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Quebec Businessman Chooses Littleton to Launch New Company

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

Pierre Harvey, Harvey International, left; Steve Malenfant, founder and CEO, Inter USA Industrial Group

A Quebec businessman chose northern New Hampshire to launch his new company, which he expects to grow over the next few years to include up to 50 employees.

Steve Malenfant, CEO and founder of Groupe Industriel Interprovincial Inc. of Magog, QC, led the ribbon cutting ceremony on Sept. 26 for his new venture, Inter USA Industrial Group,  in Littleton.

The company offers a service, providing teams trained for industrial equipment installation, planned machine maintenance, relocation, re-shoring and outage/shutdown services to a variety of industries such as pulp and paper; wood processing; rubber and plastics; steel and metal; food processing, and more.

The company’s success is based on its mission of helping clients and the guiding principle of building the trust that is essential between the client’s inhouse teams and the teams from Inter USA. Inter-USA’s employees go through a thorough technical program before working on job sites, Malenfont said, “to make sure our employees are the best millwrights available and that they are skilled at developing strong relationships with our client’s inhouse teams.

Ribbon cutting of Inter USA Industrial Group in Littleton.

Founded in 2003, its Quebec counterpart employs more than 140 employees and the long term plan for the new US-based company is to hire and train between 25 and 50 employees in Littleton, most of them millwrights, engineering technicians and welders.

“We chose northern New Hampshire because we know that labor is available and because of the close proximity to sawmills, pulp and paper, steel and metal fabricators,” Malenfant said. “We will hire locally and pair the US employees with experienced Quebec millwrights from our head office until they are trained and have integrated the Inter USA business model. We will train them so that they can take over and start doing jobs quickly in New England.”

Beno Lamontagne and Michael Bergeron of the Department of Business and Economic Affairs first connected with the company at a dinner in Quebec hosted by the Division of Economic Development several years ago. Over that time, they worked with Malenfant to help him with his real estate search, obtaining visas, the hiring process and business incorporation.

 

 

 

Trade Shows a Great Way to Bring New Hampshire to Decision Makers

Thursday, July 6th, 2017

Cindy Harrington is a business development manager for the NH Division of Economic Development.

New Hampshire Economic Development was able to tout its open for business sign last month to manufacturers and business owners from around the world at two trade shows – MD&M East in New York City, targeting medical device and manufacturing interests, and the SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington, DC, focusing on foreign direct investment.

Joined by colleagues Michael Bergeron, senior business development manager, at MD&M and Tina Kasim, program manager at our Office of International Commerce, at SelectUSA, I met with scores of people at both trade shows keen on hearing our message about the state’s business friendly climate, educated workforce, robust industry sectors and quality of life. A great opportunity to not only answer their questions, but to ask some of our own, encourage a visit and follow-up with information they need, such as available real estate.

Trade shows are a dynamic, if not efficient, way, to meet and have conversations with business leaders who are considering business expansion or relocation.  Often, conversations plant the seeds for long term relationships for future growth opportunities. Followup is the key to our work at these events, keeping in touch with contacts so that when they are ready to further explore options, they will consider New Hampshire.

At MD&M, where we also met with attendees at simultaneous trade shows at the Javits Center for plastics, packaging and design manufacturing, some of the people with whom we spoke were focused on seeking manufacturers, suppliers and services contacts to develop relationships. Some were pleasantly surprised to see New Hampshire represented at the event and asked about our industry sectors.

At the SelectUSA show, we spoke with international investors and business owners exploring oportunities within the US, including locations for distribution and warehousing and investing in established companies, especially in the fields of bio-med and medical device manufacturing with an established workforce. We also met with foreign officials and consultants representing companies seeking to establish relationships with businesses in the US for distribution, investment and partnering.

Our message at these trade shows is New Hampshire’s business friendly climate. When we tell people we have no sales, personal income, estate, use, internet, capital gains or professional service taxes, they are surprised and intrigued – what we don’t have is definitely a conversation starter.

For others, it is our booth that draws them over to talk with us. Featuring a stunning lakeside image, it prompts people to take a time out from the busy show. They stare at the lake and share with us memories of going to camp here in the summer, family vacations and even business trips.

When decision makers can’t come to New Hampshire, trade shows  are a great way to bring New Hampshire to them.

 

 

Bienvenue to Berlin: Quebec Composites Manufacturer Expanding to North Country

Monday, May 15th, 2017

Quebec-based Deflex Composite expanding to Berlin

A Quebec-based composites manufacturer, with a contract to produce parts for Volvo, is expanding to northern New Hampshire, according to the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development.

Deflex Composite, located in Saint-Victor, Quebec, has signed a lease to occupy 9,600 square feet at 22 Jericho Rd. in Berlin. This is its first U.S. operation and the manufacturer plans to hire three people initially, and seven more by the end of the year, to manufacture front and rear bumpers for Volvo buses.

The company was first introduced to New Hampshire in 2009 at a state presentation in Drummondville, Quebec. Since then, Michael Bergeron and Benoit Lamontagne of the Division of Economic Development have kept in touch with the company. Representatives of Deflex Composite took part in a webinar hosted by Gov. Chris Sununu last month about doing business in New Hampshire.

“New Hampshire welcomes Deflex Composite to Berlin,” Gov. Sununu said. “We are committed to doing everything possible to reach out and promote what New Hampshire has to offer.”


Choose New Hampshire to expand *your* business!


“We are pleased to welcome Deflex Composite to New Hampshire for its first U.S. expansion,” Department of Resources and Economic Development Commissioner Jeffrey Rose said. “Berlin, with its deep French-Canadian roots, is a great location for this company to grow its presence on this side of the border.”

“The Buy America Act is one of the reasons that we have seen a strong interest from Quebec manufacturers recently,” Lamontagne said. “This law requires companies under federal contracts to make their end product in the U.S. and more than 50 percent of the cost of the parts must be made here.”

Deflex Composite was founded in 1990 by brothers Serge and Bruno Jacques; the company employs 50 people at the Quebec plant.

Deflex plans to hire employees in the next month and begin production this July.

Lorna Colquhoun
Communications Director
Division of Economic Development

 

The New Hampshire – Quebec Connection: Renforcer Nos Liens Economiques

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

Collage

New Hampshire reinforced its ties with its neighbor to the north this month, as Commissioner Rose and the business development team accompanied Gov. Sununu to Montreal.

Speaking to Quebec Premiere Phillippe Couillard and 250 business leaders at a luncheon hosted by Conseil des Relations Internationales de Montréal (the International Relations Council of Montreal), Sununu talked about the longstanding ties New Hampshire has with the province – the social, industrial and economic foundation of cities like Berlin, Manchester and Somersworth were shaped by those who came down and went to work in the mills and woods.

The other part of his message is that New Hampshire is open for business to those companies looking to expand, to have a US presence close to their home headquarters, offering an educated and skilled workforce, an attractive business climate and a strategic location for markets in the northeast and beyond.

Welcome to New Hampshire, Prudential Overall Supply

Thursday, September 29th, 2016
prudentialgroundbreak1

Director Carmen Lorentz, left, and business development manager Cynthia Harrington join Stefan Schurter, senior vice president at the groundbreaking in Nashua for Prudential Overall Supply’s newest facility.

When California-based Prudential Overall Supply went looking for a place to expand its business, it chose Nashua to build its newest facility and at its groundbreaking ceremony on Sept. 28, company officials said it will be a source of pride for the city.

POS is the leader in cleanroom laundry services, which is important to industries such as aerospace and life sciences that need 21st century cleanliness in their processes.

“This will be the largest cleanroom laundry in the United States,” said Stefan Schurter, senior vice president.

Business development manager Cynthia Harrington here at the Division of Economic Development, assisted the company in its expansion to Nashua. Schurter said that in the search for a location, Nashua became an obvious choice because of its infrastructure.

Ceremonial groundbreaking on Simon Street

Ceremonial groundbreaking on Simon Street

“The city has put in sewer, water, gas and electric right at the site and that is foresight that we are benefitting from,” he said. “We found the infrastructure here that was really attractive and allowed us to build very quickly – that’s a big thing.”

The new building, located on Simon Street, will be built in three phases; 70,000 square-feet in the first phase; 45,000 square-feet in the second phase and concluded with 16,280-square feet.

“It will bring some really great jobs,” Schurter said. “They are all full-time jobs with benefits. We truly believe that if you invest in people, people will invest with you.”

Jeffrey Rose, commissioner of the Department of Resources and Economic Development, said he joins city officials in welcoming POS to New Hampshire.

“The capabilities it provides are vital to the many companies whose advanced manufacturing processes require high tech industrial laundry services,” he said. “We looking forward to watching this company grow and prosper in New Hampshire.”

Lorna Colquhoun
Communications Director
Division of Economic Development

Rand-Whitney Returns to Dover ‘for Eternity,’ Says Robert Kraft

Friday, July 15th, 2016

This week’s ribbon in Dover had all the flavor of a homecoming, which it was for Rand-Whitney. The company, which produces corrugated paperboard, opened in Dover in 1972. It has moved a couple of times since around 2002, but about two years ago, the company began looking for a home of its own. The Division of Economic Development worked with Rand Whitney to locate a property, ending up in Dover because of its business friendly environment.

The new 118,600 square-foot is state-of-the-art – substantially larger than its previous locations – and this means higher production volumes.

Rand-Whitney is owned by the Kraft Group, which also owns the New England Patriots. Joining Gov. Maggie Hassan and Dover Mayor Karen Weston for the event was company CEO Robert Kraft, who spoke with fondness about why he came to the city to cut the ribbon.

The first time I branched out and had an operation on my own was the decision in 1972 to come to the Dover Industrial Park. I always came up here with great pride and I felt a sense of commitment … New Hampshire, that ‘Live Free or Die,’ they live free and they do things a certain way and that’s the spirit of our family and our company. We try to be loyal and remember tradition. So when I was out on the West Coast, I said, ‘I want to come back and be part of this.’

Congratulations to Rand-Whitney and the City of Dover for reuniting. As Kraft said, “It’s here for eternity.”

Lorna Colquhoun
Communications Director
Division of Economic Development

5 Questions with Michael Bergeron, Division of Economic Development Business Development Manager

Friday, April 1st, 2016

Michael Bergeron, senior business development manager

Every day, our business development managers, Michael Bergeron and Cynthia Harrington, speak with site selectors and business owners from around the country searching for the right place to expand or relocate their companies. Their reasons are varied – some may have a deep affinity for the Granite State, while others are drawn to our business friendly climate and educated workforce. Michael talks about the process involved in the expansion/relocation of a company.

1. Business recruitment is an important part of economic development, as it facilitates job creation, encourages growth and diversifies the New Hampshire economy. What’s a typical day like in the life of business development?

We are a sales office for the state, so the priority every day is increasing our pipeline of qualified leads and once we have a strong lead on an interested company, we work with it, confidentially helping the company locate or expand in the state. We market each region of the state differently, based on the region’s strength and assets.

Each part of the sales cycle requires different needs, ranging from cold calls, research, writing proposals comparing New Hampshire with other states, making presentations to decision makers, facilitating meetings with other agencies such as the governor’s office, the Department of Environmental Services and the Department of Transportation; working with the University System of New Hampshire; the NH Business Finance Authority, the NH Community Development Finance Authority; contacting municipal officials; providing real estate tours and working on any issues that the company needs help with in ultimately choosing New Hampshire in which to expand or relocate.

We also work closely with local and regional economic development groups that are important in closing the sale. For example, I recently referred a company from Massachusetts to Jack Donovan of the NH Business Finance Authority, who was able to turn around an industrial bond loan within 40 days—a critical factor in landing the company in Hudson.

2. You’ve been a part of hundreds of business relocations and expansions in your tenure here at the Division of Economic Development. What is is about New Hampshire that draws companies here?

Currently in this market, the number one issue is the availability of skilled employees, followed by cost of occupancy and available office or industrial real estate. If any one one of these factors are missing, the transaction dies. If the company is a family-owned business, the decision is often affected by where its president lives, or wants to live.

And that decision by the owner, and his/her spouse, is predicated on a region with excellent schools, low crime, quality healthcare, cultural options, open space, easy access to major metro areas. Sometimes I have seen decision makers expand to New Hampshire because they have a summer home here.

If it’s a large national company looking for a branch location, then management wants to be close to Boston or Quebec and be confident it can hire managers, and lower the cost of occupancy, compared to the higher rents in the Boston market.

3. Earlier this year, the division unveiled its strategic plan, which identified a number of key industries. How is this helping business development?

The key industries’ clusters in New Hampshire can help attract similar companies that want to be part of the same cluster. For example, we have a growing aerospace cluster and bio/medical device cluster in New Hampshire. When we are on the road at trade shows, we show decision makers where these clusters are located, talk about the educational system that supports these clusters, and how we can help them locate employees and real estate. We understand the kinds of buildings needed for these uses and we can show where to find a good match for employees.

4. NH Economy is back on the road and will attend several trade shows this year. Can you tell us why it’s important to have a presence at them?

It is a myth that attending trade show provides instant leads; rather, it is a higher form of advertising, where we meet people face to face and develop business relationships over time. Finding the right venues and consistently attending is the key obtaining qualified leads. For example, I may meet site consultants at a show, but I may not work with them for another five years, after I develop trust and when an opportunity arises, they think of New Hampshire.

5. You speak with hundreds of companies every year that are considering relocation or expansion. Why is New Hampshire on their list of possibilities?

If they are companies from Massachusetts, Maine, or Vermont, they are looking to retain their current labor force in those states, and also find new employees, by staying within 30 to 50 miles of their current locations. If they are from outside New England, they are looking at New Hampshire because of our lower taxes, skilled work force, easy access to interstate highways and regional and international airports, and business friendly climate.

If it’s a large company, incentives are usually part of the evaluation. In these circumstances, New Hampshire competes with states like South Carolina, Texas, and Florida.

Container Excitement: Rand-Whitney Breaks Ground for New Facility in Dover

Monday, November 23rd, 2015
ProCon002

Groundbreaking in Dover

 

What was all the excitement about in Dover last week? The groundbreaking for the new Rand-Whitney container facility at the Stonewall Industrial Park – all 118,600-square-feet of it.

(We love groundbreakings.)

Taking part in the groundbreaking were local officials and representatives of PROCON of Manchester and Rand-Whitney of Portsmouth. Rand-Whitney is a household name, known for pioneering innovative and environmentally-friendly corrugated packaging for nearly 80 years. PROCON is the designer and construction manager celebrating 80 years and Summit Land Development of Dover is the developer.

The new address in Dover ends years of searching by Rand-Whitney for a location for its new facility, which is now located at the junction of Route 108 and the Spaulding Turnpike.
“At this location, we will be able to hire more employees, bring in new equipment and develop our relationship with our neighbor Stonewall Kitchen and other local businesses,” said Nick Smith, president and CEO.

ProCon001

Coming soon!

Why Dover?
Rand-Whitney operated a corrugated cardboard sheet plant in Dover from 1972 to 2002, but subsequent growth and expansion required relocations over the years to Rochester, then later to the Pease International Trade Port.

When the decision was made to construct a new plant to house its massive operations, Dover’s business friendly environment was a big factor.

“Rand Whitney’s long history in this city and our relationship with PROCON made it a good match,” said Daniel Barufaldi, the city’s economic development director. “It was a true team effort – everyone worked together to move the project forward quickly. They are back where they started, and that’s a wonderful thing.”

Adds Mayor Karen Weston, “Our goal as a city has been to increase economic development and this is such a huge boost to our economy. We are already seeing the economic benefits of having Rand-Whitney here.”

For more information about expanding in or relocating your business to New Hampshire, hop over to our website.

Lorna Colquhoun
Communications Director
Division of Economic Development