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COVID-19 Resource Page: Impacts and Challenges in New Hampshire

March 25, 2020 State Economy

The impacts of the COVID-19 crisis will affect New Hampshire residents in many ways, from both the immediate health and financial impacts to long-term economic consequences. NHFPI will continue to publish resources examining issues related to the COVID-19 crisis, including health policy, economic security supports for Granite Staters, economic trends, state revenues, the effects of federal policy responses, and the services supported through the State Budget. This page will continue to be updated as new NHFPI resources are published.


Issue Briefs

Food Insecurity and Economic Conditions in New Hampshire and the Nation
December 1, 2020
Food insecurity is a measure that estimates the number of households experiencing a lack of food due to insufficient money or other resources over time. Following the Great Recession, which lasted from late 2007 to mid-2009, food insecurity levels increased nationwide. As the recovery from the Great Recession progressed, levels of food insecurity appeared to remain elevated in New Hampshire despite declining steadily around the nation.

Full Report (PDF)

Summary (PDF)


New and Expanded Challenges Facing Vulnerable Populations in New Hampshire
September 23, 2020
The COVID-19 crisis has had widespread impacts on life in New Hampshire, but the negative effects have been most severe on people who were already the most vulnerable. Vulnerable groups in New Hampshire include older adults, people with disabilities, individuals with chronic health conditions, individuals and families with lower incomes and who are economically disadvantaged, and people identifying as a race or ethnicity other than white and non-Hispanic.

Full Report (PDF)


Early Impacts of the COVID-19 Crisis on State Revenues
September 9, 2020
The economic shock of the crisis has led to significant State revenue declines in sources that support key services for Granite Staters. Additional assistance from the federal government, depending on its form, would help ensure key services for Granite Staters are sustained through this crisis.

Full Report (PDF)

Summary (PDF)


Challenges Facing New Hampshire’s Workers and Economy During the COVID-19 Crisis
September 4, 2020
This year has posed unprecedented challenges to New Hampshire’s workers and economy. The COVID-19 pandemic and crisis has contributed to significant changes in employment and has impacted the economic security of many Granite Staters.

Full Report (PDF)

Summary One-Pager (PDF)


Inequities Between New Hampshire Racial and Ethnic Groups Impact Opportunities to Thrive
June 30, 2020
New Hampshire is not immune to national trends that impact the lives and livelihoods of many U.S. residents, particularly relative to incomes for Granite Staters who identify as Black, African American, Hispanic, or Latino. Helping ensure a recovery from the COVID-19 crisis that reaches all Granite Staters, including the increasingly racially and ethnically diverse population of children in the state, requires consideration of these factors.


The COVID-19 Crisis in New Hampshire: Initial Economic Impacts and Policy Responses
April 14, 2020
This Issue Brief reviews some of the key challenges the COVID-19 crisis presents in New Hampshire, with a focus on both the economic impacts to individuals and the fiscal impacts on the State government. The Issue Brief also outlines relevant policy steps already taken at the federal and state levels, and potential policy options to help lay the foundation for an economic recovery that lifts all Granite Staters.

Summary One-Pager (PDF)


Common Cents Blog

Updated Revenue Projections Suggest Much Smaller Budget Shortfall
November 30, 2020
With State agencies underspending their budgets last year, the total shortfall may put fewer programs at risk than previously anticipated.

Flexible CARES Act Funds Mostly Allocated, Partially Unspent as Deadline Looms
November 4, 2020
Unspent federal funds must be returned to the federal government by December 30, 2020, and official data indicated New Hampshire had over $400 million in late October.

State Fiscal Situation Improves with Higher Revenues and Agency Underspending
October 9, 2020
Revenues recovering faster than anticipated and underspending at State agencies helped reduce the deficit, but significant unknowns remain.

New Data Show Food Insecurity Levels Declining Prior to the COVID-19 Crisis
September 10, 2020
According to data released on September 9 by the United States Department of Agriculture, food insecurity levels in New Hampshire continued to decline during 2019, prior to the onset of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. The recent economic pressures on many individuals and families with lower incomes in New Hampshire have been severe, and current levels of food insecurity are very likely to be substantially higher.

Increases to SNAP Benefits Would Offset Higher Food Costs and Boost the Economy
July 30, 2020
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides critical nutritional aid to individuals and families with low incomes, including those who have faced income losses. As Granite Staters continue to navigate the COVID-19 crisis, aiding those who are most affected and who have the fewest resources will help ensure they weather the crisis while supporting the economic recovery as well.

Pandemic EBT Food Assistance Program Applications Open through August 24
July 21, 2020
The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program allows for families with students, who haven’t been able to physically attend school, to receive additional nutritional benefits if the student was eligible to receive free or reduced-price school meals. These benefits are equal to the value of the free or reduced-price meals the student would have received if schools weren’t closed during the Spring.

Initiatives Aim to Increase Rural Access to Broadband Internet Services
July 2, 2020
Broadband internet availability and use is uneven between rural and urban areas of New Hampshire. A lack of key broadband infrastructure connecting many homes in rural regions has resulted in increased connection challenges that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis.

CARES Act Economic Impact Payments May Not Automatically Reach 9,900 Eligible Granite Staters
June 18, 2020
For many eligible individuals with very low incomes who were not required to file taxes for 2018 or 2019, additional steps need to be taken to receive their direct cash payments from the federal government.

Eviction Moratorium to End July 1 as State Establishes New Housing Assistance Program
June 18, 2020
On June 11, Governor Sununu appropriated $35 million in federal assistance to a new program designed to help residents keep their existing housing or secure permanent housing, providing critical support when many people have lost regular income during the COVID-19 crisis. This support comes as the Governor announced the current moratorium on evictions and foreclosures will expire July 1, 2020, increasing the risk of Granite Staters losing their homes.

The COVID-19 Crisis Contributes to Increased Need for Mental Health Supports
June 12, 2020
Survey data suggest the crisis has already had substantial effects on the mental health of many individuals in New Hampshire and throughout the nation.

New Data Provide Insight into Extensive Economic Impacts and Income Losses from the COVID-19 Crisis
June 3, 2020
Survey data indicate nearly half of New Hampshire households have lost employment income since March 13, and one in six have either missed or are likely to miss a monthly housing payment.

State Agencies Project Major Revenue Declines Due to COVID-19 Crisis Impacts
May 29, 2020
New Hampshire State agencies expect revenue collections to be more than half a billion dollars less than planned through the middle of 2021, indicating key services for Granite Staters may face funding challenges without other supports.

Majority of New Hampshire’s Federal CARES Act Flexible Grants Appropriated, Includes Added Support to Businesses, Nonprofits, and Child Care
May 22, 2020
Following the Governor’s announcements on May 15, 2020, all but approximately $402 million of the $1.25 billion provided to New Hampshire as part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act had been dedicated to specific purposes by the State.

Property Tax Relief Program Application Deadline Extended to November
May 21, 2020
New Hampshire’s existing program targeted at property tax relief for lower-income homeowners can help offset immediate costs, and the State has extended the deadline to apply for a tax rebate this year.

COVID-19 Crisis Effects Greater on Racial and Ethnic Minority Populations in New Hampshire
May 3, 2020
The COVID-19 crisis is producing disproportionate impacts on New Hampshire’s racially and ethnically diverse residents, with new data mirroring trends also evident at the national level.

Key Policies Provide Short-Term Relief and Long-Term Recovery in COVID-19 Crisis
April 29, 2020
The economic damage done by the COVID-19 crisis threatens both the ability to meet short-term needs and the long-term financial stability of Granite Staters. Government policy remedies should provide relief, focused on preventing further short-term economic collapse, and bolster the recovery, which will help to reinvigorate the economy after the crisis.

Federal Guidance Prevents Use of CARES Act Relief Funds for State Revenue Shortfalls
April 23, 2020
The State of New Hampshire may not use $1.25 billion in recently received federal funds through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to offset revenue losses created by the economic impacts of the pandemic, according to guidance issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Food Assistance Programs Provide Critical Relief and Boost the Economy
April 21, 2020
With initial unemployment claims in the first three weeks following the beginning of the crisis exceeding 100,000 in New Hampshire, the need for programs providing nutritional aid has grown dramatically, and will be key as the state continues to move through this crisis.

New Hampshire Expands Access to Safety Net Programs and Supports During the COVID-19 Crisis
April 3, 2020
Programs such as Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provide means-tested benefits that help support the basic needs of individuals and families with low incomes.

March State Revenues Underperform Ahead of Coming Declines
April 3, 2020
With the ongoing COVID-19 crisis dramatically impacting New Hampshire’s economy and employment in key sectors, State revenues are likely to be significantly reduced relative to expectations, threatening vital services in a time of high need.

Unemployment Benefits and Temporary Income Supplements Provide Financial Support During the COVID-19 Crisis
April 2, 2020
As a result of the necessary public health steps to combat to the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus, financial strains on individuals and families are emerging rapidly. Recommendations, guidelines, and emergency orders from federal and state officials have led to profound changes to the ways Granite Staters live and work.

Federal CARES Act to Provide Relief to Residents, $1.25 Billion to New Hampshire State Government
March 27, 2020
The United States Congress has approved federal emergency relief for individuals and states in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This approximately $2 trillion emergency relief package provides supports for individuals, families with children, and states in the forms of one-time grants, unemployment compensation benefits, and other assistance, with many other provisions designed to help people and businesses through the COVID-19 public health crisis and sharp economic contraction.

Food Insecurity Among Granite State Students May Increase Due to COVID-19 Crisis
March 25, 2020
Many New Hampshire students from households with low incomes are food insecure and depend on access to free or reduced-price meals at school. These meals are provided through a combination of federal, state, and local programs designed to reduce food insecurity.

New Hampshire’s Older and At-Risk Populations May Require Greater Levels of Care in COVID-19 Crisis
March 24, 2020
New Hampshire’s population may be disproportionately vulnerable to more severe instances of  COVID-19 due in part to the state’s older demographic. With higher estimated percentages of older adults and younger at-risk adults than the country as a whole, New Hampshire’s health care system may be especially strained to respond to this crisis.

Many New Hampshire Workers Vulnerable to Economic, Health Impacts of COVID-19 Crisis
March 23, 2020
Workers in New Hampshire may be disproportionately likely to be impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, as some of the state’s largest employment sectors include those most immediately affected. These impacts include both a higher risk of actual exposure to the 2019 novel coronavirus, and less income from reduced hours or eliminated positions for workers who already had some of the lowest incomes and least job stability among New Hampshire’s workforce.

State and Federal Governments Adjust Policies, Allocate Resources to COVID-19 Crisis Response
March 20, 2020
Both the State and federal governments have taken key actions this week to stem both the health and economic harm generated by the COVID-19 crisis. Although many more resources will be needed to stem the widespread hardship already beginning to impact the country, these initial steps will be critical to supporting those who are most in need.

Rainy Day Fund May Provide Resources for Emergency Supports
March 19, 2020
The COVID-19 crisis poses a risk not only to the health of New Hampshire residents, but to their financial security and State revenues as well. State revenues finished the month of February ahead of the State Budget’s planned expenses, but the current revenue surplus is not nearly as significant as those the State has relied upon in recent years. The impacts of the crisis are likely to diminish State resources while also increasing the need for health and economic support services among Granite Staters.

COVID-19 Crisis Threatens Financial Stability of the State and Residents
March 17, 2020
The COVID-19 crisis poses a risk not only to the health of New Hampshire residents, but to their financial security and State revenues as well. State revenues finished the month of February ahead of the State Budget’s planned expenses, but the current revenue surplus is not nearly as significant as those the State has relied upon in recent years. The impacts of the crisis are likely to diminish State resources while also increasing the need for health and economic support services among Granite Staters.

Risk of COVID-19 Exacerbates Disparities in Access to Health and Other Services
March 13, 2020
With the potential for an increased need for health services in the coming weeks as the 2019 novel coronavirus spreads, Granite Staters face uneven access to health care. Successful access to health services typically requires access to both health providers and coverage, and often the ability to pay expenses out-of-pocket. Approximately 77,000 New Hampshire residents, or about one in twenty, lacked health coverage in 2018, and the number of residents per primary care physician varied considerably across different regions of the state.


Additional NHFPI Resources


Economy and Income

New Hampshire’s Workforce, Wages, and Economic Opportunity
August 30, 2019
The benefits of New Hampshire’s recent economic recovery did not reach all Granite Staters equally. Many Granite Staters have gained little ground in the last decade.

New Hampshire’s Numbers: Resource Inequities by County and Population Group in 2014-2018
February 7, 2020
Estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s annual American Community Survey provide insights into the economic conditions of New Hampshire residents.

Census Bureau 2018 Estimates for Income, Poverty, Housing Costs, and Health Coverage
October 9, 2019
The U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey data provide estimates of population characteristics and provide year-to-year comparisons of key indicators affecting the lives of Granite Staters, including data concerning household income, poverty, rental housing costs, and health coverage.


Health Policy and Medicaid

Medicaid Home- and Community-Based Care Service Delivery Limited by Workforce Challenges
March 15, 2019
For people who are chronically ill or have a disability and who are seeking an alternative to nursing home care, New Hampshire’s Medicaid program provides long-term care coverage for eligible adults of limited means in home- and community-based settings. Choices for Independence Medicaid Waiver services are delivered through providers who are reimbursed by federal, county, and state government funds for delivering home- and community-based care. These services are also typically less expensive than nursing home care, and help individuals remain in their homes and communities.

Access to Home- and Community-Based Medicaid Services Limited by Workforce Shortages
March 15, 2019
New Hampshire Choices for Independence (CFI) Medicaid Waiver services provide home- and community-based services to individuals who are chronically ill or have a disability. Those in need of home- and community-based services, however, may not receive them due to a lack of available workers to deliver services.


Food Insecurity

New Hampshire’s Food Insecurity Levels Return to Pre-Recession Levels
September 27, 2019
According to new USDA estimates released in September 2019, New Hampshire and the nation had experienced improvements in households’ access to food. Relative improvements in the economy and the effectiveness of supplemental food programs contributed to declining levels of food insecurity.

The Potential Impacts of Proposed SNAP Eligibility and Work Requirement Changes on Food Insecurity
October 9, 2019
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) enhances the ability of individuals and families with low incomes to purchase healthy and nutritious food. Over two-thirds of participants are families with low incomes. The remaining beneficiaries include individuals with low incomes, those with temporary or permanent disabilities, and older adults on fixed-incomes. About one in eight children across New Hampshire benefit from SNAP, and 73,959 individuals were enrolled as of August 2019.

Pending Federal Proposals Would Reduce SNAP Benefits, Including Enrollment of Households with Children
October 25, 2019
These proposed rule changes have the potential to increase food insecurity. The reduction of federal dollars, which fund all SNAP benefits, flowing to New Hampshire would cause households, particularly households with children, to have fewer resources for food.


State Budget

The State Budget for Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021
December 19, 2019
The New Hampshire State Budget funds important services for Granite State families and children, supporting the infrastructure, education and health services, and public amenities that residents use daily. The State Budget for Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021, which provides funding through June 30, 2021, includes increased investments in key areas, including public education and health services.



Connect with NHFPI

Common Cents Blog

Updated Revenue Projections Suggest Much Smaller Budget Shortfall

30 Nov 2020

tree with coins

At a November 23 briefing, key New Hampshire State agencies provided updated revenue estimates to policymakers that revealed a much more optimistic revenue outlook than previous projections. With tax receipts performing well in the State fiscal year thus far, and agencies substantially underspending their budgets last year, the total budget shortfall may be much more manageable and put fewer programs at risk than previously anticipated. Policymakers may be able to offset much of any deficit with the Rainy Day Fund and support or expand programs and services for Granite Staters, who have seen their health and financial security put at risk during the pandemic.