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Big Week for Small Business

Friday, May 18th, 2012

Stop and think for a moment about the small businesses in your life.

            The corner store where you can count on picking up the morning paper and catching up on conversation and where it is especially busy at lunchtime when the crew from the machine shop, the auto body place and the landscaping project show up to grab a sandwich.

            The coffee shop where the waitress knows your eggs are over easy and you need extra cream for the coffee.

            The dry cleaner, the jeweler, the gift shop … the list goes on. These are the places that give our communities character (and characters) and keep our economies robust.

            But behind the cheerful faces we associate with these places we turn to make our lives easier are the challenges of keeping a small business in business.

            According to the Small Business Administration, there are about 131,000 small businesses across New Hampshire, representing over 96 percent of all employers and 51 percent of the private sector workforce.

            They are the lifeblood of the New Hampshire economy and all throughout next week, they are being celebrated.

            Beginning Monday, the Manchester Economic Development Office is hosting the second annual Manchester Small Business Week, which is packed full of programs of interest to those who tend small businesses.

            Several of them address one of the biggest concerns of  not only of those who turn the sign in the window to ‘open’ every morning, but those men and women looking for just that chance and entrepreneurs, who have the sign but need some help to find the right door to hang it – financing.

            The week-long event kicks off at 11:30 a.m. Monday at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center downtown. U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, New York Times reporter Amy Cortese, who wrote Locavesting: The Revolution in Local Investing and How to Profit From It and a panel of small business owners – Jeff Baker, president – Image 4; Nick Soggu, founder and CEO of Silvertech; Deb Desrosiers, owner of Visiting Angels and Jim Doyle, president and CEO of XMA Corp. will all provide a lively start to the week.

            If you are a small business owner – or would like to become one – check out the comprehensive schedule of events going on throughout the week.

Inc. Magazine Celebrates 26 Fast Growing NH Companies

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Twenty-six…..that’s the magic number of New Hampshire firms that have made it to Inc Magazine’s list of “5000 Fastest Growing Companies in the U.S.”

What amazed me the most about the Granite State businesses listed were their diversity – you have a gift basket company, some entries from the high tech realm and, yes, even the company that designed this web site.

I hope that you’ll join me in saluting the achievements of the following New Hampshire companies:

NorAm International Partners  – Hudson
Namtek – Bedford     
RevereIT – Nashua     
Rustic Crust – Pittsfield     
RewardsNOW – Dover     
Planet Fitness  – Newington    
Dyn – Manchester     
GourmetGiftBaskets.com  – Londonderry     
Bean Group   – Portsmouth     
Cellular Specialties   – Manchester     
Benefit Strategies  – Manchester     
Digital Prospectors  – Exeter     
Integrated Deicing Services  – MANCHESTER     
TMSi Logistics  – Portsmouth     
MAS Medical Staffing – Manchester     
W.S. Badger Company – Gilsum     
KBW Financial Staffing & Recruiting  – Bedford     
BuyATimeshare.com – Merrimack     
D.R. Guilbeault Air Compressor – Hudson     
Agility Mfg  – Dover     
Trade Wings – Portsmouth     
SilverTech  – Manchester     
North American Equipment Upfitters   – Hooksett     
Highland Forwarding – Bedford     
The Barking Dog  – Exeter     
Favorite Foods – Somersworth   

For more information, visit  http://www.inc.com/inc5000/welcome.

– Steve Boucher, NH Division of Economic Development Communications & Legislative Director

NHBSR Spring Conference Planned

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility’s (NHBSR) Spring Conference, “Integrating Corporate Social Responsibility into Your Core Business Strategy,” will take place on Monday, June 13, 2011 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Grappone Conference Center at the Courtyard Marriott in Concord, NH.

nhbsr“Corporate social responsibility isn’t just a good business practice, it also adds to your company’s bottom line,” said NHBSR Interim Executive Director Kate Luczko. “This conference will not only help your business to better meet the needs of your clients and employees, it will also provide you with information you need to grow your business in a sustainable way.”

The conference features a lively morning networking session, the presentation of the NHBSR Cornerstone Award, four educational breakout sessions, and an afternoon CEO panel.
These educational sessions, which will offer real world suggestions that are appropriate and applicable to any size company, include “New Hampshire’s Changing Workforce: The Growing Need for Flexibility,” “Successfully Integrating Corporate Social Responsibility into Your Core Strategy and Culture,” “Current Trends in Managing Corporate Citizenship,” and “Managing Sustainability Performance with the Balanced Scorecard.”

At noon, Lisa Hardin Berghaus, Marketing Specialist, Monadnock Paper Mills, NHBSR Board Member and Spring Conference Co-Chair, will introduce Governor John Lynch who will present NHBSR’s annual Cornerstone Award to a company that exemplifies the principles of corporate social responsibility and promotes the concepts of CSR to the greater business community within the state of New Hampshire. The finalists for this year’s Cornerstone Award are: Antioch University, Sequoya Technologies Group, and Northeast Delta Dental.

“NHBSR is delighted to recognize one of our members with this award. It’s a fantastic way to highlight outstanding work in the field of social responsibility and sustainability and provides a important example to our New Hampshire community,” Luczko said.

C&S Wholesale Grocers was the proud recipient of the 2010 NHBSR Cornerstone Award for their efforts in feeding the hungry, promoting environmental awareness and encouraging employee volunteerism.

Here’s a brief overview of this year’s nominees:

Northeast Delta Dental
Northeast Delta Dental specializes in the administration of dental programs. It is their mission to be the leading force in the dental prepayment marketplace by offering quality, versatile and affordable dental programs to benefit their purchasers, subscribers, and participating member dentists. They have created a corporate environment built upon high trust and mutual respect. They are a values-driven company that successfully balances profitability and socially-responsible initiatives. Their leadership team follows the principles of servant leadership, enabling all employees, customers, and stockholders to be free from bureaucratic red tape, to self-actualize, and to have a delightful experience with Northeast Delta Dental.

Antioch University New England
Since its founding in 1964, Antioch University New England (ANE) has supported the tenets of Corporate Social Responsibility, and as its mission, provides transformative graduate study education through scholarship, innovation, and community action for a just and sustainable society. Antioch University New England supports CSR in three ways. Antioch operate the business of running a university using CSR principles, they educate their students in CSR principles, and through many of their student practices and internships, they help businesses and organizations locally and throughout New England recognize and begin to adopt CSR principles.

Sequoya Technologies Group
Sequoya is a managed IT services and software design firm specializing in meeting the needs of small businesses in southern New Hampshire. They’re located in Peterborough and provide IT support throughout the greater Monadnock region, including Keene, Concord, Manchester, and Nashua. They’ve also performedsoftware development projects for clients in New York, Denver, and beyond. They have a dedicated team of technicians, network engineers, and software developers. Sequoya truly believes in the values of a supportive and enjoyable work environment, with many benefits that are unusual for a company of only seven people, including flexible work schedules, paid vacation and sick leave, health insurance for both full-time and part-time staff, and more.

Following the Cornerstone Award Presentation there will be a CEO Panel Discussion, a new feature for the conference. The moderator is Jon Greenberg, Executive Editor at NH Public Radio, and panelists include Gerardine Ferlins, President/CEO of Cirtronics Corporation, Nannu Nobis, founder and CEO of Nobis Engineering, Inc., Doug Vincent, President and CEO of Design Mentor, Inc, Walter Chapin, Co-founder and CEO of Company C, Inc., and John Hamilton, Vice President of Economic Opportunity at the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund. Following the CEO Panel Discussion there will be a short break and the Educational Breakout Sessions from the morning will repeat.

Over twenty-five socially responsible exhibitors will be showcasing their products and services throughout the conference, as well as the Silent Auction and Sustainability Book Store.

This event is made possible by the generosity of many sponsors.  Conference Leaders: FairPoint Communications, Normandeau Associates, the New Hampshire Community and Development Finance Authority, Monadnock Paper Mill and Hannaford. Conference Partners; Public Service of New Hampshire, and PAX World. AM Networking sponsor is Nixon Peabody LLP. CEO Panel sponsor is NH Community Loan Fund. Carbon Offset for this event was sponsored by C&S Wholesale Grocers. The Tote-bag sponsors are Northeast Delta Dental and Hypertherm. Design, paper and printing were provided by Baker Salmon Design, Monadnock Paper Mill and RAM Printing. NHBSR web marketing is sponsored by SilverTech.

The cost is $125 for any NHBSR member, $150 for non-members, $50 for non-profits and $30 for students.

For more detailed information about the Spring Conference, please visit http://www.nhbsrconference.org/ or contact Interim Executive Director, Kate Luczko at kate@nhbsr.org, (603) 391-7437. For more information about NHBSR, visit our website at www.nhbsr.org

SWP to Host Web Site Launch Party

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

New Hampshire’s Super Secret Project will help Stay Work Play, Inc. kick off their website launch party and college tour, sponsored by Citizens Bank.  The event, which is free to the public, will be held at Boynton’s Taproom in Manchester on Thursday, October 7, 2010. 

The kickoff event will feature a live performance of the New Hampshire-themed music video “Granite State of Mind” by the Super Secret Project. Invited dignitaries include Governor John Lynch and Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas. In addition, there will be ample networking opportunities with young professionals and leaders from across the state.

stay-work-play-logo“We believe that a bank should contribute to the growth and vibrancy of its communities, said Cathleen A. Schmidt, president of Citizens Bank.  “We are excited to partner with Stay Work Play to help encourage more college students to stay, work and play in New Hampshire after graduation.  The Stay Work Play website features all of the opportunities that the granite state has to offer to the young workforce today and serves as a reliable networking portal.”

super-secret-projectPlanned for the fall and winter, the college campus tour will bring entertainment to a few New Hampshire college campuses to engage students and encourage them to use the Stay Work Play web site at www.stayworkplay.org and organization as a resource for launching a career in New Hampshire.  Stay Work Play is rapidly building a following on Facebook and Twitter and traffic has been building steadily since the beta launch of the site over the summer. The Stay Work Play website includes hundreds of links to other websites, as well as information, photos, and content that is divided into sections that relate to staying, working, and playing in New Hampshire. Special features include linkages to all of the young professionals networks across the state, to Facebook and Twitter feeds, a living index, and resources regarding jobs in the state, housing, events, and activities.
“As an organization, we have some great momentum right now and really look forward to the launch party, college road trip, and gaining more feedback so we can make the Stay Work Play website and other outreach efforts as effective and meaningful as possible,” said Chris Williams, co-chair of the Stay Work Play Board and President of the Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce. 

Stay Work Play is a non-profit organization established in 2009 to build off the work of the 55% Initiative, an effort originally launched by the University System of New Hampshire to help encourage more college students to stay work and play in the state after graduation.  The effort gained additional support through the work of the Governor’s Task Force on Young Worker Recruitment and Retention, which recommended the creation of an independent organization to lead an effort to serve younger workers in the state and create a web portal that could serve their informational and networking needs.

Over the next several months, the organization plans to add in a customized events calendar, enhance the job search component, launch a video contest, and assist with an event that will recognize companies and individuals who excel at addressing the needs of younger workers in New Hampshire. 
Stay Work Play was incorporated in 2009 by the heads of the University System of NH, the Business and Industry Association of NH, the NH High Tech Council, the NH College and University Council, and the NH Department of Resources and Economic Development (DRED).  Its charter partners, Fidelity Investments, Delta Dental, Comcast, SilverTech, and DRED provided initial support to develop the site, and the organization is now supported through sponsors of the website.  More information on the organization and on sponsorship opportunities can be found on the website, www.stayworkplay.org. For details on the event, http://stayworkplay.eventbrite.com, or contact Executive Director, Kate Luczko, kate@stayworkplay.org, (603) 860-2245.