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News

  • 04/06/2020 4:37 PM | Emerson Doiron (Administrator)

    Press Release

    Washington - Today the SBA issued guidance clarifying that all faith-based organizations impacted by Coronavirus (COVID-19) are eligible to participate in the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, without restrictions based on their religious identity or activities, to the extent they meet the eligibility criteria outlined in the CARES Act that was passed by Congress, signed into law by President Trump, and implemented by the Paycheck Protection Act Interim Final Rule. 

    The Paycheck Protection Program is designed to keep small business workers employed and provide small businesses with capital through the nation’s banks and other lending institutions, with support from the SBA. The Paycheck Protection Program’s maximum loan amount is $10 million with a fixed 1% interest rate and maturity of two years. SBA will forgive the portion of loan proceeds used for payroll costs and other designated operating expenses for up to eight weeks provided at least 75% of loan proceeds are used for payroll costs.

    The Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides qualifying small businesses and non-profits with working capital up to $2 million with low interest rates and terms extending up to 30 years. 


  • 04/06/2020 3:46 PM | Emerson Doiron (Administrator)

    Governor Chris Sununu Issues Executive Order 2020-05, Emergency Orders 24 and 25

    Concord, NH – Concord, NH - Today, Governor Chris Sununu issued Executive Order 2020-05, renewing the Declaration of a State of Emergency due to the Novel Coronavirus, COVID-19, for a period of 21 days, and also issued Emergency Orders 24 and 25 as part of the state's efforts to respond to COVID-19.

    Executive Order 2020-05  pdf file: Extension of State of Emergency Declared in Executive Order 2020-04.

    Emergency Order #24  pdf file: Modification and clarification of Emergency Order #4

    "Emergency Order #24 makes some clarifications and modifications to Emergency Order #4, the temporary prohibition evictions and foreclosures," said Governor Chris Sununu. "Let me be clear: Emergency Order #4 does not relieve a tenant of an obligation to pay rent. We all have an obligation to be good neighbors and treat each other fairly, and this extends to both landlords and tenants. I strongly encourage all tenants who have difficulty paying their rent to work with their landlord to develop a payment plan and pay what they can. Many tenants should be able to utilize the expanded unemployment benefits provided by the State and Federal Government to pay all or part of their rent. At the same time, I strongly encourage all landlords to comply with the protections provided by the State and seek to form a workable arrangement with their tenants. Emergency Order #24 makes clear that landlords may initiate eviction proceedings against tenants who cause damage to property or who present a threat to the health and safety of their neighbors. During these challenging times, we must continue to balance the need to provide relief to those struggling financially while ensuring that individuals do not take unfair and harmful advantage of the protections that the State has provided. These orders I am issuing today are intended to do just that."

    Emergency Order #25  pdf file: Temporary modification of interest penalty for late payment of property taxes

    "The orders I am issuing today provide some needed clarification and relief for both landlords and tenants," said Governor Chris Sununu. "With Emergency Order #25, municipalities will now have the option to offer a blanket abatement of interest for late property tax payments. I encourage municipalities to utilize this authority where they are able to provide relief to their citizens."

    NoteAdditional guidance pertaining to Emergency Order #24 from the Department of Justice  pdf file.


  • 04/06/2020 3:27 PM | Emerson Doiron (Administrator)

    One of Multiple Economic Relief Provisions to Protect Workers and Small Businesses

    Release Date: 

    Friday, April 3, 2020

    Release Number: 

    20-30

    Contact: 

    Press_Office@sba.gov, (202) 205-7036

    WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Jovita Carranza today launched the Paycheck Protection Program, a $349 billion emergency loan program created last week with the President’s signing of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES). The program provides forgivable loans up to $10 million to small businesses left financially distressed by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The loans, which will be administered at the local level by a national network of banks and credit unions, are designed to maintain the viability of millions of small businesses struggling to meet payroll and day-to-day operating expenses.

    “These loans will bring immediate economic relief and eight weeks of financial certainty to millions of small businesses and their employees,” SBA Administrator Carranza said. “We urge every struggling small business to take advantage of this unprecedented federal resource – their viability is critically important to their employees, their community, and the country.”

    The loans, which are 100% backed by SBA, are being provided to small businesses without collateral requirements, personal guarantees, SBA fees, or credit elsewhere tests. Those eligible for the program include small businesses, certain non-profits, veterans’ organizations, self-employed individuals, independent contractors, and other businesses meeting size standards based on their North American Industry Classification System code.

    The Paycheck Protection Program’s maximum loan amount is $10 million with a fixed 1% interest rate and maturity of two years.

    The loans are available to cover up to eight weeks of average monthly payroll (based on 2019 figures) plus 25% and payments are deferred for six months (interest does accrue). The SBA will forgive the portion of loan proceeds used for payroll costs and other designated operating expenses for up to eight weeks, provided at least 75% of loan proceeds are used for payroll costs. Eligible expenses for the eight-week forgiveness include:
     

    • Payroll costs (excluding the prorated portion of any compensation above $100,000 per year for any person. Payroll costs include salary, commissions, tips; certain employee benefits including sick leave and health care premiums, and state and local taxes;
    • Mortgage interest (not prepayment or principal payments) and rent payments on mortgages and leases in existence after February 15, 2020;
    • Utilities such as electricity, gas, water, transportation, phone and internet access for services that began before February 15, 2020; and
    • Additional wages paid to tipped employees.

    Visit www.SBA.gov/Coronavirus for additional resources about protecting your business, employees and customers.


  • 04/03/2020 10:28 AM | Emerson Doiron (Administrator)

    A message from the New Hampshire Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC):

    The Federal Aviation Administration has asked us to help them identify sources of services and supplies in conjunction with the current COVID-19 pandemic. If you have relevant products/capabilities, we have attached a questionnaire which you should fill out completely and return to theindicated email address: 9-AFN-ACQ-EM@faa.gov

    FAA COVID-19 Supply Service Requirements Market Research Questionnaire (1).xlsx

    NH PTAC has a very limited ability to answer questions about this survey, but please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have services or products that are listed, and need help responding.


    NOTE: FAA has raised its mcropurchase threshold to $20,000, which means that they can place orders for these products/services and pay by government purchase card (Mastercard or Visa).

  • 04/02/2020 5:01 PM | Emerson Doiron (Administrator)
    Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources

    Be Aware of Fraud When Applying for Assistance

    Scammers are using the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) name to con small businesses and individuals during the COVID-19 crisis through phone calls, emails, text messages and letters.

    Please note:

    • If you are contacted by someone claiming to be from the SBA, suspect fraud. 
    • Emails from SBA or other legitimate government agencies will always end in .gov.
    • There is no cost to apply for a COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan and SBA will never ask you to provide a credit card.
    • Do not release any private information (social security number, date of birth, etc.) or banking information in response to an unsolicited caller, letter, email, or text.
    • If you are in the process of applying for an SBA loan and receive email correspondence asking for personal information, ensure that the referenced application number is consistent with your application number.
    • An SBA logo on an email or webpage does not guarantee the information is accurate or from the SBA.
    • Check for spelling and grammatical errors in an email and be wary of clicking on any links or attachments.
    • For help with applying for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan, call 800-659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. You can also use a text telephone (TTY) by calling 1-800-877-8339.
    • For inquiries regarding support for small businesses, send an email to answerdesk@sba.gov
    • Visit the Small Business Cybersecurity site to learn more about small Business Cybersecurity tips, common threats, training, and best practices. https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/manage-your-business/small-business-cybersecurity
    • Visit the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cyber Infrastructure site for small business resources. https://w.gov/publication/stopthinkconnect-small-business-resources

    Trust your instincts! If something seems too good to be true, then it probably is too good to be true.

    Updates to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Application Process

    Several changes have been made to simplify and streamline the process of applying for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) through the SBA. If you have already submitted your application, you will be contacted with instructions to finalize the process.

    • Start the process HERE
    • You will be asked to fill in some basic information about your business and the business owners.
    • On the last screen, if you opt in to the $10,000 request for emergency funds, you will need to supply your bank account and routing number.
    • You will see a summary of all your information that you can review prior to submitting your application.
    • You will not be asked to upload any documentation at submittal; however, you may be asked for supporting information at a later date.
    • If you submitted your application prior to March 27th, you will need to re-visit the website HERE to submit the $10,000 request for emergency funds

    Paycheck Protection Program

    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.

    Under this program:

    • Eligible recipients may qualify for a loan up to $10 million determined by 8 weeks of prior average payroll plus an additional 25% of that amount.
    • Loan payments will be deferred for six months.
    • If you maintain your workforce, SBA will forgive the portion of the loan proceeds that are used to cover the first 8 weeks of payroll and certain other expenses following loan origination.

    Click here to learn more.

    Medical Equipment Supply Coordination

    Maine MEP is working with Maine Medical Center, Northern Light Health, The University of Maine and Manufacturers Association of Maine to coordinate manufacturing of the medical equipment our hospitals will need to combat COVID-19 in Maine.

    Please contact MaineMEP if you have the ability to help in any aspect of the manufacture of the following items:

    1. Improvised "Aerosol Box" - Such as these.
    2. Face shields - Such as these.
    3. Ventilators
    4. Hand sanitizer - particularly looking for capability to mix and bottle.
    5. Mask sewing - particularly looking for organizations with the capability to sew thin material.

    Maine Health Supply has asked that manufacturers of any of the following items please reach out.

    • Masks - ear loop procedure masks & N95s
    • Infrared thermometers
    • PAPR (Powered Air Purifying Respirator)
    • Nitrile Gloves - especially long cuff
    • Tall boot covers (Paper/Gauze type product)
    • Shoe covers (Paper/Gauze type product)
    • PDI (purple top) germicidal disposable wipes (active ingredients- n-Alkyl dimethyl ethylbenzyl ammonium chloride and n-Alkyl dimethyl benzoyl ammonium chloride)
    • Sterilized alcohol
    • Disposable gowns

    Anticipated possible future needs to include:

    • Tyvek suits
    • Charcoal mask filters

    Thank you!


  • 04/02/2020 9:53 AM | Emerson Doiron (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. 
     

    KNOW WHERE TO GO


    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.

    THANK YOU


    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 | Emerson Doiron (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.

    Preemption

    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.

    Enforcement

    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 | Emerson Doiron (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 miguel.moralez@sba.gov or 603-225-1601.


ABOUT THE FALLS CHAMBER

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. 

       

CONTACTS

Emerson Doiron, Executive Director

info@thefallschamber.com
603.749.7175
office hours by appointment: 472 High Street, Somersworth NH 03878

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