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  • 06/30/2020 4:07 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

  • 06/30/2020 9:55 AM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    Concord, NH - Today, Governor Chris Sununu issued Executive Order 2020-14, along with Exhibit J to Emergency Order #29 as part of the state's efforts to respond to COVID-19.

    PDF filePortable Document Format (.pdf) . Visit for a list of free .pdf readers for a variety of operating systems.

  • 06/29/2020 10:11 AM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    (Photo Courtesy Historic New England)

    Sundays in the Garden Concert Series at Hamilton House Will Go On

    South Berwick, Maine – June 2020- Historic New England will present its Sundays in the Garden Concert Series, six Sundays, July 5-August 9, 5:00-6:30 p.m., at Hamilton House.

    New this year, in response to COVID-19, the Hamilton House concert series has limited ticket capacity and all tickets must be pre-purchased online. Online tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and may sell out. All guests over the age of two must wear a face covering. Guests must maintain social distancing. All guests must sit within social distance circles that will be marking on the lawns. No ice cream or water will be sold at the concerts.

    To ensure social distancing, each concert will have a rain date. Concerts will be not be performed in rain.

    Enjoy some of the Seacoast region's most popular musical performers in one of its loveliest settings. The graceful gardens of Hamilton House, overlooking the Salmon Falls River, provide the perfect backdrop for these performances. Bring a blanket, chairs, and picnic basket for your comfort and enjoyment.


    July 5, Cellist Kristen Miller will return to the series. Miller is a one-woman ensemble. She connects her antique cello to a live digital recorder to stack layers of lush cello, spoken word and ardent singing. With a voice like Beth Gibbons (Portishead) and a layered cello sound like Zoe Keating, Kristen has created a style that Billboard writer Bobby Borg calls "romantically, hauntingly, charmingly, brilliant." Rain date Wednesday, July 8.

    July 12, Harvey Reid, nationally recognized as one of the true treasures of American acoustic music, will perform. Reid is considered to be one of the modern masters and innovators of the acoustic guitar, autoharp, and six-string banjo. With his colorful, personal, and distinctive style incorporating a vast repertoire of American contemporary and roots music, Reid brings out the best of acoustic music, from hip folk to slashing slide guitar blues to bluegrass, old-time, Celtic, ragtime, and even classical. Rain date Wednesday, July 15.


    July 19, Marjorie Senet and the Broken Home Boys will perform. Classic country twang, straight up, with a twist of heartache—Marjorie Senet and the Broken-Home Boys will take you on an emotional journey of love and loss, set to twangy, classic honky tonk/country/American roots music. Formerly of The Trashpickers, Senet released her first solo album, Suitcases and Trashbags, in September 2019, taking the number two spot on Folk New Hampshire’s "Top 10 Albums of 2019."

    On July 26, Madeleine St. Amant and Chip Harding of La Madeleine, will perform the songs of Edith Piaf, Jacques Brel, Georges Moustaki, Gilles Vigneault, and a variety of other French and French- Canadian artists. The incomparable Madeleine St. Amant sings with an unaffected warmth and passion that gets right to the heart of these timeless songs. Rain date, Wednesday, July 22.


    August 2, Joyce Andersen will perform. Andersen is a veteran musician who has enjoyed a varied 25-year career as side-gal, session player, singer-songwriter, and band leader. Her live shows and recordings showcase her versatility as a vocalist and violinist who thrives on writing and interpreting songs across many genres from old-time, rock & Americana, spirituals, folk, pop, & swing.  Her newest CD SWERVE! marks the invention of her innovative new "violin troubadour" sound. Rain date Wednesday, August 12.

    August 9, the Soggy Po Boys will perform. Born on a snowy Fat Tuesday night in 2012, the Soggy Po Boys have been honing their craft of New Orleans jazz music in their home town of Dover, N.H. The septet fits in more than a hundred shows every year, from festivals and concerts to politics-infused burlesque collaborations and street parades. The Po Boys are doing their part to spread the greatest music on earth around their home in New England and when touring throughout the rest of the country. Rain date, Sunday, August 16.


    Admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, and $5 for children over 6. Free admission to Historic New England members. Tickets can be purchased online only at  

    20 minutes from Portsmouth, Hamilton House is located at 40 Vaughan's Lane, adjacent to Vaughan Woods State Park, one mile off Route 236 in South Berwick.  For more information, please contact the South Berwick Office of Historic New England at or (207) 384-2454.


    The 2020 Sundays in the Garden Concert Series is made possibly in part by a grant from Kennebunk Savings Bank.


    Hamilton House is one of more than three dozen historic sites owned and operated by Historic New England, the oldest, largest, and most comprehensive regional heritage organization in the nation. Historic New England shares the region’s history through vast collections, publications, programs, museum properties, and family stories that document more than 400 years of life in New England.

  • 06/26/2020 3:56 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    Wage and Hour has launched a new online tool that guides workers through a series of questions to help them determine if they are eligible for paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).  As America continues to re-open, this tool stands to help employees and employers to determine who is qualified for the FFCRA protections and benefits.  I hope you will become familiar with this new tool and share with others as you deem appropriate. Here is the full link:

  • 06/26/2020 3:51 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    June 26, 2020

    Grants support Maine towns as they undertake critical work to protect Maine people and visitors from COVID-19

    Governor Janet Mills announced today that her Administration has approved almost $9 million in grant awards to nearly 100 municipalities across the state under the Keep Maine Healthy Plan to support local COVID-19 public health, education, and prevention efforts. Following the announcement of the Keep Maine Healthy Plan earlier this month, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services approved COVID-19 Prevention and Protection Plans submitted by 96 municipalities. Today, the Department began notifying municipalities of their awards. The federal funding is expected to be distributed on a reimbursement basis as communities implement these programs.

    “Towns and cities across Maine are on the frontlines of responding to COVID-19 and are well positioned to protect their residents and visitors alike,” said Governor Mills. “Maine continues to have relatively low case counts, which is a product of our collective efforts, but as we reopen the vast majority of our economy, as more people interact, and as more visitors arrive from out-of-state, the likelihood of the virus spreading also increases. These awards are a deliberate effort to help mitigate that danger by helping municipalities implement measures that will protect the health of both residents and visitors alike.”

    “We look forward to this partnership with cities and towns,” said DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew. “Continued commitment to physical distancing, face coverings and hand hygiene will keep residents and visitors safe this summer and fall.”

    The Mills Administration worked closely with the Maine Municipal Association and the Mayor’s Coalition on the creation of the municipal grants program.

    “The Maine Municipal Association is pleased to know that over 90 cities and towns will receive nearly $9 million in grants for their COVID-19 related costs to protect their citizens’ and visitors’ health and safety,” said Stephen W. Gove, Executive Director of Maine Municipal Association. “Under Governor Mills’ Keep Maine Healthy program, funding to municipalities in all regions recognizes the vital front line role they play in partnering with the state on coronavirus public health support, protection and education.  This financial support is particularly important and welcomed during our summer tourist season.” 

    More specifically, the funding incentivizes municipalities and Tribal governments to develop and implement their own COVID-19 prevention, education and protection plans by reimbursing municipal costs associated with public health education and prevention activities. These plans, for which the state is supporting up to $13 million in Coronavirus Relief Funds from the CARES Act, aim to help keep Maine people and visitors safe from COVID-19 by including one or more of the following:

    • Public education activities: This could include printing and posting of existing State or national COVID-19 prevention information and developing local educational activities that are consistent with CDC guidelines. Costs eligible for reimbursement would include staff time for planning and education activities and costs for signage, materials, website development, brochures and mailing.
    • Physical distancing and public health support: This could include fences, tape, and signage for physical distancing in public spaces and closed streets; providing staff to limit crowds in front of restaurants, bars, beaches and other sites; new traffic pattern signage and education; purchases of personal protective equipment and hand sanitizer to be made available for staff, visitors, and for use at public locations; and extra cleaning supplies and additional staff time required for enhanced cleaning and management of public spaces and restroom facilities.
    • Local business assistance: This includes staff time for a Code Enforcement Officer, Local Health Officer, or other person designated by the municipality or Tribe to be the local contact for educating local businesses on best practices.  This may include following up on public complaints and, for certain cases, reporting to State officials when there is a potential public health violation that cannot be quickly resolved through educational means. 

    The municipal programs vary in size and scope. For example, the Town of Kittery was awarded $248,906 for a comprehensive campaign to promote and support public health measures among residents, businesses and visitors, including providing additional contact-free services in public spaces such as parks, marinas and municipal buildings. The grant will support educational materials and training, sanitation supplies, and the hiring of a seasonal Code Enforcement staff to assist with inspections, response to complaints, and random compliance checks of physical distancing, occupancy, and sanitation at businesses. 

    “The Keep Maine Healthy Program will support Kittery’s efforts to help our residents, businesses and visitors stay safe through the summer and fall seasons,” said Kendra Amaral, Kittery Town Manager. “I am grateful for Governor Mills’ focus on local implementation of the guidelines that serve to protect us all.”

    The City of Bangor was awarded $157,957 to promote the “Mask Up for Me” campaign and other public health and business support efforts, including promoting outdoor dining at restaurants. 

    “We are grateful to the Governor and state officials for recognizing the tremendous work that the City of Bangor and its partners have been undertaking to educate residents and businesses on how to remain safe throughout the COVID pandemic,” said Bangor City Manager Cathy Conlow. “With over $150,000 in state grant funds, we are hopeful that our expanded efforts in educating businesses and residents will help maintain community resiliency throughout the COVID crisis.”

    The Town of Bar Harbor was awarded $127,000 for their campaign to support public health best practices including enhanced signage, public kiosks with free facial coverings and sanitizer for visitor use, and a “Parklet Program” to support efforts to bring indoor businesses outside. 

    Nina St. Germain, the Engagement Coordinator for the Town of Bar Harbor said, “The Town is pleased to receive the $127,000 award from the State of Maine. We look forward to being able to protect our local community while safely welcoming visitors to our Bar Harbor businesses.”

    These local actions will be an extension of the Maine CDC’s work to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As part of Keep Maine Healthy, the Maine CDC is overseeing this initiative. Costs associated with approved public health education and prevention activities from June 8 through October 31, 2020 will be reimbursed. DHHS is considering a second round of grant funding for municipalities and expects to release further guidance soon.

    These grant awards from the Mills Administration build on its support for municipal governments. Earlier this week, the Mills Administration also announced that it is dedicating $35 million in Coronavirus Relief Funding to help local and tribal governments and other qualified entities cover costs incurred as a result of COVID-19.

    The awards come at a time when Maine, adjusted for population, ranks 7th lowest in the nation in terms of positive cases; 9th lowest in the nation in terms of deaths; 6th lowest in terms of patients ever-hospitalized out of the 36 states reporting; and 5th highest in the percentage of people who have recovered out of the 42 states reporting.

  • 06/26/2020 3:51 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    June 26, 2020

    Standing up for Maine’s vital lobster industry and its hardworking men and women, Governor Janet Mills today urged U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross to deny a petition by Pew Charitable Trusts that would prohibit the use of vertical lines in the American lobster and Jonah crab fisheries in four areas of the New England coast.

    In a letter sent to the Commerce Secretary yesterday, Governor Mills explained that the petition, which asks for immediate year-round closures south of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket and three seasonal offshore closures in the Gulf of Maine to protect North Atlantic right whales, “not only fails to provide additional protections for right whales, but contrary to Pew’s assertions, it will also cause significant economic impact to Maine’s iconic lobster fishery.”

    Governor Mills explained that, unlike the Pew petition, a proposed regulation currently in development intended to protect right whales has benefited from broad stakeholder input. “It is my sincere hope that you will ensure that NOAA Fisheries continues to pursue development of this rule, which has been developed through the input of a diverse body, the Take Reduction Team (TRT),” stated the Governor. “The TRT includes fishermen who understand the operational realities posed by various measures and are working side by side with the conversation community to identify practical, safe solutions to protect right whales.”

    Governor Mills added that NOAA staff cannot afford to divert attention from the regulatory process to address a proposal that has the potential to harm right whales, rather than help them.  

    The Pew proposal will increase risk to right whales by creating a “curtain effect” where fishermen move gear to open waters around closures “increasing density of vertical lines and therefore, increasing risk in those areas,” explained Governor Mills. 

    Governor Mills also called into question the data and methodologies used by Pew to establish the location and timing of closures. A 2019 paper cited by Pew as a basis for location and timing of proposed closures that examines shifts in right whale prey fails to incorporate predictions of whale migration.

    Pew’s assertion that the proposed closures will have minimal impact on fishing is “patently untrue,” wrote the Governor. Two areas proposed for closure “provide critical opportunity to our harvesters and represent 15% to 24% of the area accessible to Maine fishermen during the impacted months,” she wrote. 

    According to Department of Marine Resources data, landings revenues for Maine fishermen from two of the proposed closures are estimated to be $18.8 million during the proposed May through October closure, representing 4 percent of the $482.9 million 2019 value of Maine lobster fishery.

    “Maine’s lobster harvesters are concerned about the status of North Atlantic Right Whales,” stated Governor Mills.  “My Commissioner of Marine Resources, Patrick Keliher, has been working closely with the industry to develop a plan that provides meaningful protections in the areas of greatest risk to whales, while also ensuring our fishery can continue to operate safely.  We remain committed to working toward these objectives.”

    A copy of Governor Mills’ letter is attached.

  • 06/26/2020 3:45 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    Today, Governor Chris Sununu issued Emergency Orders #54, #55, and #56 as part of the state's efforts to respond to COVID-19.

    Emergency Order #54 PDF file: An Order Regarding Refunds of Road Tolls to Private School Bus Owners for Transportation of Meals to Students During the COVID-19 Pandemic

    Emergency Order #55 PDF file: Extension of COVID-19 Long Term Care Stabilization Program

    Emergency Order #56 PDF file: Temporary Modification of Procedure Relative to Appropriations and Tax Payments

    PDF filePortable Document Format (.pdf) . Visit for a list of free .pdf readers for a variety of operating systems.

  • 06/26/2020 3:42 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    July is Sizzling with Learning Opportunities!

  • 06/26/2020 3:39 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    The SBA has programs and services that help small business owners start, grow, expand and recover.   Join us to get the latest updates and learn how to access these technical and financial resources that can assist you in all phases of business ownership.  We will also highlight any training opportunities that will be coming up from our office and our resource partners.

    Every Wednesday at 9am

    To join the webinar:

    Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

    +1 202-765-1264 United States, Washington DC (Toll)

    Conference ID: 120 391 006#

  • 06/26/2020 2:54 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    This 1-hour webinar trains trainers to teach the Empowerment Workshop curriculum, a business training program about entrepreneurship and small business management for Native entrepreneurs or business owners.

    Our Train the Trainer webinars are designed for any organization or individual who works with tribal communities on small business development. The Empowerment Workshop curriculum provides culturally relevant business resources for Native business people.

    In this 1-hour webinar, participants will:

    • Understand how the Empowerment Workshop curriculum is crafted for cultural relevance and is made for the learning styles of Native adult learners
    • Learn to use the lesson plans, exercises, and materials of the Empowerment Workshop curriculum to deliver a 2-day workshop, or to design shorter sessions
    • Identify your SBA resources, including local SBA offices and programs that serve your region, so you can connect participants with ongoing business support

    Webinars will be held on July 15th, 22nd, 28th, and August 4th.

    For more information, click HERE





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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