Member News & Notices
First Thursday Entrepreneur Essentials Series - February 4, 2021
The first Thursday of every month RVCC gets an expert to provide you with a crash course in something essential to making your entrepreneurial venture thrive. You’ll learn the basics and then have plenty of time to get answers to your specific questions.

All over Zoom and all in the time, it takes for a long lunch. At $10 per session, it’s the best investment you’ll ever make!

About the Workshop: You know that the right bookkeeping software is essential to your success. Everyone tells you Quickbooks is the standard. But is it the right bookkeeping software for YOUR business? Learn about your alternatives – Fresh Books, Xero, Wave just to name a few – from an accountant who specializes in helping entrepreneurs just like you! She’ll leave plenty of time for you to ask questions and you’ll leave knowing what’s the right choice for your business.

Greater Claremont Chamber of Commerce is pleased to be a survey partner on Phase 2 of the 2021 NH SBDC Business Resiliency Survey.  that NH Small Business Development Center (SBDC) developed with the UNH Survey Center.
The survey will deepen our understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on small businesses throughout New Hampshire. We learned a great deal in last summer’s Phase 1 survey. We know that businesses and their responses to the pandemic have evolved. Some businesses have thrived, while many are still struggling and need help.
By leveraging the survey results, NH’s economic development partners will be able to help you and other small businesses recover and become more resilient.
The survey will be live through February 15 and should take less than 10 minutes to complete. Click here to take the 2021 NH SBDC Business Resiliency Survey.
Business organizations throughout the state are partnering to share the survey with their constituents, so if you have already taken it, thank you for participating!
Together - with your input - we can help even more NH businesses through these challenging times.
Bar Harbor Bank & Trust’s Employee Giving Program Reaches $100,000 Milestone
Bar Harbor Bank & Trust’s employee giving program, Casual for a Cause, recently surpassed the $100,000 mark of total donations made to nonprofit organizations since the program launched in 2018. More than 53 organizations across Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont have received donations through the program.
Casual for a Cause gives Bank employees the opportunity to dress casually on Fridays in exchange for a bi-weekly payroll deduction made to a pool of funds collected during each quarter. The employees then vote on the nonprofits to receive their contributions. The program is entirely voluntary, and each employee sets his/her own level of giving. Approximately 2/3 of the Bank’s employees participate in Casual for a Cause.
“Casual for a Cause gives our employees an easy way to give back to the communities where we live and work,” said Jack Frost, VP Director of Community Giving at Bar Harbor Bank & Trust. “Even if employees are only able to contribute a few dollars, those donations add up and can make a significant difference to nonprofit organizations and the people they serve. Reaching this milestone is proof of the power of collective giving.”
The nonprofit organizations selected to receive a donation through Casual for a Cause generally offer a program or service that is tied to the Bank’s giving focus on education and workforce development. In 2020, employees targeted their donations to help nonprofit organizations that were delivering emergency services to people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

New Hampshire organizations that have received a donation through Casual for a Cause since the program launched include: American Red Cross, Claremont Soup Kitchen, Friends Program, Girls Incorporated, Granite United Way, KLS Community Food Pantry, LISTEN Community Services, Newport Area Association Food Pantry, Second Growth, Turning Points Network, Upper Valley Habitat for Humanity, Upper Valley Haven, Waypoint, and Wellspring Food Pantry.
Arrowhead Recreation Club News
With guidelines in place, things have been going reasonable well at Arrowhead.
Arrowhead's small staff needs more volunteers. Help is needed for outside operations, food service, and in the rental shop.

Typical operations requirements are; outside operations of at least 6 people for each session, food service 3 people at a time, a first-aid person on site and two in the rental shop.

Our normal schedule is Friday night, Saturday day, Saturday night and Sunday day.  Also operating on some school vacation days. If you can help let us know, please pick out some days and times to volunteer. If you have questions please contact us.
Anyone who tubes, skis or snowboards must be on a one time release form.
Tubing is by reservation only. It's an online reservation listing all attendees and must be done before 5PM the day prior to the reservation. No reservations needed for skiing or snowboarding.

For all information and links to the required forms go to our web site,
Put Your Money Where Your Life Is: Series on Investing Locally
After a year of COVID shutdowns, bankruptcies, deaths, and economic despair, how can individuals help rebuild our economy and community? By investing in their local economy, catalyzing innovation, shifting capital to the local projects, and thus making our communities more sustainable, vibrant, and resilient. Whether managing large funds or modest nest eggs, investors can make a difference.

How to invest locally is the focus of a series of online events and workshops called “Put Your Money Where Your Life Is: Reclaiming Our Local Economy,” hosted by Vital Communities and The Local Crowd Monadnock. The series includes:
Additional sessions focusing on investments in housing, food production, and more are planned for late spring, as well as a session for entrepreneurs seeking local investment opportunities.

Read more about these events and browse our growing collection of local investment resources. We hope you'll make a date to join us for this exciting A-B-C in making your money work for a thriving Upper Valley economy rather than Wall Street!  
City of Claremont Boards, Committees and Commissions
Boards, Committees, and Commissions play an integral role in the community. They are comprised of citizens who generously volunteer their time and expertise. Being a city volunteer is a way to participate in community affairs, to work with interesting people, and to aid in Claremont's development.

Anyone who is a Claremont resident and would like to offer their services is welcome to apply for a seat on the Board, Committee, or Commission of their choice. The City Council, Mayor, or City Manager appoints new members according to the method dictated by city policy.

Sullivan County (SC) NH Government posted their first YouTube Channel Zoom informational video related to the new HUD Lead Paint & Healthy Homes (LA & HH) program and it’s ready to view and share! 
Click on the following link to watch the video, where HUD LA & HH Program Project Director/County Manager Derek Ferland and Kate Kirkwood, SC HUD Abatement & HH Program Manager provide introductions, discuss the program goals and scope of work, talk about training & certification requirements, the bidding requirements, how to get registered as a contractor for the upcoming projects, and answer questions.
Viewing the video is a great way for contractors to learn more about this new local work opportunity, to get tips on contractor pre-qualifying, and to help us create healthier, safer, multi-family housing for our children. 
What can you help us with?  We need contractors trained in RRP – Renovate, Repair, and Paint class (a national 1-day certification) and certified in lead abatement (a 3-4 day training, dependent on contractor role). Good news – there’s scholarship monies available to help with training! 
So, PLEASE, check out the video as it covers a lot of info, share this message widely with contractors you know ~ remodelers, painters, plumbers, electrical, property owners of multi-family units doing their own work, etc. ~ and have them reach out to Program Manager Kate Kirkwood at or T. 603-781-4304 with additional questions or to be added to the contractor list for projects.   Thank you!
Program Overview: For a brief program overview and to access the contractor pre-qualification paperwork, go to:
Sullivan County Pictures Project
In a way to help show off our region, one of the projects I’m collecting pictures for is to highlight on county war memorials and to display these in a video on our Sullivan County New Hampshire Government Facebook page and through the video banner of pictures on the website  during Memorial Day weekend 2021.  
Yes, lots of advance planning 😊 as I hope to collect pictures capturing all our New England four seasons! If you have, or know anyone who has, pictures that would be great for this project, please feel free to send the pictures to with info about where the memorial is located and who took the picture. 
P.s. War memorials are not the only pictures we would enjoy receiving. If you have other scenic views of the region, don’t hesitate to share those, too. Thank you.
Business Resources & Community Information
Sullivan County Extension Announces New Youth Empowerment Program
UNH Cooperative Extension, Sullivan County, is announcing its rollout of a new program aimed at developing a culture of positive choices and empowerment of youth in Claremont and Newport. The project, named Youth CAN (Claremont and Newport), is a coalition of community members, partners and organizations that intend to initiate youth-led strategies, activities, and programs that foster positive outlooks and healthy choices.

Gail Kennedy, a Youth and Family Resiliency Field Specialist for the Sullivan County Extension Office, spoke of the excitement of Extension’s role in helping to put the Coalition together. “The Well Connected Communities (WCC) project is made possible through a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and National 4-H Council to Extension offices in a number of states. Cooperative Extension has a long history of helping people in rural areas improve their health conditions. Our coalition will involve youth to develop a voice and action plan to develop a greater array of alternatives to experimentation with, and misuse of, substances. The youth will take the lead in selecting strategies, activating the plan, and help assess the impact of the activities.”

The Coalition is composed of representatives from Cooperative Extension, the Greater Sullivan County Public Health Network at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, the school systems and civic leadership offices of the two communities, medical organizations, and private non-profits like West Central Behavioral Health. Kennedy continued, “Our preliminary work has included establishing a website and a broader social media presence; sponsoring a logo contest; developing youth outreach strategies and examining the utility of several possible strategies, one being PhotoVoice, in which youth can use photos to document their communities strengths and needs as they see them.” Youth CAN welcomes any member of the community that is interested in supporting youth as community change-makers.

For more information, contact Youth CAN Program Coordinator Kristen Landau or follow us on Facebook.
NH SBDC & UNH Cooperative Extension Launch Resiliency Academy
Work toward recovery and plan for future disruptions...whenever they happen.

The NH SBDC and UNH Cooperative Extension are partnering to offer the Resiliency Academy to help small businesses and communities
move toward economic recovery and future resiliency.

Wednesdays 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
April 7th, April 21st, May 5th, May 19th, & June 2nd, 2021

The Resiliency Academy consists of five two-hour sessions of virtual learning. Each session will focus on a different resilience topic with related readings, videos, and online content. Businesses will receive the tools and support they need to develop or update their business resiliency plan

NH SBDC Webinars
Certified Food Protection Manager Online Training begins March 13
Online Certified Food Protection Manager Training and Exam Prep
Studies have shown that food establishments that have a certified food protection manager on staff are less likely to have a foodborne illness outbreak.

New Hampshire Rules for the Sanitary Production and Distribution of Food requires the Person in Charge (PIC) during hours of food preparation to be a Certified Food Protection Manager.

The PIC is required by the Food Code to demonstrate food safety knowledge to safely run the operation and perform the applicable duties.

This two-part online course will include critical food safety topics such as active managerial responsibilities, proper personal hygiene, cooking to correct temperatures, proper holding of food (time and temperature), cleaning and sanitizing food surfaces and equipment, obtaining food from safe sources and pest management. COVID 19 updates will also be included.

Who should take the course?
  • food service establishment managers and PIC at bars and restaurants,
  • prepared food department in grocery stores,
  • mobile caterers,
  • food trucks,
  • assisted-living and nursing homes,
  • prison facilities,
  • senior and child daycare centers.

Information about in-person test locations will be provided soon. The online Certified Food Protection Manager Training and Exam Prep offered by UNH Professional Development & Training will prepare participants to sit for any of the following accredited food service safety exams offered by these NH Food Protection Section approved entities (additional fee applies):
  •, Inc. - Learn to Serve
  • National Registry of Food Safety Professionals
  • Prometric Inc.
  • - Above Training
  • National Restaurant Association - ServSafe®
  • Always Food Safe

NOTE: Advanced enrollment is required for this program. Enrollment will close 10 days prior to the class date to allow for time to mail course textbooks to enrollment participants.

S.A.F.E. Food Handling Workshop
Join University of New Hampshire Extension’s food safety team for a free online safe food handling workshop for food service workers in schools, restaurants, delis, hospitals, nursing home, camps and other places that prepare and serve food.
When: Wednesday, March 17th from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. OR Wednesday, March 24th from 1:30 – 3:30. You will need access to Zoom -- join by computer or phone.
Why food workers should not be working when ill.The importance of personal health & hand hygiene.Preventing the spread of pathogens in a food service kitchen.Why cleaning & sanitizing are key in keeping a food safe kitchen.Important food safety temperatures as food flows throughout the kitchen.
No cost but preregistration is required:
Wednesday, March 17 from 9 – 11 am Click to Register
Wednesday, March 24 from 1:30 – 3:30 pm Click to Register
Certificates of attendance will be available after the program. NOTE: Certificates will contain hours of participation and can be used by school nutrition programs to fulfill required food safety training.

For more information, contact:
Ann Hamilton 603-447-3834, or
Mary Saucier Choate 603-767-6944,
NH SBA Information & News
The Shuttered Venue Operators (SVO) Grant program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, signed into law on December 27, 2020. The program includes $15 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by the SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance.

Eligible applicants may qualify for SVO Grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. $2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees.

The recent passage of the economic aid act brought with it several updates to PPP, PPP forgiveness, EIDL and other COVID relief programs. Please join the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for a free virtual roundtable event sponsored by Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) office to help walk you through what’s new and what’s next for these programs.
      Wednesday, February 24, 2021
 10:00 -11:15 am

The SBA has re-opened the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan portal to all participating PPP lenders. PPP provides loans to help businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. SBA is currently offering:
  • First Draw PPP loans- for those borrowers who have not received a PPP loan before August 8, 2020.
  • Second Draw PPP loans- for eligible small businesses with 300 employees or less and that previously received a First Draw PPP loan. These borrowers will have to use or had used the full amount of their First Draw loan only for authorized uses and demonstrate at least a 25% reduction in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020. The maximum amount of a Second Draw PPP loan is $2 million.
The Paycheck Protection Program remains open for First and Second Draw PPP loans until March 31, 2021, as set forth in the Economic Aid Act, or until Congressionally-appropriated funding is exhausted.
Ways to Connect with SBA New Hampshire:

Twitter: @SBA_NH
Phone: 603-225-1400

SBA Webinar Wednesday
The SBA has programs and services that help small business owners start, grow, expand and recover. Get the latest updates on federal relief programs every Wednesday morning, 9-10am at this Teams meeting link.
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