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A Day Worth Celebrating: National PTAC Day Sept. 18

September 13th, 2019

Next Wednesday (9/18) is National PTAC Day, so this is a great time to put the spotlight on our team at the New Hampshire Procurement Technical Assistance Center.

Program manager Dave Pease, Danielle Bishop and Jane Brezosky work with hundreds of New Hampshire businesses each year to help them bid on – and win – contracts with local, state and federal agencies. These are great clients to have, but unlike regular B2B, contracting with the government involves complex processes and procedures, to ensure transparency and fairness.


If you think you don’t, you probably do have a product the government wants to buy. Just ask the Country Braid House of Tilton. See its story here.


Is it worth it? It sure is to our economy. Last year, New Hampshire businesses scored $2.7 billion in federal contracts.

When you think about government contracting, you may think about aerospace and defense – that’s what the government is interested in, right?

Wrong! Government needs what any business needs, so if your business provides goods and services, there could be a market for it.

For instance, the NH PTAC team has worked with these businesses to secure government contracts:

  • Stacey Thomson of Orford is contracted for tree clearing and planting at the New Boston Air Station and Saint Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish.
  • Granite Commercial Real Estate of Nashua provides warehousing for Hanscomb Air Force Base, and classroom space rental in Washington, DC  for the US Department of Treasury.
  • Normandeau Trucking, Inc. of Groveton has a contract with the US Fish and Wildlife Service for dumpster hauling.
  • O’Connor Legal, Medical and Media Services in Manchester provides federal grand jury transcription services.
  • Radiation Safety & Control Services in Seabrook conducts radiation safety audits for the US Food and Drug Administration
  • Prenax, Inc. in Concord provides annual newspaper subscriptions to inmates at the Federal Correctional Complex, Florence, Colo.

Ready to see if your business is ready for government contracting? Check out the NH PTAC website; call 603-271-7581 or via email.

Happy National PTAC Day!




Location, Live Free Spirit, Workforce Behind Company Relocation

September 13th, 2019

Cirrus Systems Inc, a startup electronics manufacturer of outdoor LED video screens, has relocated to from Saco, Maine to Portsmouth.

Cirrus LED is leasing 32,000 square feet at 200 West Rd. and will employ 50 people in the next year.

“We source electronic components and assemble them into large high resolution outdoor screens used by business owners to promote their message,” said CEO S. David Rycyna III.  “ I chose Portsmouth because it attracts young talent; we found the perfect building; and I love New Hampshire’s business friendly, live free attitude.”

The company’s products allow companies with brick and mortar locations to use LED screens, such as sophisticated websites that not only display images, but provides real time analytic data 24 hours a day on customer behavior, ranging from movement of cars to in-store foot traffic and demographics.

Cirrus Systems CEO David Rycyna III and Michael Bergeron, business development manager, New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs

“Technology companies like David’s are gravitating to smaller cities that offer a nearby ocean, mountains, lakes, universities, and hip fun things to do – and Portsmouth fits this profile,” said Michael Bergeron, business development manager with the NH Department of Business and Economic Affairs, who assisted in the company’s relocation.

Cirrus LED plans to hire a number of positions including manufacturing technicians, software developers, customer support representatives and others. 

For more information, visit the company’s website.

Export Boot Camp Helps Businesses Shape Up to Ship Out to International Markets

September 10th, 2019

Did you know New Hampshire exports had their second record breaking year in 2018? Businesses sent $5.2 billion worth of parts, equipment, components and other items to global market last year – 2.68 percent higher than 2017.

If your export program has been on the sidelines, it may be time to get it back in the game by enrolling in the third annual Export Boot Camp this fall, covering the most important aspects of doing business in international market.

For more information and to register, visit our website.

Export Administration Regulations (EAR), CFIUS Regulations and Tariff Updates
Wednesday, Oct. 2
9am – 3 pm
McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center, Concord
Presented by: Evolutions in Business

International Traffic Arms Regulations (ITAR)
Wednesday, Oct. 16
9am – 3 pm
McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center, Concord
Presented by: Department of Homeland Security – Manchester Field Office; Mohawk Global Trade Advisors; LK Trade Consulting

Export Logistics and Financing
Wednesday, Oct. 30
9am – 3 pm
McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center, Concord
Presented by: Highland ForwardingU.S. Small Business Association – NH District Office; The Provident Bank

International Marketing and Intellectual Property Protection
Wednesday, Nov. 20
9am – 3 pm
McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center, Concord
Presented by: Savoir Fair Marketing Communications; Rapport International; McLane Middleton

Questions? Contact Rachel Adams.

*Seminars are supported through the STEP grant. You may be eligible to attend these sessions free of charge.  Click here to check your eligibility.*

Fall is just around the Corner and Visitors will Follow, according to Fall Season Forecast

September 6th, 2019

As summer winds down, New Hampshire tourism officials say they expect a robust fall travel season, with more than 3 million out-of-state, overnight visitors projected, who will spend more than $1.5 billion.

During an event this week at Hazelton Orchards in Chester, the New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development unveiled its fall marketing campaign, which highlights activities such as  hiking, leaf peeping, agritourism, dining and shopping.

“New Hampshire is the premier travel destination in the northeast all year round, but the vibrant colors of our tremendous foliage truly sets us apart during the fall travel season, drawing millions of people to all corners of the Granite State,” said Taylor Caswell, commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs. “The fall travel season is an incredible economic driver for our state and we are constantly working to maximize and expand visitation for the benefit of our partners and the people of New Hampshire.”

Gov. Chris Sununu, joined by Business and Economic Affairs Commissioner Taylor Caswell, left, and Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food Commissioner Shawn Jasper, kicked off what is expected to be a busy fall tourism season by picking the ceremonial first apple of autumn at Hazelton Orchards in Chester.

Representing about 25 percent total annual visitation, fall is New Hampshire’s second-largest travel season, behind summer.

Foliage, scenic drives and pick-your-own options dominate the fall season but historically fall is also popular for visiting attractions, college homecomings, fairs and festivals, shopping, and visiting friends and relatives. In addition, fall tends to draw the largest percentage of visitors from outside New England.

Visitors to New Hampshire this fall can experience fall activities and events  including:

Stay connected with New Hampshire tourism on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube, and be sure to follow the #livefreeNH tag to see what other people are saying about fall in New Hampshire. 



Radically Rural Summit Sept. 19-20 Topic of this Month’s NH Business Matters

August 26th, 2019

Our monthly radio show, New Hampshire Business Matters, covered an upcoming event next month that puts rural New Hampshire in the spotlight for opportunities and possibilities rural America offers.


Tune in at 2:05 pm to WTPL-FM 107.7 on the third Wednesday of the month for New Hampshire Business Matters.


Radically Rural is getting noticed; last week it was featured in this article posted at Forbes.com.

Mary Ann Kristiansen and Lorna Colquhoun

The second annual Radically Rural summit launches Sept. 19-20, which is speared-headed by Mary Ann Kristiansen, executive director of the Hannah Grimes Center in Keene and Terry Williams, president of The Keene Sentinel. She founded the event two years ago to gather leaders and others interested in rural economic development to talk about, and find solutions fore, the challenges these communities face, not just in New Hampshire, but in small communities far from urban areas around the country.

Tune in to this month’s program to hear more about this event and how you can become involved.

14 New Hampshire Projects Receive Northern Border Regional Commission Grants

July 29th, 2019

Communities and organizations across six rural New Hampshire counties will share $3.7 million in federal funds awarded this by the Northern Border Regional Commission.

Created by the US Congress in 2008, the NBRC is a federal-state partnership working to alleviate economic challenges in northern counties across New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. In New Hampshire, projects are eligible for the Economic and Infrastructure Development Investment program in all, or portions of, Belknap; Carroll; Cheshire; Coos; Grafton, and Sullivan Counties.

The New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs administers the program in New Hampshire and works with eligible communities and organizations throughout the year.

“For the communities in which they are located, these projects have a significant role in enhancing the local economy,” said BEA Commissioner Taylor Caswell. “These grants really make a difference for residents want to build a place where people want to live and work.”

The following projects received awards:

Town of Lincoln; $500,000 to improve fireflow by making modifications to an existing booster pump station at Crooked Mountain and a new 234,000-gallon storage tank at Indian Mountain;

Twin State MakerSpaces, Inc., Claremont; $164,800 for installation of rooftop solar power generation, with savings energy operating costs to be invested for education and workforce development programming in the community;

Town of Swanzey; $500,000 to reconstruct and improve a road, sidewalk and drainage in West Swanzey village;

Meriden Village Water District, Plainfield; $376,000 to install a rapid infiltration basin system at the wastewater treatment facility, upgrading surface water discharge to groundwater discharge;

Colebrook Community Child Care; $158,642 to renovate an existing childcare facility; provide teacher training and create new programs;

Community College System of New Hampshire; $199,842 to create a test facility for welders and computer and technical skills training for advanced manufacturers and other businesses;

Belknap Mill Society, Laconia; $250,000 for interior renovation and restoration of the Belknap Mill to expand education programming;

Town of Newport; $354,183 to replace the water intake pipe system at Gilman Pond, Newport’s primary water supply;

Lakes Region Community College, Laconia; $189,825 to create two teaching laboratories and a dining room facility, increasing training opportunities for students interested in hospitality and tourism industries;

Nansen Ski Club, Berlin; $250,000 to redevelop the historic Nansen Ski Jump as a site for US Nordic-sanctioned competitions and the development of a North Country youth jumping program;

Turning Points Network, Claremont; $250,000 to renovate a structure to serve as the main office for Turning Points Network, enabling it  to expand capacity to deliver its economic independence program;

Town of Groton; $250,000 to repair one mile of class V, town-maintained road, from Sculptured Rocks Road to Sculptured Rocks State Park;

Town of Carroll; $250,000 to improve safety at the intersection of School Street and US Route 302, for future construction of public safety and municipal buildings;

Southwest Region Planning Commission; $75,000 for the planning and technical assistance to municipalities, businesses, and other stakeholders adopting policies and implementing strategies addressing economic development challenges, and improving communities’ capacity to attract and retain businesses, jobs and a skilled workforce.

New Hampshire Tops CNBC Rankings for Business Friendliness; Top 10 State for Workforce, Quality of Life

July 11th, 2019
Monadnock State Park.

For the fourth year in a row, New Hampshire retained the top spot for its business friendliness, according to CNBC’s latest Top States rankings, and landed in the top 10 for its workforce and quality of life.

CNBC has compiled rankings of all 50 states for the past 12 years. This year, New Hampshire ranked 25th overall, the second highest in New England, and showed gains in several categories. The state rose to No. 8 for its workforce, an 11-place jump from no. 19 in 2018.

“Workers in the Granite State are well educated,” according to CNBC. “The percentage of adults with bachelors’ degrees or higher is the 10th best of any state. And those educated adults are staying put. New Hampshire is also in the top 10 for the percentage of workers in STEM jobs.”

The state retained no. 5 for the second year in a row as the best state to live in, based on data that includes crime rates, environmental quality and inclusiveness.

“New Hampshire has a modern economy with significant growth in advanced and emerging industries that is supported by a defined and highly aligned pipeline of talent,” said Commissioner Taylor Caswell of the New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs. “We also offer unbeatable outdoor lifestyle assets, and with no income or sales tax, people are learning that if they move here, they get to keep more of their paycheck.”

“With its famous motto, “Live Free or Die,” it stands to reason that the Granite State is among America’s most inclusive,” according to CNBC. “Freedom also includes security. New Hampshire enjoys the third lowest violent crime rate in the nation. The state also boasts the nation’s lowest child poverty rate.”

For more information about living in New Hampshire, visit ChooseNH.com; if you are thinking of moving or expanding your business here, visit nheconomy.com.

Mechanical Trades School Opens Second Location in Hampton

July 1st, 2019
The ribbon cutting for the New Hampshire School of Mechanical Trades marks
the second location for the school, to meet the demand for skilled tradesmen.

With construction completed on its second training facility, the New Hampshire School of Mechanical Trades in Hampton celebrated last week with a ribbon cutting attended by over 60 people.

The opening of the state-of-the-art, $1.6 million building will meet a critical need in the state because of the demand for mechanical tradesmen. After seeing enrollment nearly double in a few short years at the school’s Manchester location, founders Dean Millard and John Huff saw a need to meet the demand from Seacoast businesses sending their employees across the state for training there.

“We need your skills, we need your talent,” said Gov. Chris Sununu. “What you’re creating here is the workforce of the future – not for next year, but for 10 – 20 – 50 years down the road. We need to be investing in the infrastructure to keep our economy strong, to keep the services out there and to keep the jobs and careers out there available for the coming decades.”

The New Hampshire School of Mechanical Trades offers programs in the areas of oil and gas; heating; plumbing; electric, and HVAC and features working labs that offer students hands-on experience. It works with students to make the training affordable and works with companies to place graduates in the trades profession.

For more information about the school and its programs, visit www.NHTradeSchool.com, or call 603-622-6544.

NH Business Matters: How Agriculture Contributes to the State’s Economy

June 20th, 2019

Every five years, the US Department of Agriculture conducts a national census, providing for states, including New Hampshire, a snapshot of agriculture in the state, trends on the rise, the health of farms and farming activities.

The most recent census covers from 2012 to 2017 and the final report was issued in April.

Tune in here for this month’s edition of New Hampshire Business Matters.

This month’s guest on New Hampshire Business Matters is Gail McWilliam Jellie, of the state’s Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food, talking about some of the findings in this year’s census report.


New Hampshire Business Matters
airs monthly on WTPL-FM 107.7

Some highlights:

  • Average farm size is slightly smaller than 2021
  • Farm-related income is up 29 percent
  • The number of women operating farms has increased about 20 percent from 2012.

Tune in for an interesting discussion about the state of agriculture and how it contributes to the New Hampshire economy.

Visit NH: Officials Expect more than 3.6 Million Visitors to Spend over $1.9 Billion this Summer

June 18th, 2019

With momentum building following successful fall and winter travel seasons, the New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs expects significant growth for the summer 2019 travel season, projecting more than 3.6 million overnight visitors will spend about  $1.9 billion – a 2.7 percent increase in visitation and spending over last year.

BEA Commissioner Taylor Caswell, joined by representatives from BEA’s Division of Travel & Tourism Development and a local tourism partners, kicked off the summer travel season today in Littleton, unveiling its summer travel forecast and marketing campaign.

“As our state’s second-largest revenue generator, tourism is absolutely vital to our economy here in New Hampshire,” said Caswell. “Summer is our busiest travel season, representing more than 40 percent of our total annual visitation, and this year we’re anticipating substantial growth. We pride ourselves on our variety within proximity, which is never more evident than in summer, when visitors can experience an incredible range of experiences in one trip – or even just one day.”

The state’s summer marketing campaign continues to build on the Live Free brand, while positioning New Hampshire as the northeast’s premier travel destination.

Plan your Live Free vacation at www.visitnh.gov

BEA will focus its summer campaign on the New England market, including Hartford, Conn., Portland, Maine, and Providence, R.I., along with the major metropolitan markets of Boston, New York, Montréal and Toronto.

In addition to New Hampshire’s strategic marketing and advertising initiatives, lower gas prices and high consumer confidence as strong indicators supporting a successful summer season.