A message of hope

As people contend with the COVID-19 pandemic, The Colonial Theatre in downtown Keene offers a message of hope on its marquee in this file photo from March.

Gov. Chris Sununu on Friday announced that businesses have one week to apply for assistance from a state fund meant to help cushion the losses from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The $400 million Main Street Relief Fund was created with federal CARES Act money distributed to the state. To qualify, businesses must have less than $20 million in annual revenue and anticipate a loss in income this year.

They must also have submitted a pre-qualification application. Businesses that did so are being sent emails with instructions for submitting a final application, which must be done by 11:59 p.m. Friday, June 12, Sununu said at a news conference.

The grant amounts are based on a formula that involves how much a business’ revenue is expected to drop between 2019 and 2020; any federal assistance it’s received; and the total anticipated losses of businesses seeking grants. Each applicant will get the same percentage of its qualified loss, up to $350,000.

(The Sentinel is among the businesses that have filed pre-qualification applications.)

Sununu said he expects payments to go out in mid-June.

Nonprofit organizations, health care providers and other entities for which the state has set aside separate pots of funding are not eligible.

Paul Cuno-Booth can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1409, or pbooth@keenesentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter @PCunoBoothKS