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  • 06/17/2020 3:59 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    WASHINGTON—Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, posted a revised, borrower-friendly Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness application implementing the PPP Flexibility Act of 2020, signed into law by President Trump on June 5, 2020.  In addition to revising the full forgiveness application, SBA also published a new EZ version of the forgiveness application that applies to borrowers that:

    • Are self-employed and have no employees; OR
    • Did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%, and did not reduce the number or hours of their employees; OR
    • Experienced reductions in business activity as a result of health directives related to COVID-19, and did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%.

    The EZ application requires fewer calculations and less documentation for eligible borrowers.  Details regarding the applicability of these provisions are available in the instructions to the new EZ application form. 

    Both applications give borrowers the option of using the original 8-week covered period (if their loan was made before June 5, 2020) or an extended 24-week covered period.  These changes will result in a more efficient process and make it easier for businesses to realize full forgiveness of their PPP loan.

    Click hereDownload Adobe Reader to read this link content to view the EZ Forgiveness Application.

    Click hereDownload Adobe Reader to read this link content to view the Full Forgiveness Application.



    About the U.S. Small Business Administration
    The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit

  • 06/17/2020 1:40 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    Concord, NH - Today, Governor Chris Sununu issued Emergency Order #53 as part of the state's efforts to respond to COVID-19.

    Emergency Order #53 PDF file: Amendment to Emergency Order #36 (Ensuring Worker's Compensation Coverage for New Hampshire First Responders Exposed to COVID-19)

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

  • 06/16/2020 2:35 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    The Paycheck Protection Program provides small businesses with funds for payroll costs and other eligible non- payroll costs.

    More than $100 Billion in PPP funds are still available. The recent passage of the Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act allows small businesses to use funds up to 24-weeks and have the option of extending the life of the loan from two years to five. SBA will forgive loans if funds are used as intended.

    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.

    For more information, visit here.

    List of Participating Lenders

  • 06/16/2020 2:31 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    Through the CARES Act, the State of New Hampshire was allocated approximately $5.4 million to be deployed under the Community Development Block Grant program to respond to the Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19). These funds, known as CDBG-CV, are to be used specifically for the prevention of, preparation for, and response to COVID-19.

    CDFA is focused on rapidly deploying these additional funds, as well as shifting existing resources, to meet the needs of New Hampshire communities amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. To that end, CDFA will begin accepting applications for CDBG-CV Public Services funds (approximately $3.7 million available) on July 8, 2020 with applications due by no later than August 17, 2020 at 4:00 PM. Please note, we are still awaiting additional guidance and approvals from the Department of Housing and Urban Development regarding our requests for flexibility.  

    The balnce of CDBG-CV funds will support microenterprises and business technical assistance. Application guidance and deadlines for those programs are forthcoming.

    CDBG-CV Program Timeline

    • Application workshop: June 29, 2020 – REGISTER HERE
    • Application opens: July 8, 2020
    • Pre-application meetings: throughout July
    • Application due: August 17, 2020 by 4:00 PM
    • Award decisions: October 1, 2020
    • Additional guidance to be released on-going as available

    Next Steps for Applicants

    As you prepare your community to apply for CDBG-CV funds, applicants should take the following steps.

    1. Sign-up for the CDBG-CV application workshop – register here.
    2. Schedule a pre-application meeting with CDFA staff. Contact Shelley Hadfield, Director of Housing and Community Development ( / 603-717-9112) to schedule. Applications submitted without a pre-application meeting will not be considered.
    3. Begin a community needs assessment. Guidance for how to conduct an assessment is available here. The completion of an assessment will be considered when scoring applications.
    4. Hold a public hearing to adopt a Housing and Community Development plan if your community does not have one.


    Accessing Additional CDBG Funds to Respond to COVID-19

    Housing and Public Facilities applications that clearly demonstrate consistency with the directive of the CARES Act to prepare for, respond to or recover from the COVID-10 pandemic; and, which also meet CDFA’s CDBG Emergency Program criteria may be submitted through the CDBG Emergency Program application process. Applicants with potential projects must contact CDFA for a pre-application meeting to determine if the proposed project meets the criteria. A circular with additional information is available here.

    Relevant Resources

    All relevant Community Development Block Grant – CV program resources can be found on CDFA’s Resource Hub: These resources include:

    We will post additional information related to CDBG-CV as we receive further guidance from HUD.

    CDFA is continuing to work diligently to respond to community needs, provide flexibility and deploy resources as quickly as possible to support critical work. For more information on other COVID-19 resources available to our current grantees/borrowers, municipalities, nonprofits and businesses, please visit:

  • 06/16/2020 2:29 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    To further meet the needs of U.S. small businesses and non-profits, the U.S. Small Business Administration reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19 today.

    “The SBA is strongly committed to working around the clock, providing dedicated emergency assistance to the small businesses and non-profits that are facing economic disruption due to the COVID-19 impact.  With the reopening of the EIDL assistance and EIDL Advance application portal to all new applicants, additional small businesses and non-profits will be able to receive these long-term, low interest loans and emergency grants – reducing the economic impacts for their businesses, employees and communities they support,” said SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza.  “Since EIDL assistance due to the pandemic first became available to small businesses located in every state and territory, SBA has worked to provide the greatest amount of emergency economic relief possible.  To meet the unprecedented need, the SBA has made numerous improvements to the application and loan closing process, including deploying new technology and automated tools.”

    SBA’s EIDL program offers long-term, low interest assistance for a small business or non-profit.  These loans can provide vital economic support to help alleviate temporary loss of revenue.  EIDL assistance can be used to cover payroll and inventory, pay debt or fund other expenses.  Additionally, the EIDL Advance will provide up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee) of emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties, and these emergency grants do not have to be repaid.

    SBA’s COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance

    • The SBA is offering low interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses and non-profit organizations that are suffering substantial economic injury as a result of COVID-19 in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories.
    • These loans may be used to pay debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact, and that are not already covered by a Paycheck Protection Program loan.  The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses.  The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
    • To keep payments affordable for small businesses, SBA offers loans with long repayment terms, up to a maximum of 30 years. Plus, the first payment is deferred for one year.
    • In addition, small businesses and non-profits may request, as part of their loan application, an EIDL Advance of up to $10,000. The EIDL Advance is designed to provide emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. This advance will not have to be repaid, and small businesses may receive an advance even if they are not approved for a loan.
    • SBA’s EIDL and EIDL Advance are just one piece of the expanded focus of the federal government’s coordinated response.
    • The SBA is also assisting small businesses and non-profits with access to the federal forgivable loan program, the Paycheck Protection Program, which is currently accepting applications until June 30, 2020.

    For additional information, please visit the SBA disaster assistance website at

  • 06/16/2020 1:38 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    Concord, NH – Today, Governor Chris Sununu signed Executive order 2020-11, an order establishing the New Hampshire Commission on Law Enforcement Accountability, Community, and Transparency.
    “New Hampshire finds itself in a pivotal moment that demands prompt action to initiate important conversations and develop recommendations for reform,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “The state has an obligation to participate in the national conversation and engage in self-examination to identify any opportunities to improve the state of our law enforcement and the relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve, and I would like to thank the members of this commission for agreeing to serve.”

    The members of the commission will consist of the following:

    • The Attorney General, or designee, who shall chair the Commission
    • The Commissioner of the Department of Safety, or designee
    • The Executive Director of the New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights
    • The Director of the Police Standards and Training Council
    • The Chair of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Diversity and Inclusion
    • The President of the Manchester, NH NAACP
    • A current justice of the New Hampshire Superior or Circuit Court, appointed by and serving at the pleasure of the Governor
    • A representative of the New Hampshire Police Association, appointed by and serving at the pleasure of the Governor
    • The President of the New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police
    • The Executive Director of the New Hampshire Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness
    • A representative from the New Hampshire ACLU, appointed by and serving at the pleasure of the Governor
    • Two members of the public, appointed by and serving at the pleasure of the Governor

    The Commission will engage all interested and relevant public, private, and community stakeholders and develop recommendations for reforms that the Commission deems necessary to enhance transparency, accountability, and community relations in law enforcement. To fulfill this charge, the Commission will examine the following:

    1. Training curriculum, procedures and policies developed by State Police, local police departments, and the Police Standards and Training Council, and potential options for improving the same to better address certain areas which may include, but are not limited to, (i) de-escalation, (ii) use of deadly and non-deadly force force, and (iii) diversity training;
    2. State and local procedures related to the reporting and investigation of police misconduct, and potential reforms which may include, but are not limited to, development of a uniform statewide system for the reporting, investigation, and punishment of police misconduct;
    3. The current state of relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve, and potential steps that can be taken to enhance these relationships; and
    4. Any other subject matter which the Commission deems relevant to the overall mission of enhancing transparency, accountability, and community relations in law enforcement.

    The Commission will have 45 days to submit a report containing its recommendations to the Governor, the Speaker of the House, and the President of the Senate. The Commission’s report will be posted publicly on the Governor’s Office website.


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

  • 06/16/2020 8:58 AM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    June 15, 2020

    The Mills Administration today released detailed guidance for Maine local governing bodies to hold gatherings, such as annual town meetings, school budget meetings, and elections, during the COVID-19 pandemic. The guidance, which takes the form of a COVID-19 Prevention Checklist, was developed in close collaboration with public health officials, the Department of the Secretary of State, the Maine Municipal Association and other relevant associations and individuals.  

    "Maine people value and cherish the opportunity to gather and share our opinions, debate vigorously and vote on matters that affect our lives, a tradition that is at the heart of democracy," said Governor Mills. "Unfortunately, this virus, which thrives indoors with crowds of people, makes gatherings like these potentially dangerous. This guidance, developed in close collaboration with the Secretary of State and local leaders, will preserve the ability of people to express their opinions while protecting the health and safety of Maine people in the face of a deadly virus."

    The guidance issued Monday complements a recent Executive Order signed by Governor Mills that gives communities greater flexibility in conducting election and budget processes during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Under Stage 2 of the Administration’s Restarting Maine’s Economy Plan, gatherings of up to 50 individuals are permitted. For those official meetings that may surpass 50 people, this guidance recommends that planners conduct public meetings in various ways, including allowing "drive-in" meeting formats or by separating citizens into smaller groups within various areas of a single facility. 

    "The guidance issued today provides communities with two options for conducting traditional town meetings that exceed the current 50-person gathering limit," said Kate Dufour, Director of State and Federal Relations for the Maine Municipal Association. "Taking into consideration the historic importance of Maine town meetings and our strong commitment to home rule authority, this is an important and much appreciated path forward for municipalities."

    In addition, towns may also convert town meetings to referenda and/or secret ballot voting on July 14 or another date, per COVID-19 prevention guidance on elections published by the Maine Department of the Secretary of State. Under its guidance, the Secretary of State advises voters to allow additional time to complete the voting process, as wait times are expected to be longer than usual due to capacity limits, social distancing and sanitization measures at the polling site. These measures include sanitizing voting equipment, such as pens, the placement of barriers where physical distancing is not manageable and managing capacity to ensure fewer than 50 people are inside at one time.

    "Your polling place is going to look a bit different for this election, as clerks implement hygiene and distancing procedures to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus," said Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap. "If you usually budget only a few minutes to stop in and vote, you’ll need to plan on a longer wait this year, just like you do for the grocery store or other shops. One way to cut your wait time and your exposure is to take care of registering to vote ahead of time, with your municipal clerk."

    Poll workers will wear cloth face coverings and other personal protective equipment to protect public health while voting, and voters are also encouraged to do so.

    "We are asking all voters to wear a face covering when you go to vote, to help protect our election workers and other voters, but you can’t be turned away if you forget to wear one," said Secretary Dunlap. "Any voter who is not comfortable going to the polls for this election is welcome to vote by absentee ballot, by contacting your town clerk or using our online request service."

  • 06/15/2020 2:57 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    June 15, 2020

    Decision follows a stabilization of new cases and hospitalization rates in the three counties

    The Mills Administration announced today that indoor dining in Androscoggin, Cumberland, and York counties can voluntarily resume on Wednesday, June 17, 2020 with added health and safety protocols outlined in the COVID-19 Prevention Checklist. The decision to allow inside dining in these three counties follows a plateauing of new cases in recent weeks, based on the 14-day moving average, as well as the stabilization of hospital rates in the same counties. Previously, only outside dining, takeaway, and delivery services were permitted at restaurants in these three counties. With this change, restaurants statewide will now be open to both inside and outside dining with added health and safety precautions.

    The Mills Administration is also further aligning re-openings in these counties with the rural part of the Restarting Maine’s Economy Plan. Also effective Wednesday, June 17 in Androscoggin, Cumberland, and York counties, bars, breweries, and tasting rooms are permitted to open for outdoor, seated service while gyms, nail salons, and tattoo parlors may also reopen, all with added health and safety protocols. Additionally, the Administration is also expanding capacity limits at retail establishments, allowing up to 5 customers per 1,000 square feet, given the decreasing risk associated with retail shopping and the assumption that stores will continue to require staff to wear cloth face coverings and follow strict public health precautions. This change replaces the customer limits established in a previous Executive Order.

    The Administration continues to remind Maine people to follow State requirements and U.S. and Maine CDC recommendations, such as wearing cloth face coverings, staying six feet apart whenever possible, and frequently washing hands with soap and warm water. New research demonstrates that wearing face coverings can significantly slow the spread of COVID-19, underscoring the importance of wearing them.

    “Maine people and businesses have worked hard to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, and the stabilization of cases and hospitalizations in York, Cumberland, and Androscoggin counties help demonstrate that,” said Governor Mills. “But this pandemic is not over. As we reopen restaurants for indoor dining and other businesses in these areas, we remain vigilant. Businesses must strictly adhere to health and safety protocols and all people should wear face coverings, stay six feet apart whenever possible, and frequently wash their hands. If we continue to protect ourselves and one another by taking these steps, we can reopen our economy in a safe way and limit the spread of this dangerous virus.”

    “Businesses and customers alike have an important role to play in turning the tide on COVID-19,” said Heather Johnson, Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development. “By continuing to follow COVID-19 Prevention health and safety protocols, we can protect the health of Maine people and the health of our economy.”

    “Maine’s hard work has limited the devasting impact of COVID-19 compared to other eastern seaboard states. To keep it that way, the Department will intensify its efforts on testing, contact tracing, and public health education as restaurants and other establishments open statewide,” said Jeanne Lambrew, Commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services.

    In Androscoggin County, the average number of new daily cases began increasing in early May and has plateaued at roughly 10 cases per day. Similarly, Cumberland County experienced a gradual increase in cases in May, with another increase in late May related to an outbreak at Cape Memory Care. In the past week, the number of new daily cases has stabilized at roughly 20 per day.  In York County, new daily cases are averaging between 5-7 per day.

    Hospitalization rates, too, have largely stabilized in all three counties.  In Androscoggin County, roughly 5 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 at any one time, approximately 2 of whom are in intensive care. In Cumberland County, hospitalizations reached a peak in late May as a result of the outbreak at Cape Memory Care. Over the past week, hospitalizations in Cumberland County have held steady at roughly 25 individuals, approximately 7 of whom are in ICUs. The same trend was seen in York County, where hospitalizations also peaked in late May, with roughly 5 ICU patients and 3 non-ICU patients. In the past week, however, rates have stabilized, with approximately 3 ICU patients and 3 non-ICU patients at any one time.

    The public health risk posed by indoor dining is higher than that of other indoor activities, and higher than that from outdoor dining, because remaining seated in an enclosed space for an extended period of time can increase the risk of exposure. This risk can be mitigated by the added health and safety precautions required by the COVID-19 Prevention Checklist, such as the use of spaced tables, plexiglass barriers, servers wearing face coverings, and other measures. Even with these measures, people are urged to follow precautions when dining inside given this risk.

    “We’ll continue to monitor the data closely,” said Dr. Nirav D. Shah, Director of the Maine CDC. “Maine people have limited potential spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 by being responsible in physical distancing, wearing face coverings, and handwashing since March, and we trust that high level of responsibility will continue as restaurants throughout the state reopen.”

    It is possible, if not likely, that there will be an uptick in cases as a result of the increased interaction of people as the reopening process moves forward. Maine CDC will monitor epidemiological data, as it has throughout the entire reopening process, including case trends, hospitalization rates, and reports of COVID-like symptoms, as well as health care readiness and capacity. If a review of these metrics in their totality and in context finds evidence of a concerning increase in COVID-19, the Administration may move swiftly to limit harm and protect Maine people, including the potential rollback of indoor dining or other sector-specific re-openings in a region or community.

    With these changes, Maine has reopened much of its economy and is either on par or ahead of other northeastern states. Adjusted for population size, as of June 14, Maine ranked ninth lowest in the nation in terms of positive cases; 12th lowest in the nation in terms of deaths; 6th lowest in terms of patients ever-hospitalized out of the 36 states reporting; and 10th highest in the percentage of people who have recovered out of the 42 states reporting.

  • 06/15/2020 2:25 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    Concord, NH - Today, Governor Chris Sununu issued Emergency Order #52, along with Exhibits A and B, as part of the state's efforts to respond to COVID-19.

    • Emergency Order 52 PDF file: An order regarding public health guidance for business operations and advising Granite Staters that they are safer at home
    • Exhibit A to Emergency Order 52 PDF file: Universal Guidelines for all New Hampshire Employers and Employees
    • Exhibit B to Emergency Order 52 PDF file: Industry Specific Guidelines for Businesses, Organizations, and Sectors Operating Pursuant to Paragraph 2 of Emergency Order #52

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

  • 06/15/2020 8:34 AM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    PPP Flexibility Act - Daily Webinars

    The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has provided over 4.5 million small business loans totaling over $500 billion and has helped approximately 50 million employees stay connected to their jobs.

    The SBA Office will have daily webinars at 9am to discuss the recent changes to the PPP as outlined in the PPP Flexibility Act and answer questions on the loan  options available to small businesses.

    Join Skype Meeting

    or  Join by phone

    Toll number: +1 (202) 765-1264, 522409519#

    Conference ID: 522409519





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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