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NH’s Business Recruitment Efforts Continue to Attract Attention

Monday, July 11th, 2011

A great Union Leader follow-up to last Friday’s Boston Globe article on New Hampshire’s efforts to attract Massachusetts companies:

Thanks, Boston Globe; NH couldn’t have pitched its business-friendly climate any better
New Hampshire Union Leader

No offense taken.

The Boston Globe’s characterization of a New Hampshire business recruiter as a thief and a poacher didn’t upset anyone on this side of the border and doesn’t take away from a key point of the article: New Hampshire is winning business and jobs from Massachusetts.

State Business Recruiter Michael Bergeron has garnered a lot of recent media attention for his persistence, determination and success in attracting companies to New Hampshire.

“I think they wish they had some of the advantages in Massachusetts that New Hampshire has,” Roy Duddy, interim director of the state’s Division of Economic Development, said Friday. As such, Duddy is business recruiter Michael Bergeron’s boss.

The Globe’s statement that Bergeron “even scraped the New Hampshire state seal off his Ford Fusion” stretched the truth, Duddy said.

Economic Development spokesman Steve Boucher said, “We don’t have the state decal on the recruiters’ cars because when you go out of state, you don’t want to spook the company owners, you don’t want to spook the employees of the company,” he said.

“It’s just a real common sense thing more than anything else,” he said.

Bergeron, in a telephone interview Friday, said he was interviewed by a Globe reporter about two weeks ago and was surprised by the front-page treatment the article received.

“They’re describing New Hampshire being proactive in making sales calls, which I think is a good thing,” he said.

Some Globe readers took the paper to task for its wording.

“The Globe seems intent on characterizing Bergeron as a ‘thief’ while suppressing the real issue of an unfriendly business environment in the Bay State. The politicians here speak from both sides of their mouths….” reader “rjkeefe” commented on the boston.com website.

Duddy said the state would take advantage of the momentary notoriety.

“We have a very small budget to do economic development,” he said. “We do very innovative and ingenious things to get the message out about the New Hampshire advantage, and this is just one of them we are going to use as well.”

Bergeron, enjoying a day off Friday with friends at Maine golf course, said he works with fellow recruiter Cindy Harrington and secretary Bonnie Quaile.

“There’s been a general uptick in interest in New Hampshire, I would say since probably late February,” he said. “Certainly more people are looking than last year.”

As for the state seal issue, Bergeron said, the job of removing it was done professionally before he ever crossed state lines.

“We have client confidentiality, so whatever state we are going into we honor the request for confidentiality,” he said.