June 17, 2020
With many businesses reopening June 15th under the Governor’s guidelines, the Clipper Strong Fund has decided to help supply Portsmouth businesses with a critical need as their first initiative. The Committee is pleased to announce the creation of a Clipper Strong Care Package that includes items that are difficult for individuals to source at reasonable prices: a supply of facemasks, a touch-free thermometer and signage with the CDC health safety guidance. The initial distribution is being planned to meet demand during this round on a first-come, first-served basis. Portsmouth businesses should email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a Clipper Strong Care Package and include their locations. As donations grow, the committee plans to develop additional direct-aid programs.
Mayor Rick Becksted inspired the creation of the Clipper Strong Fund to give people the chance to help Portsmouth’s small businesses who might “fall through the cracks” of other relief programs. The Clipper Strong Fund launched with donations from Mayor Becksted and from the Granite State Development Corporation and Eastern Bank Foundation. Piscataqua Savings Bank has also joined the effort with a $5000 donation. The Fund is still seeking donations at ClipperStrong.org
“Every donation makes a difference to our businesses in a very practical way,” said Councilor Kennedy. “Each donation of $100 or more covers another Clipper Strong Care Package for a small, vulnerable business. We are also looking for those who might be able to sponsor the effort and we are happy to include the logos of those who do in the message of support in each package.”
The Clipper Strong Advisory Committee, co-chaired by City Councilors Esther Kennedy and John Tabor, is now identifying additional ways to help small Portsmouth businesses who fall into that category. They are working with committee members: Robert Marchewka, Chairman of the City Economic Development Commission; local businessman, Mark Syracusa; and Dan Gray from Coastal Economic Development Corporation (CEDC). City Manager Karen Conard, City Economic Development Director Nancy Carmer and City Public Information Officer Stephanie Seacord are assisting the Committee in the Fund’s implementation and awareness campaign.
As the Mayor noted at the outset, the Clipper Strong Fund welcomes donations large and small to support the effort. The Fund has collected $40,000 to date. The goal is to raise another $50,000. Every donation matters and every donation is tax deductible because the City partnered with the Coastal Economic Development Corporation (CEDC), a 501(c)3 regional economic development corporation to allow donor contributions to the Clipper Strong Fund to be tax deductible charitable contributions. CEDC set up an account at Eastern Bank, working with the Eastern Bank Foundation, to collect the Clipper Strong Fund donations online.
Donations in the form of a check may also be mailed to the Clipper Strong Fund c/o Coastal Economic Development Corporation, 4 Merrill Industrial Drive, Suite 201, Hampton NH 03842.
The Committee hopes to distribute the Clipper Strong Care Packages as soon as possible, to assist small businesses directly as they begin to open for business, following the Governor’s and CDC guidelines. For more information, click here.