Please know, as a leading not-for-profit hospital and healthcare provider, the health and safety of you, your family, and the community is our top priority. 


    Mild Respiratory Illness Symptoms

    Stay home and call your primary care provider or the Wentworth-Douglass
    Hospital COVID-19 Community Hotline at (603) 609-6000. The hotline is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
    Moderate Respiratory Symptoms

    Call the hotline or walk in to one of two Wentworth-Douglass Hospital Respiratory Illness Clinics for testing, evaluation and treatment. Clinic locations are:

    789 Central Avenue, Dover
    Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
    Saturday & Sunday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    10 Members Way, Dover
    Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
    Severe Respiratory Symptoms

    Call 9-1-1 or go the Emergency Department.

    Patients who are experiencing a medical emergency should always call 9-1-1.

    Non-Respiratory, Non-Emergency Concerns

    Patients with non-respiratory illnesses or injuries are encouraged to visit Wentworth-Douglass Express Care in Dover and Lee or Walk-in Prompt Care in Portsmouth.

    We are here for you. If you have any questions, please reach out to any Wentworth-Douglass Hospital service or provider or call our COVID-19 Community Hotline at (603) 609-6000.


    The Wentworth-Douglass Hospital family is incredibly grateful and humbled by the support of our community. Thank you to everyone who has donated meals or coffee, sent flowers, or donated important Personal Protective Equipment like masks, gloves, and face shields to support our staff. We appreciate the countless acts of kindness from community members and local companies during this uncertain time. Thank you for your continued support.
    Visit our website for ways you can support our COVID-19 efforts.
    This is a challenging time, but we are all in the fight against COVID-19 together.
    Visit our website for more COVID-19 updates

  • 04/01/2020 1:43 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    March 31, 2020

    Also orders a series of additional requirements to protect public health and safety in the face of COVID-19

    Governor Janet Mills today issued a series of substantial new mandates to protect public health and safety in the face of COVID-19, including a Stay Healthy at Home directive that requires people living in Maine to stay at home at all times unless for an essential job or an essential personal reason, such as obtaining food, medicine, health care, or other necessary purposes.

    The Governor also mandated a series of other new restrictions, including:

    • For essential businesses and operations that remain open, limiting the number of customers in their buildings at any one time, implementing curb-side pickup and delivery options as much as possible, and enforcing U.S. CDC-recommended physical distancing requirements for their customers and employees in and around their facilities.
    • Prohibiting the use of public transportation unless for an essential reason or job that cannot be done from home and limiting the number of people traveling in private vehicles to persons within the immediate household unless transporting for essential activities.
    • Mandating the continued termination of classroom or other in-person instruction until at least May 1, 2020.
    • Mandating that, when out of the home or when at work at an essential business, individuals shall maintain a minimum distance of six feet from other persons.

    The Executive Order takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on April 2, 2020 and will last until at least April 30, 2020. The Governor may amend, rescind, or renew this timeline at her discretion. The Governor also extended the closure of restaurants and bars statewide for dine-in customers until at least April 30, 2020 to align with today’s Executive Order.

    “We are in the midst of one of the greatest public health crises this world has seen in more than a century. This virus will continue to sicken people across our state; our cases will only grow, and more people will die. I say this to be direct, to be as honest with you as I can. Because saving lives will depend on us,” said Governor Mills. “I implore you – look to yourself, your family, your friends, your loved ones, your neighbors on the front lines, first responders and health care workers fighting the virus, those who can’t stay home; the children who live around the corner, the farmer who grows your food, the grocer and the pharmacist who sell you goods, the teachers who are missing their kids; the fisherman, the sailor, the truck driver, the janitor, the waitress at your favorite diner; these are the people you are protecting by staying home. This is who you are saving.”                

    The Governor’s Executive Order enacts the following:

    Stay Healthy at Home Directive

    Governor Mills’ “Stay Healthy at Home” Executive Order requires that Maine people remain at home unless to leave for an essential job or an essential activity. 

    Essential jobs are defined under Governor Mills’ March 24 Executive Order outlining essential businesses and operations. 

    Essential personal activities include the following with relation to an individual, their family, household members, pets, or livestock:

    1. Obtaining necessary supplies for household consumption or use, such as groceries, and supplies and equipment needed to work from home, laundry, and products needed to maintain safety, sanitation, and essential maintenance of the home or residence.
    2. Obtaining medication or medical supplies and seeking medical or behavioral health or emergency services.
    3. Providing care, including transportation, of oneself, a family member, friend, pet or livestock in another household or location for essential health and safety activities and to obtain necessary supplies and services. 
    4. Traveling to and from an educational institution for purposes of receiving meals or instructional materials for distance learning.
    5. Engaging in outdoor exercise activities, such as walking, hiking, running, or biking, but, only in compliance with the social gathering restriction in Executive Order 14 and all applicable social distancing guidance published by the U.S. and Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    6. Travel required by a law enforcement officer or court order; and
    7. Traveling to and from a federal, State, or local government building for a necessary purpose.

    Travel Restrictions

    The Order prohibits the use of public transportation unless for an essential reason or job that cannot be done from home and limits the number of people traveling in private vehicles to persons within the immediate household unless transporting for essential personal activities.

    Termination of In-Person Instruction at Schools

    Public and private schools and higher education institutions statewide have terminated in-classroom instruction in accordance with the Governor’s March 15 recommendation. The Governor today ordered that all such schools shall continue to cease classroom or other in-person instruction until at least May 1, 2020, or until further Order.

    Restricting Number of People in Essential Stores

    Governor Mills’ Executive Order restricts the number of people allowed at essential businesses at any one time, mandates that they conduct as much business as possible by curbside order and pick up or delivery to limit in-person contact, and enforce physical distancing in and around their facilities by prominently posting signs at public entrances and on the floor to notify customers to stay six-feet apart. It also requires that they disinfect the handles of every cart and basket between uses, minimize customer handling of unpurchased merchandise and offer separate operating hours for Maine people over the age of 60 and those with underlying medical conditions.

    Under the Executive order, essential stores with retail spaces of:

    • Less than 7,500 square feet limit the number of customers in the store at one time to 5. Examples of such stores include gas stations and convenience and specialty food stores.
    • More than 7,500 and less than 25,000 square feet limit the number of customers in the store at one time to 15. Examples of such stores include stand-alone pharmacies and certain hardware stores.
    • More than 25,000 and less than 50,000 square feet limit the number of customers in the store at one time to 50.  Examples of such stores include mid-sized and locally owned grocery stores. 
    • More than 50,000 and less than 75,000 square feet limit the number of customers in the store at one time to 75.  Examples of such stores include chain grocery stores.
    • More than 75,000 square feet limit the number of customers in the store at one time to 100 and install protective shields between customers and checkout clerks as soon as practicable. Examples of such stores include Lowe’s, Wal-Mart, Target and Home Depot.

    Retailers must enforce these limits and a six-foot separation between any customers waiting in lines. Any essential business which violates this Order will be subject to further on-site restrictions or closure until those violations are addressed. These new requirements adjust and mandate prior recommendations from the Governor regarding essential businesses and operations.


    The Order preempts any local ordinance or emergency order of the same subject matter that is less restrictive than or otherwise inconsistent with this Order.


    This Order shall be enforced by law enforcement as necessary and violations are a class E crime subject to up to six months in jail and a $1000 fine. In addition, compliance with Section IV of this Order may also be enforced by government officials who regulate licenses, permits or any other authorization to operate a business or occupy a building. It is the Governor’s hope that compliance will be voluntary, and that formal enforcement will not be necessary. 

    Read the full Executive Order.

  • 04/01/2020 1:20 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    Join us for our upcoming webinar

    Steps to Take in Getting Through A Financial Crisis

    Hosted by:

    New Hampshire District Offices

    Owning a small business is an exciting proposition, but it’s also getting through a financial Crisis challenging undertaking. You may be asking yourself:

    · Background to financial Crisis like the current Covid-19

    · Cash Flow is King

    · Cost of Sales, Gross Margin and Operating Expenses

    · Breakeven Sales Calculation

    · Purchasing/ Excess inventory

    · Don’t be Upside Down on Trade Accounts

    Advice from SBA staff about the agency’s guaranty loan program and available resource partner organizations such as the Small Business Development Center, Center for Women & Enterprise, SCORE, and Veteran Business Outreach Center and others can help guide you in the right direction. Join us to learn more about the programs and services available to help your small business succeed and how to access them.

    Wednesday, April 8th 3pm-4pm Est


    Join by phone

    Toll number: +1 (202) 765-1264,888869450# (Dial-in Number) Find a local number

    Conference ID: 888869450 

    Pre-registration is NOT required. For more information, please contact Miguel Moralez at or 603-225-1601.

  • 04/01/2020 1:05 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)


    The Treasury Department is supporting American workers and businesses who are impacted by the coronavirus. In February, Secretary Mnuchin was appointed to the President’s Coronavirus Task Force, where he meets daily with the Vice President and our nation’s top health officials. For the latest information from the Task Force, please visit




    In the weeks immediately after the passage of the CARES Act, Americans will see fast and direct relief in the form of Economic Impact Payments. For more information, CLICK HERE.



    The Paycheck Protection Program prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses.

    Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, and Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards.



    The CARES Act assists eligible businesses looking for payroll support to keep Americans working. For more information, CLICK HERE.

    The IRS rolled out a refundable tax credit that is 50 percent of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer whose business has been financially impacted by COVID-19. For answers to frequently asked questions, CLICK HERE.



    Guidelines and Application Procedures for Payroll Support to Air Carriers and Contractors under Division A, Title IV, Subtitle B of the CARES Act

    Procedures and Minimum Requirements for Loans to Air Carriers and Eligible Businesses and National Security Businesses under Division A, Title IV, Subtitle A of the CARES Act



    If you receive calls, emails, or other communications claiming to be from the Treasury Department and offering COVID-19 related grants or stimulus payments in exchange for personal financial information, or an advance fee, or charge of any kind, including the purchase of gift cards, please do not respond.  These are scams.  Please contact the FBI at so that the scammers can be tracked and stopped.

    Fraud involving payment of Federal taxes should be reported to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.



  • 04/01/2020 9:43 AM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources

    Following President Trump’s signing of the historic Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza and Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin today announced that the SBA and Treasury Department have initiated a robust mobilization effort of banks and other lending institutions to provide small businesses with the capital they need.

    The CARES Act establishes a new $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program. The Program will provide much-needed relief to millions of small businesses so they can sustain their businesses and keep their workers employed.

    “This unprecedented public-private partnership is going to assist small businesses with accessing capital quickly. Our goal is to position lenders as the single point-of-contact for small businesses – the application, loan processing, and disbursement of funds will all be administered at the community level,” said Administrator Carranza. “Speed is the operative word; applications for the emergency capital can begin as early as this week, with lenders using their own systems and processes to make these loans. We remain committed to supporting our nation’s more than 30 million small businesses and their employees, so that they can continue to be the fuel for our nation’s economic engine.”

    “This legislation provides small business job retention loans to provide eight weeks of payroll and certain overhead to keep workers employed,” said Secretary Mnuchin. “Treasury and the Small Business Administration expect to have this program up and running by April 3rd so that businesses can go to a participating SBA 7(a) lender, bank, or credit union, apply for a loan, and be approved on the same day.  The loans will be forgiven as long as the funds are used to keep employees on the payroll and for certain other expenses.”

    The new loan program will help small businesses with their payroll and other business operating expenses. It will provide critical capital to businesses without collateral requirements, personal guarantees, or SBA fees – all with a 100% guarantee from SBA. All loan payments will be deferred for six months. Most importantly, the SBA will forgive the portion of the loan proceeds that are used to cover the first eight weeks of payroll costs, rent, utilities, and mortgage interest.

    The Paycheck Protection Program is specifically designed to help small businesses keep their workforce employed. Visit for more information on the Paycheck Protection Program.

    Read the full press release

  • 04/01/2020 9:06 AM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)


    Dover, NH- This afternoon, during an emergency meeting of the Cooperative Alliance for Seacoast Transportation (COAST) Executive Committee, the decision was made to suspend all fixed route service, and Route 7 On Demand, effective the end of business today, March 31. The decision was not arrived at easily, but it was felt it was the only one that could be made. The suspension will remain in place until May 4 and may be extended if the pandemic conditions warrant. "Our organization is extremely saddened with the decision that had to be made, but it is the best for the safety and health of our employees and passengers," said Rad Nichols, COAST Executive Director.


    For individuals who have purchased monthly passes for the month of April, COAST staff will work with customers individually to reimburse them for their monthly pass purchase.


    COAST will continue to operate paratransit services for those individuals who qualify under the various programs of this type that COAST operates (ADA, Portsmouth Senior Transportation, Community Rides, and accessible rides for Ready Rides). New applicants for these services will continue to have their applications reviewed for eligibility as normal.


    The service day for paratransit services will be from 5:15am to 6:00pm, Monday - Friday. There will be no service on Saturdays. COAST asks that riders consider limiting their trips for only purposes deemed essential. Costs for paratransit services will use the same fare structure as typical.


    Future updates on COAST operations will be communicated through social media, DoubleMap app, on our website, and through the media.




    City of Somersworth

    Brenda Ann Breda, Executive Assistant to the

    City Manager, Robert M. Belmore

  • 03/31/2020 1:25 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    Mills Administration Takes Steps to Support Personal Care Workers, Maine Seniors in Response to COVID-19

    March 30, 2020

    Actions will accelerate benefits for personal care workers and residents who are home-bound

    Governor Mills and Commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Jeanne Lambrew announced today that the Administration is accelerating pay increases for personal care workers and expanding access to meals for older Mainers who are home-bound because of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

    Maine DHHS will accelerate MaineCare (Medicaid) rate increases that are designated to support pay raises for personal care workers, including personal support specialists, home health aides, private duty nurses, and other professionals who care for Maine’s older residents at home. Starting April 1, 2020, providers will receive rate increases that will allow them to fund pay raises for approximately 20,000 personal care workers, instead of on July 1, 2020 as previously approved by the Legislature.

    “As COVID-19 continues to impact our state, we know our older residents and those who need personal care are at particular risk,” said Governor Mills. “To ensure everyone in Maine, especially our most vulnerable residents, have the care they need, we are expediting measures to support them and the dedicated workers who care for them as this pandemic continues.”

    “It’s more important now than ever to ensure that older Mainers and those with disabilities can receive the care and nutritious meals they need at home,” said Commissioner Lambrew. “We’ll continue to act to support Maine seniors and personal care workers as Maine responds to COVID-19.”

    The Legislature previously ratified this rate increase for the next State fiscal year, but in order to support these workers and their clients in response to COVID-19, DHHS has authorized using existing funds to begin all payment rate increases in the supplemental budget early.

    The accelerated payments for personal care workers follow the Mills Administration’s earlier action to financially support Maine’s compassionate, quality long-term care providers, through an extraordinary circumstance allowance for nursing facilities announced last week.

    Additionally, Maine has received $800,000 through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to support meals for older Mainers who are home-bound, and more federal funding is expected through future allotments. This is especially important at a time when the Governor encourages all Maine to people to stay home. DHHS expects to be able to provide its local partners with this support in the coming days. Meal delivery volunteers will knock at the door of each home and then step back to ensure that the meal is received while maintaining physical distancing.

  • 03/31/2020 1:25 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    Governor Mills Signs Executive Order to Fast Track Free Online Job Training at Maine’s Community Colleges

    March 30, 2020

    Order allows for greater flexibility to train workers online for critical jobs needed to address the effects of COVID-19

    Governor Janet Mills signed an executive order allowing Maine Quality Centers (MQC) to swiftly address the changing demands in Maine’s job market due to widespread economic disruption caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Governor Mills’ order suspends certain restrictions, on an as-needed basis, on job training funds managed by the Maine Community College System’s MQC program. Suspending those restrictions, such as eligibility and employer matching funds, gives the MQC program more flexibility to rapidly provide free online training to people who have been displaced by the recent effects of COVID-19.

    “Maine’s Community Colleges have always played a critical role in providing training and skills to strengthen our workforce. With the State battling COVID-19, that work is more important than ever,” said Governor Mills. “This Executive Order provides our Community College System with the flexibility it needs to enhance their workforce development efforts and help fill vital jobs, such as those in the health care field, as quickly as possible.”

    “We are grateful the governor acted decisively so that Maine Quality Centers can get to work immediately, training people online to meet the incredible, sudden demands of our changing economic landscape,” Maine Community College System President David Daigler said. “So many people have lost their jobs because of COIVD-19. But overnight there is a huge demand for workers in certain jobs, such as medical assisting and pharmaceutical technicians. We need to give people the training and skills they need to step into those jobs as quickly as possible.”

    Maine Quality Centers is working closely with workforce training professionals at all seven of Maine’s community colleges across the state to develop and implement free online training programs. MQC is coordinating its efforts with the Department of Labor and other workforce agencies for the recruitment and screening of participants in the new online programs.

  • 03/31/2020 1:22 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    Governor Chris Sununu Announces Extension of Business Tax, Interest and Dividend Payment Deadlines

    Concord, NH - Today, Governor Chris Sununu announced that the State will be extending business tax payment deadlines to June 15 for 98% of New Hampshire small businesses. The State will also be extending interest and divident payment deadlines to June 15 for 98% of interest and dividend taxpayers.

    Additional information from the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration can be found in the DRA press release and in the DRA Technical Information Release.

  • 03/31/2020 1:19 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    New Hampshire Boosts Unemployment Benefits, Federal Government To Pay

    Concord, NH – Today, following the critical efforts and guidance of the New Hampshire Department of Employment Security, Governor Chris Sununu signed the Relief for Workers Affected by Coronavirus [CARES] Act agreement which provides New Hampshire with 100 percent funding from the U.S. Department of Labor to support benefit payments to people receiving unemployment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    "We are making every effort to provide assistance to families who are out of work during this time so that they can focus on what is most important – caring for their families and protecting their health by staying home," said Governor Sununu. "Over the past few weeks, New Hampshire's Department of Employment Security Commissioner George Copadis and Deputy Commissioner Richard Lavers have been working closely with my office and our federal partners to address some of the most pressing issues as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. By signing this agreement today on behalf of the state of New Hampshire, the U.S. Department of Labor will fund the growing number of unemployment recipients in our state and help the unemployment trust fund to remain solvent through this crisis."

    The Federal CARES Act provides the following enhancements to the benefits available under Governor Sununu's Emergency Order #5:

    • Granite Staters affected by COVID-19 currently drawing from the State's Unemployment Insurance fund will in many instances be shifted to the Federally funded Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. We are still awaiting Federal guidance on this and will provide more detail as received. All claimants will not need to take any new, additional actions, and should continue to file as they have been through the standard state mechanism.
    • For those eligible under Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, there will be an increase of the minimum weekly benefit amount from $32/week to $168/week, which includes people earning less than $15,500 during their base period.
    • An additional $600 per week to be added to an individuals weekly benefits for all weeks claimed starting this week — 100% federally funded.
    • Extends the length of time a person can receive benefits by 13 weeks, totaling 39 weeks — 100% federally funded.

    The Department of Employment Security has been hard at work in anticipation of these changes in order to be able to pay these additional benefits as soon as possible.

    Please review the department's website at WWW.NHES.NH.GOV for updates as to when to expect to start receiving these benefits. Individuals can file for benefits by going to the department's website or by calling the Unemployment Assistance hotline at (603) 271-7700.





The Falls Chamber of Commerce is a professional association of businesses in  the falls area.  We are the catalyst that facilitates business growth , prosperity, partnership and success for our members. 


Bonnie McNair, Executive Director
office hours by appointment: 472 High Street, Somersworth NH 03878



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