President’s Message on the COVID-19 Crisis:

I hope this finds you and your family in good health. Throughout the world, society is taking unprecedented measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus. There are many implications that stem from the changes made to daily routines, and we know they can bring about uncertainty. I’d like to take a moment to describe our approach to offering assistance to people and businesses in great need throughout our community.

First, we’ve narrowed our focus directly on the folks and places in need at the local level.  Our partners in government: at the city, state and federal levels are moving with ‘warlike’ footing to defer taxes and fees, to invent relief loans and grants, and to lobby for the overall interests of Merrimack Valley residents.  Our Chamber’s focus is on the businesses in our area and I have to say that I’m incredibly pleased with the collective efforts by our elected officials.  They have somehow managed to listen, learn and act all at once.  I am grateful for their service, leadership, partnership and friendship.

For our part, the Chamber is doing its very best to meet this moment on the ground, at the local level, where so many people live and earn their income.  For example, we just launched an aggressive restaurant gift card program created with the intention of providing real, substantive relief to restaurants.  In less than three days we will have raised and distributed more than $10K to local restaurant owners.  More needs to be done and we know that every day that passes is leaving many businesses further exposed and vulnerable.  My colleagues and I have banded together and we are working as quickly as we can to understand what we can do that’s useful and meaningful to the people and businesses in our community who need it the most.

To stay abreast of the latest information and frequently asked questions in this continually changing environment, we will update as new information develops and resources become available.

On behalf of the entire Haverhill Chamber, I want to thank you for your loyalty, trust, and understanding. Our hearts go out to all those impacted by this pandemic.

Dougan Sherwood