Joe Biden

NH Burrito Store Owner to Be Guest for Biden's Address to Congress

After Adam Hammil brought up his concerns about the PPP program, “people sat up and went, ‘Oh, that doesn’t make sense,’” Sen. Maggie Hassan told us

NBC Universal, Inc.

A New Hampshire man is calling it the invitation of a lifetime. He's been asked to be a part of President Joe Biden’s address to Congress Wednesday night.

Berlin business owner Adam Hammil helped secure federal relief in the American Rescue Plan for people who opened businesses during the pandemic.

President Joe Biden delivered his first address to a joint session of Congress.

His passion started as a cook in the Coast Guard.

“I loved slow-cooking pork,” he said. “It was one of my favorite things to make for my crew.”

And now Hammill is serving up his famous carnitas at his restaurant, Exile Burrito.

“I am passionate about giving back to my community and watching it grow and thrive,” he said.

With $435 million in federal funding going to Boston in the COVID-19 relief package, Rep. Stephen Lynch is criticizing service cuts to the MBTA.

While many restaurants were closing amid the pandemic, Hammill had the guts to open. He knew a take-out joint would work even during the shutdown, and he said there was a market for Mexican food.

“We have 14 restaurants in Berlin, New Hampshire, and 11 are pizza places,” he said.

The problem came when he tried to apply for a PPP loan or any small business stimulus funds. He wasn’t eligible because he didn’t have 2019 tax returns.

“It felt like we were being forgotten and left behind,” Hammill said.

NBC10 crunched the numbers and found about 70,000 of the roughly 118,000 businesses in Massachusetts that received PPP loans last year are registered in ways that would potentially make them responsible to pay the state income tax.

So, he took his concerns to Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-New Hampshire, who then turned to her colleagues in Congress.

“Literally, people sat up and went, ‘Oh, that doesn’t make sense,’” Hassan said. “So, Adam really made a huge difference.”

Now, under the American Rescue Plan, starting in July, anyone who opened a business after Feb. 15, 2020, will have access to refundable tax credits to pay salaries and health benefits for their employees.

“I’m not going to lie, it’s the proudest moments of my life, to see this first-hand,” Hammill said.

And to honor his work, Hassan has invited Hammill to be a special "virtual" guest at Biden’s first address to Congress Wednesday night.

“That’s incredible. Again, a memory I won’t forget,” he said.

Hammill said he plans to hire an additional four employees with the help from the American Rescue Plan.

Contact Us