New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu announced Friday major new funding and initiatives for those suffering amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The funding, as a result of the CARES Act, will allow the disbursement of $595 million in federal money to things like housing, public education, private higher education and helping the state's homeless.
"These funds are a major step forward in our efforts to provide Granite Staters affected by the COVID-19 public health crisis with relief," Sununu said.
To help health care facilities "keep their lights on" while providing critical services, $50 million will be dispersed via the Emergency Health Care System Relief Fund, Sununu said.
As part of the "Main Street Relief Fund," $400 million will go towards helping small businesses in the Granite State that have been impacted by the pandemic.
The funds will allow businesses to pay their bills, mortgages and taxes while providing "simple, fast, fair relief dollars."
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Any New Hampshire business that is interested in applying for the funds needs to fill out a pre-grant application.
An additional $10 million has been allocated for the state's food and dairy farmers, Sununu said. Five-million dollars will go to support the New Hampshire Food Bank.
"We are continuing to expand funding for our hospitals and health care facilities, we are committing an unprecedented amount into our non-profits and Main Street small businesses, investing in our farmers and food supply systems, and continuing to put dollars towards our childcare system, frontline workers, and higher education system. This is about delivering relief for Granite Staters as quickly as possible," Sununu said.
There were eight new deaths reported in New Hampshire Friday as a result of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. The total number of deaths is now 159, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
There were 88 new positive cases of COVID-19 as of Friday, bringing the state's total to 3,464.
On Wednesday, Sununu said he's taking a "wait and see approach" to reopening New Hampshire's beaches even though nearby Maine has begun to reopen some of theirs.
"With Maine and Massachusetts, you have different cities and towns that have a lot of say over their beaches. We'll wait to see kind of what happens with those," the governor said.
On Monday, retail stores, hair salons and golf courses were allowed to reopen. Restaurants will be allowed to open Monday for outdoor seating only.
The governor has said the state needs to proceed cautiously in their reopening plan.
"We can't open everything up that we'd like to," he said. "Everyone wants everything to open tomorrow. That would be horribly irresponsible."