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.
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.
“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