Economy reopening and recovering faster in New Hampshire

While Vermont remains in a state of emergency with burdensome restrictions on businesses, the reopening and subsequent recovery across the Connecticut River are moving along at a more aggressive pace.

“The feel on the streets is much different now than it was just two or three weeks ago,” Timothy Sink, president of the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce, told True North. “If you drive down Main Street in Concord, N.H., it just feels vibrant. There’s a lot of activity, there’s a lot of outdoor dining, there’s a lot of pedestrian traffic, and it’s starting to feel back to normal.”

New Hampshire, like other states, is still watching the progression of the pandemic closely as it makes each adjustment. On Wednesday, Gov. Chris Sununu said his state would prefer to limit hours for restaurant dining and bars rather than shut them down, should COVID-19 cases surge.

“We’ve been moving forward at somewhat of a careful pace over the last month or so, opening up segments of the economy one piece at a time,” Sink said. “The numbers have been improving over the last several weeks in terms of where we stand with the pandemic. It’s emboldened the powers that be to accelerate the reopening of the economy, so each week we see a new section open up, with more restrictions being relaxed.”

Wikimedia Commons

LIVING UP TO ITS MOTO – In “live free or die” New Hampshire, residents are choosing to live and be free in the wake of the underwhelming COVID-19 outbreaks.

New Hampshire is not taking a one-size-fits-all approach for restrictions. For example in the northern portion of the state where COVID-19 cases are sparse, restaurants are allowed to open to 100 percent capacity. In the southern portion where there are neighboring states with more infections, restaurants are only allowed to open to 50 percent capacity.

“It has to do with the number of cases and what the particular geography looks like,” he said.

In comparison, as of June 26, restaurants, entertainment venues and hospitality businesses in Vermont can have 75 people, or up to 50 percent of the space’s allowable capacity — whichever is less.

More than half of all the cases in Vermont are in Chittenden County, and all but three counties have fewer than 100 cases per 100,000 people. Still, Gov. Phil Scott treats all counties the same.

On the state of layoffs, Sink said unemployment benefits have been beneficial enough that some workers are reluctant to get back to work until the payments end.

“For restaurants and retail, if you can earn more than $600 a week just doing nothing and maybe earn a little less than that for a part-time retail job. That’s not a great incentive to go back to work,” he said.

According to the New Hampshire Department of Health, the death toll for the Coronavirus is 375. The state expected to have many more COVID-19 deaths, but it never happened.

“We were prepared for the worst,” Sink said. “We had established all kinds of surge sites assuming that hospitals became overwhelmed. None of those surge sites opened up, they’ve been dismantled now.”

Hampton Area Chamber of Commerce President John Nyhan, a member of the governor’s 19-member task force for reopening, said even though the virus wasn’t as bad as many had feared, it was still better to be safe.

“We are experiencing a virus that we knew very little about, and I think the governor made the right decision to be on the safe side, to see how all of this played out,” he said.

Nyhan said if there is a second wave of the virus, things should go smoother now that they’ve learned more about it.

On Twitter, some Vermonters are upset that neighboring states are opening up.

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North. Send him news tips at and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

7 thoughts on “Economy reopening and recovering faster in New Hampshire

  1. Isn’t it ironic that while New Hampshire is accelerating its pace of opening faster than Vermont, the NH rate of new virus patients is growing FASTER than Vermont. I for one will take the slow, deliberate, sensible approach any day. If your dead, you can’t work!!!!

    • I live in NH.
      We have 1.36 million people to Vermont’s 623,000- you think this might have something to do with our numbers being different than yours?

      We also know that the 375 deaths we’ve had are largely people in nursing homes or older folks with pre-existing conditions.
      We know that very few people got sick enough to even need hospitalization.

      We know that there is an increasing in testing, which will mean there will be an increase in positive results- but just because you have a postive test, this doesn’t mean you will necessarily get sick, there is also a 98% recovery rate. So chances are pretty darn good that you’ll be fine- as the low hospitalization rate proves.

      We value work and jobs here, we value a good strong economy because we want as little government as we can get away with..people here are not interested in funding a nanny state- so we march on.

      We are not scared people by nature over here in the “Live Free or Die State.”
      We’ll take dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery any day.

      • Thank you, a good writing. We don’t have much of any virus in Vermont and when it is over we won’t have any businesses either.

        • Noteworthy Jim:
          July 2, 2020
          The Washington Examiner:
          “Stanford Doctor: Coronavirus Fatality rate for people under 45 ‘almost 0%’

          “Stanford University’s disease prevention chairman slammed using statewide lockdown measures as a response to the coronavirus, saying they were implemented based on bad data and inaccurate modeling..”

          “The death rate in a given country depends a lot on the age structure, who are the people infected and how are they managed” Dr.John Loannidis said.
          “For people younger than 45, the infection fatality rate is almost 0%. For 45 to 70, it is probably about 0.05%-0.3%. For those above 70, it escalates substantially.”

          So, given what the Stanford doctor says, seems like common sense to me that the young and productive people raising families need to get back to work and those above age 70 or those that are unhealthy need to lay low and be careful.
          AND the kicker is, this is what the states data *not the media* was pretty much saying all along- if you actually looked at it and stop listening to the news.
          I posted many times at the Digger “Look at the actual Data and pay no attention to this fearmongering article” but of course they don’t post all that truth for the people.
          And so here you are.. right as designed.

  2. Hint: NH has an actual Republican governor. VT has a communist marshmallow wearing a highly translucent RINO costume.

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