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.
Monday started off quite nicely, thank you, with the announcement that New Hampshire will receive nearly $300,000 for the second year of funding of the State Trade Export Promotion.
This money will be used just like the acronym says – to help small businesses here in the Granite State take a STEP toward exporting their products overseas.
The announcement, which included remarks from US Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Jeanne A. Hulit, the Small Business Administration’s Associate Administrator for Capital Access, was made at Axenics inNashua, a small manufacturer that makes specialized assemblies, clean piping products and gas systems. Right now, the company exports less than 10 percent of its annual sales, but it has worked with the International Trade Resource Center and made use of funding in the first year of the grant to investigate and increase its export potential.
“STEP is working for us,” said Haywood Schmidt, president of Axenics, who added that the 28-year-old company intends to grow over the next two years and create 35 new jobs.
Christopher Way, interim Director of the Division of Economic Development, said the STEP program, at the conclusion of its first year, “has provided a valuable infusion of assistance to small businesses and funding for state export programs.”
In the first year of the STEP program, 24 New Hampshirecompanies received assistance from the grant and in the second year, that will continue. Matching grants will be available to qualified businesses to offset the cost of export promotion, including tradeshow fees, translation of websites and developing marketing materials.
By stepping up to this mission, the participating companies will receive a wealth of information and make valuable connections that will, ultimately, open trade opportunities.
“Those of you familiar withNew Hampshire government know one thing – we don’t like to sit on the sidelines and our businesses have no interest in standing still while the global economy swirls around us,” Way said. “ This is why STEP is important.”
W.S. Badger Co., in Gilsum, NH, worked with the Office of International Commerce to research potential export markets.
Like many small business owners, Kathleen Johnson juggles everything from overseeing the manufacturing process to marketing her product, Lickity Bits.
Located up in the North Country town of Columbia, it caters to owners of horses by encouraging horses to accept bits. She has a niche product, but knows that she could grow … well … unbridled … especially outside the U.S.
“As a small business owner, it is a daunting task trying to navigate through international markets that may be available,” Kathleen said.
“We learned that Brazil is a potentially key market for us, since it has the third highest horse market worldwide and prospering economy,” she said.
The OIC received a grant from the Eastern Trade Council to provide market research about the Brazilian market to her and several other businesses.
Why Brazil? The South American country has the seventh largest economy in the world, which is weathering the global economic challenges better than other parts of the globe. With a diversified economy and an expected surge in infrastructure improvements from now until the 2016 Summer Olympics being held there, U.S.exports are increasing rapidly.
“In a very competitive market, (the research) located one company interested in receiving information from WMI,” said Frank Morabito, the company’s international sales product manager.
Out in the Monadnock region, W.S. Badger Co. makes organic body care products, employing about 40 people at its new Gilsum plant. No stranger to the OIC, it has worked several times with the staff, most recently to help find a distribution partner in Russia.
“This service proved itself very valuable, as it allowed us to enter the market with a company that is screened and trusted,” said Stephanie Ritchie, Badger’s international accounts manager. “Our sales have grown slowly, but steadily, and we look forward to continuing to expand our business inRussia.”
If your company is considering exporting, you may be eligible for a grant that will pay for market research. The funds are part of the State Trade Export Promotion grant, which will, for qualifying businesses, provide these services at no cost. Available through the U.S. Commercial Service, the research usually costs between $500 and $750.
Orders for the services must be placed by mid-September. For more information, contact Kasim at 603-271-8444 or email Tina.Kasim@dred.state.nh.us.
Three thousand miles from and five hours ahead of New Hampshire, the Farnborough International Air Show is open for the second day. Noisy and exciting, the trade show is a global showcase for the aerospace industry and the Granite State is a part of it all.
Thanks to a State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) grant, Corfin Industries of Salem and EPTAM Plastics of Northfield are joined by other aerospace and defense companies from Maine and Vermont in our own Best of New England booth and, may we say, holding our own with the presence of larger states who are touting their industries.
At the opening ceremony Monday in front of the US Pavilion, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sanchez spoke of the critical importance of aviation to the economy, noting that it contributed $86 billion in export sales to the US economy and a positive trade balance of $47 billion.
For our two manufacturers joining us on this trade mission, Farnborough is a chance for them to connect and make connections globally, which will lead to orders for their products and services, keep their companies strong and their businesses reaching new heights.
The sun is out today in Farnborough. The morning’s shift of airplanes and preparation for aerial displays is drowning out conversation.
It’s a pretty good day.
Throughout the day, we’re posting updates and photos on our Facebook page.
The U.S. Small Business Administration is seeking nominations for awards honoring the critical economic role small businesses play in federally funded research and development through SBA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.
Three awards will be given, one for companies that have participated in the SBIR/STTR programs, one for individuals who advocate on behalf of the programs, and a third “Hall of Fame” award recognizing companies that have an extended period of extraordinary success of research, innovation, and product commercialization within the SBIR or STTR program.
The Tibbetts Awards are named after Roland Tibbetts, who was instrumental in developing SBIR, a highly competitive program to ensure small businesses get a chance to compete for federal research and development funding, along with the opportunities it provides to profit from commercialization of the technologies they develop.
The SBIR and STTR programs currently account for more than $2.5 billion per year in federal R&D funds and are coordinated by the SBA in cooperation with 11 other federal agencies with large external research and development budgets.
The awards are presented to companies and individuals that are beacons of promise and models of excellence in high technology. Typical of past award winners are a Maine company that created a self-propelled and eco-friendly “AquaPod” for sustainable aqua-culture. A previous Hall of Fame award winner that won numerous SBIR grants – a major west coast chip manufacturer – started with a staff of 35 and has expanded to a global work force of 17,500.
Selections for Tibbetts Awards are based on several factors, including the economic impact of the technological innovation, overall business achievement and demonstration of effective collaborations.
Nominations for these awards opened December 15, 2011 and will close 5 PM EST on January 31, 2012. Awards will be presented in Washington, DC, in April 2012. To submit a nomination, please visit tibbetts.challenge.gov (Tibbetts Awards – companies and individuals) and sbirhof.challenge.gov (Hall of Fame Awards).
Have you ever wondered about how a competitor received a contract with a federal or state agency?
Does the thought of selling your product or service to state, local or government agencies cause you to sweat and worry about an endless stream of expensive and complicated paperwork?
If you wanted to begin, where would you even start and who could you ask for honest advice?
On December 15th, the New Hampshire office of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the NH Procurement Technical Assistance Program (NH-PTAP) will present their first of several “Everything You Want to Know About Government Contracting But Were Afraid to Ask!” roundtable sessions for small business owners or key employees in small businesses who are thinking about joining the hundreds of New Hampshire small businesses who sold over $275 million dollars in goods and services to federal agencies.
According to Dave Pease, Program Manager of the NH-PTAP, “The companies that have achieved success in selling to federal or state agencies or large federal contractors have several things in common. They all have asked questions, they all have experienced frustration at some point and they all have persevered with a winning bid or proposal.”
At the upcoming roundtable business owners will hear contracting specialists discuss real and perceived barriers that businesses encounter as well as strategies and supportive resources you can use to overcome barriers and gain access to these opportunities.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
The New Hampshire Innovation Commercialization Center Conference Room
75 Rochester Avenue
Portsmouth, NH 03801
This session is offered free of charge, but space is limited. Please contact Rachael Roderick at 603 225-1603 or email@example.com to register.
Psssssssssssssssstttttt……buy local, buy American and buy often. Here are a few press releases that can assist you in this endeavor.
Make a Difference on Small Business Saturday®
As a proud supporter of Small Business Saturday®, a day dedicated to supporting small businesses on one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year, the U.S. Small Business Administration is encouraging every American to support small businesses by doing some of their holiday shopping on the Saturday after Thanksgiving at small businesses.
This year’s Small Business Saturday® is Nov. 26, 2011.
“Small businesses are the foundation of our economy – half of America’s workers either own or work for a small business,” said SBA Administrator Karen Mills. “Small Business Saturday® is an opportunity to show our support for our friends and neighbors who throughout the year are growing our local economy, as well as supporting many local initiative and organizations.”
Nov. 26 marks the second annual Small Business Saturday®, a day to support the local small businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country. First there was Black Friday, and then Cyber Monday, and now Small Business Saturday® will help drive shoppers to America’s job creators. Small businesses have generated two out of every three net new jobs over the past 15 years and employ over half of all private sector employees.
For more information on how to support Small Business Saturday® in your area, or to get great Small Business Saturday® marketing tips and resources, check out www.sba.gov/saturday or visit Facebook.com/smallbusinesssaturday and follow us on Twitter @SBAgov, #SmallBizSat.
NH Made Gifts Available
Our NH Made Stores on I-95 in Hampton are brimming with NH-made food items and handcrafted products. The stores will be closed Thursday for Thanksgiving but open Friday, Saturday and Sunday and daily through Christmas. You can also shop online from the convenience of your home at www.nhmade.com and choose “Shop Online.”
Wild Orchard Guest Farm
NH Made Members Working with Members: Shop, Sip, Primp 2011 At the Wild Orchard Guest Farm, 67 Candia Rd., Deerfield NH on Saturday, November 26th from 4-8pm. After the busy Thanksgiving holiday, enjoy complimentary hor d’oeuvres and drinks while relaxing with friends before a crackling fire. Pamper yourself with a complimentary manicure from Fancy Nails Spa and Boutique. Tour the Inn’s magnificent rooms and lovely grounds. Gaze at the stars from the cozy depths of the outdoor Jacuzzi! While treating yourself, you’ll also have the opportunity to browse local artist’s creatively displayed holiday offerings. Talented artists and vendors showcasing their goods and services are: Bead Bush Studio jewelry, Divine Detailing auto detail, Fancy Nails Spa and Boutique, Ed Gerhard guitar cds, Teresa Harris Jewelry Designs, Barbara King knitted designs, Mystic Lifestyles textiles, Nicola King Designs bags and accessories, Northwood Naturals bath and beauty, Simple Pleasures photo cards and soy candles, Kristy Stevens ornaments, Tattered Rabbit Farm birdhouses, Wild Orchard Guest Farm crafts. Interested in making the night a true get-a-way? Call Molly at 603-261-7742 or www.wildorchardguestfarm.com for reservations.
Thirteen businesspeople were honored Thursday night at the New Hampshire Business Review’s ninth annual Business Excellence Awards, which recognize the efforts and achievements owners and operators of companies with 100 employees or fewer.
More than 300 people attended the Oct. 27 event, which was held at the Radisson in Manchester.
NHBR also announced two inductees into the Business Excellence Hall of Fame, which singles out people whose entire careers have been marked by a consistent and impressive record of accomplishments, both in their chosen fields, in their communities, and across the state and beyond. These honorees were selected by a separate panel of judges.
The 2011 Hall of Fame inductees were Howard Brodsky, co-founder of CCA Global Partners, one of the largest privately held companies in the United States and one of the largest cooperatives in the world, and the Singer Family, owner of Merchants Automotive Group, a multifaceted, $200 million auto company, including a long-term fleet leasing division that is one of the largest in the Northeast.
“Each of the businesspeople who receive these honors has a different story to tell,” said Sharron McCarthy, president of McLean Communications and publisher of NHBR. “But what they have in common is determination, industriousness and the ability to come up with innovative solutions that have allowed their businesses to survive and thrive, regardless of economic conditions, and a commitment to serving their communities.”
Jeff Feingold, editor of NHBR, said, “We would like to salute all of the nominees, the people who nominated them and the winners themselves for their contributions toward making New Hampshire a great place to do business.”
Emcee was Erin Fehlau, WMUR’s weekday morning and noon news anchor. A portion of the proceeds from the evening benefited Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA, which advocates for New Hampshire children in the state’s court system in cases of neglect and abuse.
The winners of the 2011 NHBR Business Excellences Awards were:
Excellence in Business Services — Guy Sylvester, Absolute Resource Associates, Portsmouth
Excellence in Construction (tie) — Jerry Kingwill, Cobb Hill Construction, Concord; Jason Foster, Foster’s Professional Painting Plus LLC, Claremont
Excellence in Financial Services — Michael L’Ecuyer, Bellwether Community Credit Union, Manchester
Excellence in Health Care — Paula Gagne, Regency Nursing Care, Manchester
Excellence in Hospitality — Emeran Langmaid, A&E Custom Coffee Roastery, Amherst
Excellence in Media & Marketing — Erik Dodier, PixelMEDIA Inc., Portsmouth
Excellence in Nonprofits — Brian Young, Nashua Center for the Multiply Handicapped
Excellence in Professional Services — Thomas Brueckner, Senior Financial Resources Inc., Nashua
Excellence in Real Estate — Dick Anagnost, Anagnost Investments Inc., Manchester
Excellence in Retail (tie) — Sy Mahfuz, Persian Rug Galleries, Nashua; Lynda Nelson, Quest Martial Arts Academy, Barrington
Excellence in Technology — Cheryl Gamst, CCS New England, Nashua
The judges for the 2011 NHBR Business Excellence Awards were:
Chris Bernard, vice president, business banking relationship manager, Citizens Bank
Steve Boucher, communications manager, New Hampshire Division of Economic Development
Mary Collins, state director, New Hampshire Small Business Development Center
Bob Esau, executive vice president of Wealth Management, Laconia Savings Bank
Greta Johansson, New Hampshire district director, U.S. Small Business Administration
Patrick F. McDermott, economic and community development manager, Public Service of New Hampshire
Dr. Russ Ouellette, managing partner, Sojourn Partners, Bedford
Michele Petersen, vice president of operations, abi Innovation Hub, Manchester
Joe Reilly, cofounder and president, Centrix Bank
Chip Underhill, executive director of public relations and external affairs, Pinkerton Academy, Derry
Sponsors of the event were FairPoint Communications, Laconia Savings Bank, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care of New England, J Maze Design, Public Service of New Hampshire, New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, Merrimack Street Volvo, WGIR-AM 610 and New Hampshire Public Television.
On behalf of all of us at the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, thanks to our friends at the New Hampshire Business Review for a great awards celebration and congratulation to the winners and nominees!!
Last year more than 80 federal agencies and departments purchased in excess of $275 million in goods and services from 235 New Hampshire based small businesses. 109 of these companies were owned by veterans and they accounted for sales to federal agencies totaling more than $50 million. These purchases had values from the hundreds of dollars up into the millions.
As the world’s largest buyer of products and services the U.S. Government is committed to purchasing a portion of these from veteran owned and service disabled veteran owned businesses. How do veterans get to participate in marketing and selling to federal agencies? While it can seem like a daunting task to add the federal government as a key customer, it is being done by more and more businesses each year. More importantly, help is available to guide you through the process of identifying and responding to sales opportunities.
To help you get started in the right direction in navigating the government contracting process, representatives from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) along the NH Procurement Technical Assistance Program (PTAP) will be presenting an overview of how the government contracting process works and how YOU can get started. These presentations will be made at four – two hour seminars in the months ahead. The seminars are presented for free to participants however due to space limitations pre-registration is required.
Join us, and discover the programs and services available to help you win in the world of government contracting.
Dates & Locations:
November 9, 2011 Hesser College – Manchester (1:30 – 3:30 p.m.)
February 1, 2012 Hesser College – Salem (1:30 – 3:30 p.m.)
May 2, 2012 Hesser College – Portsmouth (1:30 – 3:30 p.m.)
June 20, 2012 Hesser College – Nashua (1:30 – 3:30 p.m.)
For registration, questions or additional information contact Rachael Roderick at the U.S. Small Business Administration office in Concord 603-225-1603 email: Rachael.firstname.lastname@example.org or Miguel Moralez – Miguel.Moralez@sba.gov or 603-225-1601.
Small businesses throughout the Granite State continued to make gains in accessing vital capital through a growing number of lenders who employed loan guarantees for U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loans. The increased lending activity was intense during the first three months of the year.
New Hampshire SBA Office District Director Greta Johansson
In New Hampshire, fiscal year 2011 saw over $150 million dollars injected into small businesses through 762 loans approved using the SBA’s loan guarantee programs. This represents a 33% increase in total dollars loaned to small businesses when compared to 2010 and a 70% increase in SBA guaranteed loans since 2009. The increase in New Hampshire lending is comparable to the nation-wide increase in SBA activity, which set an all time $30 billion record.
Greta Johansson, District Director of the New Hampshire SBA Office commented, “I am greatly encouraged by the results for the 2011 fiscal year. The data demonstrates that our SBA lenders throughout the state are actively looking for opportunities to lend to qualified small business owners.” The 2010 Jobs Act provided temporary enhancements that spurred loan activity during the fall; permanent provisions, however, including a substantial increase in lending limits, helped SBA loan growth continue through the year.
In fiscal year 2011, 762 SBA guaranteed loans were approved for New Hampshire businesses. The total value of the financing included approximately $50 million for the acquisition or real property and fixed assets through the SBA 504 program. In addition, 645 loans approved through the SBA 7a program for nearly $100 million providing funds used for predominantly for working capital and new equipment purchases. This is the highest level of SBA financing in the state since fiscal year 2006.
The capital provided through SBA loans goes directly into the hands of small businesses that are saving and creating jobs each day. The loans are used to provide working capital, financing for new equipment purchases, business acquisitions and real estate purchases.
In concluding her comments on the 2011 year end results Johansson continued, “It is a good sign that small business owners in our state continue to increase their financial commitments in their businesses. In like fashion, our community banks and credit unions in growing numbers have responded to their small business clients through the use of SBA’s loan guarantee programs when needed. We look forward to 2012 as a year where these positive trends continue.”