PROUDLY SERVING BERWICK, NORTH BERWICK, SOMERSWORTH, SOUTH BERWICK, ROLLINSFORD & BEYOND

News

  • 04/01/2020 1:05 PM | Emerson Doiron (Administrator)

    WHAT TREASURY IS DOING

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

     

     

    ASSISTANCE FOR AMERICAN WORKERS AND FAMILIES

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

     

    ASSISTANCE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

    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.

     

    PRESERVING JOBS FOR AMERICAN INDUSTRY

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

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

     

    PROCEDURES AND APPLICATIONS FOR TREASURY PROGRAMS

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

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

     

    COVID-19 SCAMS

    If you receive calls, emails, or other communications claiming to be from the Treasury Department and offering COVID-19 related grants or stimulus payments in exchange for personal financial information, or an advance fee, or charge of any kind, including the purchase of gift cards, please do not respond.  These are scams.  Please contact the FBI at www.ic3.gov so that the scammers can be tracked and stopped.

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

     

    RECENT REMARKS, TESTIMONY, AND STATEMENTS


  • 04/01/2020 9:43 AM | Emerson Doiron (Administrator)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Read the full press release


  • 04/01/2020 9:06 AM | Emerson Doiron (Administrator)

    03/31/2020


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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

     

     

    City of Somersworth

    Brenda Ann Breda, Executive Assistant to the

    City Manager, Robert M. Belmore



  • 03/31/2020 1:25 PM | Emerson Doiron (Administrator)

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

    March 30, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


  • 03/31/2020 1:25 PM | Emerson Doiron (Administrator)

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

    March 30, 2020

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

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

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

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

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



  • 03/31/2020 1:22 PM | Emerson Doiron (Administrator)

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

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

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


  • 03/31/2020 1:19 PM | Emerson Doiron (Administrator)

    New Hampshire Boosts Unemployment Benefits, Federal Government To Pay

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

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

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

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

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

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


  • 03/30/2020 4:21 PM | Emerson Doiron (Administrator)

    March 30, 2020

    Dear Community and Chamber leaders,

    During this challenging time for all of us, Eversource is providing several measures that will lessen the financial hardship on all our customers, including small businesses—the backbone of our communities.

    In addition to postponing customer disconnections for non-payment and assisting customers with financial programs to help pay their bill, Eversource is also providing extended payment arrangements for small business customers. 

    In normal operations, small business customers get up to three months for bill payment arrangements. To support small business customers through the COVID-19 crisis, Eversource is offering a $0 down payment and a 12-month payment arrangement, with the first payment not due until June 1.

    The reliability of our essential service has never been more important than it is today during these uncertain times. With many people working from home, and students studying remotely, customers are increasingly relying on electronic devices to accomplish their goals.

    Throughout the health crisis, be assured that Eversource is taking strict personal and public safety measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19 while also performing essential tasks to ensure all our customers have a safe and reliable energy system.

    Essential work is that which maintains or improves the condition of our energy system to ensure safe and reliable service to customers. Examples include replacement of electrical lines, poles, and other equipment; installation of automated switches that speed restoration of customers following an outage; new utility connections; vegetation management along electric lines; and work mandated by law or regulation or as required by regional electric grid operator ISO-New England.

    During this time, we are rescheduling all planned outages, as well as routine non-outage, service-related work inside residence or business.

    Eversource is proud to be part of the communities we serve, and we are committed to serving all our customers during this difficult and uncertain time.


    Best,

     Image preview

    Penelope McLean-Conner

    Sr. Vice President & Chief Customer Officer

     



  • 03/30/2020 9:09 AM | Emerson Doiron (Administrator)


    3/27/2020

    Dear Customers,

    This is to clarify that "construction," and "home improvement," businesses are exempt from Governor Sununu's Stay At Home Order commencing at midnight tonight through May 4.  As such, we are open and continue to follow all protocols for sanitizing and social distancing, we are receiving our mill-work, and we continue to accept projects in homes that are not under quarantine. 

    For those already scheduled, we will see you then.  Otherwise, we will be scheduling work already in Q shortly or, be waiting to hear from you. 

    Here is to a safe and healthy journey through these trying times.


    Yours most truly,

    Tony Wold, President 


  • 03/27/2020 4:47 PM | Emerson Doiron (Administrator)


    We Are Here To Help Your

    Small Business

    Things are changing rapidly and we will be

    updating you as we know more; stay tuned!

     

    We here in the New Hampshire District Office want to support you during these challenging times. We have extended our business hours to accommodate the telephone and email inquiries from our small businesses until 7 pm each weekday and have office hours on Saturday from 9am to 3pm,  so please call us at 603-225-1400 or email us at NewHampshire_DO@sba.gov with any questions.  We are continuing our daily webinars each weekday at 9am and 2pm info here , and we will have virtual office hours on Saturdays at 10am and 2pm that you can access thru our Skype login  here or by calling (202) 765-1264 meeting # 522409519.

    As for the news, at this point we know what you know – something big is on its way.  Each business will need to decide for itself if it wants to pursue a disaster loan application at this time or if waiting for more news is preferred.  Applying for a disaster loan will not mean a business won’t be eligible for or cannot apply for other forms of assistance once they are available; and they do not have to accept or close on any loan that is offered. 

    Economic Injury Disaster Loans:

    As you know, we have a state-wide declaration in effect making these loans eligible.  The online application has been revamped and is available again.  Businesses interested in applying, should visit https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/, click ‘Apply Online’ and follow the instructions on downloading the necessary forms and uploading them to the secure link provided.

    UPDATE: The disaster loan website it’s up, it’s running and it’s accepting applications.  That’s the good news. Even better, a confirmation will appear after submitting your documents via the Box widget that the application has been received.  If you want to check in on the application status, you can call 1-800-659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov

    Breaking News

    In response to the COVID-19 National Emergency, the SBA Express Bridge Loan (EBL) Pilot Program has been modified and the term extended. The EBL Pilot Program is designed to supplement the Agency’s direct disaster loan capabilities and authorizes SBA Express Lenders to provide expedited SBA-guaranteed bridge loan financing on an emergency basis in amounts up to $25,000 for disaster-related purposes to small businesses located in communities affected by Presidentially-declared disasters while those small businesses apply for and await long-term financing (including through SBA’s direct Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, if eligible).

    Check our Lender List for SBA Express Lenders

    Stay Tune for New Developments

                                             ********IMPORTANT***********

    Some people are trying to scam others in SBA’s name. There is no immediate deadline for an EIDL application in fact you have until December 31, 2020 to file and it does NOT cost anything to apply, get the papers together, no credit card is needed, etc.  If you are asked for any of these STOP, do not continue it is a SCAM.

    Resource Partners Assistance

    Free assistance with reconstructing financial records, preparing financial statements and submitting the loan application is available from any of SBA’s partners:

    Small Business Development Centers -NH SBDC
    SCORE
    Center for Women and Enterprise -CWE
    Veteran’s Business Outreach Centers
    or for more information 

    twitter logo

    We have the up-to-date information and   

    for all the most recent events in NH

    Follow us 

    @SBA_NH


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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