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Archive for December, 2009

Why I’m Not the Fifth Ramone

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

Alright folks….I know that many people have begun to mentally check out and are consumed by visions of sugar plums, elves and chestnuts roasting on an open fire. But what about your New Year’s Resolution?

the-ramonesBy visiting my blog on the New Hampshire Business Review Network site, you can learn why I’m not the fifth member of an iconic New York City punk band and how my absolute lack of musical ability and my pronounced regional dialect helped to shape my career aspirations. It’s also a nice tale about pursuing dreams, channeling energies and finding the focus that can help you succeed in the boardroom as well as in other aspects of your life.

If you’ve been searching for the right New Year’s Resolution, this one might be the trick. Check it out at http://www.nhbrnetwork.com/profiles/blogs/why-im-not-the-fifth-ramone.

The NHBR Network is an online business-to-business networking site that is providing businesspeople around the state with valuable information, tips and assistance from a team of contributors that include NHBR Editor Jeff Feingold, Andy Volinsky, Chuck Sink, Heidi Page, Steven Feinberg, CPA, Bill Ryan, Jason Blais, Deb Titus, Deb LeClair, Cindy Kibbe, Bob Sanders, Dr. John Benson, Clyde Terry and yes,  good old me. Visit it now!!

-Steve Boucher, Communications & Legislative Director

State’s Business Recruitment Efforts Take to the Ice

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

Just as establishing a hockey rink in the middle of a baseball stadium is a tall order of business, the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development’s business recruitment team and Public Service of New Hampshire (PSNH) has set an equally ambitious goal – to capitalize on the buzz surrounding the 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic and attract new companies from throughout the country and beyond.

The Division of Economic Development and PSNH have announced that they’ve partnered to purchase a full page ad in the 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic book to be sold during the historic New Year’s Day game between the Boston Bruins and the Philadelphia Flyers at Fenway Park.

winter-classic“With over 34,000 fans expected at the game as well as many others who will purchase the program as a souvenir, we thought that this is a unique way to spread the word about New Hampshire’s low tax, business friendly atmosphere and incredible quality of life,” said New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Communications & Legislative Director Steve Boucher. “States are consistently looking for new ways to reach out to companies in expansion or relocation mode, and the Granite State continues to use creativity to attract the attention of CEOs, site selectors and other decision makers.”

Last week, the Division of Economic Development, PSNH, WTPL and Northeast Delta Dental joined together to celebrate the State’s Winter Classic business recruitment efforts with “Boston Bruins Alumni Day in NH.” A special event at the Red Blazer featured appearances by Boston Bruins legends Rick Middleton, Terry O’Reilly and Brad Park as well as Bruins mascot Blades and the Bruins Ice Girls. Middleton, a New Hampshire resident, served as the special ambassador for the day’s happenings.

“Public Service of New Hampshire is always supportive of any efforts to bring innovative new companies to our state, and this outreach initiative utilizing the Winter Classic as a backdrop is certainly attracting attention,” said PSNH Economic and Community Development Manager Pat McDermott. “In order to stand out from competing New England states, we need to consistently be thinking beyond the conventional to ensure that New Hampshire is an expanding company’s first choice.”

The New Hampshire Division of Economic Development assists both in-state companies and out of state companies considering doing business in New Hampshire. For more information, visit www.nheconomy.com or call (800) 417-4110.

State and 48HourPrint.com Provide New Year’s Cheer to the Unemployed

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

If your New Year’s Resolution is to find a new job in 2010, you’ll soon be receiving a little help. Unemployed Granite Staters now have the opportunity to start the year off on the right foot thanks to a partnership between the Division of Economic Development and 48HourPrint.com to provide a set of 500 free business cards to the first 25,000 job seekers who access the offer.

48hourprintState officials announced today that they have joined forces with 48HourPrint.com to support the company’s new Jobs Across America initiative. 48HourPrint.com, a leading online printing services company offering a broad range of printed products and mailing services, recently announced that it would provide free business cards to the unemployed as a way to help out-of-work Americans improve their job prospects. The total estimated value of the donation by the company is $1,375,000.

“We’re thrilled to be able to partner with 48HourPrint.com to promote this incredible offer via our various communications channels,” said New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Interim Director Roy Duddy. “There is no questioning the value of jobs to the economic vitality of a state, and we are very excited that the public and private sectors can unite to help citizens get back on the road to employment.”

 “Job creation is not only the obligation of state government, it also extends to the business community,” added Raymond E. Pinard, President and Chief Executive Officer of 48HourPrint.com. “We’re pleased to be able to do our part to ensure that people who need new jobs to be able to provide for themselves and their families will be armed with the networking tools they need to succeed.”

Job seekers interested in taking advantage of the offer are asked to visit www.48hourprint.com/jobsacrossamerica to order business cards utilizing a unique template developed by 48HourPrint.com. The only cost to be incurred by the job seeker is a nominal $5-$8 shipping charge – depending upon where the cards are shipped.    Participants will receive their cards in a few days.

48HourPrint.com, with headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts and printing plants in Phoenix, Arizona and Cleveland, Ohio, is a leading online printing services company offering high-quality printing and mailing services to businesses that value quality, speed and low prices. With a streamlined order process that is entirely online, supported by experienced customer service professionals, 48HourPrint.com is setting the standard for quality online printing and service. 48HourPrint.com’s extensive product offerings including business cards, postcards, brochures, banners, booklets, and posters, can be ordered online, 24 hours a day, at www.48HourPrint.com.

The New Hampshire Division of Economic Development assists both in-state companies and out of state companies considering doing business in New Hampshire. For more information, visit www.nheconomy.com or call (800) 417-4110.

Sig Sauer Captures Top State Economic Development Honors

Friday, December 18th, 2009

Sig Sauer was named “Company of the Year” as part of the “2009 Commissioner’s Awards for Economic Development Excellence” announced Tuesday at the 14th Annual New Hampshire Economic Development Summit held at the Radisson Hotel Nashua.

NH Department of Resources & Economic Development Commissioner George Bald (l.) and Governor John Lynch (r.) congratulate Sig Sauer Counsel Steve Shawver on Sig's designation as "Commissioner's Company of the Year."

NH Department of Resources & Economic Development Commissioner George Bald (l.) and Governor John Lynch (r.) congratulate Sig Sauer Counsel Steve Shawver on Sig's designation as "Commissioner's Company of the Year."

“Sig Sauer is a company that truly exemplifies the meaning of the word ‘innovation’,” New Hampshire Department of Resources & Economic Development Commissioner George Bald said. “With a skilled workforce that is forward thinking and dedicated to creative product development, Sig Sauer has built a world class firm that New Hampshire can be proud of.”

The Exeter-based handgun manufacturer and distributor is an ISO 9001 certified company with over 380 employees. Sig Sauer has more than tripled its workforce in the past 30 months, invested $18M U.S. dollars in state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and equipment and significantly expanded its engineering base.

Other category winners are as follows:

“Commissioner’s Special Achievement Award” – The Town of Colebrook for their community commitment to keeping Le Rendez-Vous bakery open when the business was in danger of closing due to a visa issue.

“Commissioner’s Exemplary Effort Award” – New Hampshire Manufacturing Extension Partnership Director of Operations Zenagui Brahim for his leadership in spearheading the Governor’s Manufacturing Leadership Series and the New Hampshire Advanced Manufacturing & High Technology Summit.

Pat McDermott (c.) was given a special commendation for his years of exemplary service to the economic development community.

Pat McDermott (c.) was given a special commendation for his years of exemplary service to the economic development community.

“Commissioner’s Teamwork Award” – WMUR, New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Southern New Hampshire University for organizing the two WMUR Project Economy Job Fair & Career Expos that helped to re-employ hundreds of New Hampshire workers.

“Commissioner’s Award for Media Excellence” – Jack Heath of WTPL for his outstanding “New Hampshire Today” program and his “First Class Business” segment which highlights positive business happenings in the state.

“Special Governor’s Commendation” – Public Service of New Hampshire Economic & Community Development Manager Pat McDermott for his support of State business recruitment efforts and ongoing commitment to the New Hampshire business community.

The 14th Annual New Hampshire Economic Development Summit was sponsored by Public Service of New Hampshire with support from media sponsor New Hampshire Business Review.

Blades & Ice Girls Added to Boston Bruins Alumni Day in NH

Monday, December 14th, 2009

If you happen to see a giant, fearsome looking bear mascot walking down Manchester Street accompanied by a bevy of attractive girls in Boston Bruins gear, it’s to be expected. Boston Bruins mascot Blades and the Bruins Ice Girls have been added to the bill of the Boston Bruins Alumni Day in New Hampshire at the Red Blazer on Thursday, December 17th from 2-5 p.m.

bladesFormer Boston Bruins greats Rick Middleton, Terry O’Reilly and Brad Park will be featured at this event which will kick off with an autograph signing from 2-3 p.m. leading into a live radio broadcast of Jack Heath’s “New Hampshire Today” program on WTPL 107.7 FM from 3-5 p.m. The trio of Bruins greats will be appearing in the Granite State in advance of their participation in the Boston Bruins AT&T Legends Classic at Fenway Park in Boston on January 2nd.

Blades the Bruin has been entertaining Bruins fans with his wild antics for years while the Ice Girls, the official on-ice dance team, have been a welcome addition to the rough and tumble team and a staple of Bruins charity events. Together, they will be available for autographs and help coordinate raffles for game tickets, Bruins gear and autographed items.

ice-girlsBoston Bruins Alumni Day in New Hampshire is sponsored by the WTPL, the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, Public Service of New Hampshire and Northeast Delta Dental. The Division of Economic Development is using the event as a way to promote its full page advertisement in the Bruins Winter Classic Program to be sold at Fenway Park during the New Year’s Day outdoor contest between the Bruins and the Philadelphia Flyers.

Fans planning to attend the event are urged to bring their own items (one item per attendee) to be signed. For more details, listen to Jack Heath’s “New Hampshire Today” show Monday-Friday from 3-5 p.m. or visit the Division of Economic Development’s No Bull Business Blog at http://blog.nheconomy.com/.

Omega Smart Named December “Innovation Rocks!” Award Winner

Friday, December 11th, 2009

omega-smartThe development of a new line of “holistic” health bars has led to Omega Smart being named the New Hampshire Business Resource Center’s “Innovation Rocks!” award winner for the month of December.

Omega Smart, a Londonderry-based company that has been in operation for seven years, is dedicated to producing health bars that are free of artificial preservatives. Bearing in mind that 23.6 million Americans are suffering from diabetes, Omega Smart has created products that are high in ala omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and phytonutrients (plant based nutrients) and are label-certified organic. Omega has introduced separate product lines that address the needs of customers facing specific diseases such as diabetes as well as the needs of older customers interested in proactive health maintenance.  

“With health being of paramount importance, Omega Smart has created products that promote physical well-being through dietary changes,” said New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Interim Director Roy Duddy. “Not only have they developed health bars that are high in nutrients, they are also extremely tasty!”

For more information about Omega Smart, visit www.omegasmartbar.com

“Innovation Rocks!” is an initiative sponsored by the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development’s Business Resource Center in coordination with Rock 101 (WGIR-FM) and the The Pavilion at the Hilton Garden Inn Manchester Downtown to celebrate the creativity and ingenuity of New Hampshire innovators.

Miller New Director of Broadband Technology

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

The New Hampshire Division of Economic Development has announced the hiring of Carol Miller as Director of Broadband Technology.

carol-miller-001In her new position, Miller will direct and coordinate state telecommunications policy planning initiatives as well as encourage and facilitate collaboration between public and private research development efforts. She will develop a high technology plan and act as an agent in helping the State’s business recruitment team to attract and retain high tech companies in New Hampshire. Miller will also serve as a resource for state policy makers and seek resources from government and non-profit entities to promote the State’s technology development and telecommunications planning initiatives.

“With a wide breadth of experience and fantastic industry knowledge, Carol is a tremendous addition to our team,” said New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Interim Director Roy Duddy. “Carol has been a respected voice in terms of broadband issues facing our state and we’re excited that she will be putting her considerable talents to use in helping us to increase our state’s access to and adoption of the newest and most innovative technologies.”

Miller, a native of northern New Hampshire, previously served as Vice President, Fiscal Director and co-founder of NCIA, an entrepreneurial Internet company for 16 years.  She has served as President of the New Hampshire Internet Service Providers and Chair of the Androscoggin Valley Economic Recovery Corp. in addition to being a board member of the State of NH Telecommunications Advisory Board. Miller is also an adjunct faculty member of the Community College System of New Hampshire teaching Financial Software.

NH, Brazilian State in Accord on Sustainability

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Congratulations to our International Trade Resource Center for their masterful job in hosting the Brazilian trade contingent yesterday. Despite the inclement weather, the ITRC team was able to fashion a great day for our guests. Here’s a Nashua Telegraph story about the visit:

NH, Brazilian state in accord on sustainability

Gov. John Lynch signed an agreement Wednesday with a Brazilian governor to share new sustainable technologies.

Lynch welcomed Carlos Henrique Amorim, governor of Tocantins, Brazil, and a group of Brazilian officials to the Statehouse to collaborate on the “Sister States” deal.

“We plan to work together,” Lynch said. “They obviously have many assets and resources in their state that we have in our state. We can collaborate, which ultimately would mean job creation.”

According to New Hampshire’s International Trade Resource Center, Brazil is the state’s 16th strongest business partner, out of 215 nations. The 20-year-old state of Tocantins in central Brazil has a vast range of natural resources and a relatively relaxed set of business regulations. TV aficionados may recognize Tocantins as the shooting locale for the 18th edition of CBS’s “Survivor.”

Governor Carlos Henrique Gaguim, of Tocantins, with Gov. John Lynch. Photo by Eduardo de Oliveira

Governor Carlos Henrique Gaguim, of Tocantins, with Gov. John Lynch. Photo by Eduardo de Oliveira

The deal means Tocantins and New Hampshire will share work on sustainability and serve as a ground to put into practice several environmental projects envisioned by Milford resident Craig Cassarino.
“As everybody gets an understanding of what Tocantins is, we will figure out how we can take the hard work of New Hampshire people and transfer it as projects that can create jobs here, too,” said Cassarino, an environmental businessman who works at Leonardo Technologies Inc. in Bedford.

Cassarino said one of the projects is assisting the mayor of Pedro Afonso, Jose Julio Eduardo Chagas, with development of an integrated waste management plant in the city. Cassarino will provide Chagas with American technology to help Pedro Afonso, a city with about 10,000 habitants close to the Amazon jungle, grow in a self-sustainable fashion. For Chagas, improving waste management is a high priority.

“Transferring recycling technology is fundamental because trash collecting is a serious municipal problem not only in our city but all over the state,” Chagas said.

The mayor also highlighted the academic arm of the Sister States partnership, as his own city is introducing a new elementary school course on environmental education.

“The world is breathing the environmental debates. When we add an environmental course to the curricula, we’re helping to educate a more conscious citizen,” he said.

The Tocantins committee will meet with University of Massachusetts officials this morning to talk about an “EcoTourism” course UNH is creating, which will include visits to Tocantins by American students.

“Today, the ecotourism is a major source of job creation, and partnering it with academia will help us develop a more responsible resident, who will also watch for the self-sustainable growth of their state,” said Julio Cesar Rezende, owner of Origene, a 100,000-acre farm in Brazil that, under his leadership, developed a self-sustainable model.

For Rezende, New Hampshire and Tocantins are complimentary states. For instance, Origene already utilizes solar panels and local biomass to power the farm’s machinery, which are some of the reasons why Cassarino picked the farm to be the breathing ground for many of his projects.

“We can minimize men’s impact on nature, while stimulating the use of new technologies. On the biotechnology field, Tocantins has a lot to offer New Hampshire, and the economic gains will be plenty for both sides,” Rezende said.

The Tocantins committee also toured the Statehouse, and first lady Roseane Rodrigues Pereira Amorim was surprised to learn New Hampshire has 400 state representatives and each makes $100 a year.

“Just that!” Amorim exclaimed.

In an exclusive interview with The Telegraph, Carlos Henrique Amorim said it was “in New Hampshire that everything started in the United States.”

“We can feel that the New Hampshire people love their own soil, and their slogan ‘Live free or Die’ would fit to our state. Because all we want is to offer the chance of prosperity to all the people who picked Tocantins as their home,” he said.

Leggo Of My Zhu Zhu

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

What do Zhu Zhu Pets, El Monterrey mini-tacos, Ozzy Osborne, the Shamwow and Snuggies all have in common? They’re all part of my latest blog post on the NHBR Network.

eggo1For those of you who are unaware, the NHBR Network is New Hampshire’s online business-to-business networking site that is providing businesspeople around the state with valuable information, tips and assistance from a team of contributors that include NHBR Editor Jeff Feingold, Andy Volinsky, Chuck Sink, Heidi Page, Steven Feinberg, CPA, Bill Ryan, Jason Blais, Deb Titus, Deb LeClair, Cindy Kibbe, Bob Sanders, Dr. John Benson and yes,  your ambassador of good times and merriment, me.

If you haven’t joined the network yet, please do so by visiting www.nhbrnetwork.com. You can check out my latest blog post at http://www.nhbrnetwork.com/profiles/blogs/leggo-of-my-zhu-zhu.

-Steve Boucher, Communications & Legislative Director

Over $3M Available Through New Energy Reduction Fund

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

Great news from the good folks over at the Community Development Finance Authority!


New Hampshire businesses and non-profit organizations can access new funds for energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy projects. The Community Development Finance Authority (CDFA) was recently awarded $3.5 million by the Office of Energy and Planning‘s State Energy Program, from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, to develop and implement a low-interest loan and grant program to help finance energy improvements in buildings owned by small, medium, and large businesses and non-profit organizations statewide.  

Low-interest loans will be available for comprehensive energy improvements, which could include air sealing, insulation, replacing heating and cooling systems, renewable energy alternatives, and heat recovery systems. Grant funds are available for fuel blind energy audits and some other purposes.

“Our goal is to provide affordable financing to help businesses and non-profit organizations reduce their operating costs with the energy efficiency improvements,” said Kathy Bogle Shields, Executive Director of CDFA. “We look forward to working with our partners including the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund, Jordan Institute, Regional Development Corporations, Business Finance Authority, and Retail Merchants Association in order to create a program that will meet the needs of the businesses that are driving our economy and strengthening our communities.”

Of the $3.5 million in funds, $2.5 million will be for large commercial and industrial businesses and non-profit organizations. The remaining $1 million will be administered by the Community Loan Fund and for micro- and small commercial and industrial businesses and non-profit organizations. All businesses, large or small, seeking energy-reduction financing will apply through CDFA’s on-line system.

energy-savings“Our goal is to provide opportunities for employers to use capital to strengthen their organizations, the communities in which they operate, and the families they serve,” said Community Loan Fund President Juliana Eades. “These funds will allow even small businesses and nonprofits to explore energy improvements that will reduce their operating expenses for many years to come.”

The Energy Reduction Fund is currently being developed. It is anticipated that the application for funds will be available on CDFA’s website, www.nhcdfa.org, early in 2010. All funds need to be awarded by April 2012.

CDFA, created by legislation in 1983, is a nonprofit public instrumentality of the State of New Hampshire.  CDFA administers nearly $40 million in funding resources, which includes a combination of state tax credits and federal Community Development Block Grant, Neighborhood Stabilization, and Energy Reduction Funds.   CDFA supports the development of vibrant and resilient communities by providing resources for community development efforts. For more information about CDFA and its programs, visit www.nhcdfa.org or call 603.226.2170.

The Community Loan Fund turns investments into loans and education to create opportunity and transform lives across New Hampshire. It collaborates with a wide range of donors and lenders, and with business, nonprofit and government partners, to provide the financing and support people need to own homes, have quality jobs and child care, and become financially independent.  Established in 1983, the Community Loan Fund was one of the first Community Development Financial Institutions in the nation, and has received industry awards and recognition for social impact, financial strength and performance. For more information, visit www.communityloanfund.org or call 800.432.4110.