Law in the Marketplace: $400 million for New Hampshire businesses

For the Monitor
Published: 6/29/2020 12:38:32 PM

This is the ninth in a series of Law in the Marketplace columns with practical tips on how to use federal and New Hampshire laws and orders to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

On May 15, Gov. Chris Sununu announced his authorization for the expenditure of an initial $400 million in emergency relief under the federal CARES Act for New Hampshire small businesses hurt by the coronavirus pandemic. The program allocating these expenditures is called the Main Street Relief Fund. To obtain assistance in the program, businesses must submit a prequalification form by May 29 at the website of the Governor’s Office for Emergency Relief and Recovery (GOFERR). 

Here is more key information about the program:

-- The program applies only to businesses that have their principal place of business in New Hampshire; that are for-profit businesses; and that, in their 2019 taxable year, had revenues of less than $20 million.


-- In its prequalification application, the applicant business must provide information about the revenues it believes it will lose as a result of the pandemic and about any coronavirus financial relief it has already received under the Paycheck Protection Program or other federal programs.

-- If a business does not submit a prequalification application to the above website, it will be ineligible to submit an application for relief under the program.

-- The Governor’s Office for Emergency Relief and Recovery will review the prequalification applications submitted in the program and, on this basis, will determine appropriate relief criteria for actual allocations under the program, and it will determine whether qualifying New Hampshire businesses may need additional relief beyond the above $400 million.

-- The program does not apply to health care, childcare or agricultural businesses, since the needs of those businesses are or will be addressed through other programs.

-- The Governor’s Office will announce specific relief criteria under the program on June 1, and any eligible businesses must submit a formal application for relief under those criteria by June 8 through an online portal to be administered by DRA.

-- The DRA will begin making relief payments under the program soon after June 8.

-- If an applicant business lacks a computer, it may, after giving prior notice to the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration (the DRA) by calling the DRA at (603) 230-5903, use the public computer in the DRA’s lobby at 109 Pleasant Street, Concord, to draft and submit its prequalification application.

It appears that in the near future, the governor will announce a relief program for New Hampshire non-profit organizations. GOFERR will publish updated information about the program from time to time, and I will comment on program developments from time to time the link for which is

John Cunningham is a Concord tax and businesses lawyer and estate planner. He has published Drafting Limited Liability Company Operating Agreements and Maximizing Pass-Through Deductions under Internal Revenue Code Section 199A. Both are the leading books in their fields. If you have business or tax questions you’d like addressed in this column, call John at (603) 856-7172 or e-mail him at

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