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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Updates

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information & Business Assistance Programs

The Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce continues to monitor the evolving Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) situation. The safety of our members, volunteers and staff are of the utmost importance during this time. Due to the current Declaration of Emergency in our nation and in New Hampshire, the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce has cancelled or postponed scheduled events and will continue to make adjustments as needed.  The success of our members is always our priority.
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Many of our member businesses are making adjustments to their business operations and we are here to assist them in getting the word out.

We want to hear from you. If the Coronavirus outbreak is impacting your business or organization's operating hours or procedures, if you have news to share, can share ideas on how you are working through it or are offering assistance to others, please contact us at memberservices@rochesternh.org.

We have set up a special page that we will continue to promote.

FRISBIE MEMORIAL HOSPITAL

Frisbie Memorial Hospital is seeking N95 masks in preparation of patients that may access the hospital surrounding the COVID-19 (Coronavirus).  If you or your business have any that you can contribute, please email thomas.jean@hcahealthcare.com at the hospital. Any assistance you can provide is greatly appreciated.

Stay informed with information and updates at Frisbie Memorial Hospital. Visit https://frisbiehospital.com/

Federal Resources

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) will take effect April 1, 2020.

FFCRA will help the United States combat COVID-19 by giving all American businesses with fewer than 500 employees funds to provide employees with paid leave, to allow for the employee’s own health needs or to care for family members. This ensures workers are not forced to choose between their paychecks and public health measures while at the same time reimbursing businesses.

The guidance is provided in the following documents:

Attached below are posters on the FFCRA produced by the Department of Labor (DOL), Hour and Wage Division, as well as guidance notice requirements, and a Field Assistance Bulletin regarding a temporary non-enforcement period to the FFCRA.

Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Acts

The CARES Act legislation provides $377 billion in small business aid, defers federal student loan payments through Sept. 30th, and provides $100 billion for hospitals and $200 billion for other “domestic priorities,” including childcare and assistance for seniors. It also gives a one-time check of $1,200 to Americans who make up to $75,000 ($150,000 for married couples filing jointly). The amount would be reduced for individuals making more than $75,000, zeroing out at $99,000 ($198,000 for married filing jointly). Individual tax filers or married couples would receive an additional $500 for each dependent child 16 years of age or under. This act was passed in the US Senate on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 and is pending approval from the US House of Representatives.

Unemployment Benefits

Governor Sununu has waived the one-week waiting period for filers. Individuals who are unemployed or have lost hours due to coronavirus related circumstances are able to file for unemployment benefits. All NHWorks offices are closed to the public and filings must be completed online using this link: NH Department of Employment Security

Increased Unemployment Benefits:

In addition to the Federal CARES Act, New Hampshire is increasing benefits for those on unemployment with the following:

  • Increased weekly minimum benefit from $32 a week to $168 a week for those on Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.
  • Adding an additional $600 per week to individuals' benefits - 100% federally funded.
  • Extending the maximum length of benefits by 13 weeks to 39 weeks.
  • Those currently collecting unemployment benefits need not take any additional action to receive increased benefits.

News from the IRS

Filing and Payment Deadline Extended to July

The income tax filing deadline for individual and business federal income tax returns that are due on April 15, 2020, has been extended to July 15, 2020, for up to $1 million of their 2019 tax due. This payment relief applies to all individual returns, including self-employed individuals, and all entities other than C-Corporations, such as trusts or estates. IRS will automatically provide this relief to taxpayers. Taxpayers do not need to file any additional forms or call the IRS to qualify for this relief.

NH Department of Revenue (NHDRA) Offers Relief for Business, Interest & Dividends Taxes

In response to conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, NHDRA will grant automatic relief to Business Tax and Interest & Dividends Tax taxpayers in the form of payment relief and expansion of automatic filing extensions and penalty safe harbors. Details of the relief are outlined in the Technical Information Release 2020-001 below. For more information visit www.revenue.nh.gov.

Center for Disease Control (CDC)

Click here for the latest updates on COVID-19.

Also see the attached informational piece on Keeping the Workplace Safe, provided by the CDC.

SBA Business Assistance Programs

SBA to Provide Disaster Assistance Loans for Small Business Impacted by Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 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).

Learn more here.

Upon a request received from a state’s or territory’s Governor, SBA will issue under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplement Appropriations Act that was recently signed by the President, an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration.
Read the Press Release

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 to the entire state of New Hampshire for small businesses suffering as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).  Disaster loans provide vital economic assistance to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue. For more information visit sba.gov.

SBA Loan Process

The Small Business Administration (SBA) received Governor Sununu's declaration of disaster.  Specifically, this relief is the SBA's Coronavirus Disaster Relief Lending program.  These loans, for up to $2 million, can 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 without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.  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.

Things are changing rapidly and the platform to apply for assistance has changed.   If you have previously filed an application, you do not need to submit another through this process.  Your application is in process, and you should be hearing something soon.

To begin a new application:

  • Start the process here:    https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/.
  • You will be asked to fill in some basic information about your business and the business owners.
  • On the last screen, if you opt in to the $10,000 request for emergency funds, you will need to supply your bank account and routing number.
  • You will see a summary of all your information that you can review prior to submitting your application.
  • You will not be asked to upload any documentation at submittal; however, you may be asked for supporting information at a later date.

Call (603)225-1400 or email NewHampshire_DO@sba.gov with any questions.

SBA Economic Injury Loan Information Sessions

The SBA office is holding daily webinars at 9 am and 2 pm via Skype to give an overview of the program and to answer any questions. Virtual office hours will be held on Saturday at 10am and 2pm. Join us for any of these outreach efforts by following the link below or calling in:

What:

  • SBA Economic Injury Loan Program Overview with Q & A

When:

  • Friday, March 20th - Friday, April 3rd from 9:00 - 10:00 am EST
  • Friday, March 20th - Friday, April 3rd from 2:00 - 3:00pm EST

How:

  • To join the webinar:
  • Join by phone - Toll number: +1 (202) 765-1264
    • 522409519#
  • Find a local number
    • Conference ID: 522409519

Additionally, the NH SBA has extended their office hours to Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 9am to 3pm. If you have any questions, please contact NH District Office at 603-225-1400 or e-mail newhampshire_do@sba.gov

SBA Paycheck Protection Program

The Paycheck Protection Program prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses.

Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, and Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards.

Also join the SBA for an upcoming webinar on "Steps to Take in Getting Through A Financial Crisis" hosted by the New Hampshire District Offices.

Receive advice from SBA staff about the agency’s guaranty loan program and available resource partner organizations such as the Small Business Development Center, Center for Women & Enterprise, SCORE, and Veteran Business Outreach Center and others can help guide you in the right direction. Learn more about the programs and services available to help your small business succeed and how to access them.

Wednesday, April 8th   3pm-4pm Est

Join with Skype by clicking here

Call the toll number to join at +1 (202) 765-1264,888869450#

Conference ID: 888869450

For more information email miguel.moralez@sba.gov or call 603-225-1601.

Tips for Small Businesses

Stay home if...
Practice good hygiene
Handle food carefully
Be careful with meetings & travel

Stay home if...

Encourage your employees to stay home if they, or someone in their household is feeling sick.

Handle food carefully

Limit food sharing. Strengthen health screening for cafeteria staff and their close contacts. Ensure cafeteria staff and their close contacts practice strict hygiene.

Practice good hygiene

Stop handshaking - use other non-contact methods of greeting. Clean hands at the door and schedule regular hand washing reminders by email. Create habits and reminders to avoid touching faces and cover coughs and sneezes. Disinfect surfaces like doorknobs, tables, desks, and handrails regularly. Increase ventilation by opening windows or adjusting air conditioning.

Be careful with meetings & travel

Use videoconferencing for meetings when possible. When not possible, hold meetings in open, well-ventilated spaces. Consider adjusting or postponing large meetings or gatherings. Assess the risks of business travel.

If you have any questions please call (603)225-1400 or email NewHampshire_DO@sba.gov.

Help Support our Local Businesses

glass of wine restaurant interior serving dinner

How can we help?

It is so important that we support our local businesses during this crisis. To protect the public, many are being required to change their business procedures. Make an effort to support our local businesses whenever possible.
Restaurant Updates                        Business Updates
NH DMV logo

Announcement from NH DMV

Department of Motor Vehicles announced it will transition to phone and online services starting Thursday, March 19, 2020 and limited appointment only services starting Monday, March 23, 2020. Appointments will only be made in five locations: Concord, Dover, Manchester, New Port and Twin Mountain.

New Hampshire State of Emergency Declared

Emergency Orders enacted by Governor Sununu:

To view a full list of emergency orders click here.

Click on each Emergency Order listed below to access the Executive Order document.

Emergency Order #1:

  • Temporary remote instruction and support for public K-12 school districts
Emergency Order #2:
  • Gatherings of 50 people or more are prohibited. Restriction of food and beverage sales to carry-out, delivery, curbside pick up or drive through only.
Emergency Order #3:
  • Prohibition of discontinuation of essential services including electricity, gas, water, telephone, cable and internet, through the duration of the State of Emergency.
    • Eversource has committed to this order, and has useful information for their customers and the community. Visit their website here.
Emergency Order #4:
  • Prohibition of issuance or enforcement of eviction notices for the duration of the emergency.
Emergency Order #5:
  • Suspends the one week waiting period for those filing for unemployment benefits.
    • All claims and questions should be directed to NHES.NH.GOV or call the Unemployment Assistance Hotline at (603)271-7700.
Emergency Order #6:
  • Temporary authorization of take-out or delivery of beer or wine.
Emergency Order #7:
  • Temporary modification of data and privacy governance plans.
Emergency Order #8:
  • Temporary expansion of access to Telehealth Services to protect the public and health care providers.
Emergency Order #9:
  • Establishes the COVID-19 Emergency Healthcare System Relief Fund, a $50 million fund for hospitals and health care providers in the state which will provide short-term, no interest loans.
Emergency Order #10:
  • Requires all sellers of groceries to temporarily transition to use of single use paper or plastic bags.

Emergency Order #11:

  • Temporary authority to perform secure remote online notarization.

Emergency Order #12:

  •  Temporary modification of public access to meetings under RSA 91-A.

Emergency Order #13:

  • Temporary allowance for New Hampshire pharmacists and pharmacies to compound and sell hand sanitizer over the counter ("OTC") and to allow pharmacy technicians to perform non-dispensing tasks remotely.

Emergency Order #14:

  • Temporary authorization for out-of-state pharmacies to act as a licensed mail-order facility within the State of New Hampshire.

Emergency Order #15:

  • Temporary authorization for out of state medical providers to provide medically necessary services and provide services through telehealth.

Emergency Order #16:

  • Temporary prohibition of scheduled gatherings of 10 or more attendees.

Emergency Order #17:

Emergency Order #18

  • Temporary modification to Department of Safety Laws and Regulations

Emergency Order #19

  • Extension of Remote Instruction and Support for Public K-12 Schools

Emergency Order #20

  • Temporary emergency wage enhancement for New Hampshire Liquor Commission retail employees

Other Helpful Links

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