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  • 04/21/2020 3:53 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    04/21/2020 message from U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation: 

    We appreciate your interest in the Save Small Business Fund. Due to overwhelming interest in this grant program, we have reached our capacity and we are not accepting new applicants at this time. We know these are difficult times, and we wish we could help everyone who needs it. Below you can find additional resources to help guide your business through this challenging time.

  • 04/21/2020 12:28 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    Dear Valued Employee:

    We wanted to write to you to let you know about a new recovery resource that has been created by the Recovery Friendly Workplace Initiative and SOS Recovery. This spreadsheet compiles information on virtual recovery meetings that are being offered by many of New Hampshire's Recovery Community Organizations (RCOs): are a few additional notes:

    • These meetings are peer-based and non-clinical in nature.
    • They are for those in recovery, those who are looking to enter recovery, and those who have been indirectly impacted by addition (Substance Use Disorder) / another person's substance use.
    • If you are unfamiliar with different types of recovery meetings, you will find descriptions of the ones referenced in the spreadsheet in the second tab. In addition to the more well-known Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, there are many others, including All Recovery, SMART Recovery, 3 Principles, meetings based in Eastern traditions, Family Support groups, grief supports, Al-Anon, Yoga in Recovery, and more.
    • To quickly find a meeting type in the first tab, you can always utilize "Ctrl + f". You can also find links to "home" sites of the different meeting types in the second tab. These "home" sites may list additional virtual options.
    • There are additional meetings beyond what are listed in the spreadsheet, including additional meeting types and meetings themselves. Feel free to do your own exploring to find others and/or reach out to an RCO (contact info at if you have additional questions.
    • Meeting info may change, so if you find a meeting you are interested in attending, we recommend you double check the website/Facebook of the RCO that's offering it (links to the RCOs referenced are provided in the spreadsheet).
    • There are additional notes on how to utilize the spreadsheet in the spreadsheet.

    Please email Sam Lewandowski at if you have any additional questions.

    Thank you, and please know that while we are all navigating particular challenges during this time, we are not doing so alone. We hope that those who have been impacted by SUD find the support they need during this time.

  • 04/21/2020 11:31 AM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Report

    BOSTON, MA – Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced that New England small businesses have seen $20,800,030,934 approved through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), with 106,662 small businesses receiving loan approvals. In Maine, 14,933 small businesses received loan funding totaling more than $1.9 billion.

    “The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is saving millions of jobs and providing much-needed relief to help New England’s small businesses make it through this challenging time,” said Wendell G. Davis, SBA’s New England Regional Administrator. 

    Nationally, there have been 1,661,367 approvals for $342,277,999,103 through 4,975 lenders.  This is more than 14 years’ worth of SBA loans processed in less than 14 days which will protect jobs across the country.  74% of these loans were for under $150,000, demonstrating the accessibility of this program to very small businesses.

    The PPP provided funds to a wide variety of industries in all sectors of the economy, including construction, manufacturing, food and hospitality services, health care, agriculture, and retail, among many others. 

    Click HERE to view the data.

  • 04/16/2020 4:12 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    Governor Mills Unveils Actions to Protect Housing for Maine People Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic

    April 16, 2020

    Governor issues EO on evictions, establishes rental assistance relief program with MaineHousing & urges mortgage lenders to provide flexibility to homeowners facing financial hardship

    Governor Janet Mills took significant steps today to keep Maine people in their homes and Maine businesses in their storefronts as COVID-19 continues to create financial hardships across the state.

    The Governor signed an Executive Order that, when taken in combination with a March 18 order issued by the Maine Court System, will prevent the immediate eviction of tenants other than those who engage in dangerous or unlawful conduct for the duration of the state of emergency. The Governor also strengthened the penalties for landlords who may try to evict tenants by unlawful means, and she extended the timeframe for the eviction process in the event that the Courts reopen before the Governor’s state of emergency is terminated.

    Additionally, the Governor, in partnership with MaineHousing, announced a new rental assistance relief program for Maine people who cannot pay their rent due to COVID-19. The $5 million COVID-19 Rent Relief Program will allow 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.

    Also, in letters sent to Maine financial institutions, the Governor also urged all financial institutions to provide to work proactively with Maine homeowners and small businesses experiencing financial hardship from COVID-19 to help keep them in their homes and storefronts.

    “We are in the midst of one of the greatest health crises of our lifetimes. Both public health as well as our shared sense of humanity decency demand that people not be forced from their homes and or businesses from their storefronts,” said Governor Mills. “It is my hope that these actions will provide a sense of relief, both financial and emotional, to Maine people struggling to make ends meet and that they will mitigate the spread of the virus by keeping Maine people healthy at home.”

    Executive Order Regarding Unlawful Eviction, Writs of Possession and Initiation of Eviction Proceedings:

    In an effort to reduce the opportunity for community spread of COVID-19 through courthouse activities, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court issued a Revised Emergency Order on March 18, 2020 that, in part, permits filings in eviction or Forcible Entry and Detainer (FED) Action but prohibits until at least May 1st any action, hearings and proceedings thereon, unless a case presents a severe threatening emergency. As a result, only evictions authorized before the March 18th order are permitted to proceed.

    The Governor’s Executive Order protects tenants against whom these writs of possession – the final document allowing the eviction – that were authorized before the Court’s March 18th order, but which have not yet been issued by a court or served by a sheriff. The Order states that these writs shall not be issued or served.

    Additionally, in response to concerns that some landlords are attempting to unlawfully evict their tenants by, for example, turning off utilities such as electricity, the Governor’s Executive Order strengthens the enforcement actions that can be taken against landlords who attempt to evict tenants from their home or storefront outside of the legal process. Because such evictions during this period of emergency would violate the Order, the legal action that could be taken against them if they attempted to do so to up to 6 months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine.

    Finally, the Governor’s Order protects tenants who are considered “at will”, meaning they do not have a legal agreement with their landlord, and because of COVID-19 cannot make their rent payment, by requiring a landlord to provide at least 60 days’ notice, rather than 30, to a tenant to leave. If the landlord is attempting to evict those at-will tenants, the Order also extends an eviction notice timeframe from 7 to 30 days

    The Order does not prevent a tenant from being evicted if the tenant poses a substantial risk to another person, immediate and severe risk to property, or a violation of health, sanitation, fire, housing, or safety laws. The Order does not relieve any tenant of their legal obligation to pay rent but provides them with more time to make payments.

    The COVID-19 Rent Relief Program:

    Established at the urging of Governor Mills, MaineHousing has created a $5 million COVID-19 Rent Relief Program. Each household that meets certain ability to pay requirements may receive a one-time payment of up to $500 in rental assistance paid directly to the landlord. The landlord then agrees not to evict the tenant for nonpayment for the month the payment was issued. Maine’s Community Action Agencies will administer the program locally and may have additional resources available for other needs. The funding, which comes from the Housing Opportunity for Maine (HOME) Fund, will go entirely to Mainers served. No organization will receive administrative fees for program administration.

    “Housing is a basic human need and during this global pandemic, it is even more important,” said Daniel Brennan, director of MaineHousing. “We recently announced our commitment to no evictions and no foreclosures – and are proud to put our money behind that commitment to help Mainers in need.”

    “We understand that for most people this will not cover their full rent payment for the month,” Brennan continued. “We want to help as many people as possible and to do that, we capped the one-time payment at $500. We also want to be clear – this is not a rent forgiveness program. Renters are still responsible for paying their rent. We encourage tenants to communicate with their landlord and urge everyone to work together to get through this.”

    People who live in subsidized housing, or housing financed by MaineHousing do not qualify for the program, as those programs have other tools available for those impacted by COVID-19. More information, application materials, and commonly asked questions may be found at

    Letter to Financial Institutions

    In letters to financial institutions across Maine today, the Governor discouraged them in the strongest terms from initiating residential and commercial foreclosures and asked them to pause any foreclosures in progress. She also urged them to refrain from mailing “notices to cure” to Maine residents and businesses as long as the current federal moratorium or successive moratoria remain in effect, and to continue to work with all borrowers in a proactive way.

    “I also ask that you and your association pay particular attention to property owners who are landlords – those who are responsible for thousands of rental apartments, homes, retail and other commercial establishments. They deserve flexibility from their lenders because many of their tenants find themselves unable to pay the rent, an issue that we are taking steps to address,” the Governor continued. “These property owners are an important part of the economy that will need time to recover, and they are key to keeping people in their homes during our emergency orders and to keeping small businesses ready to reopen when the crisis has passed.”

    Additional Actions

    The actions taken by the Governor today build on her Administration’s work to secure and protect housing for Maine people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    On March 31, Governor Mills issued an Executive Order bolstering General Assistance vouchers for basic necessities, such as housing. Under the Executive Order, all applications for General Assistance will be processed as emergency applications for eligibility purposes, and certain other requirements are waived. The order also allows eligible individuals to reapply after 60 days rather than 30 days for ongoing assistance.

    Additionally, on March 25, 2020, Governor Mills directed the Maine Department of Health and Human Services to adjust requirements for the Bridging Rental Assistance Program (BRAP) beginning May 1, 2020. BRAP helps clients with serious mental illness, including those who also have substance use disorder, obtain transitional housing. The transition to lower income requirements is expected to be completed by July 1, 2020 for all new and existing BRAP participants.

  • 04/16/2020 3:59 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Launches Fund with Vistaprint to Support Small Business Recovery in Economically Vulnerable Communities

    The Save Small Business Fund is a business-led program to provide supplemental grants to the small business community suffering from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic




    April 15, 2020


    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, with founding partner Vistaprint, has launched the Save Small Business Fund, a grant program to provide assistance to small businesses owners impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Funded by contributions from corporate and philanthropic partners, the Foundation will distribute $5,000 grants to small employers in economically vulnerable communities in the United States and its territories. 

    Small business owners are facing unprecedented challenges. The needs are urgent and every dollar counts,” said Carolyn Cawley, president of the U.S. Chamber Foundation. “While the demand is great, we’re proud to be able to contribute to the many efforts underway to help small employers get through the next days and weeks and on the road to recovery for their communities.”  

    The Save Small Business Fund is part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Save Small Business Initiative — a nationwide program to address small businesses’ immediate needs, mitigate closures and job losses, and mobilize support for long-term recovery. The Foundation is launching the fund with support from founding partner, Vistaprint, and additional donations from supporting partners, Merck, S&P Global Foundation, and Travelers.

    Small businesses are the soul of every community, and right now our communities are facing hardship,” says Vistaprint CEO Robert Keane. “I started Vistaprint out of my apartment 25 years ago and I know firsthand how hard it is for small business owners. I have been – and continue to be – amazed by their passion, resilience and ability to persevere through change. As a champion and marketing partner for small businesses, Vistaprint is there when the challenges hit, and we are doing all we can to help them stay in business. We are proud to be partnering with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation to provide a lifeline during this time.”

    Grant applications open on April 20, 2020. To qualify, applicants must employ between three and 20 people, be located in an economically vulnerable community, and have been harmed financially by the COVID-19 pandemic. Grants will be awarded weekly on a rapid and rolling basis until all funds have been disbursed.

    To learn more about the Save Small Business Fund or apply for a grant, visit


    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is committed to helping American businesses respond to the coronavirus so they can support their employees, customers, and communities. Our members and the state and local chambers, who are on the front lines of this pandemic, need us now more than ever to help them through this significant disruption. We will continue working every day to help our country’s people, businesses, and economy weather this storm and emerge stronger—just as we have at other challenging times in our nation’s history. Visit for more information.

  • 04/16/2020 3:53 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    Tax Day now July 15: Treasury, IRS extend filing deadline and federal tax payments regardless of amount owed

    IR-2020-58, March 21, 2020

    WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced today that the federal income tax filing due date is automatically extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020.

    Taxpayers can also defer federal income tax payments due on April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. This deferment applies to all taxpayers, including individuals, trusts and estates, corporations and other non-corporate tax filers as well as those who pay self-employment tax.

    Taxpayers do not need to file any additional forms or call the IRS to qualify for this automatic federal tax filing and payment relief. Individual taxpayers who need additional time to file beyond the July 15 deadline, can request a filing extension by filing Form 4868 through their tax professional, tax software or using the Free File link on Businesses who need additional time must file Form 7004.

    The IRS urges taxpayers who are due a refund to file as soon as possible. Most tax refunds are still being issued within 21 days.

    "Even with the filing deadline extended, we urge taxpayers who are owed refunds to file as soon as possible and file electronically," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "Filing electronically with direct deposit is the quickest way to get refunds. Although we are curtailing some operations during this period, the IRS is continuing with mission-critical operations to support the nation, and that includes accepting tax returns and sending refunds. As a federal agency vital to the overall operations of our country, we ask for your personal support, your understanding – and your patience. I'm incredibly proud of our employees as we navigate through numerous different challenges in this very rapidly changing environment."

    The IRS will continue to monitor issues related to the COVID-19 virus, and updated information will be posted on a special coronavirus page on

    This announcement comes following the President's emergency declaration last week pursuant to the Stafford Act. The Stafford Act is a federal law designed to bring an orderly and systematic means of federal natural disaster and emergency assistance for state and local governments in carrying out their responsibilities to aid citizens. It was enacted in 1988.

    Treasury and IRS will issue additional guidance as needed and continue working with Congress, on a bipartisan basis, on legislation to provide further relief to the American people.

  • 04/16/2020 3:48 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    Public meetings are always in danger of Zoom Bombing due to the rules that must be met for a meeting to be called public under the New Hampshire Governor’s Emergency order #12 defining public meetings. 

    So what about private meetings that would not normally be covered under NH 91A?

    Private meetings can be held via a Zoom but you need to follow some precautions or you may be Zoom Bombed as well.  

    First, email the participants (zoom does this for you) rather than publicly posting the meeting URL.  Posting the Meeting URL on Social Media is an invitation for bad actors. There are people constantly scanning social media sites looking for Zoom meeting IDs.

    Second, Password protect the meeting, meaning that participants will have to enter a password once they arrive.  Make a new password for every meeting and make it difficult. I recommend not using any dictionary words and mix up Caps, numbers and special characters in your password. 

    Third, as the host, pay attention to who is in the meeting.  If someone that you did not invite is there, ask them right away who they are and why they are there and if they do not belong, toss them from the meeting.  You can also use the waiting room option and vet them before you allow them in.

    This is important because  a bad actor can get meeting URLs by throwing a hack at Zoom.  They run hacking tools (ZWardialer is one) that essentially keeps guessing meeting codes until they get in.   Zoom will not see this since the tool will be using thousands of compromised computers worldwide to do this. The password and vetting your participants will minimize this risk

  • 04/16/2020 3:44 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    Notice: Lapse in Appropriations

    SBA is unable to accept new applications at this time for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)-COVID-19 related assistance program (including EIDL Advances) based on available appropriations funding. 

    Applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

    The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Upon a request received from a state’s or territory’s Governor, the SBA will issue under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by the President, an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration.

    • Any such Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance declaration issued by the SBA makes loans available statewide to small businesses and private, nonprofit organizations to help alleviate economic injury caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). This will apply to current and future disaster assistance declarations related to Coronavirus.

    • The SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance will coordinate with the state’s or territory’s Governor to submit the request for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance.
    • Once a declaration is made, the information on the application process for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance will be made available to affected small businesses within the state.

    • The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
    • These 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. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
    • The SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.
    • The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans are just one piece of the expanded focus of the federal government’s coordinated response, and the SBA is strongly committed to providing the most effective and customer-focused response possible.
    • For questions, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center at 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail

  • 04/16/2020 2:25 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    Business Loan Program Temporary Changes; Paycheck Protection Program – Additional Eligibility Criteria and Requirements for Certain Pledges of Loans 

    Read it here:


  • 04/16/2020 1:13 PM | Bonnie McNair (Administrator)

    WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin and U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Jovita Carranza issued the following statement regarding the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program:

    “The SBA has processed more than 14 years’ worth of loans in less than 14 days.  The Paycheck Protection Program is saving millions of jobs and helping America’s small businesses make it through this challenging time.  The EIDL program is also providing much-needed relief to people and businesses.

    “By law, the SBA will not be able to issue new loan approvals once the programs experience a lapse in appropriations. 

    “We urge Congress to appropriate additional funds for the Paycheck Protection Program—a critical and overwhelmingly bipartisan program—at which point we will once again be able to process loan applications, issue loan numbers, and protect millions more paychecks.

    “The high demand we have seen underscores the need for hardworking Americans to have access to relief as soon as possible.  We want every eligible small business to participate and get the resources they need.”





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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