By Annie Ropeik, NHPR
Seacoast tourism and business leaders want federal officials to approve more foreign visa workers and economic aid to support what they hope will be a busy summer on the tail end of the pandemic.
They spoke at a roundtable Monday in Hampton Beach with U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.
Raimondo, the former governor of Rhode Island, was on her first official trip as U.S. Commerce Secretary. She asked what the Seacoast wants out of the latest round of pandemic stimulus money and President Biden’s proposed jobs and infrastructure plan.
New Hampshire Lodging and Restaurant Association CEO Mike Somers said he’s optimistic for any small tourism businesses that made it this far through the pandemic. But he said continued federal support – for visa workers and other aid – will be crucial in the next few months.
“Any way we can support our small businesses – whether it be offsetting costs they’ve incurred or other things, but just ways to help them get through,” he said. “If we can make it to July 4 week or maybe a little further, I think anybody who makes it to there, they’ve made it.”
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