By: Paul Durham
June 9, 2020
On June 5, 2020, the Governor’s Office for Emergency Relief and Recovery (“GOFERR”) (www.goferr.nh.gov) and the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration (the “DRA”) published further details regarding the New Hampshire Main Street Relief Fund program.
Main Street Relief Fund grants will only be available to businesses that submitted their prequalification applications by May 29, 2020. By now, prequalification applicants should have received an email providing them with a case number and directing them to the Final Grant Submission online form. All businesses that submitted a timely prequalification application may complete a Final Grant Submission, however, only businesses that meet all of the following grant criteria are eligible to receive an award.
To qualify for a Main Street Relief Fund grant, a business must:
- Have submitted a Prequalification Application;
- Be a for-profit business;
- Have its principal place of business in New Hampshire;
- Have been in operation for at least one year before May 29, 2020;
- Have total 2019 gross receipts of less than $20 million;
- Anticipate a loss of revenue for 2020 due to COVID-19;
- Not be in bankruptcy currently; and
- Not have permanently ceased operations.
Further, certain types of businesses are ineligible for a Main Street Relief Fund grant. Those include nonprofits, franchises and national chains, businesses that do not have any employees except their owners, farmers, growers, and maple producers, childcare providers, elementary and secondary schools, institutions of higher education, and hospitals and other healthcare providers. That said, ineligible businesses may still be able to obtain relief under other programs. Information on other opportunities for New Hampshire businesses can be found at https://www.goferr.nh.gov/covid-expenditures.
Completing a Final Grant Submission does not guarantee that a business will receive grant funds. No further action is required if prequalification applicants do not wish to participate in the program or believe they no longer qualify.
Grant Formula and Possible Recoupment
Grant amounts are based on a Grant Formula that takes into account information reported by each applicant. A business calculates its anticipated gross loss by subtracting estimated 2020 gross receipts from actual 2019 gross receipts. Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) amounts and a portion of other federal funds received by the applicant are then subtracted from the anticipated gross loss to determine the “qualified loss” under the program. The total qualified losses of all businesses will be used to determine the individual distribution amounts for each grant. Further details of the Grant Formula can be found at https://www.goferr.nh.gov/covid-expenditures/main-street-relief-fund. Timing of grant payments has yet to be announced.
Unlike PPP proceeds, there are no restrictions on how grant recipients may use the grant funds. However, if a grant recipient’s actual 2020 revenues exceed the amount reported for purposes of the Grant Formula calculation, the recipient may be required to repay some or all of the grant. The procedure for any such repayment has not been published. As a result, businesses should use care when estimating their 2020 revenues.
GOFERR and the DRA strictly adhered to the May 29, 2020 prequalification deadline. Small businesses that failed to file the prequalification application in a timely manner are now excluded from participating in the Main Street Relief Fund program. There is no reason to believe that exceptions will be made with respect to this latest deadline. Any business seeking to secure a grant should file its Final Grant Submission online as soon as possible, but in any event no later than 11:59pm on Friday, June 12, 2020.