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Posts Tagged ‘NH SBDC’

Join Us for Small Business Day Feb. 10

Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

We are partnering again this year with the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire on the 12th annual Small Business Day, focusing on challenges and opportunities facing small businesses. We are also joined by the New Hampshire Small Business Development Center, the U.S. Small Business Administration and local and regional chambers of commerce and business associations.

The cost to attend is $20 (including breakfast) and you do not have to be a member of the BIA to attend. This is a popular event; be sure to register early!

7:30 a.m.         Registration & Continental Breakfast

8 a.m.               Welcoming Remarks
Governor Chris Sununu

Senate President Chuck Morse

8:15 a.m.          Financing Options for Small Business
Learn about traditional and alternative (non-traditional) options for financing your small business from a panel of experts – Gary Barr, TD Bank; John Hamilton, Community Loan Fund; and Greta Johansson, U.S. Small Business Administration.

9:10 a.m.          Small Business Boosters!
Accessing global markets, bidding on, and winning, government contracts, and putting the state’s Job Training Fund to work are ways to boost your small business’s competitiveness. These programs are offered for free through the NH Division of Economic Development. Presenters: Tina Kasim, Office of International Commerce; Dave Pease, NH Government Contracting Assistance Center; Michael Power, Office of Workforce Opportunity.

10:15 a.m.       Affordable Care Act Under Attack: Implications for Small Business

Hear about how changes to the ACA may impact your business and employees. Presented by Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health and New Hampshire Medical Society.

11:10 a.m.       Taxing Issues for Small Business
Whether it is “reasonable compensation,” apportionment, or taxes relating to the Affordable Care Act, there has never been a time more complex for the small business owner when it comes to taxes. We have assembled a panel of New Hampshire’s finest tax accountants and attorneys who will present on recent state and federal tax changes affecting the small business community and respond to your specific questions on taxes impacting your individual businesses. Presenters: Karl Heafield, Baker Newman Noyes; Kevin Kennedy, Maloney & Kennedy; John Rich, McLane Middleton; and Steve Lawlor, Nathan Wechsler

Register Now!

5 Questions with Rich Grogan, New Hampshire Small Business Development Center

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

Rich Grogan has been on the run since early last spring, when he became the state director for the New Hampshire Small Business Development Center, a job to which he brings experience and enthusiasm. It’s always good to catch up with him and especially for small business owners here in New Hampshire, he and the SBDC are great resources about which you should know.

Rich Grogan

Rich Grogan

1. Congratulations on becoming state director of the NH SBDC! You’ve been in the position for over six months now – what’s the most surprising thing you’ve learned in that time?

Thank you! I’m thrilled to be in my new role, and I’m fortunate to take over for Mary Collins, who left us in a very strong position. She is missed by everyone I meet, but knowing Mary, she’ll continue to work on her many passions around the state going forward.

With respect to surprises, I knew our staff was outstanding but I had no idea how dedicated they are every day to work on behalf of New Hampshire’s businesses. Everyone has been eager for collaboration to build businesses in New Hampshire. I was also surprised at the strength of our National ASBDC network. Other state directors in particular are willing and eager to reach out and support new folks coming into these positions; that has been helpful and appreciated.

Finally, I knew our reputation was strong in the Monadnock Region, where I worked as part of the SBDC at Keene State College, but I was thrilled to find that this reputation extends throughout the state.

2. You’re a North Carolina native who first joined the New Hampshire SBDC as the Keene regional manager three years ago. What do you find particularly compelling about New Hampshire, as it pertains to small business success?

I’m from Winston-Salem, which was hollowed out in the 1980s by the loss of Wachovia Bank, textiles, furniture manufacturing, and rounds of layoffs at the City’s largest corporation, RJ Reynolds Tobacco. What I witnessed as I spent time in the city during college, and visiting since, is the power of small businesses to slowly bring an economy back; Winston-Salem is now roaring. That foundation has propelled me into my current work.

What I find distinct about New Hampshire is the entrepreneurial spirit that exists in everyone, and I mean truly everyone. In my role at Keene State, I met people with very full time jobs who had something they were designing on the side, or a plan to become a consultant utilizing their corporate skills, or similar. This is just amazing to me – we have so much talent across all demographics in New Hampshire that is just waiting to be unleashed!

One of the reasons I love my job now is that as soon as I say what I do, people want to talk to me about their business ideas; they could be 30 or 80, and they are still thinking and working on a better way to do something, a better process, or a business model that they think could work. It opens up a completely different conversation than we otherwise would have had – such an interesting way to be in the world.

3. The NH SBDC is a cooperative venture of the US SBA and the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development, among other organizations. What does the NH SBDC do for businesses that isn’t already done or offered by the SBA or DRED?

Thanks for highlighting the cooperative nature of our program. Many people don’t realize that we are hosted by the Paul College at the University of New Hampshire and are a cooperative venture of SBA and DRED. I personally think that having all of these as invested stakeholders makes our program stronger, and we get to be a part of multiple teams, all working for the betterment and growth of New Hampshire’s economy.

What we do for businesses as SBDC is really get under the hood with clients, working right beside them over a long-term horizon on all aspects of their business. This includes business plans, preparing to seek capital, building an accounting system, setting a marketing strategy, determining when to hire additional employees, etc. Our suite of services is broad, which means that our staff has to be agile and have multiple threads of intelligence to be able to tackle all of these subjects. The best part is, our services are of no cost to the business owner!

We work a little differently with SBA than with DRED. We are funded through SBA at the federal level, and are an official resource partner. This links us into a network of other SBA resource partners, and allows us to collaborate in ways that are mutually beneficial. For example, the SBA organizes commercial lender roundtables across the state, which helps the SBA understand the lending environment and helps us to understand how we can better serve businesses in a given region. We also share information, work to recognize outstanding businesses, and collaborate on events, such as the upcoming Small Business Matchmaker in December.

The Matchmaker is a good segue to our relationship with DRED, as PTAP (Procurement Technical Assistance Program for government contracting support) is also a partner in that event. This three-way partnership is also a good example, I think, of the difference in New Hampshire … we are so collaborative here.

DRED is also a funding partner, and we work closely with the Division of Economic Development’s resource specialists in the field. The resource specialists are experts at the resources the State of New Hampshire can bring to bear to assist small business growth, and often they will bring the SBDC in to provide technical assistance as part of a broader project to help a business succeed. I like to think that SBDC’s expertise is also a selling point for DRED’s efforts to recruit businesses into the state. We also refer clients to DED who need assistance with understanding statewide resources as a complement to our technical advising. Of course, we love interacting with our DRED colleagues throughout the organization, but we are certainly most closely in sync with DED.

4. Can you share a recent success story or two that illustrate the kind of assistance the NH SBDC provides to small businesses?

I am going to use my answer to this question to shamelessly plug our new website, which went live a couple of weeks ago. The site has clear links to our ongoing catalog of client stories, which highlight the kind of successes about which you asked. One of the wonderful things about our organization is that we work with an incredibly wide range of businesses, so our successes range from manufacturers in the North Country to technology firms in Nashua, and everything and everywhere in between. It is most interesting for me to see us work with, for example, an anchor employer in a community, as I did in Keene, and also work with a retailer that may sell that company’s products in the same town. It’s like getting a glimpse into a rich picture of the diversity of a local economy.

I also want to say a bit about what success means to us. For SBDC, since we work with clients for such a long time, many of our individual days don’t end with a huge splash. Rather, it is victory to see a client get some traction on their marketing plan, start up successfully with a strong foundation, access capital they have been working towards for several months, or any number of similar moves forward. These don’t always create big headlines, but they are cumulative … they are the nuts and bolts of building, sustaining, and growing a small business, and it takes an approach like the SBDC’s to eventually get to that big headline.

5. What’s exciting/interesting/important on the horizon for the NH SBDC?

We are always moving forward at the SBDC and we’ll only be amplifying that culture moving forward. This has been an internally-focused year for us because of a leadership transition (me), a couple of new hires, and our national accreditation this month, which builds continuous improvement into our program. In the coming year, our stakeholders and clients across the state will see the introduction of new e-learning courses, more resources in the field, and a new look and feel for SBDC. As a staff, we’ll be working on a new strategic plan in the first half of 2016, about which I’m very excited. I want us to transition to a short, nimble plan that we can all own and deploy, and that is integrated with the outstanding work that our partners are doing, such as DRED and SBA. Stay tuned!

5 Questions with Mary Collins of NH SBDC

Friday, July 24th, 2015

There’s no way to  sum up adequately, in such a short space, the impact a person like Mary Collins has had on the state of New Hampshire. At the end of May, Mary retired after more than two decades of service with the New Hampshire Small Business Development Center, working tirelessly to improve the fortunes of thousands of small businesses, as well as the overall economy of the Granite State.

On the occasion of her retirement, we asked Mary a few questions – five, to be precise – about her time with the SBDC, the business environment in New Hampshire, and whether she’ll still be involved in the inner business workings of the state she’ll continue to call home.

1. You were with the SBDC for 22 years and served as state director for 18 of them. As you look back, what are two or three things you’ll remember most fondly about your time there?

– Engagement, and the long lasting friendships that I made with colleagues, clients, stakeholders, students and staff throughout New Hampshire and the US. As SBDC state director, I covered the entire state, served on numerous boards in NH and also had the opportunity to serve on the national Association of Small Business Development Center’s board, as well as the national accreditation team. This job has provided me the opportunity to meet and engage with wonderful people throughout New Hampshire and in all states throughout the US. Each time I drove to the North Country and passed through the notch, or headed to Keene or Portsmouth, I would think how fortunate I was to have a job that allowed me to take in the beauty of New Hampshire while working!

– Legislative Activity. SBDC is a cooperative program with the US SBA, the Department of Resources and Economic Development, the University of New Hampshire and the private sector – maintaining our federal, state and local funding is a key component of this job – and I have to admit I am a political junkie and have loved this part of my job – I love going to Washington, DC and to the Hill. Yes, we have had our critical moments such as sequestration and natural and economic disasters affecting our small businesses, however during the past 18 years I’ve been fortunate to have worked closely with our entire federal delegation and its amazing staffers, as well as several New Hampshire governors and many state legislators. This can only happen in a small state like New Hampshire – my colleagues in the large states envy our access to top federal and state leadership.

– The ability to be creative! Each day I could wake up and think of some activity or process that might assist a small business client or our staff and we could actually make it happen. The job is truly entrepreneurial and only possible with a great supportive staff, which I have so appreciated.

2. A lot has changed in the world of small business over the last two decades. But what would you say has stayed the same (and still remains important) for small businesses today?

Building a sustainable business requires a team effort – there are numerous federal and state programs to assist small businesses, yet entrepreneurs are so busy with day-to-day survival that they are not always aware, or do not have the time to search out these programs. A savvy entrepreneur will utilize all resources available to them as they build a strong foundation for their business – the payoff is measurable. What has also stayed the same is the need to have access to capital!

3. Your efforts to support business in the state go far beyond the SBDC. How has your work with the New Hampshire High Tech Council and EPSCOR (to name just two) also helped the SBDC with its own mission?

My philosophy has always been that small businesses need a  voice at the table.  The reality is that they do not have the time to attend outside meetings, nor are they always aware of critical opportunities. During the 13 years that I served on the board of the NHHTC, I was able to match the needs of SBDC clients with opportunities I learned about through NHHTC member companies, or those with whom we collaborated, such as legislators, entrepreneurs, academia etc.

For example, a SBDC client who needed an engineering lab to further develop his product was approached by a Massachusetts university, but he wanted to stay in New Hampshire. We were able to match that client with a lab at UNH.

The same has been true with my participation on the EPSCOR board, which has representation from Dartmouth, UNH, the state, and the private sector – all directed at grant opportunities for entrepreneurs in New Hampshire. The SBDC provides assistance to all aspects of running a small business – we can be our clients’ voices at the state, federal, and local level through our engagement in specific boards and committees.

4. What’s next for you? Are you retiring completely, moving onto another venture, or just taking time to see what will happen next?

I had been thinking about retirement for the last couple years, but I always found something else that I wanted/needed to do in my career. My husband retired four years ago and had been bugging me to join him. What finally convinced me was having time available for our long-planned trips, as well as travel to see my children and grandchildren. My son and his family are in Florida; my daughter is in Las Angeles  and my four siblings and their families are located throughout the US. We have lived in New Hampshire since 1972 and we’re not leaving! We are selling our home of 38 years in Mont Vernon and are moving to Wolfeboro where we purchased a retirement home; winter months will be in Florida.

I love being active in New Hampshire and am taking time to consider my next venture. Last fall, I was appointed by Gov. Hassan to serve on the New Hampshire Judicial Conduct Committee and look forward to continuing with that committee. In the meantime, my garden needs attention and summer in Wolfeboro on Lake Winnipesaukee with good friends at our yacht club seems very attractive!

5. You stayed on as an adviser to your successor, Rich Grogan, as he settled into the state director position. What would you say are his strongest qualities?

I was extremely fortunate to have excellent advice on doing a transition plan, as I can’t imagine how one walks out the door on a Friday after 18 years in this position and is completely retired. The state director’s job is one that consumes your mind day and night. The transition was carefully thought out and approved by UNH and the SBA. A search committee was established and a national search for the new state director conducted.

Rich Grogan, our Keene regional manager, was selected for the position and officially took over April 6. In the last two months, we have communicated on all issues as they surface – the job is complex with many stakeholders and funders, including federal grants, state contracts and a staff located statewide. The transition has been extremely smooth and Rich is amazing. His grasp of the global picture and the needs of small businesses is excellent. He hit the ground running and had used his time effectively by engaging our existing network and board while forging new relationships for the SBDC. He has a great sense of humor and is well-respected by staff and colleagues.

I am very fortunate to be leaving a program I care so deeply about in the hands of someone who cares about sustaining and growing the NH SBDC. Rich knows that I am just an email or phone call away, which insures continuity for our clients, staff and partners.

Grogan Named NH SBDC State Director; Begins April 6

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015
Rich Grogan

Rich Grogan

Following a nationwide search, Dr. Rich Grogan, PhD has been named the new state director for the New Hampshire Small Business Development Center, succeeding Mary Collins.

The NH SBDC is a co-operative program partnership between SBA, the University Of New Hampshire Peter T. Paul School Of Business and Economics and the Department of Resources and Economic Development. Since 1984, it has provided assistance in more than 200 communities throughout the state and assisted more than 39,000 Granite State entrepreneurs representing over 18,000 businesses.

“The New Hampshire Small Business Development Center is a key link for businesses in various stages of their growth here in the state and one of our valued partners,” said Jeff Rose, Commissioner of NH Department of Resources and Economic Development. “Rich brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his new position and will be a great benefit for businesses working with SBDC.”

Grogan, most recently the Keene regional manager for NH SBDC, begins his new position on April 6.

He is a native of North Carolina and before joining the NH SBDC, Grogan was a professor in the MBA in organizational and environmental sustainability program at Antioch University New England. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in business from Wake Forest University; an MPA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and he earned his PhD in organizational sustainability from Michigan State University.

“I am ecstatic to transition into a leadership position in this organization, especially because I feel that we are in a position of strength. We have an amazingly talented staff, and current State Director Mary Collins’ leadership has positioned us well for the future,” he said. “Entrepreneurship and the growth of small businesses are hot topics right now, and the SBDC, which has been in this business for 30 years in the state, is well positioned to lead the conversation about the growth of this community for the next 30 years and beyond.”

The NH SBDC Lead Center located in Durham, oversees the day to day operations, with satellite offices throughout the state. Its full-time certified business advisors provide one-on-one long-term management advising to small businesses, at no cost to the client. They are experienced business owners or managers, and have been certified through the New England SBDC Professional Development Program.

For more information visit: nhsbdc.org.

That Time Again: Register Today for Small Business Day

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

It’s that time of year again – the Business and Industry Association’s annual Small Business Day, taking place from 7:30 am – noon, on Friday (the 13th) at the Holiday Inn, Concord.

Now in its 10th year, the BIA partners up with us and the New Hampshire Small Business Development Center for discussions with small business owners from around the state and timely information that helps them to manage and grow their businesses.

Gov. Maggie Hassan has been invited to make welcoming remarks, followed by a panel discussion featuring the state’s top elected leaders: Senate President Chuck Morse; House Speaker Shawn Jasper; Senate Democratic Leader Jeff Woodburn, and House Democratic Leader Stephen Shurtleff. The state leadership panel will focus specifically on top small business issues of 2015 and how state elected leaders will resolve them.

Three educational sessions will follow. The first, Strong Businesses – Strong Profits – Strong Economy, will feature panelists Commissioner Jeffrey Rose, New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development; Kit McCormick, New Hampshire Small Business Development Center; and a representative from TD Bank. They will discuss the NH SBDC’s pilot program to help business owners pinpoint areas in their businesses that would benefit from targeted SBDC assistance, educational resources and accountability, ultimately helping to strengthen their bottom lines.

During the next session, New Hampshire’s Energy Crisis: How Did We Get Here and What Can We Do About It?, Maureen Callahan, business development manager for Usource Inc., and Emile Clavet, co-owner of Provider Power, will discuss the circumstances causing New Hampshire’s dramatically rising energy costs and strategies to address this critical challenge.

The final session, Update on the ACA: Obligations and Opportunities for Small Businesses, feature discussion the current environment surrounding the Affordable Care Act, requirements for business owners and opportunities to better control their healthcare dollars.

The cost to attend Small Business Day is $15 per person and includes continental breakfast. Register here or call 603.224.5388 x116.

NH SBDC Turns 30! Join the Celebration!

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

The New Hampshire Small Business Development Center celebrates 30 years of helping people turn their dream of opening a business into reality. State Director Mary Collins is our guest blogger today and she joins us at 3 pm next Wednesday (Nov. 19) on our radio show on WTPL-FM 107.7, New Hampshire Business Matters. Happy Anniversary and many more. – Ed.

There’s more to a business than bricks and mortar. Inside every door are people who took their dreams and passion and put them to work. For every single business in New Hampshire, big or small, there’s a story and who doesn’t love a good story?

SBDCThe New Hampshire Small Business Development Center turns 30 this month and we’ve been having a great time telling the stories of some of the thousands of people we’ve met since 1984, helping them to forge their vision, turning it into a business and success.

We’re also throwing a party, and you’re invited, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

NH SBDC is reaching out across the years to connect with clients, partners, staff, advisory board members, supporters and friends with one simple request – we want your face. Email your photos, along with your name, affiliation, and how you are/were connected with us to nh.sbdc@unh.edu or post it to our Facebook page, or tweet it @NHSBDC #nhsbdc30th.

For the past few weeks, we have been featuring these folks on our Facebook and Business Tips pages. All the photos received will become part of the Faces of SBDC slideshow at the upcoming anniversary party.

Set aside 5:30 to 8 pm next Thursday (Nov. 20) at Dyn (150 Dow St., Manchester) for the celebration, which will feature refreshments (including wines, craft beers and mead) and door prizes, many from our past and present clients. We’ll premiere our short film and Gov. Hassan has been invited.

Register here.

We couldn’t turn 30 with our anniversary sponsors: Northeast Utilities – PSNH; Business NH Magazine, TD Bank; UNH Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics; Peter T. Paul, and Peter Paul Wines.  And we also thank our funding partners for 30 years:  U.S. Small Business Administration, the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development and the University of New Hampshire.

Mary Collins

State Director

NH Small Business Development Center

SBDC Launches New Online Finance Site for Entrepreneurs

Friday, June 25th, 2010

The New Hampshire Small Business Development Center, an outreach program of the University of New Hampshire Whittemore School of Business and Economics, has launched a new online course for entrepreneurs seeking guidance on how to finance a New Hampshire business. The course is the latest addition to the center’s broad offering of free online resources available to entrepreneurs.

sbdcDeveloped by the NH SBDC as the primary resource on financing a business in the state, the 90-minute course, “Financing a Business in NH,” contains a myriad of financing resources and tools for New Hampshire business owners and helps entrepreneurs navigate the maze of funding options available in the state.  

“The Small Business Development Center does an excellent job in assisting our small businesses, which are the backbone of our economy. This new online course is another way the Center is working to provide the assistance businesses and entrepreneurs need to be successful here in New Hampshire,” Gov. John Lynch said. 

The NH SBDC announced the launch of the course earlier this week at a meeting of the governor and Executive Council at the New Hampshire State House. The course is sponsored by the Community Bankers Association of New Hampshire, Inc., and is part of the center’s e-Learning program, which is sponsored by Public Service of New Hampshire. 

“The growth and development of successful small businesses in NH will have a significant impact on job creation and the health of our economy,” states Peter Winship, Executive Director, Community Bankers Association of NH. “Through support of this new SBDC e-course New Hampshire’s community banks can actively provide direct financial resources and information 24/7 to New Hampshire’s business community.”   

 “’Financing a Business in NH’” is the most recent addition to the SBDC’s robust e-Learning program,” states SBDC director Mary Collins, “and we are thrilled to have the support and backing of our longtime partners,  the Community Bankers Association of NH.”  Launched in 2008, the e-Learning program provides entrepreneurs more than 23 courses in several areas of business, including management, finance and marketing, at no cost. New and experienced business owners may take a course in one sitting, or over time, depending on their schedules.  According to Collins, “More than 2,000 online courses have been completed by business owners and entrepreneurs in 203 NH communities since the program started.” To view “Financing a Business in NH,” visit the center’s e-Learning portal at http://www.nhsbdc.org/e-Learning-entrepreneurs.
The NH Small Business Development Center provides confidential business management consulting and educational programs to New Hampshire’s small businesses. The NH SBDC is the only NH agency that has full-time certified business advisors providing one-on-one, long-term, management consulting to small businesses. NH SBDC is a cooperative venture with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the State of New Hampshire (DRED), the University System of New Hampshire, and the private sector. For more info on NH SBDC, visit www.nhsbdc.org.

The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state’s flagship public institution, enrolling more than 12,200 undergraduate and 2,200 graduate students.