Coronavirus Coverage - Business and Economy | New Hampshire Public Radio

Coronavirus Coverage - Business and Economy

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: August 21, 2020

Aug 21, 2020

The Meet the Candidates series continues with Lynne Blankenbeker, Republican candidate for the second Congressional District.  NHPR’s Casey McDermott takes a look at preparations for the September primary and what the state is anticipating. We also visit with State Representative Denny Ruprecht who was tapped as a rising star to be a part of  the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention. And we go to Laconia, to learn about preparations for Laconia Motorcycle Week.

Air date: Friday, Aug. 21, 2020. 

TONY WEBSTER, WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Hundreds of businesses have shuttered across the state due to the coronavirus pandemic, reveals a new report from the review site Yelp.

A spokesperson for Yelp told NHPR that 449 businesses closed (both temporarily and permanently) between March and July. Last month, 280 businesses were marked as permanently closed in the state.

The U.S. stock market has come a long way in a short time.

The S&P 500 index closed at a record high Tuesday, nearly six months after coronavirus lockdowns that shut down much of the economy sent the markets plunging.

Dan Tuohy/NHPR

People of color and women have experienced higher unemployment than whites and men during the COVID-19 pandemic, and women of color and Latina immigrants have the highest jobless rates, according to new research by UNH’s Carsey School of Public Policy.

Losses Mount For N.H. Hospitals As COVID-19 Disrupts Healthcare Industry

Aug 10, 2020

New Hampshire hospitals have lost hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue due to COVID-19. Now, they may have to make cuts.

Sara Plourde for NHPR

In our second virtual event for The Exchange: Live From Home, we talked with economists about how our personal financial stability has changed in the short term... and what that means for the long term health of our economy.

This is the second of four virtual events as part of "The Exchange Live From Home." It happened live on Tuesday, August 4th at 7 p.m. Find information about other events here

Air date: Thursday, August 6, 2020. 

Ostin Bernier

As parts of New Hampshire’s economy begin returning to something like business as usual, one key piece of the puzzle has been child care: will parents be able to find someone to watch their kids when they go back to work?

The state says there are plenty of open child care spots available across New Hampshire -- in all parts of the state, and for all age groups. But the picture is a little different when you look up close. Parents say they can’t go back to work because they can’t find reliable care, and child care providers say they’re turning families away every day.

Sara Plourde for NHPR

In our second virtual event for The Exchange: Live From Home, we talked with economists about how our personal financial stability has changed in the short term -- and what that means for the long term health of our economy.

This is the second of four virtual events as part of "The Exchange Live From Home." It happened live on Tuesday, Aug. 4 at 7 p.m.

Find more events here.

Air date: Thursday, August 6, 2020. 

Housing Assistance Program Slow To Deliver Aid To Struggling Tenants

Aug 3, 2020
SHANE ADAMS VIA FLICKR/CC - HTTP://OW.LY/OJ5PE

As New Hampshire housing advocates fret over a potential flood of evictions next month, a key state aid program for tenants has been slow to roll out.

New Hampshire’s Housing Relief Program, launched June 30, is a $35 million program meant to help assist tenants who are no longer protected by an eviction moratorium as of July 1.

But a month later, the program is still working its way through hundreds of applications and relatively few awards.

El estado empieza el programa GAP mientras los programas federales terminan 

Originalmente escrito en inglés por Bob Sanders el 22 de julio del 2020

Traducido al español por María Aguirre

El estado abrió las aplicaciones para su programa New Hampshire General Assistance & Preservation (GAP) el martes 21 de julio, una última oportunidad para dueños de negocios antes de que terminen la mayoría de programas federales CARES. La aplicación cierra el 4 de agosto. 

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Reusable shopping bags will be allowed again at New Hampshire grocery stores, after Gov. Chris Sununu lifted the state’s COVID-19 ban on reusable bags Monday.

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

Walmart says shoppers must wear masks inside its stores starting Monday — the largest retailer to join a growing list of companies making face covering mandatory across the nation.

Eviction Cases On The Rise In New Hampshire

Jul 14, 2020
Shane Adams via Flickr/CC - http://ow.ly/OJ5Pe

The New Hampshire Judicial Branch has released  court filings related to landlords and tenants. The data, released weekly, shows that eviction cases are on rise in New Hampshire since the state's coronavirus-related ban on evictions ended on July 1.

Tony Webster, Wikimedia Commons

The state’s unemployment rate fell to 11.8% in June as more residents returned to work following the coronavirus shutdown.

New figures released Tuesday by N.H. Employment Security show that approximately 25,000 residents who lost their jobs earlier this year were back to work in June. 

Still, there are nearly 100,000 fewer people working right now than there were last year at this time. Retail, restaurant, and hotel jobs are still heavily impacted, as are white-color positions and those in education and health care.

NH Electric Coop Facebook

New Hampshire state regulators have agreed to hold a virtual public hearing next week on plans to resume utility service disconnections.

The state recently ended its pandemic-related moratorium on shutoffs for overdue payments. Now, the Public Utilities Commission is deciding how utilities should resume the shutoffs, as well as late payment fees.

Dan Tuohy/NHPR

July 1st marked the end of a months-long moratorium on evictions due to COVID-19, but Granite Staters impacted by the pandemic can apply for assistance, in the form of one-time grants, or ongoing help with rent, mortgage, or utilities. We talk about this assistance, and how the pandemic is impacting affordable housing in New Hampshire. Check out our FAQ on housing assistance for COVID-19

Air date: Wednesday, July 8, 2020

TONY WEBSTER, WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Rural hospitals, a software vendor and a demolition contractor in Salem were among the largest New Hampshire recipients of Paycheck Protection Program loans from the federal government, according to new data released Monday by the Small Business Administration.

Susan Ladmer

Applications are now open for the Self Employed Livelihood Fund Program, or S.E.L.F. Governor Chris Sununu set up the fund under the federal CARES Act to provide economic relief to people who are self-employed. The maximum award amount a business can receive is $50,000.  

Applicants have until July 17, 2020 at 4 p.m. to submit their applications.

Flckr Creative Commons

Since Covid-19 hit, many Americans found their employment transformed: Some lost their jobs, others labored at home, while essential workers faced an array of new safety procedures and, sometimes, danger on the job  We examine these massive changes - and explore what might be long-lasting.

Air Date: July 6, 2020

Governor Sununu has set aside $35 million from the CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund to provide housing assistance for individuals who have trouble paying their rent and utilities as a result of the pandemic.

Brendan Wood / Creative Commons

New Hampshire’s utility consumer advocate wants more transparency and public input on plans to lift the state's ban on utility shutoffs this month.

In a new emergency petition, ratepayer advocate Don Kreis says the state's electric, water and gas utilities are reporting large swaths of customers who've held off paying their bills in the past few months.

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

New Hampshire’s ban on evictions lifts on Wednesday, July 1, removing protections imposed early on in the COVID-19 emergency to prevent renters from losing their homes.

Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest news on COVID-19 and reopening New Hampshire.

The ban did not require landlords to forgive rent, creating a backlog of unpaid rent which many still might not be able to pay.

Todd Bookman, NHPR

In early May, as New Hampshire officials began to lift restrictions on some corners of the economy, Gov. Chris Sununu announced that the state would distribute its stockpile of disposable masks to businesses and nonprofits for free.

Now, thanks to newly provided public records, we can see where those masks ended up — and which businesses were the biggest beneficiaries.

A federal fisheries management agency has barred some of its employees from making formal references to the COVID-19 pandemic without preapproval from leadership, according to an internal agency document.

Courtesy of Camp Hale / United South End Settlements & Northeastern University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections

Ninety-five percent of New Hampshire sleepaway camps will remain closed this summer.

The governor’s guidelines for reopening allow overnight camps to reopen this Monday, June 29.

But Ken Robbins, president of the New Hampshire Camp Directors Association, says late notice and strict guidelines have forced most camps to stay closed.

Genevieve Andress for NHPR

What happens when a restaurant doesn’t follow social distancing guidelines? Or when restaurant employees who interact with customers don’t wear their required face masks?

Violations of coronavirus guidelines usually end up in the hands of the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office by way of the phone number and email established for concerns regarding executive orders and guidelines.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Seacoast beaches have been crowded this weekend with people trying to beat the heat, though some coronavirus restrictions remain in effect. Parts of the shoulders of Route 1A have reopened for parking, but the state beach lots are only accepting 50 percent of their normal capacity to encourage physical distancing.

Flickr/Diana Parkhouse

Homes would be selling briskly in New Hampshire if there was anything to sell. It’s a lack of inventory, inventory, inventory.

This article is being shared by partners in The Granite State News Collaborative. For more information visit collaborativenh.org

Tony Webster, Wikimedia Commons

The state’s official stay-at-home order expired at midnight. 

Nearly every corner of the New Hampshire economy, from bowling alleys to libraries to museums, has been given the greenlight to reopen.

But normal remains a long way off,  as new unemployment numbers show that 100,000 residents remain unemployed following a months-long mandated shutdown.

Updated at 4:05 p.m. ET

Stock prices rebounded Friday, one day after a punishing drop triggered by fears that the coronavirus cases are increasing in the Sunbelt.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 477 points, a gain of 1.9%. The broader S&P 500 index climbed 1.3%.

A day earlier, the Dow lost 1,861 points, or about 7%, and the S&P 500 dove nearly 6%.

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