COVID-19 updates: 4/3/2020

Dear Greater Merrimack-Souhegan Valley businesses:

The GMSVCC is here for you!

This week, I have been on calls with our congressional delegation - Senators Shaheen and Hassan and Congresswomen Kuster - as well as leaders with NH Business & Economic Affairs and the NH SBA. I am also doing weekly check-ins with our fellow chambers across the state to get feedback as to how our local businesses are doing, and what issues they are seeing when they try to access these programs. If you have had issues or problems, please let me know so I may relay that information.

Here is the LATEST News!

Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL):
  • The SBA is accepting applications for EIDL NOW! You must apply for this loan online at
  • If you applied for this loan prior to March 30, and you want to access the $10,000 forgivable funds (essentially a grant), you must apply againonline.
  • EIDL is available to cover loss of revenue, inventory, operating costs.You may borrow up to $2 million at a fixed rate of 3.75% for up to 30 years. $10,000 is forgiveable emergency funds and you will receive these funds within just a few days.
  • EIDL is open to 501c3 nonprofit organizations.
  • You do not need to upload documentation when applying.
  • If you applied before and their system crashed, try again. Clear Your Cache!

Existing SBA borrowers  (if you had an SBA loan pre-COVID19) - the SBA has a Debt Recovery Initiative whereby you will be able to forgo payments on your loan for 6 months - the SBA will make those payments. This is not a deferrment and will not add extra payments or interest onto your loan.  Contact your local lender.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP):
  • This program opens for applications for businesses and 501c3 nonprofit organizations on Friday April 3
  • 1099/Sole Proprietors may begin filing on April 10th
  • You apply for this program through your local SBA approved lender. Click Here for List (all our local banks and credit unions are listed).
  • PPP covers payroll and payroll expenses, plus items such as rent/mortgage and utilities.
  • You will need to provide documentation on your average monthly payroll for the last 12 months and most recent tax return.
  • You are allowed to apply for up to 250% of your average weekly payroll + payroll expenses. If at the end of 8 weeks, you have used these funds to keep your employees on payroll (even if they have not been actively working), you may be forgiven the portion of the loan for payroll.
  • If you have already laid off or furloughed employees, you may still apply for PPP and hire them back (again, even if they do not actively work until the Stay at Home order is lifted). The goal of the program is to keep employees on payroll so when we can get back to normal, they are ready.

The SBA is holding  twice daily webinars  on these programs.

The BIA is holding a PPP webinar on  Monday, April 6 at 1 PM  with Rachael Roderick, Deputy Director of the NH SBA.  Register for free here.

You may also have some questions if you have laid off employees as to whether it is better to file for PPP or have your employees file for the expanded unemployment benefits. A counselor from the Small Business Development Center can walk you through the programs -  contact them here   .

It is highly recommended you also talk to your bank.  Many are offering special programs, deferred payments and other methods of helping both their existing and new customers.

From the U.S. Dept. of Labor:Additional updates to the  Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Questions and Answers. Re: paid sick leave and Expanded Family and medical Leave. There are now answers to 79 Q&As as the Department continues to answer questions that are coming in. Please continue to submit your questions to the  national online dialogue . Also, please frequently visit theuir website at  as I do expect additional updates today, including a recorded webinar on FFCRA.

NH SBDC: Their website is great place for resources! Steps a business owner can take to facilitate SBDC's ability to meet with you: 1. Visit  SBDC’s COVID-19 Assistance page here. You will find considerable i nformation specific to small business employer needs, and make sure you check out the tips & best practices from their team of business advisors. 

2.       Submit a request for advising. You can find the request form here.

3.       Once they receive your completed request for advising, you will hear from them with next steps. 

On the GMSVCC front:

If your business is considered essential and has open positions - or new positions as you respond to the COVID19 situation - please let us know. Our goal is to try to connect businesses that need workers with workers who have been furloughed. Email us at

Please note our tab at the top of our website, "Who's Open for business during the stay at home order." If you are not on the list and would like to be, please emai l Liz .

Finally, keep those flyers coming for Free Flyer Friday ! Again, email Liz.

Also, don't forget about our 2 contests to win free $50 gift cards for supposting our local businesses! Details here!

Finally, the virus is predicted to peak in NH and VT around the 24th of April. Please stay vigilient in observing social distancing, wash those hands and stay home as much as possible. Let's do this so we can get our businesses back open again asap!

On behalf of the Board and staff of the GMSVCC, STAY WELL!

Wendy Hunt