December 08, 2020

Senator Hassan Held Third Annual Innovate NH Entrepreneurship Forum

WASHINGTON – In case you missed it, U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan yesterday hosted the third-annual Innovate NH Entrepreneurship Forum as part of her efforts to support New Hampshire’s entrepreneurs and ensure that they have the tools that they need to launch innovative businesses and thrive. The event focused on challenges that small businesses and startups are facing amid the pandemic.


See below for coverage highlights:


Manchester Ink Link: Hassan gathers NH small business owners to discuss impact of COVID-19

By Andrew Sylvia


On Monday, U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) invited several small business owners and small business advocates to an event discussing the impact of COVID-19 on small business and discussing strategies for the future.


Hassan’s New Hampshire Entrepreneur Forum, now in its third year and online for the first time, began with an update from Hassan on the bipartisan framework on a COVID-19 relief package released last week.


Hassan said that the compromise plan likely wasn’t going to be enough to fully jumpstart the economy, but does include vital support for many impacted by the pandemic. Later in the forum, she mentioned that there are concerns with the compromise plan from both sides of the aisle as well as other needed items that cannot be addressed in the plan, but she did not elaborate on those concerns during the forum.


One topic she did mention in the relief proposal was the inclusion of an additional $300 per week in support for unemployed workers. Panelists noted that the $600 provided earlier in the pandemic made it difficult for employers to regain low-paid workers, but Hassan said she had been told by economists and employees at that time. However, she also supported the $300 per week amount as an acceptable compromise and also noted that the pandemic has shown that many states have overly antiquated unemployment assistance systems.


She also provided an update on Project Warp Speed, which she hopes can provide an end to the pandemic once and for all. Although she said the Food and Drug Administration would not approve any proposed COVID-19 vaccine without looking at data first, she says she expects the Pfizer vaccine to be approved on Thursday and the Moderna vaccine to be approved next Thursday. She added that both came from a scientific foundation that had been built over many years.


Hassan also referenced legislation she has introduced to provide student debt relief to entrepreneurs, collaboration space for entrepreneurs.


[…] For Jay Curcio of White Apron Catering in Dover, the pandemic has provided a much more dire outlook than what has been seen by Graves or Vanderhoof. He stated that he lost 60 catered weddings over the summer, each of which would have provided $20,000 to $25,000 worth of revenue.


[…] “We’re definitely in desperation mode at this point. (Hassan) mentioned reaching across the aisle and providing more stimulus. I hope that happens, I hope the adults in the room are able to do that and make that happen,” he said.


NH Small Business Development Center State Director Liz Gray and Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship Executive Director Mary Ann Kristiansen provided their input as well, urging small businesses to create resiliency plans to cope with unexpected difficulties as well as urging Hassan to provide more aid for small business as well as urging President-Elect Joe Biden to put more small business voices in the White House.


Kristiansen also hopes that the state can restart a unified strategy to help small business owners in New Hampshire comparable to the Live Free and Start initiative Hassan undertook during her time as Governor


WMUR: Small businesses in NH look to Washington for financial relief

By Nicol Lally


New Hampshire business owners talked to Sen. Maggie Hassan on Monday about the challenges they are facing during the pandemic and the need for financial relief.


Small business owners said the uncertainty has kept them up at night. They said they want relief, they need it soon. Jay Curcio, executive chef and owner of The White Apron Catering in Dover is just one of the many owners hoping relief comes soon as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.


[…] Hassan said work is underway in Washington right now.


“Businesses need emergency funding right now to help them get through this pandemic,” Hassan said.


The more than $900 billion bill on the table in Washington is a bipartisan compromise worked into a larger bill. Aid for small businesses is included, but just how much aid and how quickly it can be available is questionable and concerning for small business owners in New Hampshire.


The stimulus bill is far from a done deal, while there is some agreement on Capitol Hill, more work needs to be done and that work could take at least another week.


Caledonian Record: Hassan Hears Small Business COVID Concerns

By Paul Hayes


[…] Participating in the third annual Innovate NH Entrepreneurship Forum hosted by Sen Maggie Hassan on Monday, Curcio said the pandemic cost his company 60 weddings and approximately $1.2 million in revenue.


When asked how the federal government could help, he offered another blunt assessment.


“I need it to be like it was prior to COVID,” he said. “I know that’s asking a lot, but that’s what I need.”


Hassan couldn’t make any guarantees, but during the hour-long roundtable she offered hope for the Granite State’s small businesses.


She outlined progress on a proposed $908 billion COVID relief bill, which would reauthorize the Paycheck Protection Program and give a second round of subsidies to businesses struggling through the pandemic.


She also provided an update on vaccine development, with vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna nearing government approval.


“If things go as experts predict, we should have vaccines distributed before the end of the year,” said Hassan, noting that the first recipients would be front-line workers and “the most vulnerable.” […]