New NH program seeks to help with pandemic-related expenses

Initiative offers assistance to businesses with unexpected Covid costs

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New Hampshire businesses that have incurred unexpected costs due to the Covid-19 pandemic could be eligible for partial reimbursement under a new program announced Sept. 9 by the Governor’s Office for Emergency Relief and Recovery.

The Covid-19 Expenses Relief Program, funded by federal CARES Act money, will target “Main Street” for-profit businesses that had pandemic-related expenses in 2020 or 2021, according to a news release from GOFERR.

Such expenses include closure-related costs, such as rent or mortgage payments or utility bills, and costs related to reopening, such as purchasing personal protective equipment, completing workforce safety training and implementing safety measures. Qualifying expenses also include costs related to doing business, such as HVAC improvements, creating additional indoor or outdoor seating for the purpose of social distancing, and costs involving disruptions in the supply chain.

Interested businesses can apply online via the GOFERR portal until 4 p.m. Oct. 1.

“Thousands of New Hampshire small businesses have been helped through our state programs to address the economic impacts of Covid-19,” said Business and Economic Affairs Commissioner Taylor Caswell, executive director of GOFERR, in the release. “We realize, however, that as many small businesses have continued to adapt their operations throughout the pandemic many remain in need of financial assistance.”

The release did not specify how much money would be earmarked for the program.

Awards will be issued after the application deadline. The amount of money a business receives will be proportional to the applicant’s total amount of eligible expenses.

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