Coronavirus Coverage - Business and Economy | New Hampshire Public Radio

Coronavirus Coverage - Business and Economy

A fishing industry group wants New Hampshire and neighboring states to put off planning offshore wind development during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Responsible Offshore Development Alliance, or RODA, sent a letter to the governors of Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts on Tuesday. The group represents the fishing industry in states with offshore wind development.

Sara Plourde | NHPR

Small businesses are struggling right now...but people *are* trying to help. Are you a small business owner? Are you doing your best to support the businesses you love? We want to talk to you!

This program aired on Tuesday, April 14th. 

NHPR's newsroom needs your help. Click here to make a donation to support our work. 


Scrumshus via Wikimedia Commons

Members of New Hampshire’s Congressional delegation say they’re worried that two new federal decisions - from the Navy and the Environmental Protection Agency - will increase risks related to COVID-19. 

The EPA announced today that it will not tighten air pollution limits on fine particulate matter, despite staff recommendations to do so.


While large sectors of the economy are shuttered at the moment, there are still plenty of products to ship, and goods to deliver to peoples’ homes.

Truckers, a loud but often invisible piece of the market, are in the middle of those transactions, logging thousands of miles back and forth across New England.

Dan Tuohy; NHPR

The CARES Act, a record-setting federal stimulus package, is funneling $2 trillion into the U.S. economy, including hundreds of millions for small businesses and nonprofits hurt by the coronavirus pandemic. We look at how the package aims to help these organizations get through the next few months. 

Click here to read all of NHPR's coronavirus coverage. 

Air date: Wednesday, April 15, 2020. 

Ellen Grimm for NHPR

For "essential retail workers," exposure to the public is part of the job -- scanning and bagging groceries, filling prescriptions. 

But protective measures vary from state to state and even within a single state. Some stores are allowing only a certain number of customers in at a time; many are setting safety-distance markers at check-out lines.

We look at what precautions New Hampshire and nearby states are taking, along with federal guidelines. Recently, meanwhile, the Union of Food and Commercial Workers asked the CDC to issue new mandatory guidance on safety protocols for grocery stores, pharmacies, food processing and meatpacking facilities.

Air date: 9 - 10 am, Tuesday April 14, 2020


New Hampshire has issued more than 300 emergency professional licenses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

About half of the new emergency licenses have gone to behavioral and mental health practitioners, including licensed social workers and psychologists.

This comes as Governor Chris Sununu has loosened New Hampshire's licensing rules in an effort to bolster the state's medical workforce during the ongoing public health emergency.

One of the changes, according to the governor, allows providers to more easily work at multiple institutions.


Most of us have never experienced anything quite like this moment. But Sharon Eng and her husband, who today own a manufacturing company in Belmont, happened to find themselves in the middle of another disease outbreak, on the other side of the world, in 2003. 

“My husband and I moved to Hong Kong in 1989, and we returned to the States in 2005,” said Eng. “So we got to see a lot of changes happen around the world. But in the latter part of our stay there, of course one of the most impactful changes, was when SARS hit.”

Courtesy of Baer

The Exeter New Hampshire-based hockey gear company Bauer is joining other manufacturers and universities in a push to make protective gear for medical staff and first responders.

Bauer's factory, located outside of Montreal, usually makes skates for professional hockey players. But in late March, it began designing plastic face shields meant to give people wearing masks an extra layer of protection from the coronavirus.

Bauer’s sister company in Liverpool, New York, typically manufactures lacrosse equipment. Now it is also making face shields.

N.H. Farmers Face An Uncertain Spring

Apr 5, 2020

If you thought being a New Hampshire farmer was challenging before, imagine doing it in the midst of a global pandemic. Farmers are well-acquainted with uncertainty, but this Spring, Granite State farmers are being challenged to find new ways to produce and sell their products. We talk with small family farms to find  out how they're coping, if federal subsidies are available, and if strong local connections will endure.

Air date: Monday, April 6, 2020

Courtesy photo, ConvenientMD

Gov, Chris Sununu said New Hampshire is prepared to handle the expected surge in coronavirus cases, but that some local hospitals will need help from the state to remain open.

At a press conference Friday afternoon, Sununu said the state now has more than 5,200 beds ready to handle COVID-19 patients and others needing care when the coronavirus peaks here. That includes nearly 1,700 new beds the state has set up at 14 temporary sites across the state.

<a href="">401(k) 2012</a> / Flickr

Banks in New Hampshire and across the country began getting busy Friday, as businesses harmed by COVID-19 are lining up for a share of $350 billion worth of new federal loans.

Courtesy of Water Street Bookstore

Some people find themselves right now with a lot of extra quiet time in the house. You could  stew. You could tweet. Or, how about you get some reading done? 

Click here to sign up for our newsletter to get the latest updates on coronavirus in New Hampshire delivered to your inbox.  

Salmon Press Newspapers

Newspapers in New Hampshire are in a strange position with COVID-19: lots of readers, but a steep decline in revenue as businesses close in the pandemic.

Click here to sign up for our newsletter to get the latest updates on coronavirus in New Hampshire delivered to your inbox.  

Right now, in any other year, the Lakes Region would be gearing up for summer – hotels would be selling rooms, restaurants would be preparing to reopen.

Unemployment Insurance Application
Mediaweek via Flickr CC

New Hampshire continues to see unpredecented claims for unemployment benefits, as non-essential businesses across the state have been forced to close until May 4 in response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The federal coronavirus stimulus package, known as the CARES Act, includes funding that will provide a boost to those seeking assistance while out of work.

Sign up for our email newsletter to get the latest on coronavirus in New Hampshire 

We'll talk with Rich Lavers, deputy commissioner of New Hampshire's Employment Security office, about these changes, what they mean for you, and help to answer your unemployment questions. 

Air date: Tuesday, March 31, 2020 from 10-11 a.m.

<a href="">401(k) 2012</a> / Flickr

Rent is due this week for many tenants across New Hampshire. But due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, many have lost their income and may not be able to make their payments.

NHPR's reporters are working around the clock to bring you the latest on this critical story. Click here to make a donation to support our newsroom. 


Business across the state are facing tough decisions, with some deciding to close their doors, either temporarily or permanently, while others, like restaurants, are choosing to offer only take-out options.

We'll discuss how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting small businesses, what they are doing to cope with this new reality, and how they can plan for the future. 

Air date: Tuesday, March 31, 2020 from 9-10 a.m.

ilovememphis via Flickr Creative Commons

Grocery stores and gas stations are among the businesses deemed "essential" under Governor Chris Sununu's new stay-at-home order. 

Related: What does N.H.'s stay-at-home order mean?

The Hanover Food Co-op, which owns four stores in the Upper Valley and employs close to 400 people, is one grocery store company taking additional steps to keep employees and customers safe.  

NHPR / Michael Brindley

Gov. Chris Sununu and other state authorities have spent the past few weeks urging employers across the state to make big changes to how they do business, to stem the spread of COVID-19.

But New Hampshire state government is itself one of the state’s largest employers, with nearly 10,000 full-time and more than 2,000 part-time employees across dozens of state agencies. 

NHPR staff

Gov. Chris Sununu issued an expansive stay-at-home order Thursday, requiring all New Hampshire residents except for those employed by “essential” businesses to stay put until at least May 4 to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The $2 trillion stimulus package passed unanimously by the Senate on Wednesday seeks to help soften the economic damage of the coronavirus. Here’s a summary of how the bill, which the House could take up as early as Friday, would likely impact New Hampshire residents and businesses. 

Direct Payments

Many businesses in New Hampshire’s seasonal tourism industry fill job openings with international workers on a J-1 visa, also known as a work and travel visa.

But, as the ski season winds down, many of those international workers find themselves in a kind of limbo because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Click here to support the journalism NHPR is bringing you every day on this critical story.

Courtesy photo

Fabrizia Spirits in Salem relies on a key ingredient that you might not think would come in handy during a pandemic: lemons

“We buy and process about 700,000 lemons a year,” said owner Phil Mastroianni.

Normally those lemons go into limoncello, an Italian liqueur. But the coronavirus completely transformed Mastroianni’s business in the course of just one day last week.

Seacoast nonprofits say dozens of families could be in jeopardy if a Dover rental complex decides to stop providing publicly subsidized housing next year.

The owners of the 50-unit Rutland Manor Apartments recently told tenants that they won’t be renewing their federal Section 8 housing contract in April 2021, according to Foster’s Daily Democrat.

Governor Chris Sununu says the state is exploring the option of offering curbside pickup at New Hampshire Liquor and Wine Outlets as a way to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, while allowing the outlets to remain open.

Sununu said the details were still being worked out.

The governor signed an executive order last week allowing people to purchase beer and wine directly from local restaurants, which have been limited to offering only carry-out or delivery service due to the virus.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Booms, clangs and bangs — the sounds of a healthy supply chain — continue to echo on the production floor of Hitchiner Manufacturing in Milford.

While retailers and restaurants across New Hampshire are facing a sudden disruption in business, Hitchiner, like many of the state’s manufacturers, hasn’t yet felt the impact of the coronavirus epidemic.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

Schools are closed. Restaurants and bars have been banned from serving customers on-site. Even the state-owned ski area at Cannon Mountain has gone dark. It's all part of the state's effort to limit the transmission of COVID-19.

But one aspect of life in New Hampshire goes on as usual: state liquor outlets.

Click here for all of our coronavirus coverage, including our live news blog, FAQs, and more

Chelie Beaupre

From the minute she wakes up, Chelie Beaupre is thinking about grocery shopping. 

She’s been working 7 days a week, 12 hours a day, for the past two weeks -- getting groceries for a growing list of customers in the Manchester area who are using Instacart, an app that people can use for same-day grocery deliveries. 

Center for Digital Archaeology/Flickr

Ask some people a simple question right now - what do you do for work? - and they aren’t totally sure how to answer.

“I as a bartender,” says Helen Leavitt, unsure what tense to use.