April 20: Mayor Rick Becksted suggested the creation of the Clipper Strong Fund during the City Council meeting, describing a fund designed to provide relief to the small businesses. that might otherwise “fall through the cracks” of the CARES Act Payroll Protection Plan and other economic relief programs. He also made a commitment to make the first personal donation to the fund.
May 4: Mayor Rick Becksted announced at the City Council meeting that the Clipper Strong Fund was nearly realityand announced the creation of an Advisory Committee to establish guidelines for the distribution of the donations and appointed Councilor Esther Kennedy and Councilor John Tabor as co-chairs. Additional members include: 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.
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, and began accepting mailed donations at the Clipper Strong Fund c/o Coastal Economic Development Corporation, 4 Merrill Industrial Drive, Suite 201, Hampton NH 03842.
May18: ClipperStrong.org donation website went live and acknowledged its first donations: $500 from Mayor Becksted and $10,000 each from the Granite State Development Corporation and Eastern Bank Foundation.
June 16: The CSF Advisory Committee met to finalize the announcement of its first initiative: distribution of an initial 250 Clipper Strong Care Packages including essential re-opening items for small businesses: masks, a touchless digital thermometer, employee/customer COVID-19 precautions signage and information about available loan and grant relief resources.