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

News

  • 05/04/2020 5:01 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    COAST to Resume Fixed Route Bus Service on Monday, May 11

    Dover, NH – COAST is resuming fixed route bus services, and Route 7 On Demand, on Monday, May 11.

    Unlike the Manchester Transit Authority (MTA) and Nashua Transit System (NTS), which were both able to continue to provide essential service for the general public using their demand response services, without such operational capacity COAST has been working diligently to resume some level of essential public transit services for the general public since suspending services on April 1.

    Due to staffing shortages as a result of COVID-19, not all services will return to normal operations on May 11. For a full list of services to resume, please see COAST’s website at www.coastbus.org/COVID-19.

    In order to promote safe interactions between passengers and staff, COAST will also be implementing a series of new guidelines and processes for traveling on the public transit system. By following these guidelines and respecting social distancing recommendations, the organization believes a safe resumption of service for essential trips is possible.

    New Guidelines for Safe Travel with COAST:

    • For the time being, COAST requests that passengers only use the bus system for essential trip purposes, such as work, doctor’s appointments, pharmacy, and groceries.
    • For everyone’s safety, passengers are strongly encouraged to wear a mask when riding in a COAST vehicle.
    • At times when close contact with passengers is unavoidable, COAST bus operators will be wearing masks, face shields, and gloves.
    • For everyone’s safety, COAST bus operators will be behind a clear protective barrier while passengers are boarding the vehicles.
    • When boarding the buses, there will be a supply of spray-on hand sanitizer that passengers are encouraged to use before moving to their seat.
    • COAST will no longer sell or accept 15-Ride Punch Tickets on their vehicles. If passengers have a 15-Ride Punch Ticket that was previously purchased, the bus operators will help passengers exchange their Punch Ticket for the equivalent amount of Single Ride Tickets, as a contactless fare payment alternative.
    • When moving to seats, passengers are asked to please respect the caution tape that will be used to help maintain social distance between passengers.
    • Passengers will be asked to please not approach the bus operator while the bus is in motion, or when the clear protective barrier is open.
    • New ‘Stand Behind’ lines will be positioned further back in the cabin of the buses, away from the bus operators.
    • There will be new guidelines for getting on and off the buses in a way that promotes safety and social distancing.

    More information about these guidelines will be made available closer to May 11.

    COAST Executive Director, Rad Nichols, commented, “We look forward to resuming service and helping passengers get to where they need to be, whether that is an essential job, to access groceries, go to the pharmacy or go to a doctor’s appointment.” Nichols added, ”To all the employers, co-workers, family members, and friends helping our passengers get to and from work and other critical services during the past few weeks – we say thank you. During our service suspension you all have been amazing.”

    In recognition of the resumption of service mid-month, COAST monthly passes will be deeply discounted in May. COAST monthly passes will be sold for $30 vs. $52 and COAST Clipper monthly passes will besold for $155 vs. $255. Partial refunds will be issued to any passengers who have already purchased full price monthly passes for the month of May.

    For additional updates on COAST operations resuming on May 11, please follow COAST on Facebook and Twitter (@COASTbus), download the DoubleMap App, or visit www.coastbus.org.

    The Cooperative Alliance for Seacoast Transportation (COAST) has provided public transit service to the Seacoast New Hampshire region since 1982. COAST is a non-profit agency, operating a regional public transit system that relies primarily on federal and local government support to operate. COAST is governed by a board of directors representing the communities served, two regional planning commissions, and many local and state agencies. COAST’s vision is to be an innovative leader in providing a broad range of public transportation services, connecting and coordinating a robust network of transportation options for everyone.


  • 05/04/2020 4:59 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    WASHINGTON— U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Jovita Carranza and U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin today issued the following statement on the success of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP):

    “The Paycheck Protection Program is providing critical support to millions of small businesses and tens of millions of hardworking Americans.

    “Since Round 2 of PPP loan processing began on April 27, 2.2 million loans have been made to small businesses which surpasses the number of all loans made in PPP Round 1.  The total value of these 2.2 million loans is over $175 billion.  Notably, the average loan size in Round 2 is $79,000, yet another indicator that the program is broadly based and assisting the smallest of small businesses. 

    “Nearly 500,000 of the loans were made by lenders with less than $1 billion in assets and non-banks.  These lenders include Community Development Financial Institutions, Certified Development Companies, Microlenders, Farm Credit lending institutions, and FinTechs.  Over 850,000 loans—about one third of the 2.2 million loans—were made by lenders with $10 billion of assets or less.  

    “Since the launch of PPP on April 3, SBA has processed over 3.8 million loans for more than half a trillion dollars of economic support in less than one month. 

    “SBA systems are processing loans so lenders can disburse funds quickly.  We encourage all eligible lenders to participate and all eligible borrowers that need this assistance to work with an approved lender to apply.

    “We are fully committed to ensuring that American workers and small businesses continue to get the resources they need to get through this challenging time.”

    In Maine, the Paycheck Protection Program has supported 9,026 loans, totaling $317.2 million, for an average loan size of $35,145. These funds have been critical in supporting the payrolls of Maine’s small businesses during this time.

    Click here to view the data

    ###

    About the U.S. Small Business Administration

    The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.


  • 05/01/2020 4:09 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    Governor Chris Sununu Announces Stay at Home 2.0

    Concord, NH – Today, Governor Chris Sununu announced he is implementing a new, modified Stay-at-Home Order. Stay at Home 2.0 is in effect until May 31st. The state is taking steps to reopen the economy in a smart, phased approach that is supported by facts, science and data.

    Each of the decisions and guidance documents below have been reviewed by State Epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan and his team at the New Hampshire's Public Health Department.

    "The people of New Hampshire have taken this epidemic incredibly seriously," said Governor Chris Sununu. "We have all played a small part in flattening the curve and slowing the spread of COVID19. We all know you are healthier at home, and that continues to be true, but we are also taking steps to reopen our economy in a smart, step-by-step approach that is supported by facts, science and data."

    Universal Guidance is being issued for any business that is currently open, or will soon be opening, under these next steps. This universal guidance will serve as the bare minimum standards which businesses must meet to maintain or begin operations. For specific industries with specific operational procedures, industry specific guidance for certain sectors can be found below.

    All applicable industries are able to start opening up in incremental phases as determined by Public Health.

    Industries that can continue to operate with new, modified guidance:

    Industries that can begin to phase-in services on May 4, 2020:

    Industries that begin to phase-in, or expand services on May 11, 2020:

    Industries that can begin to phase-in, or expand services on May 18, 2020:


  • 05/01/2020 4:06 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    Joint Statement by Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin and Administrator Jovita Carranza on the Review Procedure for Paycheck Protection Program Loans

    U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin and U.S. Small Business Administrator Jovita Carranza issued the following statement on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP):

    “The Paycheck Protection Program is providing critical support to millions of small businesses and tens of millions of hardworking Americans.

    “We have noted the large number of companies that have appropriately reevaluated their need for PPP loans and promptly repaid loan funds in response to SBA guidance reminding all borrowers of an important certification required to obtain a PPP loan. To further ensure PPP loans are limited to eligible borrowers, the SBA has decided, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, that it will review all loans in excess of $2 million, in addition to other loans as appropriate, following the lender’s submission of the borrower’s loan forgiveness application. Regulatory guidance implementing this procedure will be forthcoming.

    “We remain fully committed to ensuring that America’s workers and small businesses get the resources they need to get through this challenging time.”


  • 05/01/2020 3:41 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    Governor Mills to Maine People: “We will not give up on each other.”

    May 1, 2020

    As Maine enters Stage 1 of the Governor’s Restarting Maine’s Economy Plan today, Governor Janet Mills spoke directly to the people of Maine today to tell them that, although times are tough, Maine people will persevere and will not give up on each other:

    “This virus is testing the limits of our patience, the limits of our economic stability, the limits of our state’s health and endurance. In this, our 200th year, let us stand up to show the world who we are; let’s show them that, no matter the challenge, no matter the difficulty, we will persevere. Let’s keep talking. […],” Governor Mills said.

    “Let’s work harder than ever in these next few months to keep this thing at bay and keep our people – and our economy – safe. We can do this. I believe in you, in the faith, ingenuity and willpower of the people of Maine. I believe in our great State. And I will do everything I can to save it. I am not a quitter. Maine people are not quitters.

    “People are angry and frustrated, some losing patience. But no matter what, we will listen to each other. We will work with each other. We will do everything in our power to keep each other safe. We will not give up on each other, never quit each other. And I will never quit you,” she concluded.

    The complete text of Governor Mills’ remarks, as prepared for delivery, are as follows:

    Good afternoon.

    I want to take just a few minutes to speak to the Maine people, before I go back to the business of running the state in such a difficult time.

    Today marks the first day of the first stage of our state’s reopening.

    Today, many Maine people will be able to receive health care for certain medical needs for the first time in weeks, important procedures that have been long postponed. This is a critical change to support the health of Maine people and to provide a lifeline to rural hospitals and clinics on the brink of bankruptcy.

    This weekend, Maine people can also worship with members of their faith safely under new guidelines, and others may seek relief from the stress of these times with a round of golf or an afternoon of fishing.

    Today businesses such as barbershops and hair salons can, with strict health and safety protocols, choose to open their doors to customers and staff once again.

    And we trust them to know whether or not they can operate safely under these new guidelines administered by the Department of Economic and Community Development. If they do not yet have the equipment or protocols they need, or simply do not feel safe reopening, they should not reopen.

    And if you need a haircut, please make sure that that salon or barber shop is complying with these guidelines.

    These are important and meaningful first steps towards creating a new normal – a different way of doing business, of shopping, traveling, and enjoying the Maine outdoors in ways that will keep us all safe, if we all pull together and follow these rules that are based on fact and on science.

    We introduced these changes earlier and there have been a lot of questions. That is to be expected.

    We will keep working to answer them, one by one, and to address especially the needs of small businesses who are striving to survive in this new pandemic-driven economy.

    We have said from the beginning that our plan is a flexible document, that we are always open to constructive dialogue from all workers and businesses and members of the public.

    In the meantime, I know many of you are frustrated.

    Some say they are frustrated that the State is moving too slowly; they worry about the financial toll on summer tourism that is so vital to our state’s brand and to our financial wellbeing.

    Some people say they want to go back to work but are afraid of having to deal with the public, including millions of people from out of state who come here every summer, many from Boston, New York, New Jersey and other dangerous hot spots.

    Some are engaging in partisan political chatter over this pandemic; but we know this virus plays no favorites: it doesn’t care whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, a Green or an Independent, unregistered or unenrolled. It does not take political sides; it is an equal opportunity destroyer.

    Other people say they are frustrated that we are opening up any businesses at all, because of all the people in our state who are older or who have an underlying condition – or both – that puts them in the “vulnerable” category, putting their lives in grave danger whenever and however this virus spreads.

    They read the newspaper.

    The know that more than 3,500 people have died in Massachusetts from this painful virus; more than 18,000 New Yorkers have lost their lives; more than 7,000 in New Jersey; 2,257 in Connecticut.

    And in just the last 24 hours, the State of Georgia reports more than one thousand new cases.

    I hear all of this. I hear all of you.

    With every order I have issued and every action I have taken, I have thought long and hard about how Maine people – and Maine businesses -- will be impacted.

    These are some of the most difficult decisions any governor has ever had to make, in consultation with the people and the businesses affected but always with the public health as our first priority.

    The challenges this dangerous pandemic poses to us and to our state are unlike anything we have seen in generations.

    In threading many needles every day, in finding the delicate balance between saving lives and preserving livelihoods, I am reminded of what H.L. Mencken said.

    He said, “There is a single solution for every problem: simple quick, and wrong.”

    There is no easy solution here.

    We cannot flip a switch and open up all the restaurants, all the bars, all the souvenir shops and all the motels across the state to do business as usual and risk a more aggressive resurgence of this virus that will only sicken more people, destroy lives and devastate our entire economy for years to come.

    I believe strongly that the vast majority of business owners across Maine, though they are frustrated about being closed and concerned about their future, I believe that they share an unflagging commitment to keeping Maine people healthy.

    I ask them to stay the course. Continue talking, continue listening, continue being part of the solution.

    And we cannot just remain closed. There are activities that we can do safely now that will allow our economy to begin to function again.

    I wish I could tell you when this pandemic will be over – but I can’t.

    If I gave you a simple, quick and easy answer like that – it would be wrong. Because this pandemic – and all of its impacts – is extraordinarily complicated. So, let me tell you what we are doing:

    First, unlike some other states, we have, from the beginning, allowed construction, industrial manufacturing, fishing, home repair, pharmacies, auto repair, child care, banks, laundromats, veterinary clinics and farming and a number of essential services to continue as usual, with precautions.

    We are collaborating with others from all economic sectors across the state to prepare them to open as soon as they can and as safely as they can.

    I am well aware that this timetable puts a crimp in the ability of many businesses to rehire, to retool and to take reservations from vacationers and others who want desperately to escape to our state in June, July and August, to enjoy the beaches, mountains, rivers and fields of this wonderful place we call home.

    First and foremost, in order to expand businesses further and to prepare for the tourist season, we need more testing capacity. We are working every day on that critical issue. Expanding testing will give us a better picture of how widespread this virus is now in our state and help us prepare, in a measured and thoughtful way, for an influx of people from out of state in the coming months.

    We are constantly reevaluating the plan we’ve put forward, with input from all sources, to adjust it and to safely restart our economy.

    As we step into this next stage, as we talk about reopening, there will be a lot of debate. And I welcome that; that’s how the process should work.

    There will also be a lot of frustration. I understand that. Yes, and there is anger, and I share that. But let’s keep talking.

    This virus is testing the limits of our patience, the limits of our economic stability, the limits of our state’s health and endurance. In this, our 200th year, let us stand up to show the world who we are; let’s show them that, no matter the challenge, no matter the difficulty, we will persevere.

    Let’s keep talking.

    Our enemy is not anger or fear; our foe is complacency.

    The people of Maine have proven, in the last six weeks, that they are courageous, patient and compassionate; that they value the safety of our frontline workers and first responders, including the 253 brave healthcare workers who are or have been stricken with the virus.

    The last thing any of us should want to do is to overwhelm our health care system and put these brave people more at risk or take their valuable lives.

    It is because of your actions – and uniquely because of your actions – that the virus has not destroyed us, that we have, so far, kept a measured lid on this insidious disease.

    The day before yesterday, 252 people died – in one day alone – in Massachusetts, from the virus – A state only fifteen miles from our southernmost town.

    I will do everything in my power to make sure that this deadly and untreatable virus does not hop a plane, a bus, a truck or a train, an SUV or an RV… and land here and take over our state as it has taken hold in others.

    Let’s work harder than ever in these next few months to keep this thing at bay and keep our people – and our economy – safe.

    We can do this. I believe in you, in the faith, ingenuity and willpower of the people of Maine. I believe in our great State. And I will do everything I can to save it.

    I am not a quitter. Maine people are not quitters.

    People are angry and frustrated, some losing patience.

    But no matter what, we will listen to each other. We will work with each other. We will do everything in our power to keep each other safe. We will not give up on each other, never quit each other.

    And I will never quit you.

    Now I am headed back to work, for the people of Maine. And I leave you in the good hands of Dr. Shah.

    Thank you.


  • 05/01/2020 3:23 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    As you may know, the Falls Chamber joined the Save Small Business Coalition (SSBC), a group with now over 90 members nationwide, to find a solution to get money into the hands of all businesses as soon as possible.

    Since its origin in March, the SSBC has been working to find a solution that will assist small businesses quickly and effectively with business continuity. It has worked with partner associations in the insurance and commercial development industries and have now aligned efforts with the Joint Trades Coalition, led by the International Council of Shopping Centers association.

    The relief vehicle proposes for the establishment of the COVID-19 Business and Employee Continuity and Recovery Fund , modeled after the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, that would create the framework to assist all impacted businesses regardless of size, industry or location.

    The COVID-19 Business and Employee Continuity and Recovery Fund (Recovery Fund) is a proposed federal direct assistance grant program to provide liquidity to businesses that have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of the Recovery Fund is to enable employers (and their employees) of all sizes and across all industries to financially survive losses caused by the COVID-19 crisis, as well as provide liquidity to enable employers to re-enter the market as rapidly as possible when it is safe to do so. We need you to ACT NOW and contact our Federal Representatives to let them know that we need this solution for business continuity ASAP.

    Not sure about contacting Congress? We've made it easy, with a 1-click platform and a drafted letter, which can be found here: 

    https://actnow.io/usrecoveryfund

    Learn more about the Recovery Fund proposals in the House and Senate here:

    Senate and House Recovery Fund versions Side by Side 042520 (2).docx

  • 05/01/2020 12:31 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    PPE  -  SMALL BUSINESS PACK

    Be ready to open your business with proper PPE to outfit your employees.  The small business pack consists of face shields and 3 ply surgical masks.

    6 units FACESHIELDS (Washable and reusable)

    100 pcs   3 PLY SURGICAL MASKS (50/box)

    Additional quantities available if needed

    No contact pick-up at our facility in Dover or local shipment

    $125 picked up

    $135 for local shipment

    Payment by check or PayPal accepted. 

    Call Ryan Stacy at 603-568-7046 or email

    rstacy@gtcusa.com

    Globaltek is an FDA registered company


    74 Industrial Park Dr Ÿ Dover NH 03820 USA 603 842 5600 office Ÿ 603 343 4656 fax www.globaltekcomp.com


  • 05/01/2020 11:18 AM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    SMPDC continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation. It is critical to support one another during this difficult time and we want to assure you that we are here for continued support and technical assistance. For COVID-19 updates visit our COVID-19 Resources Page which includes:

    We hope everyone is staying is safe and healthy and we look forward to working with you all in person again.



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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

Bonnie McNair, Executive Director

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

       

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