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  • 05/13/2020 2:04 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    Eversource Reminds Customers to Remain Vigilant Against Scams


    Energy company offers tips for customers to protect themselves as scammers exploit COVID-19 pandemic


    MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (May 13, 2020) — As part of Eversource’s efforts to support its customers and communities during the pandemic, the energy company is reminding people to remain vigilant and protect themselves against scams. The COVID-19 outbreak has led to an increase in scam activity, with sophisticated scammers finding unique and intimidating ways to exploit people and steal their money during these uncertain times.


    “We’re always working to help our customers protect themselves against scams, which is especially important today as sophisticated scammers are trying to take advantage of the uncertainty and nervousness caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Eversource Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer Penni Conner. “Eversource will never demand instant payment over the phone nor ask for personal information in an unsolicited call, text or email. We urge customers to remain vigilant and always remember, don’t panic and don’t pay. If you suspect that you’ve been targeted by a scam, please call us immediately at 800-662-7764.”

    With the wave of scams related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Eversource is reminding customers about common signs to recognize a scam and specific pandemic-related scams to look out for, including:

    ·    Threats of immediate power disconnection or demands for payment: Eversource representatives never ask for instant payment, and the energy company is not disconnecting any customers for non-payment during this emergency period.

    ·    Callers asking for personal or account information or insisting on specific, unusual payment methods: Eversource will never ask for personal information over the phone in this manner and does not accept payments via gift cards, pre-paid debit cards or other common tools used by scammers.

    ·    Requests for a deposit to exchange a utility meter: Eversource has suspended all non-essential work, including routine meter changes, during the pandemic. Meters also do not suddenly expire, so be wary of calls claiming payment is necessary for a new meter to be installed because the current meter is about to expire.

    ·    Calls, emails or texts about government stimulus checks: The IRS won’t contact people with information about stimulus payments, or to ask for personal information like a Social Security number or bank account number.

    ·    Online offers for vaccinations and test kits: There are no products proven to treat or prevent COVID-19 at this time and the only FDA-approved home test kit requires a doctor’s order.

    Eversource urges anyone who believes they are a target of improper solicitation to please alert local law enforcement and contact the company directly at 800-662-7764. For more information on how the energy company is helping customers protect against scams during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit




    Eversource (NYSE: ES), celebrated as a national leader for its corporate citizenship, is the #1 energy company in Newsweek’s list of America’s Most Responsible Companies for 2020 and recognized as one of America’s Most JUST Companies and the #1 utility by Forbes and JUST Capital. Eversource is New Hampshire’s largest electric utility, serving more than 519,000 homes and businesses in 211 cities and towns, and also supplies water to approximately 9,500 homes and businesses in Hampton, North Hampton and Rye. Eversource is proud to be recognized as the #1 contributor to United Way in New Hampshire. Eversource harnesses the commitment of approximately 8,300 employees across three states to build a single, united company around the mission of safely delivering reliable energy and water with superior customer service. The #1 energy efficiency provider in the nation, the company is empowering a clean energy future in the Northeast, with nationally-recognized energy efficiency solutions and successful programs to integrate new clean energy resources like solar, offshore wind, electric vehicles and battery storage, into the electric system. For more information, please visit, and follow us on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn. For more information on our water services, visit

  • 05/13/2020 1:59 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    The State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) grant initiative of the U.S. Small Business Administration provides funding to increase the number of businesses that export. Administered by Maine International Trade Center (MITC), the objective of the STEP Financial Assistance Award is to encourage Maine companies to seek new international sales through financial support for costs associated with such activities.

    Eligible Maine companies may receive a maximum of five STEP Financial Assistance Awards per year.

    Airfare, lodging, meals, and printing are NOT eligible for reimbursement under this program.

    Eligible businesses may receive reimbursements totaling up to $20,000 per year for costs associated with activities in the following categories:

    International Business Development – up to $6,000 per activity
    business matching services or international trade shows, including online B2B matchmaking services and virtual events

    Export Skills Development – up to $2,000 per activity
    training or export compliance services, including online export skills training

    Export Marketing Assistance – up to $6,000 per activity
    consultants to improve marketing efforts, including website localization and optimization


    For information on eligibility and requirements for reimbursement, please review the STEP 2019-2020 Guidelines before submitting your STEP Financial Assistance Award application.

    A specific activity, dates, and estimated total cost are required as part of the application. Applications must be received by September 16, 2020. Funded activities must be completed before September 30, 2020.

    If you have further questions about the STEP program, please contact

  • 05/13/2020 1:53 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    Staff and wire report,

    Posted May 12, 2020 at 4:24 PM


    CONCORD — A panel tasked with reopening New Hampshire’s economy amid the easing threat from the coronavirus pandemic agreed Tuesday on proposals for six sectors, among them lodging, outdoor attractions and gyms.

    The recommendations won’t be final until public health officials and Gov. Chris Sununu give their OK.

    The task force unanimously recommended hotels be limited to half their capacity, though the limit would not apply to motels with outdoor access to rooms or to inns and bed-and-breakfasts with 10 or fewer rooms.

    Face masks would be required for staffers and are recommended for guests, who would be asked at check-in about any possible exposure to the coronavirus.

    A reopening date of May 22 is recommended for lodging, but target dates for other sectors were not included.

    On attractions, the guidance covers “recreational and natural settings,” including biking, canoe and kayak rentals, mini-golf, driving ranges, shooting ranges, and racetracks.

    Also included are small group tours such as for Lost River Gorge and the Polar Caves, but task force members said amusement parks, water parks and indoor attractions would be addressed later.

    Outdoor attractions would be limited to half their capacity, or to the number social distancing guidelines can accommodate, whichever is less. The requirement would be the same for gyms and fitness clubs, which also would be prohibited from enrolling out-of-state residents as new members.

    The Republican governor’s stay-at-home order was extended to May 31, but some businesses were allowed to reopen this week, including retail stores, hair salons and golf courses.

    Restaurants will be allowed to begin offering outdoor dining May 18.

    The numbers

    Two Rockingham County residents are among the nine coronavirus deaths reported Tuesday by New Hampshire health officials. The county also surpassed 1,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

    The state’s death toll increased to 142 people. All of the nine people reported dead Tuesday were age 60 or older. They included one man and one woman in Rockingham County, three men and three women in Hillsborough County and one man in Merrimack County.

    The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services also reported 81 new positive test results for COVID-19, raising the state’s total to 3,239.

    Of those with complete information, the new cases include five people under the age of 18 and the rest are adults with 47% female and 53% male. The new cases reside in Hillsborough County other than Manchester and Nashua (28), Rockingham (14), Merrimack (9), Belknap (1), Cheshire (1), and Strafford (1) counties, and in the cities of Manchester (18) and Nashua (9).

    Rockingham County’s total cases reached 1,010, while Strafford County reached 199.

    One new hospitalized case was identified for a total of 319 (about 10%) of the 3,239 cases.

    Dr. Benjamin Chan, the state epidemiologist, has said the number of tests being done in the state has been increasing, hitting an average of about 1,200 per day last week.

    For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and the infirm, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death. The majority of the state’s deaths have been in long-term care facilities.

    Mandatory masks?

    Officials in Salem, a town along the Massachusetts border, are considering requiring face masks in indoor public spaces. The proposal would require anyone over age 2 to wear some type of face covering, or face a fine as high as $200.

    The Board of Selectmen discussed the matter during a virtual meeting Monday but didn’t vote on it.

    Jim Keller, the selectman who wrote the proposal, said the main concern is to protect residents from visitors from Massachusetts, where the outbreak is worse, WMUR-TV reported. Some callers disagreed and believed the fine was too high.

    In Massachusetts, residents must wear face coverings in public or face fines of as much as $300.

    Associated Press writers Holly Ramer and Kathy McCormack contributed to this report.

     SEACOAST CORONAVIRUS NEWS IS FREE: This content is being provided for free as a public service to our readers. Sign up for our free daily or breaking email newsletters and Seacoast Health newsletter to stay informed. Please support local journalism by subscribing to or by subscribing to

  • 05/12/2020 5:02 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    A new grant opportunity will be available online on May 26, 2020, called the Defense Community Infrastructure Pilot Program (DCIP). Its purpose is "to address deficiencies in community infrastructure supportive of a military installation, if the Secretary determines that such assistance will enhance the military value, resilience, or military family quality of life at such military installation." These upgrade can ranges from $250,000 to $25 million.

    Eligible community infrastructure projects are any complete and use-able transportation project, school, hospital, police, fire, emergency response, or other community support facility; or water, waste-water, telecommunications, electric, gas, or other utility infrastructure project, that:

      *   Support a military installation;
      *   Are owned by a state or local government or a not-for-profit, member owned utility service;
      *   Will enhance military family quality of life, resilience or military value at the supported military installation;
      *   Endorsed by the local installation commander representing the installation benefiting from the propose project; and
      *   Are construction-ready.

    Community members are welcome to participate in the public comment portion of the process, which is going on until 8:00 p.m. on Monday, May 18.

    Here is the link to the public comments<

    View the attached PDF for more details.

    Defense Community Infrastructure Pilot Program.pdf

  • 05/12/2020 5:00 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    Concord, NH – Tomorrow, the State of New Hampshire is launching a new testing site in Concord, NH. The testing location will be at 28 Stickney Avenue and will be open seven days a week 11:00 AM — 7:00 PM. Residents with any COVID-19 symptoms, with underlying health conditions, over the age of 60, or who are healthcare workers can request and reserve a test.

    Interested individuals can sign up and reserve a test by going to the online portal here. They can also email, call the COVID-19 Coordinating Office at 603-271-5980, or by going through a health care provider.

    The state’s volunteer medical corps, MMRS, is also partnering with the New Hampton Fire Department to increase community-wide access to testing by mobilizing a one-day testing site in New Hampton on Saturday, May 16, at the New Hampton Fire Department at 26 Intervale Drive.

    “We are ramping up our capabilities and rapidly expanding access to testing,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “This is one of our top priorities, and we are making huge strides every day.”

    The COVID-19 Testing Registration portal is key to the State’s ongoing efforts to increase access to COVID-19 testing by ensuring qualifying residents can schedule a test without a referral from a medical provider.

    There are now seven drive through testing sites as part of the Community-Based COVID-19 Testing Program. The fixed drive through testing locations are in Claremont, Concord, Lancaster, Milford, Plymouth, Tamworth and Rochester.

  • 05/12/2020 4:59 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    Governor Chris Sununu Directs State and U.S. Flags to Half-Staff in Honor of Peace Officers Memorial Day, Declares Law Enforcement Memorial Week

    May 12, 2020

    Concord, NH – Today, Governor Chris Sununu announced that in accordance with the President's proclamation recognizing Peace Officers Memorial Day, all U.S. and State flags in the State of New Hampshire should be flown at half-staff on May 15, 2020, in recognition of Peace Officers Memorial Day.

    Governor Sununu has also proclaimed the week of May 10-16, 2020 as Law Enforcement Memorial week in the State of New Hampshire.

    "During this Law Enforcement Memorial Week, we are especially grateful for the bravery and dedication of the men and women who serve to keep New Hampshire's communities safe and strong," said Governor Chris Sununu. "New Hampshire's law enforcement officers exemplify the time-honored American ideals of public service - a commitment that is especially appreciated during these difficult times."

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

  • 05/12/2020 4:57 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    Governor Chris Sununu Issues Emergency Order #42

    Concord, NH – Today, Governor Chris Sununu issued Emergency Order #42 as part of the state's efforts to respond to COVID-19.

    Emergency Order #42 pdf file: Authorizing temporary health partners to assist in responding to the COVID-19 in long-term care facilities

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

  • 05/12/2020 4:49 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    Governor Chris Sununu Letter to Senator Rosenwald, Representative Campion Regarding Emergency Health Care System Relief Fund

    May 11th, 2020

    Concord, NH – Today, Governor Chris Sununu sent a letter to Senator Rosenwald and Representative Campion regarding the Emergency Health Care System Relief Fund.

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

  • 05/08/2020 3:47 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    Grafton County

    GRDC Introduces Website Assistance Program
    New Program Provides Financing for Website Development

    Grafton Regional Development Corporation, a non-profit organization that supports Grafton County small businesses, announced today a program that provides funding to help businesses develop new or update existing websites.

    Read More Here

    Strafford County

    The city of Rochester recently created a new microloan program to provide small businesses with interest-free loans of up to $5,000 to help them cover operational costs like payroll, utilities, rent and other capital needs.

    The city of Dover recently created a similar $5,000 small business bridge loan program.

    Hillsborough County

    Small businesses and nonprofit groups in Nashua will have access to more than $1 million to help recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Nashua Board of Aldermen on Tuesday approved the creation of a $1.2 million Coronavirus Impact Fund to help businesses get back on their feet

    Sullivan County

    The Greater Sullivan County COVID-19 Community Relief Fund, with funding from Dartmouth-Hitchcock, is available to non-profits who are struggling to meet the needs of their service population due to the current pandemic. The request form is available at HERE.

    Cheshire County

    Virtual town hall meeting for local business hosted by The City of Keene and the Greater Keene Chamber is Friday, May 8, 2020 at 08:00 AM - Join Zoom Here

    List of resources 

  • 05/08/2020 3:29 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    Governor Mills Introduces Rural Reopening Plan

    May 8, 2020

    Plan will allow for reopening of certain businesses in rural Maine with safety precautions, timeline aligns with neighboring New Hampshire

    Governor Janet Mills today announced a rural reopening plan aimed at reopening certain additional businesses in rural Maine over the course of the next two weeks with added health and safety measures. The plan comes after Governor Mills stated last week that her Administration was considering opportunities for regional variation as part of its Restarting Maine’s Economy plan. It also follows the announcement of a partnership with IDEXX Laboratories that will more than triple the State’s testing capacity.

    Under the plan, retail stores and restaurants will be permitted to open to in-store and some dine-in service, respectively – with enhanced safety precautions – in counties where community transmission is not present. Those counties are Aroostook, Piscataquis, Washington, Hancock, Somerset, Franklin, Oxford, Kennebec, Waldo, Knox, Lincoln, and Sagadahoc.

    Retail stores in these counties are permitted to open on Monday, May 11, 2020 with added health and safety precautions. These include but are not limited to: restricting the number of customers in a store at one time, enhanced cleaning practices, and touch-free transactions whenever possible.

    Restaurants in these same counties are permitted to open on Monday, May 18, 2020 with added health and safety precautions, including physically distancing customers, ensuring employees follow enhanced hygiene and sanitation practices, and controlling customer flow through reservations whenever possible. The May 11 and May 18 timelines align with the opening of the same businesses in New Hampshire.

    Additionally, remote campsites as well as sporting camps, which provide access to wilderness activities such as canoeing, hiking, hunting or fishing, are also permitted to open with public health safeguards in these same counties only on Monday, May 18th to Maine residents or those who have completed the 14 day quarantine.

    “With low case counts, no evidence of community transmission, and, now, expanded testing capacity, we believe it is appropriate to gradually lift some limitations on certain businesses in our rural counties with health and safety precautions to protect public health,” said Governor Mills.

    “Small businesses are the backbone of rural economies, and we are glad that expanded testing allows for additional rural businesses to more safely open while following guidelines that will help keep Mainers healthy,” said Heather Johnson, Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development. “Businesses have given us constructive suggestions on how they can improve the safety of their work, and we look forward to that continued engagement as we examine how to reopen the economy while protecting public health.”

    In announcing these changes, the Administration today also released the health and safety guidance that rural retail stores and restaurants must follow. This guidance comes in the form of the COVID-19 Prevention Checklists, which have been created by the Department of Economic and Community Development in close collaboration with industry and public health experts. Review the checklists here. Sporting camps guidance is expected next week.

    As with other businesses under the Governor’s plan, these establishments are permitted to open, but are not required to do so. Additionally, while the Governor’s strategy determines which types of businesses may reopen and when, it does not preclude a municipality from adopting additional public health measures related to reopenings, including applying additional restrictions on establishments within their jurisdiction.

    “We are very pleased that Governor Mills and her team worked closely with us to allow a considerable number of retailers to safely reopen next week,” said Curtis Picard, President and CEO of the Retail Association of Maine. “In addition to helping the economy recover, the ability for people to help support their local stores will help everyone's mental well-being. Make no mistake, it is imperative that retailers and customers shop safely and abide by the guidelines. Doing so will help the industry continue to open in the coming weeks.”

    Throughout the process, the Maine CDC is monitoring epidemiological data, such as case trends and hospitalization rates, as well as health care readiness and capacity, to inform decisions on the safety of proceeding through stages and lifting restrictions. The Administration will also continue to evaluate standards outlined in the Governor’s vision statement, such as testing capacity and contact tracing, to inform decisions about proceeding. Yesterday, Governor Mills announced that her Administration secured a major expansion of testing through a new partnership with Maine-based IDEXX Laboratories Inc.

    Adjusted for population size, Maine as of yesterday ranked sixth lowest in the nation in terms of positive cases; 36th in the nation in terms of deaths; 27th in terms of patients ever-hospitalized out of the 32 states reporting; and 10th in the percentage of people who have recovered out of the 38 states reporting.

    “The IDEXX agreement adds an important testing safeguard,” said Dr. Nirav D. Shah, Director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. “Coupled with increased contact tracing, it provides Maine CDC with essential resources needed to continue the process of protecting public health.”

    For now, retail stores and restaurants in York, Cumberland, Androscoggin, and Penobscot counties, where community transmission of COVID-19 has been established, will not be permitted to reopen until June 1, the proposed start date for Stage 2 of the Governor’s Restarting Maine’s Economy plan. However, all retail stores in Maine can provide curbside pickup while restaurants can continue to provide take-away and delivery services, as they have been allowed to do throughout the state of civil emergency. Guidelines issued today for rural retail stores and restaurants will apply to retail and restaurants in counties of community transmission slated to open June 1.

    The Mills Administration today also announced the following statewide adjustments to Stage 1 of Restarting Maine’s Economy plan:

    • Fitness and exercise gyms, initially categorized in Stage 2, will now be permitted to open on May 11th for outdoor classes of 10 or less. One-on-one personal training inside fitness centers will be also be permitted.

    On April 28th, Governor Mills presented her Administration’s plan to gradually and safely restart Maine’s economy. The plan established four stages for reopening, the first of which took effect on May 1st and builds upon the Governor’s previous Executive Orders that already allows grocery stores, pharmacies, financial institutions, home repair services, child care agencies, and car repair services, among others (PDF), to operate.

    The Administration continues to work closely and collaboratively with various sectors of Maine’s economy as well as public health experts to determine the best path forward to protect the health and safety of Maine people and gradually restart the economy. The Administration continues to work closely with the tourism and hospitality industries to develop strategies that will allow for a safe tourism season.

    Governor Mills continues to urge Maine people, especially those who are more vulnerable to the virus such as older Mainers and those with underlying health conditions, to stay healthy at home. Physical distancing and practicing good hygiene, like frequent hand washing with soap and warm water, are effective strategies to stay healthy and protect yourself against COVID-19.

    Get more information about Maine’s Restarting Plan.





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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