March 2021 COVID-19 Update and One Year Later

By March 25, 2021 March 26th, 2021 Chamber Insights, COVID-19

March 2021 COVID-19 Update & One Year Later

A note from GMC CEO & President, Michael Skelton


Dear Chamber Members,

One year later. It was about one year ago that our world began to change rapidly. In fact, it was this week a year ago that the Chamber hosted its annual State of the City forum. As usual, the event was sold out with more than 150 attendees. My standard opening remarks at the event were altered to include a few “public health reminders” encouraging everyone to bump elbows rather than shake hands, to practice good hand hygiene, and to make use of the complimentary hand sanitizer on each table (unlike like most event freebies, no sanitizer bottles were left behind by attendees).

While at the time, these precautions felt strange and out of place, the shift in behaviors taking place at our event that morning, and across our community and state, was a sign of what was to come. Our State of the City event that morning turned out to be the last indoor, in-person, Chamber event of 2020. In the days that followed, the true nature of the pandemic began to come into focus as infections and hospitalizations accelerated, the stay-at-home order was put in place, and economic fallout was felt across our state and country.

One year later, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks to the hard work and sacrifice of our frontline healthcare workers and public health officials, steady leadership from local and state officials, and resolve from our business community and citizenry, New Hampshire’s public health picture is improving as vaccine deployment accelerates.

As our situation continues to gradually improve, we can all continue to do our part to speed our journey back to ‘normalcy’ by continuing to follow and respect the various business and public health protocols commonplace to us now, like wearing a mask. We can also strengthen our recovery by doubling down on our support for local businesses impacted by the pandemic, particularly those in the dining, entertainment, and hospitality sectors. These businesses faced the harshest economic impacts of the pandemic and are entering a critical phase of recovery in 2021. Please do all you can to shop, dine, order out, and buy local and support their efforts to bounce back.  Our collective action matters and we’re almost there – let’s keep moving forward together!

Apply or Refer to Leadership Greater Manchester

Are you an emerging leader ready to take the next step? Do you know or have an emerging leader on your team who is ready to grow and more deeply engage with the community? Apply or Refer to Leadership Greater Manchester! Applications are now open and selection to the class of 2022 will begin soon.

To learn more about LGM or to apply, click here.

State of the State and City Forums

Join fellow business and community leaders at two of the most important Chamber forums of the year – State of the State and State of the City! Both events will be held virtually this year and are free for members to access and provide the opportunity for live Q&A.

State of the State with Governor Sununu – March 31st, 9:30 am to 10:30 am – REGISTER
Presented by Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health

State of the City with Mayor Craig – April 14th, 9:30 am to 10:30 am – REGISTER
Presented by Bellwether Community Credit Union

My best and be well,


Mike Skelton, President & CEO, GMC