January 15, 2021

Senators Hassan, Shaheen Hold Resource Panel for Granite State Small Businesses, Nonprofits Following Re-Opening of Paycheck Protection Program and Additional Federal Relief

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen hosted a public panel where New Hampshire small businesses and nonprofits learned about support available to them through the COVID-19 relief and government funding package that the Senators helped negotiate and pass into law.


“I want to thank all of the New Hampshire small businesses and nonprofit leaders who are the backbone of our economy and provide vital services, particularly amid this devastating pandemic,” said Senator Hassan. “The discussion we had was an opportunity for our business community to learn more about the federal programs that will provide vital and targeted relief to hardest-hit businesses in our state. I look forward to continuing to work together to strengthen our public health response, create jobs, and rebuild an economy as inclusive and strong as ever.”


“Small businesses are the lifeblood of New Hampshire and have also been among the hardest hit by the pandemic. As I worked across the aisle to help create or enhance the small business programs included in the CARES Act and the recent COVID relief legislation, the conversations I had with Granite State businesses helped guide our negotiations. It was through personal meetings like the one we had this afternoon that I argued how and why certain provisions needed to be prioritized to ensure New Hampshire voices were heard and represented every step of the way,” said Senator Shaheen. “I’m glad that Senator Hassan and I had the opportunity to check in and answer important questions from our local businesses and community leaders about the resources available. I’ll keep working across the aisle to deliver additional aid to our small businesses that need it.”


The event featured a number of New Hampshire business leaders, including Amy Bassett, District Director of the New Hampshire Small Business Administration; Liz Gray, State Director of the New Hampshire Small Business Development Center; Kristy Merrill, President of the New Hampshire Bankers Association; John Nyhan of the Hampton Area Chamber of Commerce; and Alison Perrella, a member of the New Hampshire Society of Certified Public Accountants and tax partner at Wipfli in Bedford.


The participants discussed how small businesses and nonprofits can use the re-opened Paycheck Protection Program, new relief for performance and entertainment venues, and the Employee Retention Tax Credit as they work to keep their businesses afloat during the pandemic. Small businesses and nonprofits can receive assistance and advice on accessing these programs from the organizations represented on the panel as well as Senator Hassan and Shaheen’s offices.


Shaheen led negotiations on the small business assistance provisions in the COVID-19 relief legislation signed into law last month, building on the successful small business programs she helped create in the CARES Act. The legislation, which includes provisions from Shaheen’s HEROES Small Business Lifeline Act, provides $284 billion to extend the Paycheck Protection Program and will allow many small businesses and nonprofits access to the second round of PPP loans announced this week. The legislation also expands PPP eligibility for 501(c)(6) nonprofits, including tourism organizations and local chambers of commerce, and makes critical policy changes to the program to better serve the restaurant and hospitality industries, which have been among those hardest-hit by the pandemic. To date, nearly 25,000 New Hampshire small businesses and non-profits have received over $2.5 billion in PPP assistance.


The COVID-19 package also included bipartisan legislation introduced by Senator Hassan to allow eligible small employers to both participate in the Paycheck Protection Program and also claim the Employee Retention Tax Credit to help keep workers on payroll and pay for their health care coverage. Previously, small employers could not participate in both of these programs.