NH Small Businesses Showing Resilience During Pandemic

Photo by visuals on Unsplash

The events in which our state finds itself must not have been imagined by General John Stark when he coined the phrase “live free or die” in 1809. As I write these words, most Granite Staters are restricting their movements (among other behaviors) in an attempt to prevent the same death about which Stark wrote. For me this means that a solid Sunday composed of mac n’ cheese at The Barley House in Concord preceded by Mass just a few blocks away at Christ the King is no longer possible. For others, though, this means the loss of a job or even worse. These are truly difficult times.

But whether you’re a church or a restaurant, General Stark’s must-do mantra is being made manifest through the organizational evolution we are witnessing around the state. Small businesses from the Seacoast to the White Mountains are innovating in order to meet shifting demands during an unprecedented event like an epidemic. As the blog title goes, opportunity [still] knocks even in a time like this even if the door is not as ajar.

Over the next few months, I will be featuring New Hampshire associations and businesses both small and large that are adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic. This month I begin with an association and two businesses based in Manchester.

The New Hampshire Lodging & Restaurant Association

Samantha MacDonald of the New Hampshire Lodging & Restaurant Association spoke not only for her organization, but I think also to the gravity of the situation when she commented that “New Hampshire’s hospitality industry has never seen a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic.”
She goes on to comment that “as the industry’s sole trade association, we’ve been working tirelessly to help as many businesses as we can weather this storm. We’re advocating for relief measures, guiding businesses to additional resources and support, and promoting their carryout and delivery options. Through this all, we’ve never lost sight of New Hampshire’s 70,000 hospitality workers. In partnership with our Education Foundation, we’ve established a relief fund to quickly get grants to hospitality employees who’ve lost their livelihoods during the crisis. It’s been humbling to see both businesses and the public rally around the hospitality community. We encourage anyone looking for ways to help to keep ordering takeout, consider buying gift cards or booking a future hotel stay, and donating to our relief fund.”


Berry DunnBerryDunn, whose services range from financial assurance to tax and business consulting, is working to “to help New Hampshire persevere, recover, and grow” according to Mike Jurnak, Principal in Charge of BerryDunn’s Manchester office. One of the ways they are helping their clients is by providing the pertinent and timely information needed to stay afloat. BerryDunn has launched on their website a comprehensive collection of the federal and state resources for businesses and not-for-profits affected by COVID-19 Mr. Jurnak reports that Berry Dunn “clients are in the thick of it right now. From businesses and banks to hospitals and colleges, local organizations and employees are the engine of our state. They’re facing present challenges while building a plan to come out of this crisis on solid financial ground. We’re working to ease their uncertainty with advice on new funding sources and changing regulations.”


SilvertechBased in Manchester, Silvertech manages for clients “website design and development, custom applications, digital marketing and data integrations.” Erin Presseau, who leads the digital marketing team at Silvertech, told me that “as a digital agency, that was already accustomed to a heavy use of technology for communication and collaboration, it was a little easier for us than most companies, I imagine, to shift our 70+ team to operating fully remotely.” Because it is important that companies are helping not only their customers, but also their employees, Silvertech has tried to make the heaviness of a pandemic a little lighter by organizing virtual Thirsty Thursdays and organizing online contests like the Pandemic Pet Contest.



Like the pandemic itself, the damage to small businesses has affected the entire country. In supporting clients, employees and association members, New Hampshire is showing the resilience needed to overcome this tragedy and emerge stronger than ever.

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