November 9, 2020
The Clipper Strong Fund Committee announces that nineteen small Portsmouth businesses will receive Clipper Strong Fund mini-grants of $500 each, for a total distribution of $9,000. This second initiative was made possible by generous donations to the Clipper Strong Fund to assist Portsmouth small businesses who “might otherwise fall through the cracks.” The mini-grants provide short-term relief to cover such expenses as utility bills, rent, PPE or other expenses.
The grant program was the second initiative of the Clipper Strong Fund, which also provided 250 local small businesses with “care packages” consisting of masks, hand sanitizer, a digital thermometer and COVID-19 protocol signage.
To qualify for a Clipper Strong Fund mini-grant, each business demonstrated it was a Portsmouth-based independent business with 10 or fewer employees, in existence for at least 6 months prior to March 13, 2020 and intended to use the grant for such expenses as COVID-19 safety modifications for employees or the public, inventory or new equipment required to reopen under the COVID-19 guidelines, rent, utilities, employee benefits or marketing materials. The grant recipients are expected to prove their need with invoices or written estimates.
The Clipper Strong Fund mini-grant beneficiaries include: New England Printing Group, Loaded Question Brewing Co., The Gift Massage, River Run Bookstore, NH Chiropractic Clinic, Portsmouth Escape Room, Performance Muscular Therapy, Piantedosi Art Gallery, La Maison Navarre, Sages Entertainment, Bridge Street Bistro, Pragmatic Consulting, CJ Physical Therapy, Makunia Cleaning, Board and Brush, Portsmouth Eye, F45 Gym, Henri Salaun Sports and Wren’s Nest Village Inn.
In making the announcement, Clipper Strong Fund Committee co-chairs City Councilors Esther Kennedy and John Tabor said, “We are delighted that the Clipper Strong Fund is able to put these grants into the pockets of struggling local businesses to help them cope with the unforeseen financial burden of the pandemic. As the Mayor said when he created the Fund, our small businesses are what makes Portsmouth unique. The entire Committee is happy we’ve been able, in several ways, to help keep them afloat.”
The Fund is still seeking donations, which can be mailed to the Clipper Strong Fund c/o Coastal Economic Development Corporation, 4 Merrill Industrial Drive, Suite 201, Hampton NH 03842. Clipper Strong has received donations large and small, including support from the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation, Granite State Development Corporation, Newburyport Bank and Piscataqua Savings Bank as well as from residents.