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  • 06/08/2020 3:37 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    June 4, 2020

    Department of Economic and Community Development posts additional COVID-19 Prevention Checklists and continues its work on a proposed plan for the tourism season

    The Mills Administration today announced additional business reopenings under the Governor’s rural reopening plan. Under the update, in 13 counties, tasting rooms and bars may open for outside service and gyms and fitness centers, nail salons, and tattoo and piercing parlors may open with added health and safety precautions beginning on Friday, June 12th. These establishments may reopen everywhere in all counties except for York, Cumberland, and Androscoggin Counties.

    This update accelerates the reopening of bars and tasting rooms for outside service, as well as the reopening of tattoo and piercing parlors, all which were originally scheduled to reopen statewide as part of Stage 3 (July 1). It also allows gyms and fitness centers as well as nail salons to resume operations in these 13 counties. These updates come in light of low case count trends in these thirteen counties where the relative small number of cases has largely either remained steady or decreased. Consistent with past practice, these businesses must comply with added health and safety precautions in the form of COVID-19 Prevention Checklists as a condition of voluntary reopening.

    The developments come as the Mills Administration also works to provide an alternative to the State’s 14-day quarantine that seeks to protect the health and safety of Maine people and allow tourists to visit Maine safely and support our small businesses.

    “Nearly a month after many businesses in these thirteen counties reopened, we continue to see low case counts in those counties,” said Governor Mills. “As a result, we are accelerating the reopening of some additional businesses in these areas, but with added health and safety precautions. I continue to urge Maine people to take steps to protect themselves and others, including wearing a face covering, staying six feet apart whenever possible, and practicing good hygiene such as washing your hands frequently. As we continue to gradually reopen, steps like these will be critical to protecting not only ourselves but others as well.”

    “The good work that Maine people have done to fight COVID-19 and take health precautions seriously allow us to take another important step forward,” said Heather Johnson, Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development. “I am optimistic that these reopening steps will help businesses while continue to protect the health of Maine people.”

    “Maine people and businesses have demonstrated that taking critical health and safety precautions can keep our infection and hospitalization rates low,” said Jeanne Lambrew, Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner. “As we continue to move forward with a gradual reopening plan grounded in science, these steps are even more important protecting the health and safety of all Maine people.”

    The Department of Economic and Community Development also posted statewide Stage 2 COVID-19 Prevention Checklists today for businesses. Additionally, in response to feedback from businesses and public health experts, the Department has also updated guidance for some businesses that are already open. The Checklists, written in close collaboration with industry leaders and public health experts, outline health and safety guidance that businesses and activity organizers must commit to comply with in order to reopen as part of the Administration’s Restarting Maine’s Economy Plan. DECD has also added individual sectors that may safely operate utilizing existing checklists for clarity purposes. Examples include photography and film businesses may operate utilizing the “general guidance” and mini-golf may operate using the “community sports” checklist.

    Additional Checklists:

    1. Driver Education Schools
    2. Gyms and Fitness Centers
    3. Tattoo and Piercing Parlors
    4. Barbering and Cosmetology Schools

    Updated Checklists:

    1. Retail
    2. Inland Fish and Wildlife Outdoor Activities
    3. Specific Guidance for Charter Boats instead of using Outdoor Activities
    4. Marinas

  • 06/08/2020 3:36 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    June 4, 2020

    Governor Janet Mills and MaineHousing announced today an extension of the COVID-19 Rent Relief Program. The rental assistance program, established in April, allows households that meet certain income and ability to pay requirements to receive a one-time, up to $500 payment in rental assistance to be paid directly to their landlord. With the extension, the program now covers rent for the months of April, May or June. 

    “This program has helped provide a small measure of relief to thousands of Maine renters and their landlords,” said Governor Janet Mills. “As people across the state continue to feel the impact of COVID-19, we hope it will continue to help more.”

    “We know that COVID-19 has highlighted the significant range of Mainers’ housing challenges,” said Daniel Brennan, Director of MaineHousing. “We’re happy to continue providing support to those who need it most.”

    Since its creation in April, the program has served more than 5,200 Maine households in April and May with 2,800 applications still in process. Program statistics may be found here.

    Each household that meets certain income and ability to pay requirements may receive a one-time, up to $500 payment in rental assistance paid directly to their landlord. When a landlord accepts payment, they agree not to evict the tenant for nonpayment for the month the payment was issued. MaineHousing will continue to administer the program on a statewide level with local implementation provided by Maine’s Community Action Agencies.

    “We know this won’t cover the full rent for most renters,” Brennan noted. “We want to help as many people as possible and to do that, we capped the one-time payment at $500. It’s also important for us to reiterate – this is not a rent forgiveness program. Renters are still responsible for paying their rent. We encourage landlords and tenants to communicate with one another about this program and other issues that may arise because of COVID-19.”

    Those who received rent relief through this program in April or May are not eligible for program funds in June. Those who applied in April and May but have yet to hear back from their local Community Action Agency should contact that agency to check on the status of their application. A list of agencies and their service areas can be found here (PDF).

    People who live in subsidized housing are not eligible for this program because they have other programs available to them and should contact their property manager. 

    Applicants can find application materials and answers to commonly asked questions here Materials are also available in six additional languages.

  • 06/08/2020 3:05 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    June 5th, 2020

    CONCORD, NH - Today, Governor Chris Sununu issued the following statement after Superior Court Judge Dave Anderson denied a motion to reconsider denial of a preliminary injunction in the lawsuit filed by four New Hampshire legislators regarding COVID-19 funds. In his order, Judge Anderson agreed with the Governor’s legal arguments regarding authority to expend CARES Act funds and found that the legislators were unlikely to succeed on the merits of their case.

    “I would like to thank Judge Anderson for his careful consideration of this case thus far,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “In this unprecedented public health emergency, we will continue our work to get relief to New Hampshire families fast.”

    Copy of the Court's order PDF file

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

  • 06/08/2020 3:02 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    June 5th, 2020

    Concord, NH – Today, Governor Chris Sununu issued Executive Order 2020-10 as part of the state’s efforts to respond to COVID-19.

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

  • 06/05/2020 5:40 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    Important Dates & Timeline

    • Announcement of Program Specifics - June 5, 2020
    • Formal Application Period - June 5, 2020 – June 12, 2020
    • Deadline to File Completed Application - June 12, 2020

    For a small for-profit business to qualify, they must:

    • Have submitted a Prequalification Application
    • Be a for-profit business
    • Have its principal place of business in New Hampshire
    • Have been in operation for at least one year prior to May 29, 2020
    • Anticipate a loss of revenue for 2020 due to COVID-19
    • Have total 2019 gross revenues of less than $20,000,000
    • Not currently be in bankruptcy
    • Not have permanently ceased operations

    In addition, the following types of businesses are not eligible for grants under the Main Street Relief Fund as those businesses are or will be addressed through other programs:

    • Nonprofits
    • Childcare providers
    • Hospitals or other healthcare providers
    • Institutions of higher education
    • Elementary or secondary schools
    • Farmers, growers, or maple producers
    • Franchises or national chains
    • A business where the only employees are owners of the business

    Read more and submit your application here:

  • 06/03/2020 4:05 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    The pre-qualification application process for New Hampshire's Main Street Relief Fund ended on May 29, 2020.

    According to the State's GOFERR website, the specifics of this funding opportunity were to be announced on June 1, 2020, along with the official application. 

    As of June 3, 2020, that information has yet to be released. TFCC is in close contact with state resources and we are monitoring the information closely so we can provide it to our members as soon as it becomes available. 

  • 06/03/2020 3:06 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    Somersworth Restaurant List Updated to Include Outside Service

    View the list here:

    Take Out and Outside Service.pdf

  • 06/03/2020 2:53 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the U.S. Treasury Department, announced that it is setting aside $10 billion of Round 2 funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to be lent exclusively by Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs).  CDFIs work to expand economic opportunity in low-income communities by providing access to financial products and services for local residents and businesses.  These dedicated funds will further ensure that the PPP reaches all communities in need of relief during the COVID-19 pandemic – a key priority for President Trump.

    “The forgivable loan program, PPP, is dedicated to providing emergency capital to sustain our nation’s small businesses, the drivers of our economy, and retain their employees,” said SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza. “CDFIs provide critically important capital and technical assistance to small businesses from rural, minority and other underserved communities, especially during this economically challenging time.”

    “The PPP has helped over 50 million American workers stay connected to their jobs and over 4 million small businesses get much-needed relief,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.  “We have received bipartisan support for dedicating these funds for CDFIs to ensure that traditionally underserved communities have every opportunity to emerge from the pandemic stronger than before.”

    As of May 23, 2020, CDFIs have approved more than $7 billion ($3.2 billion in Round 2) in PPP loans.  The additional $6.8 billion will ensure that entrepreneurs and small business owners in all communities have easy access to the financial system, and that they receive much-needed capital to maintain their workforces.

    The Paycheck Protection Program was created by the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) and provides forgivable loans to small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to keep their employees on the payroll.  To date, more than 4.4 million loans have been approved for over $510 billion for small businesses across America.

    The SBA and the Treasury Department remain committed to ensuring eligible small businesses have the resources they need to get through this time.

  • 06/03/2020 2:43 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    The U.S. Small Business Administration announced the first online Veteran Entrepreneurial Training and Resource Network Streetwise MBA program to provide virtual training for veteran small business owners and their immediate families beginning in August 2020.

    This will be the second cohort of the Veteran Owned Small Business Growth Training Pilot Program, following the successful completion of the first cohort in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in March 2020.

    To learn more about the VETRN Streetwise MBA online program, see testimonials and videos, or to apply, visit Applications may be completed on the VETRN website or by sending an email to either or

  • 06/01/2020 3:37 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    Seacoast project selected by ISO New England to bolster regional energy system completed

    MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (June 1, 2020) — Eversource has completed construction of the Seacoast Reliability Project (SRP), a 13-mile 115 kV transmission line that will help to ensure the continued delivery of reliable power communities and businesses throughout the region depend on. The SRP was energized on Friday, May 29, a milestone that marks the completion of a suite of projects selected by New England’s independent system operator to address the urgent need for additional transmission capacity in the Seacoast region.

    “With many people continuing to work and learn from home, the safe and reliable delivery of power has never been more essential than it is during these uncertain times,” said Eversource President of Transmission Bill Quinlan. “The completion of the Seacoast Reliability Project is an exciting development in our efforts to serve our Seacoast customers and to support economic growth in the future. As restoration and landscaping continue through the spring and summer, we will maintain close communication and collaboration with our host communities, property owners and businesses while adhering to social distancing and other best practices to safeguard health and prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

    “We’re pleased the project is winding to a successful close,” said Durham Town Administrator Todd Selig. “Construction has proceeded according to schedule and Eversource representatives have endeavored to work cooperatively with town officials in order to mitigate local impacts to the extent reasonably practical for a regionally significant project of this size, scope, and duration.”

    The SRP was constructed almost completely within existing rights of way between substations in Madbury and Portsmouth. Eversource invested more than $126 million to construct the project and bolster regional infrastructure—delivering direct benefits to Seacoast customers including enhanced system reliability and property tax payments to host communities. In addition to working closely with local officials, residents, businesses, environmental groups and other stakeholders throughout construction, Eversource followed guidelines established in construction agreements and discussions with Durham, Madbury, Newington, Portsmouth and UNH.

    “Environmental impacts to the Great Bay ultimately were shown to be in accordance with the NHDES-approved monitoring plan and demonstrated compliance with N.H. SEC permit conditions,” added Selig. “The results of the extensive water quality sampling program undertaken by Eversource’s environmental monitoring consultants demonstrated that state water quality standards were attained for all parameters and indicate that ecological impacts during construction were negligible.”

    As the energy company’s crews and contractors work to complete final construction activities, including environmental monitoring and reporting, they are continuing to follow strict safety precautions, including practicing social distancing, wearing face coverings and using enhanced sanitation practices.

    “We are grateful to our host communities for their input and partnership throughout the planning process, as well as their understanding and patience as we work together to serve the public during the pandemic,” said Quinlan. “We remain committed to being a good neighbor and environmental steward as this project continues to deliver benefits to the Seacoast for years to come.”

    For more information about the Seacoast Reliability Project, visit, call 888-926-5334 or email with any questions.





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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