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

News

  • 03/24/2020 8:42 AM | Emerson Doiron (Administrator)

    An update to our community. 
     
    As we continue to see new cases of COVID-19 in New Hampshire, today we'd like to share some ways you can help prevent the spread of infection in your home and community.  
     
    If You Have Symptoms 

     
    If you are experiencing common symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever or cough, please CALL your primary health care provider. For your safety and the safety of others, please do not come to an urgent care clinic or emergency room unless you have been instructed to do so.  
     
    For patients experiencing moderate to severe symptoms of COVID-19 or other respiratory illnesses, your provider may direct you to visit the Respiratory Clinic at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, located outside our Emergency Department, for further evaluation, testing, and treatment. 
     
    The availability of timely and accessible testing for COVID-19 continues to be a concern. To preserve supplies so we can best serve those most in need, the hospital will ONLY test individuals who meet specific testing criteria. We will update the community if that changes. 

    Social Distancing 

    It is important to remember, since most people who get this virus have only mild to moderate symptoms—and don't realize they are infected—they can transmit the virus to more vulnerable people, like the elderly. To stop widespread transmission and to avoid overwhelming the health system, we are all encouraged to practice social distancing —or staying away from groups of people. 

    Here's how: 

    • DON'T go to any group events or locations with 10 or more people. 
    • DO get out in nature. Taking a walk in the fresh air is also a healthy habit. 
    • DON'T go to work if your employer permits you to work from home. 
    • DO wash your hands frequently with soap and water (at least 20 seconds). 

    Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 at Home 

    Most cases of COVID-19 are mild and patients are able to treat their symptoms at home. If you have confirmed or suspected COVID-19 and have been cleared to return home, here are tips to prevent spreading it to other household members while you are self-isolating. 

    • Restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care. 
    • Remain under home isolation until instructed by your doctor. 
    • Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home. 
    • Wear a facemask. 
    • Cover your coughs and sneezes. 
    • Clean your hands often. 
    • Avoid sharing personal household items. 
    • Clean all “high touch” surfaces such as counters, railings, doorknobs, and phones, every day. 

    Read more about Preventing the Spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 in Homes and Residential Communities on the CDC's website.  

    We can all do our part to help slow the spread of transmission by practicing good public health habits, including maintaining social distancing, washing hands frequently, and staying home if you are sick.  

    Please visit our Coronavirus Updates page for more detailed information. 
      



  • 03/20/2020 2:05 PM | Emerson Doiron (Administrator)

    Image result for cornerstone vna

    Dear Chamber Members,

    This past week has certainly changed our lives and our businesses, but we have been impressed by those who are finding creative ways to support one another through this challenging time. As your local home health and hospice care provider, we are here for you and we are taking significant steps to ensure the health and well-being of our staff, patients, community members, and health care partners. Additionally, we recently added a new page on our website to provide important information and resources. Please visit https://cornerstonevna.org/covid-19/ to see how we are responding to COVID-19, and contact us at 4info@cornerstonevna.org if you have a business that we can include as a helpful resource for our patients and families.

     

    Thank you,

    Cornerstone VNA

  • 03/19/2020 4:21 PM | Emerson Doiron (Administrator)

    ATTN: ALL BREWERY, RESTAURANT, BAR, & TAPROOM EMPLOYEES

    Impacted by the COVID-19 Crisis

    Stripe Nine Brewing Co. Will Be Offering a Free Artisan Wood-fired Pizza to Anyone Whose Job was Affected In the Local Service Industry. Pick Up/To Go Only. No Congregating Please. One Pizza Per Individual.

    An Assorment of Cheese, Buffalo Chicken, Veggie and Meat Lovers Pizzas Will Be Offered While Topping Supplies Last. All Ticketed Guests Will Receive a Pizza.

    PLEASE RESPECT THAT THIS EVENT IS FOR THOSE IN THE LOCAL BREWERY, RESTAURANT AND BAR INDUSTRY WHO HAVE LOST THEIR JOB BECAUSE OF THE COVID-19 CRISIS.

    YOU MUST HAVE AN EVENT TICKET, A RECENT PAY STUB AND POSITIVE ID TO BE SERVED.

    8 SOMERSWORTH PLAZA, SOMERSWORTH, NH

    Friday, March 20, 2020 AT 6PM

    Stripe Nine Brewing Co.

    PLEASE RSVP HERE:

    https://www.eventbrite.com/e/stripe-nine-pizza-for-service-industry-event-tickets-100435685840


  • 03/19/2020 9:43 AM | Emerson Doiron (Administrator)

    Maine Governor prohibits dine-in service at bars and restaurants; bans gatherings more than 10 people & signs emergency legislation to respond to COVID-19

    Under authority granted to her in a civil state of emergency, Governor Janet Mills today issued an Executive Order mandating that all restaurants and bars statewide close to dine-in customers effective today, March 18, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. for a period of 14 days until midnight, March 31, 2020. Take-out, delivery, and drive-through options can continue. In her order, the Governor also prohibited all gatherings of more than 10 people until further notice, mandating the latest U.S. CDC’s guidance on gatherings. In addition, Governor Mills strongly urged non-essential public-facing businesses, such as gyms, hair salons, theatres, casinos, shopping malls, to close their doors for the next two weeks to minimize public gatherings. These new actions come as Governor Mills seeks to significantly strengthen social distancing measures in Maine. Social distancing is considered one of the most effective methods to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

    “I do not take these steps lightly. Maine’s small businesses and their workers are the backbone of our economy, and I understand that these actions will not only impact them, they will also disrupt the lives of Maine people,” said Governor Janet Mills. “However, COVID-19 continues to spread across Maine and more aggressive action is required to mitigate that spread and to protect the health and welfare of Maine people. My Administration is committed to working with businesses whose operations are affected by COVID-19. I continue to strongly urge all Maine people to take seriously the threat of this virus and to practice social distancing. We all have a responsibility to do our part.”

    “We are continuing our work to find ways that we can support both Maine businesses and Maine workers during this challenging time,” said Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Heather Johnson. “DECD, in partnership with other departments in Governor Mills’ Administration, is committed to finding solutions and to partnering with other entities that can offer support to ensure that there are resources available for businesses impacted by the changes in the market as a result of the Coronavirus.”

    Governor Mills’ Executive Order:

    • Prohibits gatherings of more than 10 people statewide. Gatherings subject to this Order are those that are primarily social, personal, and discretionary events not work-related events. Such gatherings include, without limitation, community, civic, public, leisure, faith-based events; social clubs; sporting events with spectators; concerts, conventions, fundraisers, parades, fairs, and festivals; and any similar event or activity in a venue such as an auditorium, stadium, arena, large conference room, meeting hall, theater, gymnasium, fitness center or private club.
    • Closes dine-in facilities at all restaurants and bars statewide. All restaurants and bars shall close their dine-in facilities. Such businesses that offer carry-out, delivery, and drive-through food and beverage service may continue to do so but eating and drinking inside restaurants and bars is temporarily prohibited. Such businesses offering carry-out, delivery, and drive-through food and beverage should employ social distancing best practices and minimize gathering of customers. The Governor urges Maine people to continue to support our establishments by purchasing take-out meals or by buying gift cards or other measures of support.

    The Order will be reviewed prior to its expiration date for a determination of the need for revision and renewal.

    In addition, Governor Mills strongly urged non-essential public-facing businesses, such as gyms, hair salons, theatres, casinos, shopping malls, to close their doors for the next two weeks to minimize public gatherings.

    This does not include businesses that provide essential services including, but not limited to: food processing, agriculture, industrial manufacturing, construction, trash collection, grocery and household goods (including convenience stores), home repair and hardware and auto repair, pharmacy and other medical facilities, biomedical and health care, child care, post offices and shipping outlets, insurance, banks, gas stations, laundromats, veterinary clinics and animal feed and supply stores, shipping stores, public transportation, and hotel and commercial lodging.

    Although these businesses may remain open, Governor Mills strongly urged Maine people to implement social distancing measures and to be thoughtful about the need to visit these businesses.

    Other businesses, including but not limited to legal services, business and management consulting, professional services and insurance services, are encouraged to have employees work remotely. If that is not possible, Governor Mills urges employees to implement social distancing measures.

    Governor Mills also signed into law today an emergency bill granting her access to at least $11 million in State funding to respond to COVID-19 and an omnibus emergency bill expanding authorities of State and local officials to allow them greater flexibility to respond to the virus. The bipartisan supplemental budget also provides $1 million to the Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to support public health nurses and cover costs of lab tests and other response efforts not otherwise federally funded.

    Governor Janet Mills has also taken strong steps to protect Maine workers and small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Upon Governor Mills’ request, the Small Business Administration (SBA) declared that Maine businesses are now eligible to apply for economic support loans to help them overcome any temporary loss of revenue due to COVID-19. Additionally, the emergency omnibus package she signed today temporarily revises eligibility for unemployment insurance to extend it to individuals whose employment has been impacted by COVID-19. It also temporarily waives the one week waiting period for benefits so that workers may obtain benefits faster and ensures that claims for UI will not affect an employer’s experience rating. It also establishes a consumer loan guarantee program through FAME, in partnership with financial institutions, to provide low- or no- interest loans for eligible people in Maine.

    These new steps from the Governor build on the work done by the Mills Administration to prepare for and respond to COVID-19, including:

    • Convening a Coronavirus Response Team, led by Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah and comprised of key individuals in the Mills Administration, to coordinate State government’s response across departments and local agencies and health authorities;
    • Signing a proclamation of civil emergency to bring the State of Maine to highest alert and allowing her to deploy all available state resources to protect the health and safety of Maine people and to take every action she reasonably deems necessary to help respond to and protect against the spread of COVID-19 in Maine. The proclamation also eased Maine’s access to critical federal aid to boost response efforts.
    • Signing into law a $73 million supplemental budget proposal that protects the health and well-being of Maine people as the State responds to COVID-19;
    • Signing into law a package of emergency measures granting her access to at least $11 million in State funding to respond to COVID-19, expanding authorities of State and local officials to allow them greater flexibility to respond to the virus, and provide support to Maine workers impacted by the virus.
    • Issuing a Declaration of Abnormal Market Disruption, drafted in close consultation with Attorney General Aaron M. Frey, to prohibit price gouging of certain necessities;
    • Declaring a health insurance emergency to require health insurance carriers providing health care coverage in Maine’s commercial market to cover costs related to coronavirus testing and increase access to care.
    • Directing the Maine Department of Health and Human Services to issue emergency rules to ensure MaineCare does not charge copays for office visits and prescription drugs that may be needed for COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment, and to allow for a prescription refill of up to 90 days so people have to make fewer visits to pharmacies.
    • Recommending ending classroom instruction in all public schools as soon as reasonably practical
    • Applying for and receiving a waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to allow schools the ability to provide meals offsite to students, if the school or community currently has, or qualifies for, a USDA Summer Food Service Program.
    • Recommending hospital systems and health care providers across Maine postpone non-urgent medical procedures, elective surgeries, and appointments until further notice.
    • Recommending all long-term care providers prohibit all visitors and non-essential health care personnel; except for certain compassionate care situations such as an end of life situation, until further notice.
    • Distributing personal protective equipment to first responders and health care professionals across Maine as it becomes available.
    • Temporarily suspending non-essential, out-of-state travel for all State employees and reviewing leave policies and telecommuting options.
    • Launching a 211 option for Mainers to get answers to questions about COVID-19 at any time. This service is available by dialing 211 (or 1-866-811-5695), texting your ZIP code to 898-211, or emailinginfo@211maine.org.

    For more information on Maine’s response to COVID-19 and updated testing results, visit the Maine CDC website. Additionally, Maine CDC and 211 Maine have launched a new option for Mainers to get answers to questions about COVID-19 at any time. This service is available by dialing 211 (or 1-866-811-5695), texting your ZIP code to 898-211, or emailing info@211maine.org.

    The best thing that Maine people can do to protect their health is to practice social distancing and take the same preventive measures that avoid catching a cold: Wash your hands often for 20 seconds. Cover coughs and sneezes. Stay home if you are sick. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, shortness of breath, and lower respiratory distress. Call ahead to a health care professional if you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness. Health care providers will make the initial determination on whether COVID-19 testing is advisable. As appropriate, health providers will take samples and submit them to Maine CDC.

  • 03/19/2020 9:42 AM | Emerson Doiron (Administrator)

    Maine Governor Janet Mills and the State Legislature spearheaded a package of emergency measures to respond to COVID-19 today. One emergency bill grants Governor Mills access to at least $11 million in State funding to respond to COVID-19, while another omnibus emergency bill expands authorities of State and local officials to allow them greater flexibility to respond to the virus and to provide support to Maine workers impacted by the virus. The bills were enacted by the Legislature and Governor Mills will sign them tomorrow.

    These measures include:

    • Establishing a consumer loan guarantee program through FAME, in partnership with financial institutions, to provide low- or no- interest loans for eligible people in Maine;
    • Temporarily expanding eligibility for unemployment benefits for workers impacted by COVID-19;
    • Increasing the Department of Education’s ability to waive certain school-day requirements and to continue school lunch programs for all eligible children;
    • Authorizing Governor Mills to adjust state, county and municipal government deadlines and to permit all public entities to meet by remote participation;
    • Expanding the ability of Maine Emergency Medical Services’ Board and staff to take actions more promptly;
    • Authorizing Governor Mills to prohibit utilities from terminating residential electric and water service;
    • Authorizing Governor Mills to determine and direct the manner of the June 2020 primary, if necessary;  
    • Delaying the effective date of the single-use plastic bag ban to January 15, 2021.

    “These emergency measures will support the State’s response to the coronavirus and mitigate its spread in Maine,” said Governor Mills.“Protecting the health and well-being of Maine people is a responsibility at the core of State government, and I am grateful to lawmakers for uniting in support of these measures so we can implement them swiftly.”

    “From the moment we walked through the State House doors this morning, our number one priority was to make sure Mainers were taken care of during this public health crisis. We’ve heard from hardworking families worried about how they will make ends meet while their employer is temporarily closed. We’ve heard from small business owners, who are worried that their business will shutter for good if the crowds continue to stay home. Mainers are counting on us to have their back. With this COVID-19 package, we can make sure resources are available when Mainers need them most,” said Senate President Troy Jackson. “There’s no doubt that this pandemic has sent shockwaves throughout the state, but at the same time, Maine people, organizations, businesses and state agencies have all stepped up to support one another. This is not only how we are going to get through this crisis as a state, but what being a Mainer is all about.”

    “We have made it a priority for state government to respond swiftly to aid those most in need and have acted to provide support that will be available as soon as possible,” said Senate Republican Leader Dana Dow. 

    “Today we came together to protect the health and financial security of Maine's working families and to address the immediate concerns we are facing,” said House Speaker Sara Gideon. “There is much we still don’t know about the days and weeks ahead, but what I do know is that we are all in this together and we are resilient. Across Maine government, this response effort will continue as we work to put in place effective, evidence-based measures to ensure the safety of Maine families, communities and our economy.” 

    “We are hopeful these measures will support a statewide response to the challenges posed by COVID-19,” said House Republican Leader Kathleen Dillingham. “As Mainers, we will get through these unprecedented times by supporting each other.”

    These measures come in addition to a bipartisan agreement on a revised supplemental budget proposal that protects the health and well-being of Maine people as the State responds to COVID-19. The Legislature’s Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee unanimously approved the proposal yesterday and the Legislature passed it today.

    The Legislature also voted on several other time-sensitive and health-related legislation before adjourning sine die.

    Governor Mills has said she intends to call the Legislature back for a Special Session as soon as is safe and prudent and that it is her strong preference that during such a session priority attention be given to only the most pressing matters. 
     


  • 03/18/2020 6:06 PM | Emerson Doiron (Administrator)

    NH Receives Statewide Declaration Opening Disaster Assistance Application Process for all Businesses

    The U.S. Small Business Administration is now offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to the entire state of New Hampshire for small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).  Disaster loans can provide vital economic assistance to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue.

    Small businesses, private non-profit organizations of any size, small agricultural cooperatives and small aquaculture enterprises that have been financially impacted as a direct result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) since Jan. 31, 2020, may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred. Loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. 
    Eligibility for Economic Injury Disaster Loans is based on the financial impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses. The interest rate for private non-profit organizations is 2.75 percent. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years and are available to entities without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship. You risk nothing by applying and are not obligated to take the loan if approved, but in the instance that you do need these funds applying could be the difference between keeping your small business afloat or closing the doors.

    Apply for a EIDL Loan

    The SBA encourages every business or nonprofit affected to apply online (visit here to confirm eligibility). Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email  for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155. The deadline to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan is Dec. 17, 2020.

    Note:   Once you register and start the online application process, you will be prompted to select your business type and then select the loan type that you are applying for.   Please be sure to select the right business type because there are 2 different loan applications AND you must select ‘Economic Injury (EIDL)’ to be able to select the Coronavirus Disaster Declaration.


  • 03/18/2020 2:52 PM | Emerson Doiron (Administrator)

    Concord, NH – Today, Governor Chris Sununu issued Emergency Orders 6, 7, and 8, as part of the state's efforts to respond to COVID-19.

    • Emergency Order #6  pdf file: Temporary authorization for take-out or delivery beer or wine. All restaurants, diners, bars, saloons, private clubs or any other establishment that have both a restaurant license and on premise license from the New Hampshire liquor commission shall be temporarily authorized to allow for takeout or delivery of beer or wine.
      "We appreciate the sacrifices many have made throughout COVID-19 developments," said Governor Chris Sununu. "This emergency order will allow for patrons to also order beer and wine from their favorite restaurants when ordering pickup or delivery.
    • Emergency Order #7  pdf file: Temporary modification of data and privacy governance plans.
      "This order will give school districts greater flexibility when developing remote learning software tools," said Governor Chris Sununu. "Student privacy is paramount, and all applications and software still must meet rigorous Department of Education privacy standards."
    • Emergency Order #8  pdf file: Temporary expansion of access to Telehealth Services to protect the public and health care providers.
      "Ensuring Granite Staters can receive quality health care without having to increase their exposure to COVID-19 is important," said Governor Chris Sununu. "This order will ensure health care practices can continue."


  • 03/17/2020 3:16 PM | Emerson Doiron (Administrator)

    Image result for kennebunk savings bank

    Important information about Kennebunk Savings’ lobby hours starting on March 18, 2020

    Branch hours For Chambers 3_17_20 FINAL.pdf

    After reviewing the latest guidelines about social distancing from the CDC, we feel it is in the best interest of our customers and employees to close all our branch lobbies to the public starting Wednesday, March 18, 2020 until further notice. We are doing this out of an abundance of caution and as a way to help limit the spread of the coronavirus.

     

    Our Drive Up Banking, ATMs and night depositories will remain open at the branches. The following services will be available at our branches by appointment only: access to safe deposit boxes, debit card issuance, and change orders for business customers.  If you would like to schedule an appointment, please call Customer Care at 1-800-339-6573.

     

    Due to the rapidly changing circumstances of the pandemic, we may need to alter our branch hours based on employee and customer safety and staffing. For your reference, we will keep this list of branch hours updated daily on our website


  • 03/17/2020 2:13 PM | Emerson Doiron (Administrator)

    Concord, NH – Today, Governor Chris Sununu issued Emergency Orders 3, 4, and 5, which will provide relief for Granite Staters affected by COVID-19.

    "Tough decisions have been made at the state level, but we will get through this together," said Governor Chris Sununu. "Seeing what the lack of an appropriate response has resulted in around the world requires that we make some difficult decisions here in New Hampshire to ensure we stem the tide of this worldwide pandemic within our own communities. We are taking steps to help Granite Staters, ensuring they have the support and services for themselves, their families, and their businesses throughout this crisis."

    • Emergency Order #3pdf file All providers of electric, gas, water, telephone, cable, VOIP, internet service, and deliverable fuel services will be prohibited from disconnecting or discontinuing service for non-payments for the duration of the State of Emergency.
    • Emergency Order #4:  pdf fileLandlords will not be allowed to start eviction proceedings for those unable to pay due to their financial situations. To do so would be against the law. All judicial and non-judicial foreclosure actions will also be prohibited during the state of emergency.
    • Emergency Order #5:  pdf fileIndividuals who are unable to work or who have reduced hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic will have immediate access to unemployment benefits. Anyone in the following situations will now be eligible for state unemployment: If your employer temporarily closes due to COVID-19; Individuals that need to self-quarantine or are directed to quarantine at the instruction of a health care provider, employer or government official; Individuals that need to care for a family member that has COVID-19 or is under quarantine; Individuals that need to care for a dependent because of school closures, child care facility closures or other similar types of care programs; Self-employed individuals that are temporarily unable to operate their business because of any of the above listed situations will also be eligible.

    Individuals will need to file for each week of temporary unemployment and all of this can and should be done online at www.nhes.nh.gov, or by calling . People can do all of this online from your home internet connection or your phone without ever having to go into a state office. The website to access is www.nhes.nh.gov and the phone number to call is 603-271-7700.

    Governor Chris Sununu also officially submitted a request that the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration provide SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans to small businesses across New Hampshire  pdf file.

    Portable Document Format Symbol Portable Document Format (.pdf). Visit nh.gov for a list of free .pdf readers for a variety of operating systems.


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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