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  • 06/26/2020 2:53 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    Small Business Summit 2020

    When: Tuesday, June 30, 10:00am-2:00pm

    Spend a day working ON your business, not IN your business.

    Learn from industry experts & thought leaders on an array of topics to help you grow personally & professionally, and provide actionable steps to help your business thrive!

    The Small Business Summit will give you the tools you need to better your business!

    The Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the Better Business Bureau and Gorham Savings Bank to present this meaningful event, with the participation of SBA Senior Area Manager Brad Currie.

  • 06/26/2020 2:53 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)
    COVID-19: Guidance for Small Businesses

    Today Wage and Hour 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.  We hope both business owners and their employees will become familiar with this new tool.

    Click HERE to access the tool and learn more about these new leave provisions.

  • 06/26/2020 2:52 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    Interested borrowers can apply for a PPP loan through one of 5,500 participating lenders including banks, credit unions, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI), Minority Depository Institutions (MDI), Farm Credit Lenders, and Microlenders. Plus, information and forms are translated into 17 languages.

    To help small businesses find a lender and file an application for a PPP loan, the SBA has reconfigured its Lender Match online tool to quickly connect small businesses with PPP lenders.

    Once a business owner submits their information on the Lender Match platform, within two days they receive emails from lenders that they have been matched to them and who will accept their PPP application. A PPP application can be started directly from these emails.

    The online Lender Match tool is available at

    There is still about $128 billion in funds available, but time is running out.   SBA will stop accepting loan applications on June 30th, but our lending partners need a little lead time to submit your application ahead of the cutoff. So if you are considering applying, don't wait, apply today.  

    Find out more about the program at: Paycheck Protection Program

  • 06/26/2020 1:22 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    Information sessions last approximately 30 minutes and people can register for a class during an info session if they are interested. See below for the info session schedule.

    WorkReadyNH Virtual Information Session Flyer Revised 6.17.20.pdf

  • 06/25/2020 3:49 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    June 25, 2020

    Governor Janet Mills issued the following statement on the President’s Memorandum on the United States Lobster Industry:

    “Earlier this year, I wrote to the President asking him to marshal the resources of the Federal government to support Maine’s seafood industry during this unprecedented time. My Commissioner of Marine Resources, Pat Keliher, also wrote to Peter Navarro, the President’s Director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, urging him to prioritize trade policies that will help our lobster industry regain its competitive footing. After years of hammering Maine’s fishermen with shortsighted trade wars, I am pleased the President is beginning to recognize the harm his Administration’s policies have caused and now wants to take steps to rectify them. This is a welcome step forward. My Administration will continue to work closely with Maine’s Congressional delegation to support our hardworking fishermen and seafood producers. Their work is the lifeblood of our coastal communities and a cornerstone of our economy.”

  • 06/25/2020 3:49 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    June 25, 2020

    Governor Janet Mills announced today that she will dedicate $50,000 in funding from the Governor’s Contingent Account to support the work of the Permanent Commission on the Status of Racial, Indigenous and Maine Tribal Populations. The Governor has said that she hopes the Commission will help us more fully understand racial disparities in Maine and how we might begin to address them.

    “Maine - despite our history of sending more troops than any other state and losing more lives in the fight to end slavery during the Civil War - still has our own painful history of racism dating back generations and our state is not immune to discrimination, injustice or inequality,” said Governor Mills. “We must acknowledge our past and take steps to understand both the inequities that exist in Maine today and how we might begin to remedy them in the future. I do not have all the answers to what is a longstanding, systemic problem, but I am committed to learning and to improving our state in the months and years to come so that it can be a place of equal opportunity for all, including those of color. It is my hope that this funding can support the Commission as it begins its work, and I urge the Legislature to provide a long-term source of funding.”

    Signed into law by Governor Mills last year, the Permanent Commission on the Status of Racial, Indigenous and Maine Tribal Populations seeks to promote, implement and coordinate programs that create and improve opportunities and incorporate the goal of eliminating disparities for historically disadvantaged racial, indigenous and tribal populations in Maine. However, the Commission was only appropriated $500 to support its work and requested additional funding from the Governor in a June 18 letter. In providing the $50,000 in one-time funding to help jumpstart the Commission, the Governor also called on the Legislature to provide a sustained annual source of funding for the Commission to be able to continue its work.

    In Maine and across the country, racial and ethnic minorities have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Action is needed urgently to address these disparities and the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), in coordination with the Governor’s Coronavirus Response Team, is committed to further steps to improve our response. DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew recently outlined the Department’s work to address those disparities including expanding access to testing and health coverage; supporting individuals in quarantine or isolation; providing psychological first aid to first responders and social services to those impacted by the virus and supporting group home workers and parents during the pandemic. Read more about those efforts.

    Get more information on the Commission, click. The Contingent Account is comprised of $300,000 in funding that is replenished annually and authorized for use by the Governor at her discretion in line with statutory requirements.

  • 06/25/2020 12:58 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)


    The Partnership of New Hampshire Credit Unions Presents $125,000 Donation

    to Charitable Partner, Make-A-Wish New Hampshire;

    Surpasses $3.1 Million Milestone

    June 19, 2020 (Manchester, NH) – The New Hampshire Credit Unions recently presented a $125,000 donation to its charitable partner, Make-A-Wish New Hampshire, an organization that grants the wishes of children with critical illnesses. The amount raised marks a 24-year total of more than $3.1 million raised by the state’s 15 credit unions, members of the Cooperative Credit Union Association (CCUA). The New Hampshire Credit Unions remain the largest corporate partner of Make-A-Wish New Hampshire.  

    In a time where social distancing and limited in-person gatherings are the norm, the check presentation included participation from credit union CEOs and representatives from the safety of their remote locations as a “virtual” event live streamed to YouTube  ( The agenda included via video a congratulatory message from CCUA President/CEO Ronald McLean and highlighted personal moments and memories from New Hampshire Credit Unions.

    Make-A-Wish New Hampshire President/CEO Julie Baron commended the credit unions for their commitment. “We thank the New Hampshire Credit Unions for their passionate leadership and life sustaining contributions to the success of Make-A-Wish New Hampshire and the wish children we serve. The threads of hope they provide are powerful. Each wish they empower transforms the life of everyone who plays a part and gives each child facing a critical illness the tools they need to mount their fight against illness. Hope is powerful medicine. We thank each Credit Union, their staff, and their members for leading with their hearts.

    The donation was a collaborative effort by the New Hampshire Credit Unions through a series of state-wide and local fundraising initiatives. CCUA President/CEO Ronald McLean congratulated the credit unions for their recent effort. “The New Hampshire Credit Unions are deeply rooted in the philosophy of “people helping people” as evident by the donation and $3 million milestone for Make-A-Wish New Hampshire. Together, they have the passion, energy, and collaborative spirit that is necessary to help so many children’s heartfelt dreams come true.” He continued, “The countless smiles, the hope, the strength and the joy that a wish brings for children and their families is the inspiration that drives the New Hampshire Credit Unions to be part of a great cause with a powerful mission.”

    Closing the event featured thank you videos from several Wish Children including Ally, Katelyn, Jack, Padraic, and Hannah. Wish Child Hannah had a special message to the credit unions, “Thank you for your continuous support of Make-A-Wish New Hampshire and because of you, the credit unions, kids like me can have their dreams come true.” Hannah’s wish, granted in 2012, was to meet the Disney Princesses and her favorite part was to just feel like a normal kid and living her life. She ended by saying, “It makes me so happy to know that the credit unions have our backs and will continue to help kids’ dreams come true. Please know it makes a big difference. You’re changing lives.”

    According to New Hampshire Credit Unions’ Social Responsibility Committee Chairman Brian Hughes, “Our committee is a very passionate and collaborative group. Every year we raise the bar so we can help Make-A-Wish New Hampshire achieve their goal to grant a wish for every child in the state with a critical illness. We have witnessed first-hand the power of a wish and I’m proud of the work our New Hampshire Credit Unions do to bring wishes to life.”

    Wishes come true with NH CUs!

    New Hampshire Social Responsibility Committee Chairman Brian Hughes from HRCU in Rochester presents a $125,000 donation on behalf of the New Hampshire Credit Unions to Make-A-Wish New Hampshire President/CEO Julie Baron during a special “virtual” event that was livestreamed on YouTube. The amount raised marks a 24-year total of more than $3.1 Million. The New Hampshire Credit Unions remain the largest corporate partner of Make-A-Wish New Hampshire.

    Representatives from New Hampshire Credit Unions participate live on screen for “virtual” check presentation made to Make-A-Wish New Hampshire. The donation was a collaborative effort from the credit unions through a series of state-wide and local fundraising initiatives.

    About Make-A-Wish® New Hampshire

    A wish experience can be a game-changer for a child with a critical illness. This one belief guides us at Make-A-Wish New Hampshire in everything we do. It inspires us to grant life-changing wishes for children going through so much. It compels us to be creative in exceeding the expectations of every wish kid. It drives us to make our donated resources go as far as possible. Most of all, it's the founding principle of our vision to grant the wish of every eligible child. Wishes are more than just a nice thing. For wish kids, just the act of making their wish come true can give them the courage, hope, strength and joy they need to mount their fight against illness. Wishes are far more than gifts, or singular events in time they have the power to become an integral part of a child’s treatment journey. Wishes impact everyone involved—wish kids, volunteers, donors, sponsors, medical professionals and communities. Together, we are all creating life-changing wishes for children with critical Illnesses. For more information please visit

    About The Partnership of New Hampshire Credit Unions

    The Partnership of New Hampshire Credit Unions (NH CUs) comprises 15 New Hampshire-based credit unions that together serve more than 735,000 individuals. The partnership leverages its collective power to maximize community outreach efforts, advocate financial literacy, and promote the benefits of credit union membership in New Hampshire. Not-for-profit and member-owned, credit unions typically offer higher deposit rates, lower-cost loans and loan rates, and fewer fees than traditional banks. With strong commitments to social and fiscal responsibility, they embody the motto “better values, better banking.” In 2019 alone, NH CUs provided credit union members with $100.7 million in direct financial benefits, volunteered over 21,000 hours, improved the financial literacy of over 20,000 adults and teens, and contributed $2.4 million to 755 Granite State nonprofit organizations. Donations alone to Make-A-Wish New Hampshire, made over the past twenty-four years, surpassed the $3 million milestone. For more information about NH CUs, visit

    The Partnership of New Hampshire Credit Unions includes Bellwether Community Credit Union, Granite State Credit Union, Heritage Family Credit Union, HRCU, Members First Credit Union, New Hampshire Federal Credit Union, New Hampshire Postal Credit Union, NGM Employees Federal Credit Union, NH Community Federal Credit Union, Northeast Credit Union, Precision Federal Credit Union, Service Credit Union, St. Mary’s Bank, Together Credit Union, and Triangle Credit Union. All are members of the Cooperative Credit Union Association, Inc., a trade organization that represents credit unions in New Hampshire, Delaware, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.

  • 06/24/2020 3:49 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    June 24, 2020

    $35 million will support the 25 percent required match for COVID-related expenses incurred by eligible organizations in Maine.

    The Mills Administration announced today that it is dedicating $35 million of Maine’s $1.25 billion in Coronavirus Relief Funding (CRF) provided through the CARES Act to help local and tribal governments and other qualified entities cover costs incurred as a result of COVID-19.

    Under the Disaster Declaration requested by Governor Mills and approved by the President, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) traditionally provides 75 percent reimbursement of disaster costs with a 15 percent state match and a 10 percent local match. With today’s announcement, the Administration will use Federal funds allocated to cover the local match, providing financial relief to municipalities and others that are confronting stretched budgets.

    “Municipalities across Maine are on the frontline of battling COVID-19,” said Governor Janet Mills. “With this action, I hope State government can somewhat ease the financial burden that budget-crunched municipalities face as we continue to confront this pandemic together. I also hope the Federal government will provide greater financial support and more flexibility in the use of Federal funds so that the State may be able to be more helpful in the future.”

    “Our Administration continues to look for ways to support local and tribal governments and other qualified entities during this challenging time, and we believe this is a helpful step,” said Kirsten Figueroa, Commissioner of the Department of Administrative and Financial Services.

    Coronavirus Relief Funds were provided to states through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act ( FAQs posted on U.S. Treasury’s website.

    On May 20, 2020, the U.S. Treasury Department issued new guidance that the CRF can be used for this 25 percent local match and written assurance of that guidance is expected in the near future. Given that CRF cannot be used to backfill for government revenue losses, many local government expenses directly related to COVID-19 are likely eligible for FEMA reimbursement.

    Applicants who may be eligible are encouraged to apply for assistance by contacting the Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) at More information about the match assistance provided with CRF can be found on the State of Maine Bureau of the Budget website.

    For information on the FEMA Public Assistance process and eligible applicants and expenses, please visit the MEMA website.

    For information regarding the use of CARES Act funding in Maine to date, please visit the Maine Bureau of Budget website, which is updated weekly.

  • 06/24/2020 3:47 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    June 24, 2020

    The Mills Administration today posted additional COVID-19 Prevention Checklists for businesses and activities to voluntarily resume on July 1 as part of Stage 3 of the Administration’s Restarting Maine’s Economy Plan . The checklists, written in close collaboration with industry leaders and public health experts, outline health and safety protocols for businesses and activities to comply with in order to resume safely. The checklists posted today include:

    • Spas and skin care establishments, including laser hair removal and similar services
    • Outdoor amusements, such as amusement parks and water parks
    • Indoor amusements, such as bowling and arcades
    • Movie theaters
    • Performing arts venues

    Additionally, in response to feedback from businesses and public health experts, the Department of Economic and Community Development has updated guidance for some businesses already open under the Restarting Maine’s Economy Plan.

    “These reopenings represent a positive step forward for Maine and our economy, but Maine people and businesses must remain vigilant,” said Governor Mills. “The increasing, and in some instances record high, number of COVID-19 cases in other states are cautionary tales for Maine as we continue our reopening, monitor the prevalence of the virus here, and look towards our economic recovery. Nothing would be more devastating to our economy than a significant surge in the virus that sickens and kills more people and jeopardizes our health care capacity. By taking good care of ourselves and others, we can continue to reopen safely.”

    “With the release of these Stage 3 COVID-19 Prevention Checklists, we continue to make progress in safely re-opening Maine’s economy,” says Heather Johnson, Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development. “The Administration will continue to work hard to reopen businesses while remaining vigilant in the fight against this virus and planning our long-term economic recovery.”

    “The expansion of business reopening is paralleled by the expansion of public health practices to protect Maine residents and visitors,” said Jeanne Lambrew, Commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services. “This includes the quadrupling of Maine’s testing capacity in July and increasing access to tests for people throughout the state.”

    The vast majority of Maine’s economy has been reopened under the Mills Administration’s Restarting Maine’s Economy plan. With the initiation of Stage 3, that will only continue to grow, and Maine remains either on a par or ahead of other northeastern states in terms of its reopening.

    Adjusted for population size, as of June 22, Maine ranked eighth lowest in the nation in terms of positive cases; 11th 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 43 states reporting.

  • 06/24/2020 1:25 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    Main Street Relief Fund Applicants Not Awarded a Grant

    If you believe that there was an error in the information you submitted which could have impacted the reason(s) for denial, you may file an appeal by sending an e-mail to<> by July 2, 2020, at 11:59 p.m.

    Your appeal e-mail must contain the following:

      *   A copy of the denial e-mail
      *   Explanation and documentation to substantiate your claim

    Appeals that are sent by any method other than by e-mail or that are not received by the deadline will not be considered. We will review the information and documentation you submit to make a final eligibility determination.  Please note that we are not able to consider appeals that would require us to recalculate the anticipated gross loss reported on your original Final Grant Submission.





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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