Small business owners, representatives of local economic development organizations and trade groups and community leaders are invited to join the U.S. Small Business Administration’s National Ombudsman Brian Castro to discuss federal regulatory issues impacting small businesses. The forum will take place from 10 am to noon, Friday, Sept. 13, at the New Hampshire Education Assistance Foundation Network Organization, 3 Barrell Court, Concord.
This event will give the local business community a chance to openly voice concerns about unfair regulatory enforcement, excessive fines, retaliation, disproportionately burdensome regulations and other regulatory issues involving federal agencies.
“Too often small business owners can face an uneven playing field because of regulations that were written with major corporations in mind,” said SBA National Ombudsman Brian Castro. “We are firmly committed to providing a receptive forum and a responsive, impartial process for small businesses to voice concerns about enforcement of federal regulations, especially those that create barriers to small business longevity and growth.”
Comments and concerns raised at the regulatory fairness forum will be directed to the appropriate federal agency for a fairness review in an effort to reduce undue regulatory burdens, while helping small businesses succeed.
This event is also an opportunity for the small business community to come away with a better understanding of the resources available to small business owners and entrepreneurs through the Office of the National Ombudsman.
The Concord small business forum is open to the public. Those interested in attending may contactJosé Méndez at the Office of the National Ombudsman at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at (202) 205-6178 before the meeting. To learn more about the Office of the National Ombudsman, visit the SBA website.
The Office of the National Ombudsman was created by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA). The act established 10 Regulatory Fairness Boards, served by 50 small business owners from across the country. Dr. Deborah Osgood, the Regulatory Fairness Board Chairperson for SBA’s Region 1, will participate in the forum.
Jennifer Lighthall and Laura Wolfe spent the summer in the middle of the action, literally and figuratively in the heart of DED. Ethan Lafrance, Emily Tyler and Carter White made themselves at home in international trade and Mark Manganiello worked with all things government procurement.
All of them quickly became indispensible to us, diving into projects that weren’t always glamorous. Jen, who studies at Highpoint University and Laura, of Smith College, when not accompanying some of us out into the field on business visits around the state, made their way through everything from media clips to internet research to answering the phones.
Ethan, from the University of Pennsylvania, showed his passion for international business and helped the New Hampshire Aerospace and Defense Export Consortium with several important projects. Emily, home for the summer from Drake University, and Carter, from Hamilton College, were both immersed in market research projects.
Mark, who’s obtaining his Master’s from UNH, spent about six months with NH-PTAP and singlehandedly organized the New Hampshire State and Local Vendor Fair last month, which was a very successful event.
Their projects wrapped up now, each one left behind some very valuable information and research and they all assured us that their experience was interesting and valuable as well.
Now that their computers are dark and their desks quiet … and clean … we miss their enthusiasm and curiosity, for it made us all slow down now and then to teach and explain and remind us that both of those traits are important in the work we do every day.
One other thing we got from the summer intern experience is that one day, these young people will graduate and head out into the world and make their mark on it.
When we switch on our computer every morning and settle into our day’s work, we don’t think about what’s happening to supply the data we seek with a click of the mouse. We expect the information is going to show up at the speed of byte, but when it doesn’t, we really notice it.
Compared to the rest of the country, the Granite State gets high marks for its broadband connections, according to the latest State of the Internet Report, issued this week by Akamai*, which found:
- New England made a strong showing in average broadband connection speeds, with Vermont (#1), New Hampshire (#2, with an average connection speed of 12Mbps and 4th for peak connection speeds of 47.1Mbps), Massachusetts and Connecticut in the top 10;
- “Surprisingly high rates of quarterly growth were seen” in broadband adoption … ranging from 25 percent in New York to 42 percent in New Hampshire;
- “In New Hampshire, nearly half of the connections to Akamai were at speeds above 10 Mbps,” which places the Granite State in first place for high broadband adoption (above 10Mbps) and first place for broadband adoption (above 4 Mbps), which represents a change of 65 percent and 6.5 percent respectively.
“Although there is still more work to be done, New Hampshire has made tremendous progress in broadband deployment,” said Carol Miller, director of Broadband Technologies at the Division of Economic Development. “It is testament to New Hampshire’s high-tech industry and provider investments in infrastructure. Broadband expansion and increases in capacity are the result of the innovative market place responding to the needs of a knowledge base economy. New Hampshire has increased broadband availability from 73 percent in 2010 to 88 percent in the first quarter of this year.”
The challenge remains, she said, in getting broadband to the rural areas of New Hampshire, where geography is a factor.
Broadband is an important tool in economic development and businesses and service providers expect what we all expect: Fast and reliable internet connection.
“It improves our ability to recruit and retain business and helps businesses to increase their profitability,” Miller said. “It enhances our quality of life because no matter where we live, we can use to the web to attend college and increase our education and that is attractive to skilled workers.”
Broadband also helps with healthcare monitoring, no matter where you are, and is another to help keep us safe.
“Simply put, broadband brings opportunities to New Hampshire’s economy that might otherwise be missed,” Miller said.
*Akamai’s State of the Internet Report is based on data gathered on its network of more than 250,000 servers. Akamai is a distributed cloud computing platform that’s distributed worldwide.
Small businesses interested in learning more about the wide-ranging effects of the Affordable Care Act are invited to a free forum scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 8 at the Southern New Hampshire University Dining Center Banquet Facility.
Countdown to Oct. 1, 2013: The Affordable Care Act and Your Small Business will provide all of the information New Hampshire companies will need to comply with the employer mandate to offer health coverage to employees. Topics to be discussed include coverage for dependents and spouses, qualifications for the health premium tax credit, the composition of the new health exchange and the portion of insurance costs employers will be obligated to pay.
Athough many of the concepts explored will center around small business, larger employers will also find this conference helpful.
“This is a great opportunity to get ahead of the curve and learn how your company will be affected by this legislation,” said Northeast Delta Dental President and CEO Tom Raffio. (Read his guest blog on the topic.) “Having the right information prior to the introduction of the Act is crucial and we look forward to educating as many small businesses as possible with the help of some top industry experts.”
Presenters will include New Hampshire Insurance Department Commissioner Roger Sevigny, as well as representatives of the U.S. Small Business Administration, Northeast Delta Dental, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield and Great New Hampshire Restaurants, Inc.
The forum is presented by the Center for Women’s Business Advancement at Southern New Hampshire University in coordination with Northeast Delta Dental, WGIR-AM, the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce, the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, Southern New Hampshire University and New Hampshire Business Review.
We joined a couple of hundred people yesterday afternoon in Rochester for the grand opening of the Advanced Technology and Academic Center at Great Bay Community College. We toured the bright white room where students are now learning about composite manufacturing and it could be pretty dry stuff, but we were struck by a couple of things.
Alexander and Hunter Uyeno, 9, investigate a composite
The first were two curious boys – 9-year-old twins – Alexander and Hunter Uyeno. They were wearing safety glasses and intently investigating the displays of equipment and composite materials.
Why were they there? Because their mom, Kerri, was. She is a student there. She enrolled last month and she thought it was time they see “what Mom is doing.” Later in the program, after addresses by Gov. Hassan and President Will Arvelo, she told of being a single mom, of needing a good job and the confidence that in enrolling here, she is on the road to great things.
Alexander and Hunter Uyeno – the future of advanced manufacturing
She also pointed to her boys as being “the face of advanced manufacturing in a couple of years.”
Jonathan Flannery and Gov. Hassan
Jonathan Flannery also told a very personal story about the loss of two women dearest to him and how, with the support of family and friends, he is finding a future by enrolling in the the program here.
Julie Lapierre is a longtime resident of Rochester. She talked about how she, after last being in a classroom about 40 years ago, she enrolled in the school to start a new career because for her, it wasn’t too late to learn something new.
At the end of a week, we leave you with these snapshots of new beginnings, for Kerri, her boys, Jonathan and Julie, Great Bay Community College, the Seacoast and New Hampshire.
If you are in the vicinity of Rochester on Thursday evening, make plans to spend a little time in the city for a celebration.
Great Bay Community College’s new Advance Technology & Academic Center (ATAC), Rochester
Between 5 and 7 pm, Great Bay Community College will celebrate its new Advanced Technology & Academic Center (better known as ATAC), which is located at the Lilac Mall. More than a education center, it is going to help put the Seacoast on a flight path to success, as the area becomes known as an emerging composites region.
The ATAC is the largest single project under the statewide Advanced Manufacturing Partnership in Education initiative (AMPedNH), formed by the Community College System of New Hampshire under the federal TAACCCT-NH grant. AMPed NH is sponsored by a $20 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration.
Great Bay’s advanced composites manufacturing curriculum at the ATAC was developed to fit the needs of area manufacturers — among those, Albany Engineered Composites and Safran Aerospace Composites. These two companies are co-locating in a new manufacturing plant at the Granite State Business Park. The plant, set to open in a couple of months, is being built by Safran and is expected to add about 500 jobs to the local market. Representatives of both companies will be available to talk about the advanced composites manufacturing industry and opportunities within the region.
“This center is a wonderful educational resource for anyone interested in what Great Bay has to offer,” said college President Will Arvelo. “Now residents of Strafford County and beyond can conveniently take a course at Rochester – whether it be a general education or liberal arts course or something from a specific field – and those seeking training opportunities in advanced composites manufacturing now have a state-of-the art facility practically in their backyard.”
Gov. Maggie Hassan will attend, as well as other officials. If you attend, you can enter to win free tuition for one year – a value of up to $5,000. Representatives from the College Admissions, Financial Aid and WorkReady NH can answer your questions.
Doing business with the government is not like doing business with typical businesses. Transparency, accountability and fairness are the hallmarks of spending by a government agency, so there are procedures and processes to follow.
Finding out where your business fits in the state and local government purchasing market can be difficult task. The New Hampshire state and local government purchasing market is a $1 billion industry and a variety of goods and services are bought each year.
And we mean variety.
It can range from something as simple as bundles of camp wood to be sold at our state parks or as a large as a new dormitory at a state university.
Mark Manganiello is an intern with NH-PTAP and helped organize the New Hampshire State and Local Vendor Fair July 11.
So how can you find out more about doing business with the government? Come to the New Hampshire State and Local Vendor Fair from 8 am to noon at the Arthur D. Kehas Criminal Justice Training Facility here in Concord.
Over 60 people from state agencies and municipalities will be on hand to help you determine if your product or services are of interest to the state and local governments. If you already know your business is marketable to state and local governments, then this event is useful to get information on where the market is heading, changes in the process, update contact information and to let state and local officials know about your company.
The businesses attending this event range from those that are extremely experienced in working with state and local governments and some businesses that are still novices to the market. Those attending will have one-on-one interaction with government employees and get to the bottom of two questions everyone entering the state and local market should ask — Who is buying what and how do they buy it?
Businesses need this information so they can offer the best value in their sales to the government and to insure a competitive bid process. Government needs to distribute this information to make their procedures and purchasing as transparent as possible.
We’ll see you on July 11. Please take a moment to register here. Bring lots of business cards and let the matchmaking begin.
The International Paris Air Show is winding down today. For the past four days, five New Hampshire businesses have hustled around the airport at Le Bourget, meeting with potential customers and suppliers from all over the world.
The connections that have been made here are incredibly valuable and as the business cycles progress, the businesses represented here are confident that the future holds new business from around the globe.
Here are some of the highlights from the past few days.
An Airbus lumbers through the sky at the International Paris Air Show.
Shyang Puri of RdF Corp. in Hudson is interviewed by the US Embassy in Paris for a program segment on small businesses and exporting.
Ken Foote of Transupport in Merrimack and Justin Oslowski, director of the US Department of Commerce in Portsmouth, complete a video shoot with the US Embassy in Paris.
It’s a bird. It’s a plane.
Photos by Lorna Colquhoun
NH Division of Economic Development
We are taking off later today, heading for the Paris Air Show, accompanying 12 aer0 and defense related companies from here in the Granite State, Vermont and Maine. With thousands of exhibitors all in one place, it is an opportunity to connect with decision makers from around the world, who can see and hear what our companies offer, which translates into more orders and more jobs.
In all, 34 states will be represented at the international trade show, which is held every other year. The Best of New England booth is made possible through the State Trade Export Promotion program, funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Follow along with us on our social media channels, particularly on Twitter, as well as Facebook and the No Bull Business Blog.
Ken Foote of Transupport in Merrimack and Don Tyler of Corfin Industries in Salem are Paris-bound, along with three other New Hampshire aerospace and defense related companies, as well as six Vermont companies and one from Maine. Together, they’ll be in the Best of New England booth at the US Pavilion.
The International Paris Air Show is held every other year; the Farnborough International Air Show is held in the other years.