Building businesses for NH's future
NH SBDC is here to help small businesses
 
We all know that everyone is being affected in some way by COVID-19, and our good thoughts go out to all. We also know that small businesses in New Hampshire are being affected in a big way, and this is where NH SBDC can help.

We encourage you to contact us, whether you are a current advising client or not yet a client. Sometimes, simply talking through your situation can help. Sometimes, it takes adjustments or pivots, or putting things on hold until life returns to “normal”.

Our staff is working remotely, with our business advisors set up for virtual meetings, email and phone. You can find our contact info on our website . If you are a new client, search for your town and the applicable region, then click on the red button to submit a Request for Service. 

A reminder that our online learning opportunities (online courses, resources and tools) are accessible 24/7 at nhsbdc.org/ .

Stay tuned for upcoming webinars related to keeping your business healthy during the coronavirus.

NH SBDC is committed to supporting local businesses and entrepreneurs during these very challenging times. We will do our best to communicate useful business resources and provide support to mitigate the impacts of this health situation.
State Launches Business-Focused COVID-19 Website
The NH Department of Business and Economic Affairs launched a new website to support the business community . The site has information on business resources, financial assistance, unemployment benefits, health guidelines and recent updates on COVID-19.

Click HERE to visit the new site.
U.S. Small Business Administration
Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program  
SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to New Hampshire Small Businesses Economically Impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
On Wednesday, March 18, 2020, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced it is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to New Hampshire small businesses a nd private, non-profit organizations suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) following a request received from Governor Sununu. The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available in the entire state of New Hampshire.

  • SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue.

  • 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 and 2.75% for non-profits.

  • SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years.

Click HERE to visit the SBA Disaster Assistance website or connect with their customer service center at 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or via e-mail  disastercustomerservice@sba.gov .
Unemployment Insurance Benefits
Governor Sununu Issues Emergency Orders To Provide Unemployment Benefit Relief
According to Governor Sununu's March 17, 2020 Press Release, individuals who are unable to work or who have reduced hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic will have immediate access to unemployment benefits.

Anyone in the following situations will now be eligible for state unemployment:
  • If your employer temporarily closes due to COVID-19;
  • Individuals that need to self-quarantine or are directed to quarantine at the instruction of a health care provider, employer or government official;
  • Individuals that need to care for a family member that has COVID-19 or is under quarantine;
  • Individuals that need to care for a dependent because of school closures, child care facility closures or other similar types of care programs;
  • Self-employed individuals that are temporarily unable to operate their business because of any of the above listed situations will also be eligible.

Individuals will need to file for each week of temporary unemployment. People can do all of this online from your home internet connection or your phone without ever having to go into a state office. For more information and to file for unemployment benefits, visit the NHES website or call 603-271-7700.
NH Working - WorkShare Program
As employers navigate new challenges created by COVID-19, one way to help maintain their trained workforce is the State's WorkShare program. Employers can temporarily reduce their workforce in a particular unit, shift or company 10% - 50% and avert a layoff. They can then recall the employees when business increases.

As employees are retained - morale, productivity and flexibility in the workplace are maintained. Affected employees have a softer landing as their hours are reduced rather than eliminated, and they keep their health insurance and can collect wages for hours worked plus unemployment compensation benefits for the reduced hours.

WorkShare plans may be submitted by any New Hampshire employer whose taxes are currently up to date and who is in good standing with the NH Department of Labor. 

For more information on the NH WorkShare program, please visit NH Employment Security's website.
Families First Coronavirus Response Act
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act that the president just signed into law includes two provisions to help ensure that employees who are sick or need to care for a loved one can get the time off that they need during this public health crisis. Understanding that providing additional leave to employees will be difficult for many businesses, especially small businesses, this bill provides necessary relief to help businesses, non-profits, and self-employed individuals cover the costs of paid leave to their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bill provides employers with fully refundable tax credits to help cover the costs of paying 2 weeks of sick leave wages, and up to 10 additional weeks of family leave wages, and health insurance premiums for employees during this leave. These tax credits are fully refundable so businesses will be able to receive the full value of the credits regardless of their tax situation.

Under the Family First Act, businesses will receive tax credits worth up to $511 per employee per day for paying an employee regular wages for up to two weeks of personal paid sick leave, $200 per employee per day for paying an employee regular wages for up to two weeks of leave to care for a sick family member or child home from school, and $200 per employee per day for paying an employee 2/3 wages for up to ten weeks of leave to personally quarantine or to care for a child home from school.

See this CHART for more details.
General Health
 
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released interim guidance for Businesses and Employers regarding COVID-19. Recommended strategies include: actively encouraging sick employees to stay home; emphasize respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by all employees; perform routine environmental cleaning, among others.

Click HERE for CDC Guidance documents.
NH Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
COVID-19 Website

For the latest information on COVID-19 in the State of New Hampshire, we encourage you to visit the DHHS website . It has resources for residents, employers, healthcare providers, FAQ's, and press releases.

Click below for two documents of interest for employers:
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 (Actions to take to mitigate employee exposure)

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) developed a COVID-19 planning guidance based on traditional infection prevention and industrial hygiene practices. It focuses on the need for employers to implement engineering, administrative, and work practice controls and personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as considerations for doing so. This guidance is intended for planning purposes. Employers and workers should use it to help identify risk levels in workplace settings and to determine any appropriate control measures to implement. 

Click HERE for OSHA Guidance document.
Stay Connected
Follow NH SBDC on social media for up to date information on webinars, new business
resources, and additional guidance when it becomes available.

Twitter @ NHSBDC
NH SBDC is NH's Premier Business Advising Resource. SBDC's team of certified business advisors provides highly individualized, confidential advising and education at no cost to NH enterprises.
Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA ) and through assistance provided by the State of New Hampshire. The NH SBDC is an outreach program of the UNH Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics in conjunction with SBA, the State of NH (BEA), the University of NH, and the private sector.