The Town of Milford aims to keep businesses connected and informed during this unprecedented and uncertain time. The Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the business community in immeasurable ways. In order to provide businesses access to information and financial resources, the Town of Milford provides this Business Bulletin Board. The newest entries will appear at the top of the page.
NEW October 19, 2020
Governor Chris Sununu has authorized the allocation and expenditure of $100 million from the CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund (“flex funds”) for Main Street Relief Fund 2.0 (MSRF 2.0) in order to continue providing economic support to New Hampshire small businesses suffering from business interruptions as a result of COVID-19. The Governor also announced that the state is adding $50 million of CARES Act funding to the NH Unemployment Trust Fund to hold off unemployment taxes businesses must pay when the trust fund drops below certain levels. Bob Sanders at New Hampshire Business Review (NHBR) gives a terrific explanation of what this means for New Hampshire businesses. Please read below. Roughly $100 million of the $1.25 billion of CARES Act funding allotted to New Hampshire remains undesignated for contingencies. Per the Feds, the resources must be fully committed by December 30, 2020. The Seacoast Chamber Alliance, using CARES Act funding, seeks to assist area businesses with six targeted strategies. The effort will target Chamber and non-Chamber businesses. Preliminary details are below with more to follow next week. Finally, if your company is hiring, please avail yourself of NHES’s Job Search Portal. Details below.
See Governor Sununu’s announcement beginning at the 13:40-minute mark regarding the Main Street Relief Program 2.0 here: Main Street Relief Program 2.0
Main Street Relief Fund 2.0
MSRF 2.0 supports both (1) businesses that did not receive grants from the initial round of MSRF or the General Assistance & Preservation (GAP) Fund, and (2) businesses that received grants of less than the maximum $350,000 from the initial round of MSRF or the GAP Fund, if eligible according to the criteria described below. Businesses that received a Self Employed Livelihood Fund (SELF) grant are not eligible for MSRF 2.0.
The $100 million MSRF 2.0 will be shared among new recipients and prior recipients of MSRF and GAP Fund grants using a pro-rata formula based on gross receipts losses adjusted for other COVID-19-related funding received from all sources, including all grants received from GOFERR flex funds programs. MSRF 2.0 grants will be offset by GOFERR program grants previously received on a dollar-for-dollar basis, including, particularly, from the initial round of MSRF and the GAP Fund. The maximum amount received from MSRF 2.0 cannot exceed $350,000, including grants received from the initial round of MSRF and the GAP Fund.
Important Dates & Timeline:
- Application Period: October 19, 2020 – October 30, 2020
- Deadline to Submit Completed Application: 4:00 PM on October 30, 2020
For a business (or group of affiliated businesses*) to qualify for MSRF 2.0, it must:
- Be a for-profit business;
- Have its principal business office in New Hampshire;
- Have typically employed at least one non-owner W-2 employee before COVID-19;
- Have been in operation since at least May 29, 2019;
- Anticipate a loss of gross receipts from 2019 to 2020 due to COVID-19;
- Have total 2019 gross receipts of less than $20 million;
- Have received a total of less than $350,000 from the initial round of MSRF or the GAP Fund, if a prior recipient;
- Not be currently in bankruptcy;
- Not have permanently closed; and
- Not have received a Self Employed Livelihood Fund (SELF) grant.
In addition, the following types of businesses are not eligible for MSRF 2.0:
- Nonprofit organizations;
- Agriculture businesses;
- Childcare providers;
- Elementary or secondary schools;
- Institutions of higher education; and
- Hospitals or other healthcare providers.
* For purposes of MSRF 2.0, a business is considered affiliated with any other business that:
- Has the same Taxpayer Identification Number (including Social Security Number);
- Has the same corporate parent or grandparent; or
- Is majority-owned (more than 50%) by the same owner or group of owners.
MSRF 2.0 grant amounts will be calculated similar to the initial round of MSRF and the GAP Fund. The maximum amount received cannot exceed $350,000, including grants received from the initial round of MSRF and the GAP Fund. The State of New Hampshire is not directing businesses on how to spend the money. Businesses must demonstrate they have experienced or anticipate they will experience a financial loss due to COVID-19 in order to qualify for MSRF 2.0. It is expected that businesses will use the funds to assist in covering their operational costs and legal obligations.
Unemployment Trust Fund
The New Hampshire Business Review recently wrote an article explaining the impact of the $50 million of CARES Act funding added to New Hampshire’s Unemployment Trust Fund will have on New Hampshire businesses. You can find the full article at: NHBR Article regarding new CARES Act funding
“The $50 million put into the unemployment trust fund will hold off unemployment taxes businesses must pay when the trust fund drops below certain levels. The fund, which was at $300 million before the crisis, has dropped down to $80 million. It could have been far worse, since the Employment Security sent out about $1.4 billion in benefits, but more than $1.1 billion of that money came from the federal government, mainly to pay for enhanced benefits (the extra $600 a week), expanded eligibility (for business owners and those who have to stay home because of child care), and – starting about now – an extra 13 weeks of extended benefits. The state pays for the first 26 weeks of traditional benefits only. So far, some $229 million in benefits came out of the trust fund, but that was enough to nearly deplete it.
Employers already lost a percent in discounts in their unemployment tax rate because of the shrinking fund, and were starting to pay a surcharge – the first half percent surcharge due to the low third quarter trust fund levels is being paid now. But the $50 million avoids another surcharge based on the fourth quarter levels, and another two surcharges that the state expected to be charge based on the anticipated levels during the first quarter of 2021 have also been avoided.
Sununu estimated that the move could save businesses some $65 million in taxes.
The money also staves off having to borrow from the federal government, which is also costly. Indeed, with the unemployment rate dropping, and the extended benefits picked up by federal government, it is possible that state might not have to borrow at all.
The money won’t mean much to those already unemployed, whose enhanced benefits from the federal government ran out five weeks ago. This won’t change the level of benefits. But the expanded eligibility, which is written into the federal CARES Act, will last until the end of the year.
Sununu said that lowering the taxes paid on each employee will remove a barrier to hiring employees, so it could benefit some of the jobless…with a job.” – Bob Sanders, NHBR
FOR MORE INFORMATION & RESOURCES:
For information and outreach, the best resource of information is: https://businesshelpnheconomy.com/hc/en-us. It includes a business help portal for businesses to get questions answered quickly by a team of business specialists. The portal is staffed 7 days a week. Guidance documents can be found under the Reopening Task Force tab. Here are some other helpful links:
- Reopening Task Force, with meeting agendas, audio recordings, minutes, and final guidance
- Quick Reference Guide for guidance application for each industry
- BEA business help portal where anyone can get a question answered
- GOFERR program information