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Economic Potpourri

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

All sorts of good, interesting and useful news is crossing our desk this week, so without further adieu:

Hats off to the Hannah Grimes Center over in Keene, which received the first Champion in Action award of 2013, presented by Citizens Bank and WMUR-TV, in the category of strengthening communities. The prize includes a $35,000 grant.

Hannah Grimes Center: Champion in Action

Hannah Grimes, for which the center is named, was born in 1776 in Keene and lived on a farm in neighboring Roxbury. What she and her family could not produce on their land, they bought and bartered for from friends, keeping the 18th century economy moving and growing.

With her life as inspiration, the organization bearing her name began in 1997 as a retail marketplace for local products. More than 15 years later, it includes a business incubator providing office space for new and emerging businesses to start, grow, thrive and move out on their own.

Hannah Grimes’ Entrepreneurship Program is a six-month intensive program focusing on raising current businesses to the next level of operation. Graduates of the program report an average sales increase of 68 percent in one year.

The original Hannah Grimes Marketplace continues to grow and now supports more than 270 local artisans, cooks and farmers. The center recently established a partnership to strengthen and support the area’s growing regional food system, which will help improve farm income, create jobs in the food production industry, and stimulate economic productivity and food self-sufficiency in the region.

The Champions in Action program was launched in 2002 by Citizens Bank and WMUR to support nonprofit organizations in their efforts in local communities.

Congratulations to everyone at Hannah Grimes.

We’ve been talking trade a lot here at the Division of Economic Development because there is so much interest in the opportunities the world over has for New Hampshire companies.

For companies that have made the leap overseas, the International Trade Resource Center has a terrific seminar coming up on Feb. 13, International Marketing: Putting Your Best Face Forward. It’s a full day of tips including how to increase website traffic and using social media in other parts of the world.

Speakers include Nancy Clark, president of Glen Group in North Conway; Allen Voivod of Epiphanies Inc., in Gilford, and Wendy Pease of Rapport International in Sudbury, Mass.

Cost is $95 and includes breakfast and lunch. Go ahead and click over to register here.

(We’ll wait for you to come back.)

It’s lights, camera, action next week for an Amherst company, which will be featured on the popular television series, World’s Greatest, which is produced by How2Media.

Vibrac is a small manufacturer marking its 53rd year and it makes the world’s most sensitive torque measurement instruments, used in aerospace, military, defense, medical, bearing and the automotive industry.

We are especially pleased with this recognition, as our folks at the New Hampshire Procurement Technical Assistance program has worked with Vibrac. The piece is set to air Feb. 4 and 11.

“Very importantly, they are not resting on their longevity,” said GordonFreeman, executive producer of the show. “They continue to launch new product lines of precision measurement instruments to help multiple industries. That makes them a company we like to feature on World’s Greatest. We think their story will be meaningful to our viewers.”

We think so, too. Click on the media link above to see where it will air near you.

We’re heading over to the 8th annual Small Business Day next Friday, Feb. 8. Brought to you by the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire, the half-day event will take a look at federal health care reform, financing strategies for your small business, the new LLC act and an update on policy issues from legislators.
Gov. Maggie Hassan will also attend.
Cost is $15 and you need to register. Call 224-5388×116 or click here.


Lorna Colquhoun

Communications Director

NH Division of Economic Development

Annual Economic Development Summit a “Declaration of Inspiration”

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Just as inspiration has led countless Granite State entrepreneurs to create products and services that are changing the world, the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development is hoping its annual gathering will spark the ideas that result in business formation.

Burns Development Group Principal Linda Burns

“The Declaration of Inspiration” is the theme of the 16th Annual New Hampshire Economic Development Summit to be held at Church Landing in Meredith on Tuesday, December 13th from 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

“Inspiration is what drives entrepreneurs to develop new ideas, attempt the impossible and stand tall in a highly competitive business environment,” said New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Interim Director Christopher Way. “It’s only fitting that we use our annual summit to recognize the great companies that are responsible for growing our economy while also opening the door for new prospective business owners to network with economic development practitioners and partner organizations.”

The keynote speaker for the event will be Burns Development Group Principal Linda Burns, a national site selector with over 30 years experience in corporate recruitment relocation and expansion strategies; economic development and workforce assessment, target marketing, government relations, and non-profit organizational planning.  She brings public sector insight to her consulting due to her years of partnering with the Dallas-Fort Worth region’s cities and the State to market and recruit major companies to Texas, including the corporate headquarters of AT&T, Comerica, Research in Motion/Blackberry, and Blockbuster. Burns will discuss how New Hampshire economic developers and businesses can work together to foster an environment that is attractive to site selectors looking to place clients interested in relocation or expansion.

In addition to the keynote address, there will be two interactive business panels offered. The “Leading the Pack – Inc. 5000” panel will feature a group of New Hampshire businesses including Rustic Crust and Dyn that were featured on this year’s Inc. 5000 list while the “Business Underground –  Rising to the Top” panel will feature a group of emerging companies including EARTHTEC, Animetrics and Tradeport USA that are known for their innovation and cutting edge technology. Other sessions will feature Glen Group Owner Nancy Clark who will discuss “How to Survive When Your Industry is Considered an Expense” and Epiphanies Inc. Co-Owner Allen Voivod who will present “Safety in Numbers: The Crowdsourcing of Inspiration.”

For the third consecutive year, Scott Spradling of the Spradling Group (www.spradlinggroup.com) will be the guest emcee. As a special touch, Melissa Koerner of Friend Your Body (www.friendyourbody.com) will kick off the day by getting attendees’ blood circulating and sharing a few tips for transforming health while “on the go.” Entertainment will be provided by local musician Jim Tyrrell (www.jimtyrrell.net) whose third full-length album “Onward to Yesterday” was released in 2010. The “Commissioner’s Awards for Economic Development Excellence” will also be presented.

Admission to the 16th Annual New Hampshire Economic Development Summit is free due to the generosity of event sponsor Public Service of New Hampshire. New Hampshire Business Review is the Summit’s media sponsor.

“Public Service of New Hampshire is once again happy to support this great conference which brings together businesses, economic developers and elected officials to help build our state’s economy,” said Public Service of New Hampshire Economic & Community Development Manager Pat McDermott. “All economic development starts with good ideas and I look forward to the networking, information sharing and exchange of views at this signature event.”

To register for the Summit, please email Catherine Goff at cgoff@dred.state.nh.us or call 271-2341.

“Power Lunch” Provides Unique Access to Social Media Experts

Monday, October 17th, 2011

When most people hear the term “power lunch,” they think business suits, martinis and high pressure deals. At the 3rd Annual “A-Ha!” NH Social Media Business Summit scheduled for October 27th at Gunstock Mountain Resort in Gilford, “Power Lunch” means having a unique opportunity to pick the collective brains of social media experts across a wide range of backgrounds and disciplines.

Fittingly enough, Public Service of New Hampshire is the sponsor of the Summit’s luncheon which will see one expert per table providing their skills, expertise and advice in a smaller group setting.

“Social media is an incredibly important tool for businesses throughout the state, and we’re extremely pleased to be able to connect companies with the experts who can help them move their communications efforts forward,” said Public Service of New Hampshire Economic & Community Development Manager Pat McDermott. “The ‘power’ in this Power Lunch comes from having a chance to ask relevant questions of a uniquely talented group of professionals who are setting the tone in social media every day.”

The Summit, produced by Epiphanies, Inc. in coordination with the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, will feature keynote speaker Abby Fichtner, Evangelist for Startups at Microsoft discussing how to “Follow Your Own Path” as well as:

Lou Bortone (online visibility expert) – “Let’s Get Engaged! The Dream Wedding of Online Video and Social Media”

Steve Boucher (New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Communications & Legislative Director) – “The No Bull Pursuit of Creativity in Business Blogging”

Nancy Clark (President and Owner Girl of the Glen Group) – “The Art of Fearless Storytelling”

Walter Elly (V2 Strategic Advisors) – “Social Media in Strange Places”

Ric Pratte (Meltwater Buzz Director) – “Where the Rubber Meets the Road: The Business Impact of Social Consumers”

Corissa St. Laurent (Constant Contact) – “Wonder Twin Powers….Activate! The Email and Social Media Super Duo”

Kevin Skarritt (CEO of Flock Marketing) – “Under the Influence: The New Social VIPs and Their Power Over Your Future”

Lani Voivod (Co-owner of Epiphanies, Inc.) – “Blip, Spurt, Dash: How to ‘A-Ha!’ Yourself and Your Biz With the Social Web”

Allen Voivod (Co-owner of Epiphanies, Inc.) – “Succeed in the Social Realm, You Will: 7 Jedi Strategies for Mastering the Social Media Force”

“This whole day is designed to be an electric, inspiring experience for attendees,” said event organizer Allen Voivod. “It’s a day to generate ideas, spark conversations and ignite positive, purpose-fueled action. It’s going to help you raise your marketing and success game overall, and raise your team and your business up with you.”

The registration fee for the 3rd Annual “A-Ha!” New Hampshire Social Media Business Summit is $75. For additional details, visit www.AhaNH.com.

Expand, Engage, and Lead at the 3rd Annual “A-Ha!” NH Social Media Business Summit

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

The word is in and the pace of change in social media has now eclipsed the speed of light. With Google+ on the scene, Facebook has responded to the pressure by rolling out powerful new features to stay competitive. What’s more, Facebook is announcing even more changes to their platform at the huge annual “f8” conference.

To help New Hampshire-based professionals get focused, spark conversations, tune into the energy of the almighty “A-Ha!”, and ignite positive, purpose-fueled action on the Social Web, Epiphanies, Inc., in coordination with the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, will host the 3rd Annual “A-Ha!” NH Social Media Business Summit on Thursday, October 27th, 2011 at Gunstock Mountain Resort in Gilford, NH.

“Social media is no longer an option for businesses and organizations,” said New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Interim Director Chris Way. “The business case has been made that these tools are just as necessary as traditional marketing methods – and in most cases even more effective. Our own “No Bull” Business Blog, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and SlideShare channels have been terrific for our visibility, and we’re proud to partner with Epiphanies on this signature event for the third year in a row.”

Lani and Allen Voivod, co-owners of Epiphanies Inc. and co-founders of the “A-Ha!” NH Social Media Business Summit, will again design and deliver the Summit, and serve as featured speakers for the day-long event. Other speakers at the Summit include:

–Abby Fichtner (Keynote), Evangelist for Startups at Microsoft and a highly regarding blogger in the Agile development field. “I have the most excellent job of getting to help startups build out the next generation of software,” she says. “I’m extremely passionate about how we can develop better software and am always seeking new ways to share knowledge with the community.”

–Lou Bortone, online visibility expert and YouTube video pro with more than 20 years under his belt as a marketing and branding executive with national media including Fox, E! Entertainment Television, The Family Channel and NBC.

–Steve Boucher, Communications and Legislative Director for the NH Division of Economic Development, whose “No Bull Business Blog” was rated “Best in Show” and “Excellent” over the last two years by the nine-state Northeast Economic Developers Association.

–Nancy Clark, Chief Strategist and President of Glen Group, a “fearlessly creative” and award-winning NH ad agency based in North Conway. Nancy is often nicknamed the “Owner Girl” at “New Hampshire’s Best Agency with Big Ideas.”

–Ric Pratte, Director of the Meltwater Buzz Social CRM platform for The Meltwater Group, a global reputation management firm with 800+ employees in 55 offices on six continents (including one in Bedford, NH).

–Corissa St. Laurent, Regional Development Director for Constant Contact, the undisputed leader of Engagement Marketing™ for hundreds of thousands of small businesses around the world.

–Kevin Skarritt, serial entrepreneur, founder of Flock Marketing, and Communications Director for Michigan CHI, the Michigan Chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction.

“This is NOT a ‘101’ training-type event, though it’s definitely suitable for both newbies and experienced users, too,” adds Lani Voivod. “While there will be countless and specific tactics and strategies shared throughout the day by our featured speakers and many other New Hampshire business leaders and new media trailblazers, the Summit will showcase what’s happening and what’s possible in the social space throughout the Granite State and the world at large.”

Continental breakfast, lunch, and refreshments are included for all attendees. In addition, popular NH singer/songwriter Jim Tyrrell will make an encore appearance at this year’s Summit, playing great music throughout the day. A networking reception, door prizes, Segway demonstrations, and (conditions pending) a demonstration of the longest zip line in the continental U.S. are also in store. Space is limited, and the previous two Summits sold out weeks in advance. To learn more, and get 50% off tickets by the early-bird deadline, go to http://www.AhaNH.com.

Inspiring Women in Business Conference Scheduled for National Small Business Week

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

woman-entrepreneurWith American Express reporting that the number of businesses owned by women in New Hampshire has grown by 37.2 percent in the last 14 years, there is no better time to be a female entrepreneur in the Granite State.

Recognizing that fact, Women Inspiring Women will present “Inspiring Women in Business” on Thursday, May 19, 2011 from 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. at SERESC Conference and Training Center, 29 Commerce Drive in Bedford. The day will celebrate National Small Business Week and include five educational sessions, exhibitors and networking.

Workshops include “Tap Into Your Inspiration” with Deb Titus of Dale Carnegie-NH, “Master Your Money Mindset” with Kathleen Burns Kingsbury of KBK Wealth Connection, “Fearless Marketing” with Nancy Clark of the Glen Group and “Growing a Successful Business” with Dr. Deborah Osgood of the Knowledge Institute. “We Mean Business,” a panel discussion featuring NH Business Review’s 2011 “Outstanding Women in Business” will also be held. These honorees and panelists include Maureen Beauregard of Families in Transition, Maren Boothby of Boothby Therapy Services, Robin Comstock of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, Andrea Johnstone, Esq. of Bernstein Shur and Karen Pollard of the Rochester Department of Economic Development.  It will be moderated by Leslie Sturgeon of Women Inspiring Women, also an “Outstanding Women in Business” honoree.

“We felt the perfect way to recognize National Small Business Week and the fact more women are starting businesses than men in NH was to bring business women from around NH together for a day of education and inspiration,” according to Leslie Sturgeon, founder and president of Women Inspiring Women.”

As a result of a generous contribution from Microsoft BizSpark, NH Division of Economic Development, Public Service of New Hampshire, and Exeter Health Resources, the registration price is only $40 and includes lunch. Reservations are needed and space is limited. Contact Women Inspiring Women at (603) 744-0400 or visit http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=jtyn8ccab&oeidk=a07e3npt4qia831e39f for more information and to register.

Women Inspiring Women was founded in 2007 in the Lakes Region by Sturgeon to give women of all ages and backgrounds an opportunity to get together at educational, fun and inspirational events on a monthly basis. Since that time the organization has expanded to Concord, Nashua, Manchester, Bedford and the Seacoast, hosts bi-weekly events including the NH Conference for Women in November, and quickly become the state’s largest organization for women’s empowerment, personal development and networking.

We’ll Drop the Gloves for You

Friday, January 21st, 2011

Honestly can’t remember too many photo shoots that begin with the line, “Do you want my teeth in or out?” But alas, when you’re getting ready to conduct a shoot with Manchester Monarchs tough guy Richard Clune, the rules of the game are different.

Layout 1The whole point of our “We’ll Drop the Gloves for You” shoot was to get across a couple of basic facts of life: 1. That the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development will do almost anything to ensure that local business owners get the answers and assistance they need and 2. That our blog isn’t “business as usual” i.e. that it has a viewpoint and a unique approach to providing information that business owners need to have.

We thank Monarchs Vice President of Community Affairs Kim Mueller for her assistance in arranging the shoot – Kim has been a longtime friend and supporter of the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development and we value our longstanding partnership. We thank the Glen Group’s Nancy Clark and Kris Mariani as well as photographer John Hession for creating an ad that is certainly capturing some great attention and we also thank Richard Clune who couldn’t have been any nicer as we tried different scenarios before finally settling on the set-up that you see on this blog post.

Besides running in the current edition of New Hampshire Business Review, this image is also used in the new Division of Economic Development display at the Verizon Wireless Arena. Come pay it a visit the next time that you’re in the mood for some great hockey!

– Steve Boucher, Communications & Legislative Director

New North Country Economic Development Site Launched

Monday, April 12th, 2010

The North Country Council and the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development have announced the launch of a new website, www.NorthCountryEconomy.com, that is designed to promote New Hampshire’s North Country as a great place to do business.

fly-fishing1In making the announcement, New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Interim Director Roy Duddy said, “The North Country has so much to offer businesses that are interested in relocating or expanding: lots of available real estate, available and skilled labor, an excellent infrastructure, some outstanding business incentives and a great quality of life. This new website details it all while giving the site visitor a real feel for what it’s like in the North Country. Site visitors have the ability to search for commercial real estate—including industrial, office and retail space—by town or for the whole region.”

The site is available in both English and French. Duddy continues, “Many Canadian companies in Quebec are looking for a way to enter the American market. Expanding into the North Country is a good move for them; they get a U.S. base in an area where real estate’s still affordable and where there’s a skilled workforce—and it’s all just over the border from their headquarters. The Division of Economic Development has been marketing to Quebec for several years, and already Canadian companies such as Codet Inc., Kheops International, and Godin Guitars have made the North Country their home.  We’re so pleased to have this new website in French to help in our economic development efforts.”

Special thanks to Nancy Clark and her fantastic team at the Glen Group for their dynamite work on this project!!

Have Motorcycle, Will Recruit

Friday, June 19th, 2009

Savvy business owners know their market and there is perhaps no savvier business owner than Anne Deli of Laconia Harley-Davidson.

I was absolutely convinced that the real hook for being able to speak to motorcylists visiting our state during Bike Week was the fact that State Business Recruiter Cindy Harrington and I would be in business suits on the back of Harleys. The juxtaposition of business attire amidst the sea of black leather would surely be an attention getter. Anne told me that it didn’t matter…..and she was right.


“You will never hear one Harley rider asking another Harley rider what he or she does for work….it doesn’t matter,” Anne said. “What matters are the motorcycles and the love of riding. That’s what binds all of our customers together.”

Still, the sight of two people in professional business attire on the back of Harleys must have been at least a little disconcerting, even if our fellow riders weren’t about to bring that fact to our attention. About the closest anyone came to asking about our non-traditional garb was a female biker who asked if I was a Jehovah’s witness.


What I was was a member of a two-person business recruitment team taking part in the “No Bull Business Run,” a motorcycle journey that left Laconia Harley-Davidson at 11 a.m. yesterday, wound its way to “Rally in the Valley” in North Conway and sped back to Laconia Harley later in the day. The purpose – to hand out collateral material regarding New Hampshire’s great business atmosphere and quality of life to visiting bikers, an upscale and affluent demographic ripe for our message about low taxes and Yankee independence.


As neither Cindy nor I are motorcyclists, we were led on our journey by Nick and Michelle from Laconia Harley, motorcycle enthuasiasts of the highest order. Accompanying us on the trip in a car were Laconia Harley’s Anne and Steve Deli, the most gracious hosts and partners we ever could have asked for, and Monica Bardier from Ping PR who was coordinating the public relations activities for the run.

What did we learn from the “No Bull Business Run”? We learned that riders love New Hampshire – they love visiting a state where the motto “Live Free or Die” still resonates, they love the natural beauty of a state that is traditionally named amongst the most livable and they love being able to shop in a state without a sales tax. We learned that visitors to our state enjoy our non-traditional approach to business recruitment – as one biker said, “This would have never happened in Massachusetts.” And what we also learned is that being on a Harley induces a state of euphoria that is unmatched – it was AWESOME.


As you might imagine, an undertaking of this kind requires a ton of planning and preparation, so much thanks is in order to the following: First and foremost Anne and Steve Deli, owners of Laconia Harley-Davidson (www.laconiaharley.com) and White Mountain Harley – this dynamic duo are two of the best business ambassadors the State has to offer; Michelle and Nick from Laconia Harley for keeping Cindy and I safe on the road; the entire staff of Laconia and White Mountain Harley – your friendliness and assistance was so greatly appreciated; Public Service of New Hampshire (and Pat McDermott in particular) for your generous sponsorship and partnership(www.psnh.com); Monica Bardier from Ping PR (www.mypingpr.com) for doing a masterful job coordinating all PR activities; Nancy Clark and the great gang over at the Glen Group (www.glengroup.com) for designing a kick….um…butt collateral piece for us to hand out – it’s a keeper!; to Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion (www.meadowbrook.net) for the free concert tickets and backstage passes to Live and Candlebox – this offer made our collateral piece a hot commodity; to Deb Avery and Leslie Sherman from the Business Resource Center for expertly manning our booth at Laconia Harley; and to Division of Economic Development Interim Director Roy Duddy for trusting me enough to carry out the crazy ideas that bounce around my cranium.

Thanks also to the many bikers we met along the way yesterday. We love having you here as visitors and want you to return as business owners!

– Steve Boucher, Communications & Legislative Director

P.S. To see more photos of the “No Bull Business Run,” join our fan page on Facebook under “NH Economy.”