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Archive for the ‘NH Business Matters’ Category

New Hampshire Establishes Online Tool to Help Granite Staters Get Back to Work

Monday, July 20th, 2020

As businesses across New Hampshire continue to reopen, finding employees is a challenge in some major sectors. Connecting those employers with potential employees is the goal of a new online workforce recruitment portal developed by New Hampshire Employment Security.

Launched on Tuesday, www.nhjobs.nh.gov debuted with over 1,000 job openings, the majority of which are in long-term care facilities and manufacturing.

“This really started with the Governor’s stipend program for frontline workers in the long term care sector,” said Richard Lavers, deputy commissioner of NHES. “In working with those employers, we quickly realized there was a significant need for additional assistance with recruitment. We started building this new site and are now growing it beyond long term care to provide opportunities for employers in all sectors across New Hampshire with the ability to connect with Granite Staters looking to get back to work.”

The pandemic has introduced many challenges to the way things were previously done, none more so than large scale recruitment events the state has historically sponsored in the spring and fall, but it did not slow the need key sectors of the state’s economy have for a robust workforce.

“These are employers that are really looking for ways to connect with their potential workforce and they want to do that in a way that is respectful of the public health guidance we continue to need to still be very mindful of. Providing an online recruitment tool accessible to people as they come onto the NHES website to file for unemployment benefits, really makes sense,” he said.

The online tool is a critical component of the state’s reopening effort, said Taylor Caswell, commissioner of the Department of Business and Economic Affairs.

“Reopening the economy in a responsible way includes helping employers and employees find opportunity,” he said.   

The recruitment portal is interactive. Those searching for a position are able to select from a list of communities, occupations, and titles in which they are interested and are able to submit a form directly to the employer.

“This is not a substitute for the state’s Job Match System,” Lavers said. “This is the right tool for the moment, an easy and effective virtual platform that enables people to connect.”

Lavers said the recruitment portal will grow to include more sectors. Employers with job openings can reach out to NHES at covidrecruit@nhes.nh.gov to get their information posted.

NH Business Help Portal Provides Answers to Reopening Questions

Friday, May 15th, 2020

Getting the New Hampshire businesses and their employees safely back to work, while minimizing the impact of COVID-19 is the charge of the Governor’s Economic Reopening Task Force.

The task force, comprised of bipartisan legislators, private-sector leaders, and state officials, meets daily to develop recommendations for the thoughtful reopening of the state’s economy.  In addition to the Universal Guidance for all essential and reopened business sectors, the task force focuses its work on sectors that have specific and unique circumstances. After hearing from industry leaders and experts, the task force develops recommendations and moves them to the state division of public health for its review, and ultimately be presented to Gov. Sununu for any action.

This process understandably creates questions.  The Department of Business and Economic Affairs has developed a business help portal, staffed seven days a week, to help businesses get the answers they need.

“Ensuring consistent and timely answer to questions from the business community, municipalities, and all Granite Staters is very important,” said BEA Commissioner Taylor Caswell. “Our business help portal is a great tool to get clarity and further information on state-issued industry guidance. Gov. Sununu has made a strong commitment to work collaboratively with the business community and municipalities to ensure that industries are able to reopen in a safe manner, and this is a tool to give them confidence to do so.”

Millions of PPE Delivered to New Hampshire

Monday, April 13th, 2020

“Huge thanks to Dean Kamen for facilitating this effort,” said Gov. Chris Sununu. “The state leveraged Dean’s expertise and connections on the ground in China, who helped us find a supplier and get these supplies in the air.

NH Gov. Chris Sununu, Dean Kamen, U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, and state officials unloaded 91,000 pounds of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from a FedEx cargo plane on the tarmac of Manchester-Boston Regional Airport on Sunday.

The FedEx cargo plane departed Shanghai, China, last night, and arrived in New Hampshire at 3:39 pm, after passing through United States Customs in Anchorage, Alaska earlier in the day. 

By the Numbers:
6,140 boxes of PPE24,000 coveralls and Tyveks suits
50,000 faceshields 
6.6 million masks  

The New Hampshire State Police is escorting FedEx and National Guard trucks loaded with the PPE, purchased by the State of New Hampshire, for assortment and inventory by Health and Human Service officials, ahead of distribution to the areas of greatest need across the state. Officials will distribute the supplies as early as Tuesday. The state will not charge those that receive shipments. 

“One month ago, New Hampshire wasn’t even in the business of PPE procurement, and today we secured over 91,000 pounds of this critical lifesaving equipment for our state,” Sununu said. “We worked around the clock, scoured the earth, and left no stone unturned to ensure New Hampshire has the resources it needs to combat this pandemic.” 

“This plane is delivering lifesaving personal protective equipment which will be immediately distributed to the brave Granite Staters who are on the frontlines of this crisis,” Shaheen said. “I congratulate and thank Dean Kamen for spearheading this heroic effort. Our State has not been receiving the PPE it needs and is running dangerously low on supplies. Thanks to Dean Kamen’s leadership, we are all a little safer today. This pandemic will continue to require all of us to sacrifice and think outside the box, and I’m tremendously grateful to all the Granite Staters who are rising to this challenge.”

“This major shipment of personal protective equipment will help save lives and make a huge difference for our state,” said U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan. “We passed the CARES Act to ensure that supplies like these could get to the frontlines, and I want to thank Dean Kamen for his round-the-clock efforts to deliver these supplies to New Hampshire. While today’s shipment is great news, it’s essential that the administration addresses ongoing supply chain issues and ramps up the production and distribution of vital medical supplies. I’ll keep working with Gov. Sununu and our Congressional delegation to get our state the supplies that we need to confront this pandemic.”

Add Government Contracting to Your Post-COVID-19 Business Strategy

Monday, April 13th, 2020
Dave Pease is the program manager for the New Hampshire Procurement Technical Assistance Center.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed our lives in a matter of weeks, business strategies need to focus on survival, current opportunities and future growth. Here at NH PTAC, we are seeing all of these strategies every day in government contracting.

Government spending is continuing, particularly when it comes to defense spending, which is unabated, or accelerating, and as the pandemic daily creates new demands for supplies and service to meet new needs.

NH PTAC encourages its clients to spend some time considering:

–          Existing government contracts and subcontracts and whether your performance will be impacted by workforce limitations and/or supply chain reliability,

–          Current rights and obligations under existing contracts & subcontracts

–          Positioning your company to achieve optimum results in challenging economic times;

–          Updating key systems, including SAM registrations, as well as NAICS codes to reflect any changes to your products and services;

–          Reviewing your Dynamic Small Business Search to ensure your capabilities narrative and key words are current.

There is another side of this global pandemic to consider, especially its effect on world economies and what will be needed rebuild or recharge them.

Now is the time to think about what’s ahead. In the context of a recession, is government contracting more attractive to you while B2B opportunities are recovering? Will your business be positioned to compete effectively for government contracts?

As we all work to flatten the curve, which may be providing a little extra downtime right now, think about investing that time in government market research; updating, or achieving small business certifications, such as WOSB, SDVOSB, HUBZone, 8(a), and developing new strategies and longer-term opportunities.

NH PTAC is a free service for New Hampshire businesses and can help you with any of the suggestions outlined above. Contact govcontracting@livefree.nh.gov  or click on our webpage for more information.

Call FOR Covid-19 Supplies

Wednesday, March 25th, 2020
New Hampshire companies and manufacturers with the capacity to meet the critical demand COVID19 is placing on the nation’s healthcare centers can now connect with the State of New Hampshire for coordination.

The State seeks companies that can donate or produce lab, testing or diagnostic supplies, personal protection equipment (PPE), or medical expertise.

“New Hampshire companies are nimble, innovative and ready to produce for critically needed supplies in the fight against COVID19,” said Gov. Chris Sununu. “This portal will help us assess the capabilities of companies and make sure their products reach the medical professionals who need them.”

Business and Economic Affairs (BEA) Commissioner Taylor Caswell said he wants to hear from companies that can immediately produce PPEs, including N95 and medical face masks; surgical gowns; face shields; ventilators; latex gloves, and swabs.

“I’ve already heard from dozens of companies who are ready to adapt and adjust their operations to provide the protection, equipment and knowledge base to stop the spread of COVID19,” he said. “I am confident our companies can make a significant contribution to this effort.”

On www.nheconomy.com/covid19, companies will find a link to a list of the needed products and links to the Center for Disease Control guidelines for their production. BEA will work with companies to coordinate and facilitate distribution.


Friday, March 20th, 2020
The past few weeks have presented challenges not only here in New Hampshire, but all over the world. The Department of Business and Economic Affairs has already heard from hundreds of businesses and we are working with our federal and state partners to bring forward resources to help address the needs of our business community.

We have launched a one-stop resource for businesses needs during this difficult time and it will be updated regularly.  Click here to access that information.

Governor Sununu requested a disaster declaration from the US Small Business Administration to speed the delivery and access of federal low interest loan products to New Hampshire businesses.  On March 18, New Hampshire received a statewide declaration of disaster from the SBA, which means that business in all counties within New Hampshire are eligible for the loan program.

More information is available on our web portal.

This situation is unlike anything we have seen before.  On the upside, we go into this downturn with many strong economic fundamentals.  Our goal is to do whatever we can to reduce the financial burden facing businesses across this state in hopes that when we come out the other side of COVID-19, we do so in as strong of a position as possible. 

I urge you to use BEA and other state resources to help you in this regard.  We will not be able to solve every issue, but we are damn well going to try.  I say all the time our strength in this state are our communities, and among the most admirable of those is New Hampshire’s business community.  

I wish you, your families, and your employees the best for whatever is next. BEA and the State of New Hampshire are here if you need us.  

Taylor Caswell
Department of Business & Economic Affairs

Northern Border Regional Commission Grant Round Now Open

Wednesday, March 4th, 2020

The Northern Border Regional Commission’s 2020 Economic and Infrastructure Development Grant materials are now available. Eligible organizations, which include nonprofit and government entities, with projects located in Carroll, Cheshire, Coos, and Sullivan and parts of Belknap and Grafton Counties, are eligible to apply.

“This Northern Border Regional Commission grant program is geared toward projects that strengthen infrastructure and promote economic development,” said Taylor Caswell, commissioner of the Department of Business and Economic Affairs.

An information session will be held from 10  – 11:30 am, March 12 at the Plymouth Town Offices, 6 Post Office Square, Plymouth. Proposals will be accepted for projects related to transportation, telecommunication, renewable energy and basic public infrastructure; business and workforce development; basic health care; and resource conservation, tourism and recreation.

The commission, created by Congress in 2008, provides funding for projects in rural counties across northern New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

The application materials are available at nbrc.gov.

In 2019, the NBRC awarded 14 grants in New Hampshire totaling over $3.7 million and leveraged over $2.5 million in other funds to complete projects.  Projects funded in the last round include the expansion of a culinary workforce development project to support the hospitality industry; a road reconstruction project that supports the redevelopment of a mill building; and several water projects that support existing businesses and business development.

The deadline for submitting applications is May 15. For more information about the grant program, contact Mollie Kaylor at the New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs at 271-6305 or mollie.kaylor@livefree.nh.gov.

New Hampshire Business Matters Segment Explores Housing and the Economy

Friday, February 28th, 2020
Will Arvelo, Dean Christon, NH Housing Finance Authority on WTPL- FM

A strong indicator of a healthy economy in New Hampshire is also one that presents a challenge. The state’s historically, and continuing, low unemployment rate and low interest rates has increased the demand for housing, and decreased the supply of available units.

In this month’s New Hampshire Business Matters on WTPL-FM 107.7, Division of Economic Development Director Wil Arvelo discusses the state’s housing market with Dean Christon, executive director and CEO of the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority.

Tune in for an interesting discussion of the situation and what is being done to ease the market.

During the month of March, the NHHFA hosts free homebuyer fairs across the state, which will give prospective home buyers resources to get them on their way to owning a home of their own.

For more information, click here.

New Hampshire Exports Set New Record, Top $5.8 Billion

Wednesday, February 19th, 2020

For the third straight year, New Hampshire exports set a new record, topping $5.8 billion in 2019, up 10 percent from 2018, according to federal trade data.

“The latest export numbers show that New Hampshire has entered the global arena as a hub for advanced manufacturing,” said Gov. Chris Sununu. “With an educated workforce, access to regional markets, and a pro-business environment, the Granite State is the most desirous state in the nation for companies to locate themselves.”

Aircraft parts for civilian aircraft was the state’s top export in 2019 and Germany continued to be the state’s top trading partner, followed by Canada, Ireland, Mexico and Japan.

Aircraft and spacecraft parts rose 68 percent to $1.3 billion from 2018, overtaking industrial machinery as New Hampshire’s leading export, followed by electric machinery, pharmaceutical products, and optics.

“New Hampshire businesses recognize the importance of global markets, which we’ve seen reflected in record-setting trade statistics over the past three years,” said Taylor Caswell, commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs. “More than ever, we are committed to helping domestic and international businesses access new markets for their products.”

As part of New Hampshire’s pro-growth initiatives, Sununu established the nation’s first state-level United States-Mexico-Canada trade council to encourage further growth and improved trade relations with Canada and Mexico.

Caswell, chairman of the new state trade council, said the trade statistics demonstrate New Hampshire’s value for international supply chains.

“New Hampshire stands alone on the East Coast of North America as a low-tax, pro-growth location for domestic and international business market access into the U.S. or the East Coast, and we have every intention of aggressively growing the competitive advantage for our employers,” he said.

In addition, BEA’s Office of International Commerce is recruiting partner businesses at ILA Berlin, which highlights aviation, defense and security, and unmanned systems for companies interested in the European market May 13-17, 2020.

OIC works with state federal partners, including the US Commercial Service, to provide New Hampshire businesses export compliance training and other resources to expand into world markets. For more information, visit nheconomy.com/office-of-international-commerce.

Nation’s First State-level Trade Council Reaffirms Export Relations, Growth in Global Markets for New Hampshire Businesses

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

The Jan. 22, 2020 executive order by Gov. Chris Sununu establishing the nation’s first state-level trade council widens New Hampshire’s trade doors for businesses, manufacturers, tourism and more.

Following U.S. Senate ratification of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, the new trade council will leverage growth and opportunity with industry leaders experienced in North American trade. It will also serve as a clearinghouse of information for state businesses, a forum focused on accessing and understanding USMCA provision details, develop resources and training for companies exploring or expanding into markets in Canada and Mexico, and help facilitate investments by companies in those countries in the New Hampshire economy.

“The new trade council will allow us to quickly help New Hampshire exporters take full advantage of the new agreement and navigate the new rules,” said Taylor Caswell, commissioner of the Department Business and Economic Affairs, and chairman of the new state trade council.  “New Hampshire has grown its export value by over $1 billion over the past four years, and we expect 2019 to be another record setting year. 

“The trade council,” Caswell continued, “will bring together industries, state, provincial, and federal resources in all three countries, academia, and will reaffirm our strong trade relationships with Canada and Mexico.”

The three countries historically have been New Hampshire’s top trading partners. As of November 2019, trade with Canada is up 30 percent over 2018, while it has dipped with Mexico by 3.4 percent. The top commodities exported to both countries include aircraft and spacecraft parts, industrial and electric machinery, and medical and surgical optics, which are key economic drivers of the state’s economy.

“New Hampshire companies are more competitive than ever in the global marketplace and it is vital that we take full advantage of the new USCMA environment,” Caswell said. “International trade helps our companies diversify their customer base and create jobs, and provides new opportunities for research and partnerships in life sciences, education exchanges, and so much more in terms of economic development all over the state.”

Alberto Fierro Garza, the Consulate General of Mexico in Boston, said his agency is “very much looking forward to being part of the USMCA Trade Council in New Hampshire. It is a pioneer initiative in the field and will certainly promote closer ties and enhance trade opportunities between New Hampshire, Canada and Mexico.”