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Shaheen Discusses Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on North Country Tourism Industry during Visit to White Mountains Visitor Center


White Mountains Visitor Center

Shaheen speaks with North Country tourism industry leaders during her discussion at the White Mountains Visitor Center today.

Earlier in Berlin: Shaheen Underscores Need for Additional COVID-19 Response Resources for Northern NH Nursing Homes during Visit to Coos County Nursing Home

 Coos County Nursing Home

Shaheen speaks to Coos County Nursing Home staff during her visit to the facility this afternoon.

(North Woodstock, NH) – Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) visited the White Mountains Visitor Center to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the North Country’s tourism industry. As the state’s second-largest industry, tourism is critical to New Hampshire’s economy, supporting tens of thousands of jobs and producing millions of dollars in revenue for local communities and the state. However, the sector has been hit especially hard by the economic crisis spurred by the pandemic, with many of the state’s most cherished and well-known attractions suffering devastating financial losses. During her visit, Shaheen was joined by tourism industry leaders from the area, including representatives from the White Mountains Attractions Association, Hobo Railroad, Santa’s Village and the Mount Washington Cog Railway. She highlighted the need to provide additional relief to the tourism industry in the North Country and throughout the state. Shaheen has called for the passage of the HEROES Small Business Lifeline Act, legislation she introduced that would allow many businesses and nonprofits within the industry to access a second round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. The PPP has been a lifeline for businesses and nonprofits in New Hampshire, with over $2.5 billion in assistance disbursed to more than 25,000 businesses across the state.

“Tourism is the lifeblood of New Hampshire’s economy, with thousands of businesses in the North Country and throughout our state relying on the millions of tourists who visit each year to see firsthand our beautiful lands, enjoy our cherished attractions and experience Granite State hospitality. However, as was made clear to me this afternoon, Granite State businesses in the tourism industry are hurting and need help as soon as possible if they are to keep their doors open in the coming year,” said Shaheen. “It’s shameful that Mitch McConnell has sent the Senate home without voting on a bipartisan COVID-19 relief bill that includes help for our small businesses and addresses the priorities of Granite Staters. I’m committed to doing everything in my power to push the Senate to put aside partisanship and finally deliver the comprehensive COVID-19 relief Americans need and deserve.”

Earlier, Shaheen visited Coos County Nursing Home in Berlin to discuss the continuing effects of COVID-19 on northern New Hampshire nursing homes and highlight the need to provide additional resources to providers in COVID-19 relief legislation. In New Hampshire, the pandemic has had a severe and disproportionate impact on nursing homes, with more than 80% of all COVID-related deaths in the state occurring among residents of these facilities. Additional federal support is needed to ensure nursing homes in the North Country and throughout the state are able to hire and train staff and purchase PPE and COVID-19 testing that will help protect the health and well-being of residents and caregivers. During her visit, Shaheen heard more from the facility’s leadership and staff, who iterated their experiences working during the pandemic. Shaheen also thanked them for their efforts on the front lines of the crisis.

Shaheen has fought to provide resources and support for Granite State nursing homes during the pandemic. Last month, she questioned top Trump administration officials on the administration’s failure to fully distribute relief funds meant to help COVID-19 mitigation efforts at long-term care facilities.

“I want to thank the leadership and staff of Coos County Nursing Home for their tremendous work during such a difficult time to protect and care for their patients, at great personal risk to themselves and their loved ones. Granite State nursing homes throughout New Hampshire have been especially vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic, with facilities suffering from outbreaks that have led to more than eighty percent of all COVID-related deaths in the state,” said Shaheen. “The federal government has a responsibility to provide additional support to help facilities like Coos Country Nursing Home control the spread of the disease and protect the lives of residents and caretakers. Securing these resources for New Hampshire will continue to be a top priority for me in the Senate.”