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Mayor's Press Room Announcements

2020 Trick-or-Treating Schedule Confirmed

Published: 09/30/2020 11:58 AM

Today, the City of Manchester is announcing Trick-or-Treating is currently planned for Saturday, October 31 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

To reduce the spread of COVID-19, city officials are reminding residents to take precautions if they choose to participate in Halloween festivities.

  • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth when trick-or-treating or when handing out treats
  • Avoid confined spaces and large gatherings or parties 
  • Find ways to trick-or-treat while staying at least 6 feet away from others, including when handing out and accepting treats.
  • Clean hands frequently
  • Stay home if you are not feeling well, or if you have been in close contact with someone who is sick with COVID-19 or who has symptoms of COVID-19.

As a reminder, participating in trick-or-treating is completely optional. The City of Manchester is encouraging individuals to find safe ways to celebrate Halloween and hand out treats. Those who are at greatest risk of severe illness are encouraged to avoid  high risk activities.

For more information on safe ways to celebrate Halloween, review recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and the State of New Hampshire. These outlined recommendations are subject to change, based on rates of COVID-19 in Manchester in late October.

If you would like a COVID-19 test, please call the City’s Hotline at 603-668-1547 from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. on Monday-Friday to make an appointment. Free testing is offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

 

Mayor Craig Small Business Update

Published: 09/25/2020 8:56 AM

COVID-19 has had a tremendous impact on all aspects of our community and economy. We've had to completely redesign the way that we do almost everything. I know that this is a difficult time to own and operate a small business, and the City wants to do everything we can to support you at the local level. I'll be sending out updates to help inform you about changes in State Guidelines and opportunities that the City is offering to help you during these challenging times.

Here are a few updates & opportunities:

Yesterday, Governor Sununu rolled out new restaurant guidelines that will help some local restaurants:

1. Plexiglass Barriers: As the colder weather draws near, the state will allow restaurants to use plexiglass barriers between tables and booths so they can be positioned closer than 6 feet, which will enable restaurants to increase inside dining capacity.

2. Tent Sides: Restaurants are now permitted to add sides to their tents for outdoor dining.

You can find all the state's business reopening guidelines here

Additionally, on September 17th the State Reopening Taskforce amended their recommendations to allow restaurants to resume indoor entertainment and music, as long as social distancing is maintained. This recommendation must still be approved by Governor Sununu.

Here are a few opportunities from the City of Manchester that small businesses can take advantage of:

1. Extended Outdoor Dining Timeline: After hearing from many of you about the benefits of expanded outdoor dining in parking spaces and parking lots, we have extended the use of these spaces to Sunday, November 1st.

2. Manchester Small Business Recovery Loan: The City has created a $1,000,000 Small Business Recovery Loan program in conjunction with Manchester Development Commission (MDC). These loans can be up to $25,000 and can be used toward expenses such as working capital, payroll, workforce recruitment, and inventory. You can find the application here

3. Manchester Small Business Resiliency Grant Program: Beginning next week, this program will provide eligible small businesses with grants up to $5,000 to provide relief from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligibility criteria include having a physical establishment in Manchester, employing no more than 15 full-time equivalent employees, having less than $2,000,000 in gross annual revenue, documenting a loss of revenue due to COVID-19, and meeting HUD criteria for employing at least one low to moderate income individual. I will pass along the application as soon as it is finalized.

 

We've heard that the Governor is considering another round of Main Street Relief Funds. We are advocating for this, but would love to provide feedback from Manchester small businesses as he is making decisions on where to direct these funds. If you benefited from Main Street Relief Funds, please let me know what you were able to use these funds for, what went well, and what you think could be improved upon

 

If there are others who you think might benefit from this communication, please respond with their email address. I'm also interested in getting your feedback and ideas, so please don't hesitate to reach out with questions, suggestions or comments. You can reach me at mayor@manchesternh.gov and (603) 624-6500. We're all in this together.

AmeriCorps, Mayor Craig Announce Manchester Clean-Up Day

Published: 08/13/2020 2:50 PM

Today, Mayor Craig and AmeriCorps announced a community service event, Manchester Clean-Up Day, taking place from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, August 22. 

“This is a wonderful opportunity for residents across the city to give back,” said Mayor Joyce Craig. “Amid COVID-19, more people are spending time outdoors and taking advantage of our parks. This clean-up day will work to make our green spaces and neighborhoods cleaner and more welcoming for residents and visitors.”

In order to address the greater volume of aid requests since the COVID-19 pandemic began, AmeriCorps formed a response team called the “NH COVID Community Care Corps (NHCCCC)”. For the past six weeks, NHCCCC members have directly supported city administrative offices,  public health centers, and nonprofit organizations. In addition to countless citizen inquiries and grievances received at these sites, there has also been a significant number of citizens seeking opportunities to volunteer.

In coordination with the Parks & Recreation Division and Manchester Mayor’s Office, NHCCCC AmeriCorps members will be stationed across parks in Manchester with a supply of trash bags, masks and plastic gloves for all volunteers. The sites AmeriCorps will be stationed at with these supplies are:

Livingston Park (156 Hooksett Rd, Manchester, NH 03104)

Rock Rimmon Park (264 Mason St, Manchester, NH 03102)

Sheridan Emmett Park (324 Beech St, Manchester, NH 03103)

Sheehan-Basquil Park (297 Maple St, Manchester, NH 03103)

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City of Manchester Launches Redesigned Government Website

Published: 07/07/2020 3:20 PM

ManchesterNH.gov refresh based on traffic analytics and simplified site structure

Manchester, N.H. -- Today, the City of Manchester announced it will soon launch a new version of ManchesterNH.gov, the City’s official website. The new website will go live on July 20, 2020, but residents can view the updated site now at test.manchesternh.gov.

“The website refresh demonstrates the City of Manchester’s ongoing commitment to make it easier for residents to find information, engage with online services and learn what is happening across our city,” said Mayor Joyce Craig. “This new website helps to increase accessibility, offers a clean layout and improves upon our pre-existing search functionality -- creating a better way for the public to access digital services.”

The website has simplified the home page, and uses a data-driven approach to offer easier access to the most-visited pages. In addition, the entire site is fully responsive, making it easier for residents to access information on a smartphone or tablet. 

“The goal of this redesign is to help users find information quickly and efficiently and to make navigating the site more intuitive,” added Greg Duval, Web Services Administrator, Information Systems.

Residents who wish to view the updated website before it goes live can visit test.manchesternh.gov prior to July 20. Any questions or feedback can be emailed to webmaster@manchesternh.gov.

 

Mayor Craig Announces Diversity and Cultural Competency Training Grant for City Employees

Published: 06/28/2020 8:36 AM

Today, Mayor Joyce Craig announced the City of Manchester applied for and received a $20,000 grant from the Norwin S. and Elizabeth N. Bean Foundation to institute a Diversity and Cultural Competency Program for representatives from all city departments.

“Our City employees serve one of the most diverse communities in the state, and it is critical that all our staff is equipped with the tools to assist individuals of all backgrounds,” said Mayor Joyce Craig. “This program will create a network of city employees able to design and deliver quality cultural competency programs for all city staff. I want to thank the Bean Foundation for making this possible.”

“The Bean Foundation is committed to cultural diversity and equity and considers this to be a valuable investment in the City of Manchester and its citizens,” added Maria Mongan, Board Chair of the Bean Foundation.

This training was originally suggested by the Mayor’s Multicultural Advisory Council, which serves as a link between city government and the Manchester community to enhance engagement, strengthen relationships, and ensure all residents feel welcomed, respected, and accepted. The Council was formally announced at the Mayor’s State of the City Address earlier this year.

“This is a really important step in the right direction from the Mayor's office and the City of Manchester. I am very excited to see that the Council is already making an impact and bringing the positive changes we need to see happening in our city,” said Arnold Mikolo, the Chair of the Mayor’s Multicultural Advisory Council.

The cultural competency training is facilitated by New Hampshire Health and Equity Partnership and the Southern New Hampshire Area Health Education Center.

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Mayor, Health Department Announce Timeline for Re-opening of City Buildings

Published: 06/12/2020 3:07 PM

MANCHESTER, NH - Ahead of the June 15th expiration of the Governor’s Stay-At-Home order, Mayor Joyce Craig and the Manchester Health Department have announced a timeline for the re-opening of city buildings and in-person city services.

Masks will be required for all public-facing employees and highly recommended for all members of the public entering city buildings. To better protect employees and citizens, the City of Manchester has installed barriers, where social distancing is not possible in all public-facing departments, will increase the frequency of cleaning and sanitation of common surfaces, and will have masks and hand sanitizer available for use, for visitors of City Hall and other city buildings.

While city departments are beginning to offer in-person services, it is still strongly encouraged for residents to complete as many services online or by appointment as possible, and limit the number of individuals entering city buildings to only those needed to complete the service. 

To that end, starting next week, online processing fees will be waived for all online services, including services offered by the Tax Collector and City Clerk’s Offices, and additional accommodations will be made for individuals who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, such as the immunocompromised or elderly.

In addition to reopening city buildings for in-person services, the Parks and Recreation Department also announced the reopening of playgrounds, basketball courts, soccer mini-pitches and the Derryfield Fit Lot by Friday, June 19.

The timeline for re-opening of city buildings is as follows:

Opening for in-person services on MONDAY, JUNE 15th (Monday - Friday, 8am - 5pm):

  • Department of Public Works (475 Valley St)
  • Environmental Protection Division (300 Winston St)
  • Info Systems (100 Merrimack St)
  • Office of Youth Services (1528 Elm St)
  • Water Works (281 Lincoln St)
  • Welfare (1528 Elm St)

Opening for curbside service on MONDAY, JUNE 22nd (Monday - Friday, 10am - 2pm):

  • Manchester City Library (405 Pine St)

Opening for in-person services on MONDAY, JUNE 22nd (Hours TBD):

  • Assessor’s Office (City Hall)
  • City Clerk (City Hall)
  • City Solicitor  (City Hall)
  • Finance Department (City Hall)
  • Human Resources (City Hall)
  • Mayor's Office (City Hall)
  • Parking (City Hall)
  • Planning and Community Development (City Hall)
  • Tax Collector’s Office (City Hall)

City of Manchester Welcomes Restaurants to Expand Outdoor Seating

Published: 05/13/2020 12:04 PM

Phase 1 guidelines in response to the Governor’s Stay at Home 2.0 Order

Today, the City of Manchester announced the opportunity for restaurants to safely open outdoor seating on May 18, 2020, including expanding service to sidewalks and privately-owned outdoor parking lots. Additionally, restaurants with existing sidewalk encumbrance permits can extend food service in front of adjacent businesses with the written permission of that property owner.

“Our goal is to be as flexible as possible in helping our restaurants maximize their seating capacity while still meeting social distancing requirements,” said Mayor Joyce Craig. “While the COVID-19 pandemic has halted normal operation of our vibrant restaurant community, the City is committed to working with our restaurants to ensure they’re able to open up safely. It’s required us to be creative and think differently to make sure we’re doing whatever we can to support our local economy.”

“As restaurants and hospitality businesses begin to reopen and ramp up operations, providing them tools and options to adapt to the Stay-at-Home order and other public health restrictions is critical to their recovery. The City expanding outdoor dining space options for restaurants through the use of private parking lots and additional sidewalk space is a positive step,” said Mike Skelton, President & CEO, Greater Manchester Chamber. “We appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with the City on developing the guidance on how restaurants can utilize these new options and the ongoing discussions of adding additional options and flexibility as the public health situation improves.”

As New Hampshire continues to reopen, the City of Manchester is looking at other opportunities to assist local restaurants and businesses in the Central Business District increase outdoor space for dining and shopping. Ideas under consideration include expanding seating to parking spaces and partial closure of Elm Street on weekends, while at the same time adhering to social and physical distancing requirements.

Restaurants should contact the Manchester City Clerk’s Office at cityclerk@manchesternh.gov with any questions or to submit outdoor seating proposals.

City of Manchester's Phase 1 Restauraunt Re-Opening Guidance

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City Leaders Announce Manchester Takeout Day

Published: 05/06/2020 11:35 AM

Today, Mayor Joyce Craig, in partnership with the Greater Manchester Chamber and Intown Manchester announced Manchester Takeout Day, scheduled for Thursday, May 14, 2020. 

“On May 14, we’re asking people — if they can — to order take-out, get curbside pick-up or delivery from one of the many local restaurants in Manchester,” said Mayor Joyce Craig. “The COVID-19 pandemic has halted normal operation of our vibrant restaurant community and as a result, they are struggling. Manchester Takeout Day presents a great opportunity for all of us to show support for our friends in the restaurant industry while enjoying a meal from your favorite local restaurant."

“I am excited and impressed to have come across so many examples of businesses and organizations finding ways to adapt, prepare, and plan for what’s next – even when we’re not sure yet what this ‘next normal, looks like. Our restaurant community’s perseverance is inspiring as they make fundamental changes to every aspect of their business,” said Michael Skelton, President & CEO of the Greater Manchester Chamber. “I know that people of Manchester will rally around and support our eateries as they re-open, and a great way to kick-off this effort is to order takeout on Manchester Takeout Day, Thursday, May 14th. Let’s show up for them as they have served us and our community time and time again.”

“For all of the times you’ve gone to your favorite dining spot, and are treated like royalty, now is the time you can really show your appreciation,” said Sara Beaudry, Intown Manchester Executive Director. “May 14 is Manchester Takeout Day and it’s a way you can give back to local restaurants when they could use a boost. We are in this together and your support will go a long way.”  

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Local Response Plans to Prevent 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Published: 03/02/2020 4:18 PM

While there have been no known cases of suspected or confirmed illness among residents who live within Manchester to-date, the City of Manchester Health Department (MHD), the Fire Department (MFD) and Mayor Joyce Craig, are jointly activating the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to support ongoing planning and coordination of prevention efforts to address the potential threat of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The EOC provides a mechanism for more efficient and effective communication among key stakeholders, including but not limited to elected officials, healthcare leadership, and emergency responders. Daily communication and coordination is also occurring with the NH Department of Health and Human Services (NH DHHS) to ensure alignment with state plans and dissemination of pertinent information from the federal level.

In addition, MHD, MFD, and partners have been working to create plans and build community capacity to respond to large-scale, infectious disease outbreaks since 9/11. These plans and infrastructure are serving as the foundation of our local prevention efforts and response to COVID-19, if warranted. We are communicating with health care partners to ensure that they have the most up-to-date information to guide clinical decision-making for their patients, as well as the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, Manchester School District, and local businesses. Lastly, we are working with NH DHHS daily to continuously monitor the situation in NH and proactively implement public health prevention measures based upon the best available science and in accordance with state law.

The following are steps that the public can take to help prevent COVID-19, as well as influenza and other respiratory illnesses, in general:

  • Wash your hands often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water, especially before eating;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
  • Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze and throw tissues in the trash after you use them;
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that may be contaminated, such as shared dining areas and doorknobs;
  • If you get sick, stay home from work, school, or daycare until your fever has been gone for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicines;
  • Adhere to all travel advisories issued at a federal level; and
  • It is NOT necessary to bulk purchase face masks and other supplies for your home.

This is a developing situation that will require the public to check in frequently for the most current information.

  • A 24/7 phone line (603-271-4496) has been established by NH DHHS to answer questions from health care providers and the public.
  • Please visit the NH DHHS’s COVID-19 webpage for ongoing updates and information regarding the situation within NH. A City of Manchester webpage is also under development.
  • Please visit the following links for a Situation Summary and FAQs regarding COVID-19 at an international/federal level as of this media release.

Mayor Craig Announces Free Bus Service

Published: 12/11/2019 8:07 AM

Mayor Joyce Craig and the Manchester Transit Authority (MTA) are pleased to announce that through December 31, all stops along Route 8 will be offered free of charge.

Mayor Craig and MTA Director Mike Whitten began this offering during the holiday season last year, and are pleased to be able to offer it for a second time.

"Downtown Manchester, the businesses along South Willow Street and the Mall of New Hampshire are all great places to do holiday shopping. By making travel free on Route 8, we’re hoping to give people using public transportation to shop or go to work a stress-free experience for the holidays,” said Mayor Joyce Craig. “I’d like to thank Director Mike Whitten for working with my office to offer free travel along this route for the second year in a row.”

“MTA is thrilled to again offer free transportation on Route 8, our most popular route in the entire MTA system,” said Director Mike Whitten, MTA. “This is a great opportunity to thank our passengers who ride the buses throughout the year and to also invite new members of the community who perhaps haven’t ridden a bus recently to come and check it out for free. Thank you to Mayor Craig and the City of Manchester for partnering with us again to bring back this very popular event.”

MTA Route 8 makes six regular loop stops -- the Downtown Manchester Doubletree Hotel, Michaels/Burlington Coat Factory Plaza on South Willow Street, Walmart on Gold Street, the Mall of New Hampshire, South Willow Street and Weston Road, and Downtown Manchester. For a full list of route stops and times, visit the MTA website.

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