How Main Street is Responding to COVID-19

Main street has been impacted by the pandemic: small, local businesses shuttered, community activity and vibrancy lost abruptly and on a large scale. During this challenging time, businesses and communities have responded with innovation, creativity and thinking towards the future. The following blogs, resource and webinar share stories of main street response, business innovation and community adaptation.

Blog Posts:

  • Main Street Stories: Durham. This blog highlights how Celebrate Durham, a volunteer-led effort to network, promote and create vibrancy on main street, has stayed connected virtually which is key to understanding needs and determining recovery resources.
  • Main Street Stories: Derry. This blog shares how Derry is working to meet the needs of citizens and businesses during the pandemic and continuing to work on long-term projects like writing a grant to revitalize Hood Park in downtown Derry.
  • Main Street: What’s Next? As main street begins to reopen and move towards rebuilding and recovery, this blog highlights ten things that communities can do right now to support their main street.
  • Where Business Innovation & Community Come Together. Businesses have been forced to adapt and innovate in order to sustain themselves during this crisis. This blog highlights one example of a business, Max Edge Fitness Training, that found a new way to connect with customers.
  • 10 Creative Ways Businesses are Serving Customers during Crisis. Businesses and communities across the country and New Hampshire are dealing with new challenges due to the global pandemic. This blog details 10 ways some communities and businesses are creatively adapting to the difficult situation.


  • Outdoor Dining Spaces During COVID-19. With Executive Order #40 allowing restaurants to have outdoor seating starting on May 18, this resource provides guidance on how NH municipalities are adapting as well as some tips that can be used from tactical urbanism.

Recorded Webinar:

  • Creating Opportunities for Main Street Businesses in a Time of Crisis. Main Street businesses have had to adapt to respond to the pandemic. While there is no playbook for these unprecedented circumstances, it is clear that networking among communities, businesses and business-supporting organizations has helped support local economies and catalyze innovation. This webinar includes panelists: Emmett Soldati, Teatotaller in Somersworth; Nancy Carmer, City of Portsmouth Economic Development; Rita Toth, NH Small Business Development Center.


Molly Donovan
Community Economic Development State Specialist
Assoc State Specialist
Phone: (603) 862-5046
Office: Cooperative Extension, Nesmith Hall Rm 204C, Durham, NH 03824

Charlie French
Faculty Affiliate
Phone: (603) 862-0316
Office: Cooperative Extension, Taylor Hall, Durham, NH 03824

Stephen Meno, AICP
Former Community & Economic Development Field Specialist

Shannon Rogers
Associate Extension Professor
Affiliated Faculty
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Phone: (603) 862-5171
Office: Cooperative Extension, Nesmith Hall, Durham, NH 03824