Archive for March, 2013
Monday, March 25th, 2013
The Radio-Canada film crew at the Le Rendevous Bakery in Colebrook.
A film crew from Canada’s largest network is back at its studio in Montreal this week, after spending two intensive days last week delving into New Hampshire’s tax structure.
Beginning in Concord last Monday, the Radio-Canada team talked with Gov. Hassan and our Beno Lamontagne, business resource specialist for northern New Hampshire. No sales tax? No income tax? How does the state operate?
Then it was back on the road, north to Colebrook, where the group spent the day talking with two businesses with roots in France and Quebec, about doing business here. National reporter Maxime Bertrand conducted the interviews in French and the questions were not softball.
Marie-Josee Vaillant, president of Kheops International, speaks with Radio-Canada reporter Maxime Bertrand, center, and producer Francine Doyon.
The morning was spent filming at Kheops International, a wholesaler of New Age items from the 15,000 square-foot building it opened in 2004. Marie-Josee Vaillant, the company president, spoke at length about the reasons why she, her mother and sister located in Colebrook.
In the afternoon, the crew went downtown to the Le Rendevous Bakery and spoke with owner Verlaine Daeron and her partner, Marc Ounis. On a search through northern New England some years ago, the couple from Paris found their way to Colebrook and never left, setting up their bakery in the old First Colebrook Bank.
In addition to the business questions, there were exchanges about the many things in common New Hampshire has with Canada, especially Quebec, which shares our northern border at Pittsburg. The first immigrants to the Granite State, who came down to work the textile mills in Manchester and in the woods north of Berlin and the mills there that made paper for well over a century left a lasting legacy across the state.
“Between our geography and our culture, there is a real connection,” said Lamontagne.
The exact date when the segment on the Late News isn’t set, but the producer said it will be in late April, coinciding with Quebec’s tax day.
Interest in the New Hampshire tax story began last September, when a delegation from the Division of Economic Development went north to the Aero-Montreal Global Supply Chain Summit.
“This interest is a direct result of the Aero-Montreal summit,” said Lamontagne, who was part of the New Hampshire delegation, led by then-Gov. John Lynch, the only governor who attended the event.
Lamontagne and business recruiter Michael Bergeron have made about half a dozen trips to Canada over the past year, which included a dinner for 80 people in Sherbrooke last June to tell them about the benefits of expanding their business to New Hampshire, especially the North Country. In a province that is highly taxed, once business owners get over being incredulous, they are very interested in talking further about opportunities here.
Getting the word out about the business climate here isn’t easy, largely because unlike New York, Vermont and Maine, New Hampshire doesn’t have a television signal that goes over the border, so residents don’t hear a lot about the things that make us unique, very business friendly and eager to welcome our neighbors to north who want to get established in the US markets.
Division of Economic Development
Thursday, March 21st, 2013
Gov. Hassan signs SB 1, increasing and making permanent the research and development tax credit.
In the economic turmoil of a few years ago, it was research and development that helped a Jaffrey company specializing in graphite mold casting technology to produce precision metal parts for a variety of industries.
Val Zanchuck, president of Graphicast, said that R&D conducted right on the shop floor helped his team continue to be innovative, to offer customers cutting edge products, to be competitive and to get through tough times.
Val Zanchuck watches as Gov. Hassan signs SB1.
“Even in the depths of (the recession), we added a new product every two weeks,” Zanchuck said, adding that in one year, his company was able to produce 69 new products. He credits the research and development tax credit, enacted a few years ago for a defined amount of time, as helping Graphicast continue its work.
Today, he was among dozens of people celebrating as Gov. Maggie Hassan signed SB 1 into law. The bill, which quickly passed through the legislature, not only doubles the research and development tax credit from $1 million to $2 million, it makes it permanent.
“Increasing funding for the research-and-development tax credit also sends a message to entrepreneurs and businesses considering where to locate that the state of New Hampshire will continue to work with them to encourage innovation and invest in our economic future,” Hassan said. “By doubling funding for the R&D tax credit, we can help more businesses develop in New Hampshire the new products that can lead to growth and job creation. Making the credit permanent will also help businesses who might need the credit down the road to plan ahead.”
In remarks during the signing ceremony, Zanchuck called the R&D tax credit a “powerful tool” for manufacturers in the state.
“As a manufacturer, we have to constantly upgrade our manufacturing methods and processes to maintain a competitive business,” he said. “New product development and process improvements are our R&D. For us, this R&D does not take place in a laboratory, it takes place on the shop floor. The R&D tax credit helps provide resources that we reinvest to improve and accelerate these activities.”
With the governor’s signature this afternoon, SB 1 sends a message to our many businesses and companies that their hard work in creating the best product they can has value. Beyond New Hampshire, it is a welcome mat of sorts to companies that the Granite State appreciates the fresh ideas that create new products and, most importantly, the jobs that will follow.
Count today as a great day for the New Hampshire economy.
NH Division of Economic Development
Thursday, March 14th, 2013
Gov. Hassan, Christopher Way, Jamie Coughlin
Down on Elm Street in Manchester this morning, there was a pause in the bustle for a celebration of new beginnings.
The abi Hub marked the opening of its new downtown location, right in the heart of New Hampshire’s largest city.
In its past incarnation, this space was the former McQuade’s Department Store, so it has wonderfully wide windows – windows with a view of the street busy with trade and traffic, but, more importantly, a window for people to look into as they pass by.
The view, says Jamie Coughlin, abi Hub’s CEO, is a look at New Hampshire’s newest ecosystem.
“This is a vision for a new New Hampshire, in the heart of New Hampshire’s largest city,” Coughlin said this morning at the open house, “a vibrant ecosystem of innovator and do-ers.”
The abi Hub is a business accelerator that has created an environment for innovation, entrepreneurship and experience. The dreams, ideas and hard work that are hatched here become tomorrow’s company that offers Granite Staters good jobs and generous pay, creating a ripple in the overall ecosystem that benefits the entire state.
“We are well positioned to lead the country through innovation,” said Gov. Maggie Hassan, who attended the celebration. “We have great potential here and I am pleased that abi is working with innovators throughout the state.”
Chris Way, interim director of the Division of Economic Development, has watched the evolution of abi over the past few years.
“We’re speaking more and more of the state as a destination for entrepreneurs and start-ups,” he said. “A place where those with innovative ideas can begin their journey and progress to the result: Well-paying jobs.”
This kind of environment, or ecosystem, doesn’t just happen, Way said, and Coughlin has done well in reaching out across the state to spread the message that innovators and entrepreneurs will find resources, mentors and experience to help them with their start-ups.
“Today we are in the business of accelerated serendipity,” Coughlin said. “abi and New Hampshire represent the Live Free and Start capitol of the world.”
Keep an eye on that window in downtown Manchester. From there, and reaching out across New Hampshire, great things will happen.
Division of Economic Development
Tuesday, March 12th, 2013
Being that this is the second Tuesday in March in New Hampshire, there are two things of note happening, both involving time-honored traditions that make you glad you live here.
Sugarhouses across the state are fired up now and boiling into syrup the first gallons of sap running from the maple trees.
And today is Town Meeting Day, when residents get fired up (a few even boil) but within a few hours, the municipal business for another year is decided. It’s here where there are great lessons in frugality, generosity and oratory.
Ask Granite Staters what Town Meeting is all about and they’ll tell you it’s grassroots democracy. It’s the day when the ledger is opened on what it costs to run a community and decisions will be made on how to spend on things like road repairs and water line construction, upkeep of town properties, how much to save over the next few years to buy a fire truck or police car and whether to build a new school.
Town Meeting Tuesday
It’s a day when anyone can become an accountant, delving into the spending of a town, scrutinizing bottom lines, making a case to spend or save in the forum of a voting booth or the middle of a gym floor turned meeting place. It’s a chance for everyone to become a CEO of sorts in the business of running a town.
Here is where the priorities of a town are set for the coming year and where each voter can weigh in. As investments go, spending a couple of hours at Town Meeting is always a good one.
On a sweeter note, maple syrup.
The first bottles of the season have been put up and, since it takes warm days and cool nights to get the sap running, it must mean that spring is gaining ground.
Maple syrup production is not one of our huge industries, but it’s an important one. Our neighbors down the hall at the Division of Forest and Lands note that maple syrup production is part of New Hampshire’s forest economy, which contributes $2.26 billion annually.
(According to the 2011 report, The Economic Importance of New Hampshire’s Forest-Based Economy, the sale of maple syrup, along with Christmas trees and wreaths, was valued at over $7 million in 2009.)
More than revenue, the stewards of our forests maintain many things that are dear to New Hampshire – environmental health, recreational opportunities, wildlife habitat and the preservation of our rural character.
So here’s to March in New Hampshire and two great traditions.
Go forth and vote and then have a pancake … with maple syrup, of course.
Division of Economic Development
Monday, March 4th, 2013
Red-eye trade missions. New businesses moving in to the Granite State. Advanced Manufacturing Week. Let’s jump right into what’s happening in New Hampshire’s economic development scene.
Trade missions are happening … two of them. We’re calling them ‘red-eye’ because they will be quick, focused and productive.
The first one, aimed at the health technologies sector, lands in Mexico City on April 23, in time for the Mexico Health IT Business Development Conference. You’ll attend that and have customized matchmaking appointments with Mexican business leaders before heading home on April 25.
The second one heads to Rome on June 24-25 and is specific to the aerospace, defense safety and security sectors. Those dates happen to be on the tail of the Paris International Air Show (and several New Hampshire companies are planning to attend), but you don’t need to be taking part in the air show to participate.
Interested in joining one of them? Contact Tina Kasim, program manager for the International Trade Resource Center.
Advanced manufacturing has been a buzz word as we talk about New Hampshire’s economy, which is not surprising, since we have a rich tradition in producing goods the country, and the world, needs.
Beginning next Monday and going through Friday, the Belknap Economic Development Council in Laconia is hosting the first Lakes Region Manufacturing Week. Among the highlights – the tours being offered by eight manufacturing facilities, including Titeflex Aerospace, Aavid Thermalloy, NH Ball Bearings, Scotia Technologies, Freudenberg and EFI.
“This will be a fun opportuntiy for people to get inside these high-tech companies and see what they do,” said Carmen Lorentz, the executive director of the BEDC. “Many people don’t have direct link to manufacturing today, so we wanted to given the community a chance to get to know these companies and see for themselves what great career opportunities they offer.”
What a great idea. Go check out your local manufacturers – they do good things.
The Welcome-to-New-Hampshire mat is rolled out this month to two companies — Vapotherm and P.A.T. Products.
Vapotherm, which makes innovative respiratory products and services, relocated from Stevensville, Md., to Exeter and plans to hire about 40 new employees this year. P.A.T Products is relocating its corporate headquarters from Bangor, Maine to the Pease International Tradeport in Portsmouth.
NH Division of Economic Development