Coronavirus Coverage - Business and Economy | New Hampshire Public Radio

Coronavirus Coverage - Business and Economy

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NHPR is checking back in with Granite Staters to see how they're holding up as 2020 comes to a close. It's part of a series we're calling Hindsight.

Picture of Massachusetts Welcome Sign
Jimmy Emerson, DMV/Flick Creative Commons

The Attorney General of Massachusetts is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to decline a petition filed by the State of New Hampshire over cross-border income tax collections during the pandemic.

In October, New Hampshire filed a lawsuit alleging a temporary tax regulation enacted by its neighboring state during the pandemic violated New Hampshire’s sovereignty.

Daniela Allee, NHPR

The Nashua Board of Health is recommending the city impose a curfew in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The 9:30 pm curfew would prohibit indoor activities at businesses including bars, restaurants and clubs. Takeout would be allowed to continue.

Nashua City Hall
Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The city of Nashua is weighing a potential 9:30 p.m. curfew as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in New Hampshire continue to surge.

At a Board of Health meeting Wednesday, city officials said the current recommendations like mask wearing, social distancing and hand washing are no longer enough to slow the spread of the virus.

As the coronavirus pandemic began ravaging the economy last spring, Congress passed the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), one of the landmark pieces of COVID-19 stimulus efforts intended to get cash to businesses quickly. Until this month, the federal government shared only limited information about the companies receiving those loans. But thanks to a coalition of news organizations who sued the government to gain access to the data, we now have a fuller picture of where the money went — in New Hampshire and elsewhere.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Many of the federal emergency aid programs implemented earlier this year in response to the pandemic are due to expire at the end of December. New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen has been among those working on a compromise plan to extend relief into 2021.

File Photo, NHPR

While many retailers are doing Black Friday a little differently this year, that didn't stop many from doing their holiday shopping in person.

At the Pheasant Lane Mall in Nashua, it looked like almost any other Black Friday, with some parking lots nearly filled, and plenty of out-of-state license plates.

Daniel Barrick / NHPR

A Plaistow restaurant is being fined $1,500 for repeatedly failing to comply with the state's coronavirus  guidelines.

N.H. attorney general's office
Ali Oshinskie for NHPR

The state Attorney General's office has fined three New Hampshire food establishments for violating coronavirus emergency orders. 

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Restaurants across New Hampshire have struggled this pandemic year, with shutdowns, phased re-openings, and now a double whammy of winter and rising COVID-19 infections. We talk with local restaurant owners about the many challenges they've faced, how they've innovated to stay afloat, and what they hope happens next. 

Air date: Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. 

Photo showing inside of empty music call
Courtesy of Tupelo Music Hall

The state is awarding $11.5 million to live music venues, stadiums and theaters as they face financial losses and an uncertain winter of cancelled and limited performances due to the pandemic.

For months, Stephen Ordway had March 13 circled on his calendar.

That was opening day for Dos Mexican Eats, his new restaurant in Dover, N.H.

Then eight short days after selling his first burrito, the pandemic forced Ordway to close down.

"It was terrible," Ordway said. "That's an understatement."

Like millions of Americans who lost their source of income due to COVID-19, Ordway filed for unemployment benefits this year. The payments — roughly $750 a week — served as a financial lifeline for the new business owner.

Dan Tuohy

Restaurants in New Hampshire began collecting customers' names, phone numbers and times of arrival this weekend as part of a new policy to aid the state in contact tracing.

File Photo, NHPR

Vermont has updated its state quarantine rules, and now includes every New Hampshire county among areas with travel restrictions.

Vermont requires a quarantine for travelers to and from any county with over 400 COVID-19 cases per million. Counties with 400-799 cases are coded "yellow," and those with more than 800 cases are "red." 

The Saalt/Libby's Bistro

The restaurant industry is preparing for a tough winter season as dining begins to move back inside.

In Portsmouth, at least six restaurants have reported positive cases of COVID-19 in recent weeks as cases and hospitalizations across the state continue to rise, many connected to small gatherings. City officials recently extended their support for outdoor dining through the end of November, in an attempt to reduce community spread within restaurants.

Josh Rogers / NHPR

The state's emergency relief program is making an effort to close equity gaps for New Hampshire small businesses with a new round of CARES Act funding.

Gov. Chris Sununu said at a press conference Thursday that the Governor's Office For Emergency Relief and Recovery is working alongside groups like the COVID-19 Equity Response Team toward ensuring equal access to $100 million in Main Street relief funds that were released last week.

Via LRGHealthcare on Facebook

LRGHealthcare, which operates Lakes Region General Hospital and Franklin Regional Hospital, is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, citing a huge debt load and other financial strains compounded by the coronavirus pandemic.

N.H. Electric Cooperative members support adding broadband access to the utility's mission.
Wikimedia Commons

Members of the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative have voted by a wide margin to add rural broadband service to the utility’s mission.

The vote was 88 percent in favor of adding broadband to the Co-op’s bylaws, alongside electric service. An earlier campaign to do this fell just short of passing.

Picture of Massachusetts Welcome Sign
Jimmy Emerson, DMV/Flick Creative Commons

The state of New Hampshire announced Friday it will file a federal lawsuit against Massachusetts over its cross-border income tax collection policies during the pandemic.

The lawsuit centers on a Massachusetts emergency provision that caps how much income out-of-state residents who work for Massachusetts-based companies can deduct on their income taxes while working remotely. 

CDC

Two additional restaurant employees at Flatbread Company in Portsmouth have tested positive for COVID-19, according to Jason Lyon, company president and COO.

The new positive tests come after one staff member at Flatbread Company in Portsmouth initially tested positive this weekend. All other staff were encouraged to quarantine and get tested, even if they did not come in contact with the infected employee. 

Ali Oshinskie for NHPR

A few weeks ago, Liza Widdop and her kids visited Concord. 

Arriving from out of state, they walked around the neighborhoods, trying to find their next home. But with no ‘For Sale’ signs in sight, they tried something unusual: They left letters at potential new homes, instead.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The governor’s economic reopening task force unanimously approved Thursday a recommendation that would give New Hampshire stores the option to operate at full capacity, as well as new guidelines for the state's ski areas.

Courtesy NH Scot

The New Hampshire Highland Games and Festival, like so many other events this year, is going virtual. Usually filled with music, shopping and games such as the caber toss, the festival kicked off Thursday with a virtual musical performance. It runs through Sunday.

For more on how the festival is making the transition to the virtual world, we turn to Terri Wiltse, the executive director of NHSCOT, the organization that puts on the New Hampshire Highland Games and Festival. She spoke with NHPR's Peter Biello.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: September 18, 2020

Sep 18, 2020

Smoke from West Coast wildfires has dimmed our sunshine - could we see extensive fire damage here, and what’s the link to climate change? The New Hampshire Supreme Court heard oral arguments this week in a case that will decide if a list containing the names of more than 250 law enforcement officers with credibility issues should be disclosed to the public. We also find out about inconsistencies in psychological evaluations used in the hiring process at N.H. police departments. We find out about a demonstration at Cathedral Ledge in the Mt. Washington valley. And what will leaf-peeping be like this this fall?

 

Air date: Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. 

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/cc_chapman/4878972642/in/photostream/" target="blank">CC Chapman</a> via Flickr/Creative Commons

A Massachusetts-based flag football league is facing $2,000 fine for violating a New Hampshire emergency order issued as part of the state's response to COVID-19.

The New England Flag Football League hosted a tournament in Epping, N.H., toward the end of August, with teams from Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin participating.

Flickr

New Hampshire’s unemployment rate fell in August to 6.5 percent as hiring continued to rebound in tourism-fueled sectors including leisure and hospitality, as well as food service.

New figures released Tuesday by N.H. Employment Security show the state added 3,000 hospitality jobs last month. 

Shane Adams via Flickr/CC - http://ow.ly/OJ5Pe

In the months following the end of state and federal eviction moratoriums, evictions in New Hampshire have been on the rise.

Since the end of June, New Hampshire courts have approved 673 orders to evict tenants.  Nearly half of those are just from the month of August.

How N.H.'s Minority-Owned Businesses Are Faring

Aug 28, 2020
Max Pixel

Minorities have been hit disproportionately hard by COVID-19, and minority-owned businesses have closed at higher rates. We check in with Granite State minority-owned businesses on how they're doing amidst the pandemic and the resulting economic downturn. 

Air date: Monday, Aug. 31, 2020. 

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Somewhere between the economic intimacy of Main Street shopping, and the "Deals! Deals! Deals!" consumerism of the outlets, there lies the humble strip mall.

Four N.H. Business Apply To Reopen As Child Care Centers

Aug 24, 2020
Photo Credit woodleywonderworks via Flickr Creative Commons

The state’s child care licensing unit has received four applications this summer to reopen non- day care spaces as sites for child care and remote learning. 

Officials tell NHPR they did not receive applications like this last year. This comes as many businesses in the state are struggling to remain open due to the economic stress of the pandemic. 

One of the businesses applying for this license is Cowabunga - an indoor playground in Manchester that hosts parties for kids. 

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