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News

  • 11/20/2021 2:01 PM | Emerson Doiron (Administrator)
    eidl

    SBA Announces Updated Guidance Regarding Applicant Deadlines for COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program

    Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced updated guidance for COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program applicants to better serve small business owners in need, while funding remains available. Since its inception, the COVID EIDL program, a federal disaster relief loan designed to better serve and support our small business communities still reeling from the pandemic, especially hard-hit sectors such as restaurants, gyms, and hotels, has approved nearly $300 billion in relief aid. Specifically, the following updated guidance is being provided:

    • EIDL loan and Targeted Advance applications will be accepted until December 31 and will continue to be processed after this date until funds are exhausted.
    • Supplemental Targeted Advance applications will be accepted until December 31; however, the SBA may be unable to process some Supplemental Targeted Advance applications submitted near the December 31 deadline due to legal requirements. The SBA cannot continue to process Supplemental Targeted Advance applications after December 31 and strongly encourages eligible small businesses to apply by December 10 to ensure adequate processing time.
    • Borrowers can request increases up to their maximum eligible loan amount for up to two years after their loan origination date, or until the funds are exhausted, whichever is soonest.
    • The SBA will accept and review reconsideration and appeal requests for COVID EIDL applications received on or before December 31 if the reconsideration/appeal is received within the timeframes in the regulation. This means six months from the date of decline for reconsiderations and 30 days from the date of reconsideration decline for appeals – unless funding is no longer available.

    See Entire Press Release Here

    “The COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance programs still have billions of dollars available to help small businesses hard hit by the pandemic. More than 3.8 million businesses employing more than 20 million people have found financial relief through SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans,” said Patrick Kelley, Associate Administrator for SBA’s Office of Capital Access. “Key enhancements have been made to the loan program that will help our nation’s businesses recover and get back on track.”

    What others are doing for #smallbiz

    Fourth Annual Innovate NH Entrepreneurship Forum

    U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan is hosting the annual Innovate New Hampshire Entrepreneurship Forum – a virtual discussion highlighting some of the best and brightest of the Granite State. This year’s event will feature a roundtable of NH business and community leaders sharing their experiences and thoughts on innovation in our state. November 23, 9:30am RSVP here

    Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses 

    is a philanthropic, no-cost MBA-level program for small businesses that links learning to action. Through the program, participants will gain practical skills in topics such as negotiation, marketing, and employee management that can immediately be put into action. In addition, they will receive the tools and professional support to develop a strategic and customized growth plan that will take their business to the next level.

    Deadline for applications: December 10. Information can be found at the link below or contact Chuck Neild, cneild@ccsnh.edu or (603) 206-8187 with questions. Apply Now: Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses

    Thanksgiving is a time of appreciation and reflection — share your gratitude for an exceptional businesswoman this holiday season.

    The deadline to submit nominations for NH Business Review's 2022 Outstanding Women in Business awards is approaching! Help us celebrate the strong business women who not only excel in their profession, but also serve as leaders and role models in the community.

    For more information



  • 11/19/2021 1:15 PM | Emerson Doiron (Administrator)

    DOVER, N.H. –Wentworth-Douglass Hospital has received five-star grades for their treatment of heart failure and pneumonia, according to research released by a major healthcare data company last month.

    Healthgrades utilized Medicare patient data from 2018-2020 and independently analyzed each short-term acute care hospital in the country - roughly 4,500 hospitals.

    This is the eighth consecutive year Wentworth-Douglass has received the honor for its treatment of pneumonia, which is an infection of the lungs by viruses or bacteria.

    The American Red Cross also honored the hospital in 2021 for its commitment to managing heart failure, with its “Silver Plus Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure Quality Achievement Award”.

    Earlier this year, Healthgrades awarded the hospital honors for its overall patient experience (for the eighth consecutive year, placing the hospital among the top 5% nationwide) and for excellence in pulmonary care (second consecutive year) as well.

     

    About Wentworth-Douglass Hospital

    Wentworth-Douglass Hospital (wdhospital.org) is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit charitable health care organization located in Dover, New Hampshire with a 115-year history of compassionate care and innovation. A member of the Mass General Brigham system, Wentworth-Douglass is strategically located in the heart of the Seacoast region of New Hampshire and Southern Maine, which it has served since 1906. The organization is a family of more than 3,500 employees, including more than 400 physicians and advanced practice providers dedicated to the health, safety, and well-being of the region’s residents and visitors. The organization includes a 178-bed hospital, more than 30 primary and specialty provider practices and clinic sites, multiple express and prompt care facilities, an ambulatory surgery center, several medical office buildings, The Works Family Health and Fitness Center, and the Wentworth-Douglass Foundation.

     

     


  • 11/19/2021 1:12 PM | Emerson Doiron (Administrator)

    PORTSMOUTH / SOMERSWORTH – Goodwin Community Health in Somersworth and Families First Health & Support Center in Portsmouth recently welcomed three new primary-care providers. 

    Jessica Fortin, MD, earned her medical degree from the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester and then completed her residency at the Sutter Sacramento Family Medicine Residency Program in California. In addition to being a primary-care provider for patients of all ages at Goodwin Community Health, she is a core faculty member of the Graduate Medical Education program at Portsmouth Regional Hospital, working closely with the resident physicians who are based at Goodwin. She also provides inpatient care at Portsmouth Regional Hospital as part of the residency program.


    Emily Grattan, FNP-C, received her Family Nurse Practitioner Graduate Certificate from the University of New Hampshire, as well as her master of science degree in nursing. She did her clinical rotations ad Goodwin Community Health and Families First. She is now working toward a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree at UNH. Before becoming a nurse practitioner, she worked as a nurse on the medical-surgical unit at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital in Dover. She sees adult patients at Families First.

    Lauren Koczela, PA-C, earned her physician assistant degree from the University of New England in Portland last May. Her training included clinical rotations in family medicine at Goodwin Community Health and a private practice in Massachusetts, as well as rotations in internal medicine, emergency medicine, orthopedics, surgery, cardiology and telemedicine. She also has extensive experience in cardiac testing and rehab through her work as a cardiac stress technician and practice assistant at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital. She sees new patients of all ages at Goodwin Community Health.

    For information about becoming a patient of Jessica Fortin, Emily Grattan or Lauren Koczela, call Goodwin Community Health in Somersworth at (603) 749-2346, call Families First in Portsmouth at (603) 422-8208, or visit www.GetCommunityHealth.org and tap “Become a Patient.” Telehealth as well as in-person visits are available, depending on the patient’s needs.

     

    Families First and Goodwin are part of Greater Seacoast Community Health, a network of community health centers providing primary care, pediatrics, dental care, prenatal care, behavioral health counseling, substance use disorder treatment, mobile health services, WIC, social work services, a pharmacy, parenting classes, playgroups and home visiting. The network also includes Lilac City Pediatrics in Rochester, the Strafford County Public Health Network and SOS Recovery Community Organization. Services are open to everyone and aim to be respectful, recovery-friendly, LGBTQ-affirming and trauma-informed. For more information, visit GetCommunityHealth.org.

     


  • 11/18/2021 1:30 PM | Emerson Doiron (Administrator)

    Concord, NH – Today Governor Chris Sununu and the New Hampshire Department of Energy announced an increase in benefit amounts for the New Hampshire Fuel Assistance Program due to highly inflated national energy costs.  This year, the New Hampshire Department of Energy is increasing benefit amounts by 60% over last winter for most beneficiaries. Benefits will range from $253 to $2,520, up from $158 to $1,575 last winter.

    “Ensuring Granite Staters can keep warm this winter is among the most pressing issues facing our state,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “Due to a nationwide spike in energy prices, we are taking steps to help those in need. If you are struggling to pay for home heating costs or know someone who is, help is just a phone call away.”

    The Fuel Assistance Program provides qualifying New Hampshire households with grants to assist with home heating costs. The benefit amounts for qualifying households are determined based on a wide variety of factors including income, household size, housing type, and fuel type.

    “Increased energy costs represent a heavy burden for all Granite Staters, especially for low-income households,” said Interim Energy Commissioner Jared Chicoine. “In light of the growing national inflation and dramatic projected increases in heating fuels, the New Hampshire Department of Energy is increasing the benefit ranges for the Fuel Assistance Program. This benefit increase will help make sure that low income Granite Staters can keep their homes warm this winter.”

    The Fuel Assistance Program is the New Hampshire arm of the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) that is funded through the US Department of Health and Human Services. The Program serves households making up to 60% of the State Median Income figure.

    If you or someone you know is having difficulty paying for home heating fuel or utilities, please call your local Community Action Agency. If you need help locating the agency in your area, click on CAPNH.org/cap-lookup or call 211 for additional information.


  • 11/18/2021 1:14 PM | Emerson Doiron (Administrator)

    PORTSMOUTH NH and SOMERSWORTH NH – The Northeast Delta Dental Foundation recently awarded a $10,000 grant to support access to dental care at Families First Health & Support Center in Portsmouth and Goodwin Community Health in Somersworth. The Foundation has been supporting these programs since 2003.

    Both dental centers provide preventive, restorative and emergency dental care within community health centers where patients also have access to medical and behavioral health care and family services. Patients who don’t have dental insurance and meet income-eligibility guidelines are offered a sliding-fee discount. The centers project serving 3,800 Seacoast residents this year.

    “In New Hampshire, there is no adult Medicaid benefit for dental care other than emergency extractions,” said Janet Laatsch, CEO of Greater Seacoast Community Health, which operates both dental centers. “This grant from Northeast Delta Dental’s Foundation will help us make sure that adults who have Medicaid coverage and others who lack dental insurance can get the preventive and restorative oral health care that is so important to their overall health and employability.”

    “Our Foundation’s mission is to increase access to and the quality of oral health care for all,” explained Jennifer McGrath, Manager, Foundation & Marketing Initiatives. “We are proud to partner with Greater Seacoars Community Health to provide those in need with expanded dental services.” Visit nedelta.com to learn more.

     

    Families First and Goodwin are part of Greater Seacoast Community Health, a network of community health centers providing primary care, pediatrics, dental care, prenatal care, behavioral health counseling, substance use disorder treatment, mobile health services, WIC, social work services, a pharmacy, parenting classes, playgroups and home visiting. The network also includes Lilac City Pediatrics in Rochester, the Strafford County Public Health Network and SOS Recovery Community Organization. Services are open to everyone and aim to be respectful, recovery-friendly, LGBTQ-affirming and trauma-informed. For more information, visit GetCommunityHealth.org.

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    Caption: Northeast Delta Dental Foundation recently awarded a $10,000 grant to support access to dental care at Families First Health and Support Center in Portsmouth and Goodwin Community Health in Somersworth. Dr. Gregory Fredette, pictured with a patient, works at both dental centers.


  • 11/17/2021 1:10 PM | Emerson Doiron (Administrator)

    DOVER, N.H. – Seacoast patients will benefit from the only Advanced Heart Failure Clinic in the region, thanks to a new collaboration between Wentworth-Douglass Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital.

     

    The clinic, which is now open at the Wentworth-Douglass Center for Heart Health in Portsmouth, provides comprehensive care from a multidisciplinary team of cardiologists, nurse practitioners, pharmacists and nurses working together to determine the best line of treatment for patients with heart failure.

     

    Picture attached: Left to Right: Christine Oliveira, APRN, MSN, CHFN – Heart Failure Nurse PractitionerHilary Niesuchouski, RN, BSN, PCCN, CHFN – Heart Failure Nurse NavigatorNilay Sutaria, MD – Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiologist, Chelsea Shea, BSN, RN, CCRN, PCCN – Perdiem Heart Failure Nurse NavigatorKimberly Chapman, MS, RN, CNL, PCCN-K, CHFN – Heart Failure Program Manager


    “This work alongside Mass General offers our patients the comfort of staying close to home, while continuing to receive the best possible care in a setting they’re familiar with,” said Denise Palumbo, RN, DNP, assistant vice president of Cardiovascular Services at Wentworth-Douglass.

     

    Dr. Nilay Sutaria, a Mass General Hospital advanced heart failure and transplant cardiologist, will serve as Wentworth-Douglass’ advanced heart failure medical director. He will work closely with patients and referring physicians to introduce preventative early treatment measures that will help patients delay or avoid hospitalization.

     

    “With an increasing number of people diagnosed with heart failure, the Advanced Heart Failure clinic at Wentworth-Douglass aims to help patients receive the care they need to improve their lives,” Sutaria said.

     

    To learn more about Wentworth-Douglass Hospital’s Center for Heart Health visit https://www.wdhospital.org/wdh/services-and-specialties/cardiac-care.

    About Wentworth-Douglass Hospital

    Wentworth-Douglass Hospital (wdhospital.org) is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit charitable health care organization located in Dover, New Hampshire with a 115-year history of compassionate care and innovation. A member of the Mass General Brigham system, Wentworth-Douglass is strategically located in the heart of the Seacoast region of New Hampshire and Southern Maine, which it has served since 1906. The organization is a family of more than 3,500 employees, including more than 400 physicians and advanced practice providers dedicated to the health, safety, and well-being of the region’s residents and visitors. The organization includes a 178-bed hospital, more than 30 primary and specialty provider practices and clinic sites, multiple express and prompt care facilities, an ambulatory surgery center, several medical office buildings, The Works Family Health and Fitness Center, and the Wentworth-Douglass Foundation.

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  • 11/16/2021 1:25 PM | Emerson Doiron (Administrator)

    Farmingdale, MAINE – During a visit to a community solar site in Farmingdale today, Governor Janet Mills declared this week, November 15-21, as National Apprenticeship Week in Maine and underscored the value of Maine’s apprenticeship program in strengthening Maine’s workforce.

    The community solar site, which is under construction, is owned-and-operated by Nautilus Solar and built by Borrego Solar with E.S. Boulos, a long-time electrical contractor with headquarters in Westbrook, completing the electrical work.


    Governor Mills speaks at a community solar site in Farmingdale owned-and-operated by Nautilus Solar and built by Borrego Solar.

    E.S. Boulos is participating in a union apprenticeship program, which allows people ages 16 and up to learn new skills through on-the-job instruction led by employers and supplemented by traditional course work. The program, which is supported by the Maine Department of Labor, benefits employers by creating a pipeline of qualified and trained staff and benefits workers by providing them with new skills and a pathway to a good-paying job in a field of their choice. Additionally, the program is proven to reduce employee turnover and increase productivity, quality, and safety in the workplace.

    “Apprenticeships are a win for our workers, our employers, and our economy, providing on-the-job training that results in a stable workforce, good-paying jobs, and a stronger, more diverse economy,” said Governor Janet Mills. “With employers looking for workers across Maine, apprenticeships are a great opportunity to get more people – especially younger folks – into new, exciting fields that can provide a good paycheck. I want to see more apprenticeships in Maine and more people entering these important trades.”

    “Apprenticeship is an industry-driven, high-quality career pathway where employers can develop and prepare their future workforce, and individuals can obtain paid work experience, classroom instruction, and a nationally recognized, portable credential,” said Laura Fortman, Commissioner of the Maine Department said. “In Maine, there are currently more than 1,100 registered apprentices and over 300 participating businesses. The apprenticeship program is one tool in our toolbox to get people where they would like to go in their careers and get employers the workforce that they need to thrive.”

    During the visit, the Governor heard firsthand about E.S. Boulos’ union apprenticeship program and participated in a walkthrough of the site where workers, including electrician apprentices, are wiring solar panels. E.S. Boulos employs apprentices and journey workers from IBEW 567 and IBEW 1253.

    “We are proud to be a supporter of Apprenticeship Programs on this community solar project as well as our other sites in Maine,” said Sean Reaney, Director of Operations for Nautilus Solar Energy, LLC. “Community solar provides a direct benefit to the local Maine economy through the creation of new job opportunities while bringing access to clean, solar electricity to thousands of Mainers.”

    “E. S. Boulos Company has been a signatory contractor with the IBEW for over one hundred years and is also a member of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA). Together NECA and the IBEW have been providing both on-the job training and structured classroom learning to electricians through the National Joint Apprentice and Training Committee (NJATC) for many years,” said Tom Driscoll, Strategic Planning Executive, E.S Boulos Company. “At E. S. Boulos Company, we employ an average of 300 IBEW electricians, and we feel that our apprenticeship program is second to none in supplying our needs for fully trained journeymen and journey women electricians for the industry. In Maine we have training facilities in Lewiston for Local 567 and in Newport for local 1253. The program is continually upgraded by the NJATC to meet the changing industry needs.”

    “Registered apprenticeship is a tried-and-true method to ensure that workers earn while they learn and that we develop a highly skilled, local workforce for jobs that exist. Apprentices learn a skilled trade, land a good union job and develop a solid career without incurring debt. As Maine builds a clean energy economy and tackles climate change, it is more important than ever that we ensure those are good quality jobs with strong apprenticeship opportunities. We applaud Governor Mills and the Legislature’s strategic investment in registered apprenticeship in the Maine Jobs and Recovery plan legislation,” said Matt Schlobohm, Executive Director of the Maine AFL-CIO.

    “The apprenticeship has been invaluable in my experience as it is a straightforward, incredibly affordable, and rewarding path to a stable career that can transfer to several fields and niches in every part of the world,” said apprentice Rose Elliot. “The skills that you obtain in this field will always be valuable no matter what the future brings, and it has been a huge asset in my life.”

    Apprenticeships are available across multiple fields of work, from health care to construction to clean energy, providing new, valuable skills and pipelines to good-paying jobs.

    Renewable energy fields, like wind and solar, are some of the fastest growing sectors in the nation and apprenticeships are a key component of Maine’s effort to meet the Governor’s goal to more than doubling the clean energy jobs in Maine to more than 30,000 by 2030. The Governor’s Energy Office released Strengthening Maine’s Clean Energy Economy in 2021 which unveiled detailed strategies for expanding Maine’s clean economy workforce, supporting innovation, and training opportunities in renewable power generation and energy efficiency.

    Earlier this month, Governor Mills unveiled a new Clean Energy Partnership initiative backed by $5.5 million from the Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan to provide career training opportunities, like apprenticeships, that will equip Maine people with the skills to fill good-paying jobs in Maine’s growing clean energy sector.

    “Maine’s investments in clean energy and energy efficiency are providing local renewable energy, reducing costs, and combatting climate change,” said Dan Burgess, Director of the Governor’s Energy Office. “These efforts also bring significant economic opportunity to our state and we need to have the necessary skilled workforce so that Maine people can enter into and thrive in the clean energy sector.”

    Get more information on National Apprenticeship Week and events happening in Maine and around the country.

    Get more information on Maine’s apprenticeship program.

    Employers who think apprenticeship could be a good fit for their business should reach out to their local CareerCenter by email at MaineAtWork.DOL@maine.gov, by phone at 207-623-7981, or through our LiveChat feature at MaineCareerCenter.gov.

    The Governor’s proclamation can be read here (PDF).



  • 11/15/2021 1:27 PM | Emerson Doiron (Administrator)

    November 15, 2021

    New Federal funds will combine with unprecedented investments from Governor & Legislature in state budget to improve Maine’s infrastructure

    Washington, D.C. – Today, Governor Janet Mills joined President Joe Biden, Biden Administration officials, fellow Governors, Members of Congress, and others at the White House as the President signed into law the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Governor Mills was invited by the President to attend.

    Governor Mills and Maine Transportation Commissioner Bruce Van Note issued the following statements today on the historic law:

    “This once-in-a-generation investment will help us fix our roads and bridges, expand high-speed broadband, improve access to clean drinking water, and build a cleaner, more sustainable transportation network – all while putting Maine people to work in good-paying jobs,” said Governor Janet Mills. “With this transformational legislation and the unprecedented funding we dedicated through the state budget, Maine is on the right path to tackling our longstanding infrastructure problems and strengthening our economy. It was an honor to participate in the signing of this historic bill, and I thank the President and Maine’s Congressional Delegation for their work to get it done.”

    “This new Federal legislation, coupled with historic new investments from the Governor and Legislature, will allow us to begin bridging the gap between our transportation needs and our funding availability,” said Bruce Van Note, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Transportation. “The expected increase in Maine’s Federal highway and bridge formula funding will help us address recent increases in construction and other costs. Further, discretionary grant opportunities included in the IIJA hold the potential for Maine to make meaningful investments in things that make us special, including our iconic Maine villages and downtowns, our connecting corridors, our economy, and a cleaner transportation and energy future.”

    In Maine, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (PDF) will provide an estimated:

    • $1.3 billion in highway and bridge program formula funding through Fiscal Year 2026, including an additional $50 million in Federal formula funding (representing a 25-percent increase) in the first year
    • $225 million in dedicated bridge funding through Fiscal Year 2026
    • $19 million across five years to expand electric vehicle charging infrastructure
    • $241 million over five years to improve public transportation options
    • $74 million over five years to improve infrastructure at airports
    • At least $100 million to expand high-speed broadband across Maine

    Furthermore, as a result of the bill, Maine can compete for $12.5 billion in funds from the Bridge Investment Program and $16 billion for major projects with substantial economic benefits.

    These new investments follow a biennial budget signed into law by Governor Mills that, for the first time ever, dedicates $50 million to the Maine Department of Transportation for capital projects being constructed this year and stipulates that MaineDOT will also receive 20 percent of unappropriated surplus. In total, this will amount to $55.9 million – an unprecedented General Fund investment to improve Maine’s transportation infrastructure.


  • 11/15/2021 1:08 PM | Emerson Doiron (Administrator)

    DOVER, N.H. –Dr. Maureen Cashman will be joining Wentworth-Douglass Hospital’s Lee Family Practice and will begin seeing patients on November 15. She has worked in family medicine for 17 years.

                Dr. Cashman attended Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. where she received her Bachelor of Science Degree in 1994. She went on to study at the University of Connecticut in Farmington, CT. Post-graduation, she received training at Middlesex Hospital in Middlesex, Connecticut where she performed her internship and residency from 2001 to 2004. Dr. Cashman has worked at Frisbie Memorial Hospital’s Rochester Hill Family Practice in Rochester, New Hampshire since 2004. She was awarded New Hampshire Top Doctor in 2020 and 2021.

    Dr. Cashman will be working at Lee Family Practice in Lee, New Hampshire. This Wentworth-Douglass affiliate offers personal and compassionate care to help individuals and families achieve their best health. Lee Family Practice also offers on-site lab and imaging services in their state-of-the-art facility. Visit https://www.wdhospital.org/whp/primary-care/lee-family-practice or call  (603) 868-3300 for more information.

     

    About Wentworth-Douglass Hospital

    Wentworth-Douglass Hospital (wdhospital.org) is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit charitable health care organization located in Dover, New Hampshire with a 115-year history of compassionate care and innovation. A member of the Mass General Brigham system, Wentworth-Douglass is strategically located in the heart of the Seacoast region of New Hampshire and Southern Maine, which it has served since 1906. The organization is a family of more than 3,500 employees, including more than 400 physicians and advanced practice providers, dedicated to the health, safety, and well-being of the region’s residents and visitors. The organization includes a 178-bed hospital, more than 30 primary and specialty provider practices and clinic sites, multiple express and prompt care facilities, an ambulatory surgery center, several medical office buildings, The Works Family Health and Fitness Center, and the Wentworth-Douglass Foundation.

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  • 11/12/2021 1:27 PM | Emerson Doiron (Administrator)

    Milford, MAINE – Governor Janet Mills announced today that her Administration is launching the Forestry Recovery Initiative to support Maine’s forest products industry and the people it employs, create and sustain jobs in rural Maine, and strengthen the state’s economy.

    The initiative will be administered by the Maine Technology Institute (MTI) and utilizes $20 million in federal funds through the Governor’s Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan for grants to Maine loggers, foresters, lumber yards, and other members of Maine’s forest products sector. These grants will be used to help these businesses recover financial loss caused by the pandemic, develop new wood products, and upgrade infrastructure to strengthen supply chain and sell products to new markets.

    The initiative comes as Maine’s $8.5 billion forest economy grapples with the impacts of the pandemic, including an estimated 30-40 percent decline in available markets for harvested wood and a shift in the use of paper resulting in a 19 percent decrease in revenue for paper mills.

    “For generations, hardworking men and women across Maine have carved their livelihoods from our forests. While the products we make out of Maine wood have changed over time, the importance of the industry has not,” said Governor Janet Mills. “Our forest products industry employs tens of thousands of people in good-paying jobs and generates billions of dollars for our economy every year. It’s the lifeblood of our rural communities, and it’s why I want to make sure that we preserve these jobs for generations to come. Sustaining these businesses and supporting new and innovative products will open new markets, diversify this important industry, create jobs, and strengthen rural economy.”

    “The forest industry is not only key to Maine’s economy but also supports our rural communities while our working forestlands play an important role in meeting our climate goals,” said Commissioners Amanda Beal and Heather Johnson. “As part of the Maine Jobs and Recovery program, this investment will directly support existing businesses that have been impacted by COVID and help stimulate innovative product and new market development for Maine’s timber assets.”

    “These grants will enable the state to provide support to as many timber-related forestry businesses as possible and provide much needed capital to stabilize and aid in the recovery of Maine’s $8.5 billion forest economy,” said Brian Whitney, President of the Maine Technology Institute. “The funding will help us move forward and adapt to address new market demands for the long-term sustainability of this legacy industry.”

    Today’s announcement was made at Randall Madden Trucking, a family-based timber harvesting and hauling company in Milford.

    “The pandemic has brought a new level of challenges to Maine’s timber harvesters and timber haulers at a time when they are already dealing with many other hardships,” said Dana Doran, Executive Director of the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine. “Maine’s forest economy is built on the foundation of wood fiber harvested by hardworking small family logging businesses across our state, and this announcement of support is a welcome one both for the financial impact it will have and the signal it sends about the continuing importance of timber harvesting and hauling within the forest products industry in Maine. Contractors desperately need to invest in their equipment to remain competitive and we are hopeful that this will provide needed low cost capital to help contractors make these investments. We thank Governor Mills for recognizing the value of timber harvesting, timber hauling and the greater forest products industry as a priority for funding.”

    “The Council applauds Governor Mills’ Jobs and Recovery Plan Initiative focused on Maine’s forest resource economy,” said Patrick Strauch, Executive Director of the Maine Forest Products Council. “It’s critical to make all sectors of our industry whole after COVID so we can continue our efforts to build a more diversified and resilient economy as global demand for more climate friendly wood-based products grows. Governor Mills knows how important our forest industry is to rural Maine communities and our workers, and we thank her for her efforts with this initiative.”

    “FOR/Maine has worked closely with the Mills Administration to build upon our knowledge of sustainable wood supply, market development and attraction pursuits best suited for Maine’s forest resource, as well as forest economy workforce needs and opportunities for rural Maine citizens and communities,” said Steve Schley, Chair of FOR/Maine Executive Committee. “This funding available through the Maine Jobs and & Recovery Plan Initiative, along with our work with DECD and MTI, creates terrific symbiosis to advance the detailed recovery plans we have been developing over the last three years.”

    The Forestry Recovery Initiative will make grant awards available in multiple phases. Phases 1 and 2 will deploy $10 million of the total $20 million, with Phase 1 grants providing immediate financial relief to forest products industry businesses that have experienced negative impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic to help them sustain the viability of their business. Eligible uses of grant funds may include but are not limited to:

    • payroll costs and expenses;
    • rent or mortgage payments for business facilities (unless otherwise waived by the lessor or lender);
    • utility payments;
    • purchase of personal protective equipment required by the business;
    • business-related equipment;
    • investments that strengthen the business’s ability to mitigate pandemic-related market disruptions;
    • expenses incurred to replenish inventory or other necessary reopening expenses;
    • necessary operating expenses.

    MTI will begin accepting applications for Phase 1 on November 22, 2021. The deadline to apply is January 31, 2022.

    Phase 2 will be a competitive grant program to improve market opportunities for Maine timber, which has suffered serious declines due to market disruptions from the pandemic. Funding will support forward-looking projects that address new market demands, provide new sustainable products, or otherwise advance the long-term stability of the industry, helping to create and sustain jobs in rural Maine and strengthen Maine’s economy. Phase 2 funds may also be used for infrastructure upgrades that strengthen the supply chain and help businesses pivot to new products and markets.

    Phase 2 is expected to launch in early 2022 and the remaining $10 million of the total $20 million will be deployed in subsequent phases in late 2022 or early 2023.

    The design of the Forestry Recovery Initiative is the result of community and stakeholder engagement, including meetings with industry members to explore the impact of the pandemic and to discuss the types of support needed.

    This new Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan program builds on the Mills Administration’s commitment to Maine’s forest products industry. The Administration awarded $9.4 million in Maine Economic Recovery Grants to support businesses in the forest economy.

    This event is the third and final in Governor Mills’ Maine Heritage Industry Week, which featured a series of announcements through the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan focused on supporting Maine’s iconic farming, fishery and forestry industries, including $20 million for Maine farmers and food processors and $10 million for Maine seafood dealers and processors.

    The Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan is the Governor’s plan, approved by the Legislature, to invest nearly $1 billion in Federal American Rescue Plan funds to achieve three goals: immediate economic recovery from the pandemic; long-term economic growth for Maine; and infrastructure revitalization.

    It draws heavily on recommendations from the Governor’s Economic Recovery Committee and the State’s 10-Year Economic Development Strategy, transforming them into real action to improve the lives of Maine people and strengthen the economy.

    In addition to the investments above, since the legislation implementing the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan took effect on October 18, 2021, Governor Mills has announced:

    With more than $300 million in planned workforce investments through education and skills training programs, workforce housing, childcare, worker attraction, and business supports, the Jobs Plan aims to make a measurable impact on Maine’s workforce trends and build an economy poised for future growth.

    Funding for the Jobs Plan is through the federal American Rescue Plan Act, which allocated $4.5 billion in stimulus funds to Maine earlier this year.

    Coordination of the Jobs Plan is led by the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services and the Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future, through a new Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan Office.

    This Office will oversee the transparent and accountable implementation of the Jobs Plan, including ensuring that proposed expenditures are permissible under U.S. Treasury eligibility guidance, the final version of which remains pending.


ABOUT THE FALLS CHAMBER

The Falls Chamber of Commerce is a professional association of businesses in  the falls area.  We are the catalyst that facilitates business growth , prosperity, partnership and success for our members. 

       

CONTACTS

Emerson Doiron, Executive Director

info@thefallschamber.com
603.749.7175
office hours by appointment: 472 High Street, Somersworth NH 03878

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