Mayor Becksted announces creation of Clipper Strong Fund to provide relief to Portsmouth small businesses
PORTSMOUTH—Mayor Rick Becksted announced at the City Council meeting on Monday, May 4 that his idea to create a fund specifically designed to help Portsmouth’s very small businesses and entrepreneurs is nearly reality.
When he suggested the creation of the Clipper Strong Fund during the April 20 City Council meeting, he described 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.
The City has worked out the details to partner with the Coastal Economic Development Corporation, a 501(c)3 certified development organization that will allow donor contributions to the Clipper Strong Fund to be tax deductible charitable contributions. CEDC has set up an account at Eastern Bank, working with the Eastern Bank Foundation, to collect the Clipper Strong Fund donations online. Specific details for online donations are forthcoming. Donations in the form of a check may be mailed to the Clipper Strong Fund c/o Coastal Economic Development Corporation, 4 Merrill Industrial Drive, Suite 201, Hampton NH 03842.
At the same time, the Mayor is organizing an Advisory Committee to establish guidelines for the distribution of the donations. He has appointed Councilor Esther Kennedy and Councilor John Tabor to the Advisory Committee and intends to include other business representatives. The guidelines are intended to assist Portsmouth’s smallest businesses in confronting the negative impacts of COVID-19.
When announcing the Clipper Strong Fund the Mayor said, “I want to get everyone involved because this involves all of Portsmouth. So many small businesses and the people who own them are what makes Portsmouth unique. If we lose them, we lose some of the character of our city.”