1,900 businesses to share $95M in Main Street assistance

  • Looking down Main Street in Downtown Concord on October 1st, 2020. ALLIE ST PETER

NH Business Review
Published: 11/20/2020 5:41:31 PM

Some 1,900 New Hampshire businesses – a little less than half of the number that applied – will be getting an average of $50,000 through the second round of the state’s Main Street Fund.

“It’s not chump change,” said Gov. Chris Sununu Thursday in a press conference dominated by the news of record coronavirus numbers and a new statewide mask mandate. “It is money to pay bills, pay taxes, to keep folks employed, to keep these businesses moving forward and keep them viable, which is very important if you look at the overall economic and fiscal state of the state.”

The average award is not that much lower than the amount provided in the first round of the Main Street Fund. That time 5,393 businesses received an average of $63,500. But there were far more applicants and the state distributed a total of $342.4 million, compared to $95 million this time around.

Also, a total of 4,200 businesses applied for Main Street 2.0 – less than a third of the number of applicants in the first round.

Another twist

The funds are distributed via a simple formula. Applicants receive a certain percentage of the difference between last year’s actual revenues and this year’s anticipated revenues, minus other aid received (from such sources as the Paycheck Protection Program). The total amount is capped at $350,000.

Main Street 2.0 has another twist.

About 1,200 of the applicants received funding in the first Main Street allocation. They got about $42 million of the $95 million, averaging $34,000 apiece. The rest of the money, $53 million, went to 680 first-time applicants, who received an average of $78,000.

There is a slight chance some recipients may have to pay back some of the money back next year, once they know what their actual revenues for 2020 are. But they would only have to do so if they exceed the amount earned in 2019, and they would only have to pay the difference, the DRA clarified recently.

Applicants do have to return all the money “if there is fraud, intentional misrepresentation of projected losses, or a failure to submit all required final reporting,” according to by the DRA.

Under the CARES Act, it would appear any of the returned money would have to be sent back to the U.S. Treasury, but that may not be all the money the state stands to lose.

As of Nov. 13, according to the latest GOFERR report, $874.5 million of the $1.26 billion has been allocated and $374 million has been spent (that unspent money includes the Main Street money that is just going out the door now). So there is a good chance that another chunk of change would need to be distributed in the next month. Main Street 3.0 anyone?

These articles are being shared by partners in The Granite State News Collaborative. For more information visit collaborativenh.org.




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