WASHINGTON – In case you missed it, U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan held a virtual roundtable yesterday to discuss the COVID-19 relief she secured for new businesses in the American Rescue Plan that the Senate passed over the weekend. The Senator was joined by the owners of new businesses in Berlin, Manchester, and Durham, as well as leadership from the Greater Derry Londonderry Chamber of Commerce and the New Hampshire Lodging & Restaurant Association.
The COVID-19 relief package that the Senate passed on Saturday, which now heads to the House of Representatives for a final vote, includes the bipartisan Recovery Startup Assistance Act that Senator Hassan introduced to provide payroll assistance through the Employee Retention Tax Credit to small businesses that started during the pandemic. The bipartisan bill will support entrepreneurship and help new businesses create jobs throughout the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. So far, many new businesses have been unable to access other COVID-19 relief programs.
See below for coverage highlights:
By Jonathan Phelps
Adam Hammill, who opened Exile Burrito in Berlin in May, says he has to juggle many responsibilities as a new business owner.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made it even more difficult to keep the operations going with a limited staff. He’s now looking forward to upcoming federal relief aimed to support entrepreneurs and help businesses that have opened during the COVID-19 pandemic hire workers.
During a virtual roundtable discussion hosted by U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan on Monday afternoon, Hammill said that he had to lay off “a couple people” since opening. He spends time cooking and filling shifts as needed.
“The relief that we hope to receive will allow me to hire, which will allow me to focus on all the other needs,” he said.
Hassan, D-N.H., said she introduced the bipartisan Recovery Startup Assistance Act alongside Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., as part of the larger relief package before Congress. The payroll assistance comes through the Employee Retention Tax Credit, which will run from July until the rest of 2021.
“Part of this new relief package is going to be important in helping new businesses in New Hampshire and across the country get the relief they need to stay afloat,” Hassan said. “It’s going to help power our economic recovery.”
Many of the COVID-19 relief programs have not been available for businesses that opened after Feb. 15, 2020.
She hopes the House will pass the bill early this week.
Hassan, alongside Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., also supported $25 billion that will provide specific relief to the restaurant and hospitality industries.
[…] The relief package will allow businesses to stay out of major debt and put themselves on a solid footing, said Ashley Haseltine, president of the Greater Derry Londonderry Chamber of Commerce.
[…] Mike Somers, president and CEO of the New Hampshire Lodging & Restaurant Association, called the relief important.
“Any little bit is going to help weather the tail end of this storm,” he said. “Knock on wood, but I really hope we are narrowing in on a time when we get back to some semblance of normal.”
Joel Nkounkou, co-founder and CEO of ecoText in Durham, said one challenge has been recruiting and staying competitive with other companies. Tech companies typically offer higher paying jobs.
[…] Hassan hopes the relief will help businesses start investing in the future instead of just trying to survive.
“We don’t want this recovery to take a really long time,” she said. “We want to be able to help it move along.”
Democrats are touting the “American Rescue Plan,” which the Senate passed over the weekend. […]
It also includes legislation from New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan that provides relief to new small businesses that weren’t eligible for aid before.
“One of the things that has just struck me throughout the pandemic is that in the midst of all these challenges, Granite Staters have been stepping up to start new businesses, creating new job opportunities, which is really an amazing thing to see at such a difficult time and really an inspiring thing to see,” said Hassan, D-New Hampshire. […]