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Archive for July, 2009

Social Networking the Focus of “First Class Business”

Friday, July 31st, 2009

14 million tweetaholics can’t be wrong. If you’ve ever wondered about how social networking via Twitter and Facebook can help your business’ bottom line, you’ll want to be listening to WTPL’s “First Class Business” segment on Wednesday, August 5th at 4 p.m. when Epiphanies Inc. Co-Founder Allen Voivod is featured.

“With millions of Americans using these new communications tools to reach friends, customers and business prospects from around the globe, it’s a great time to explore this phenomenon,” said New Hampshire Today Host Jack Heath who, along with New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Communications & Legislative Director Steve Boucher, will host this month’s “First Class Business” segment. “Whether you’re a novice or someone who accesses social media on a regular basis, this segment will teach you something that will help your business set the pace.”

Boucher said that Lakes Region-based Epiphanies Inc.’s rapid rise as a force in the world of social marketing owes much to the firm’s creativity and ability to follow the ever changing developments in the world of communications techology.

allen-voivod“Allen and Lani Voivod (Epiphanies Inc. founders) are two of the most creative thinkers in the industry,” Boucher said. “In addition to helping the Division of Economic Development launch its ‘No Bull Business Blog,’ they’re shaping the communications tactics and strategies of some great companies of tomorrow.  They are truly a ‘first class business.’”

“First Class Business” appears on a monthly basis as part of the “New Hampshire Today” program that runs from 3-5 p.m. Monday through Friday on “The Pulse.” “New Hampshire Today” host Jack Heath and New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development Commissioner George Bald share good news about innovative new products created by New Hampshire companies, community service projects undertaken by local businesses and firms that are thriving despite a tough economic climate.

To listen live, tune in to WTPL 107.7 on Wednesday, August 5th at 4 p.m. or visit WTPL online at www.wtplfm.com.

Prepare Your Business for the Future Today

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

How would you like to be able to predict future economic trends? Interested in learning how to develop a workforce that is ready to compete not only locally, but globally? Ready to take the next step in your business’ evolutionary path?

If so, you’ll want to pay close attention to a new feature on the www.nheconomy.com Web site. “Tomorrow’s Business Advice Today” is the title of a feature that will change the way that you conduct your business. Written from the viewpoint of someone who has been in the boardroom as well as the classroom, this monthly offering will provide you with the information that you need to make meaningful changes in your company.

russ-ouellette-24The author of “Tomorrow’s Business Advice Today” is Dr. Russ Ouellette, DM, a a recognized expert in high performance coaching, executive leadership and organizational development. Russ’ ability to combine knowledge, experience, and human connection allows for absolute reach and application of client motivation towards productive action. His diverse professional and executive coaching practice over the past 26 years informs and provides him with vast knowledge of human and business solutions among professional workers. His perspective is also solidly in the future of organizational and business practices, allowing his readers and clients the advantage of contemporary critical business and organizational thinking.

Russ began his professional career in finance at Raytheon Company, where he led many teams in various functions, including manufacturing, engineering, contracts, and organizational development. He has worked for many branded executives, which launched his passion into organizational performance. He has also engaged in a variety of industries, including financial services, healthcare, marketing, automotive, and the military.

Currently, Russ’ consulting as part of his work at Bedford, NH-based Sojourn Partners centers on executive performance, firm strategic planning, and organizational intervention. In addition, he teaches thesis graduate students and contributes to the development of a doctorial program at New England College. He also teaches organizational leadership at the University of Phoenix and mentors many doctorial students through dissertation. Russ is a member of The Academy of Management and a contributor to many community groups that focus on under-represented small-business citizens.

Welcome aboard to Russ and be sure to be watching for “Tomorrow’s Business Advice Today!”

– Steve Boucher, NH Division of Economic Development

International Tools That You Can Use

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

With New Hampshire exporting products to over 160 countries, there’s no better time to learn about the latest tools to finance export growth. Bearing that in mind, the New Hampshire International Trade Resource Center has scheduled an “International Finance Tools Seminar” at its new Concord facility (172 Pembroke Road) on Thursday, August 6th from 9 a.m.-noon.

nhitrcParticipants will learn about obtaining export working capital loans, securing overseas payments, financing activities that fuel global expansion and effective payment options to offer international clients. They will also gain valuable insight into government programs such as the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the Trade Development Agency (TDA) and multi-lateral development banks that are beneficial to exporters.

Guest speakers will include Helen Lesieur, Vice President, Global Trade Services at RBS Citizens, J. Joseph Grandmaison, Member, Board of Directors, Export-Import Bank of the United States and John Joyce, Regional Manager, International Trade Programs, Small Business Administration.

The cost of the program is $40 per person. To register, please contact Katy Reno at (603) 271-8444 or katy.reno@dred.state.nh.us

Administered by the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development’s Office of International Commerce, the ITRC plans, develops and administers programs for international trade promotion and foreign market development.  For more information about the ITRC, call (603) 271-8444, or visit their website at www.exportnh.org.

New Hampshire Ranks Healthiest State for Kids

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Some more great news for the Granite State – for the fifth year in a row, New Hampshire has been named “Healthiest State for Children in the Nation” by the Ann E. Casey Foundation. Check out this report reprinted from today’s Portsmouth Herald:

Study: N.H. the healthiest state for kids
By Dave Choate
PORTSMOUTH — New Hampshire retained its title of the best place in the United States to raise children, while Maine hovered just outside of the top 10 in an annual report.

In the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s annual Kids Count report, New Hampshire was declared the top state for the fifth year in a row, while Maine was 12th. The report uses 10 different measures to determine the general well-being of children in all 50 states.

Children’s Alliance of New Hampshire President Ellen Fineberg said that New Hampshire owes its success to the fact that the state in general is comparatively wealthy and boasts a high rate of well-educated people. With the economy changing and the state attracting new residents all the time, Fineberg said New Hampshire needs to continue to battle childhood poverty in order to continue to provide a safe, healthy environment for children.

healthy-breakfast-lg-large“We have to keep working really hard to stay there,” she said.

Fineberg noted that the data only measures up until 2007, which means the recent recession is not included in the calculations. The high school dropout rate, teen birth rate, child death rate and teen death rate all declined for the state in this report, while the infant mortality rate, child poverty and children whose parents have secure employment all increased somewhat. Fineberg said those areas are a concern for New Hampshire.

In materials provided by the alliance, New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch said he was pleased with the state’s ranking.

“It is important that we continue to provide the opportunities for a better future for our children,” Lynch said.

Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.

A Great Evening for the Ladies

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Too often, the ladies in our life don’t take the time that they need to ensure their own physical and spiritual health and well-being. In today’s lightning paced society where it seems that there’s a race to see who can do the most in the quickest amount of time, stepping back and recharging batteries often seems like an impossible task.

That’s why I’m so happy to spread the word about a tremendous seminar taking place at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord tomorrow evening.

leslie_sturgeon_000“Taking Care of You” is the name of the health and wellness panel discussion being sponsored by our friends at Women Inspiring Women. This organization, whose motto is “bringing super cool chicks together for education, empowerment, personal development, networking and fun,” is a great catalyst for women’s business growth in the Granite State. Led by Office Options and Association Solutions Owner Leslie Sturgeon, this group provides an excellent forum for personal and professional growth through networking and educational opportunities.

The “Taking Care of You!” session presents an all-star team of health and wellness providers including Amy Gebo of Concord Hospital (stress management), Dr. Kristen O’Dell of Bedford Natural Medicine (health/wellness), Kim Dorval of Nutrition in Motion (diet/nutrition) and Gina McGuire of The Bod Squad (exercise/fitness).

Socializing and exhibit visits take place from 5:30-6:30 p.m. with the buffet dinner and program taking place promptly at 6:30 p.m. The program is being offered at the low cost of $35 and registrations can be made at www.wiwnh.com. Walk-ins are also welcome. For more information, contact (603) 744-0400.

Ladies – take this opportunity to take good care of yourself. You deserve it!

– Steve Boucher, Communications & Legislative Director

And the Hits Keep Coming

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Ok….so I’m more than a little excited. But who wouldn’t be if you’re a New Hampshire economic developer and you wake up this morning to find a Boston Herald editorial headline that reads “Selling Mass Out.”  Just like the country duo who are the centerpiece of a promotion that is inviting Massachusetts business owners to get “Big & Rich” in New Hampshire, the hits just keep coming…..

mass-joyThe editorial reads:

Selling Mass. Out

In case you haven’t caught any of those ads from the car dealers in the last few days this is the last week for Massachusetts residents to take advantage of a “mere” 5 percent tax on the purchase of a new or used car – and most other consumer goods as well.

Yes, as of Saturday the sales tax goes up by 25 percent – to 6.25 percent – and don’t think our friends over the border in New Hampshire have overlooked that helpful little policy change.

As the Herald reported a few days ago, Granite State officials in charge of economic development have launched a new promotion to entice Massachusetts companies – inviting 900 Massachusetts business owners to enter a contest to win tickets to a Big & Rich concert, where recruiters will be stationed to sell the winners on the benefits of locating in the Granite State.

One of those benefits? Why, no state sales tax, of course.

Steve Boucher, legislative director of New Hampshire’s economic development division, said the timing of the concert is “pure coincidence.” “But I’d be lying to you if I said the timing isn’t perfect.”

The Patrick administration has pooh-poohed the latest attempt by New Hampshire to spirit Bay State businesses away. And it is true that the commonwealth’s highly-educated workforce, its concentration of academic brainpower and innovation, will ensure that we always remain competitive.

But between a massive corporate tax increase, high unemployment insurance costs and now this hit on the average worker’s pocketbook, the perception of Massachusetts as a business-unfriendly state is natural and fitting. In this economic climate, that is a perception we can ill afford.

Looks to me like Tuesday is shaping up to be a fine day.

– Steve Boucher, Communications & Legislative Director

Tweets and Touchdowns Rule the Evening

Monday, July 27th, 2009

From exhortations to score a touchdown to birthday wishes for a six-year-old, Manchester Wolves fans and occupants of the “No Bull” cheering section were tweeting away at Friday night’s “No Bull Football Jam” at The Acting Loft Field at the Verizon Wireless Arena.

no-bull-football-jam-0151The “No Bull Football Jam” represented the first time in North American sporting history that professional sports fans could not only enjoy football action but then share their experience with the rest of the world via Twitter. At two locations strategically located in the Verizon Wireless Arena concourse, Best Buy set up two laptop computers for the express purpose of allowing fans to tweet throughout the game.

no-bull-football-jam-011The purpose of the “No Bull Football Jam” was to find a new and creative way to introduce social networking tools to New Hampshire residents. Businesses and economic development officials were invited to take part in the event by registering to sit in the “No Bull” section of the arena – the “No Bull” moniker of course refers to the title of this blog.

Special thanks to Manchester Wolves General Manager Stephanie Bike (www.manchesterwolves.com) for her partnership and assistance in planning the event as well as to Alan Voivod, co-owner of social media gurus Epiphanies, Inc. (www.epiphaniesinc.com), for providing expert advice to any fans interested in learning more about social networking. Kudos as well to Best Buy (www.bestbuy.com) for generously donating staff and computers to make the evening a success.  And yes, before I forget, thanks to my super intern Sarah Feugill of New England College for helping to pass out 500 “No Bull Football Jam” promotional pieces as folks made their way through the turnstiles.

It was quite a scene to see an 80-year-old man learning how to send a tweet just ten minutes after a group of teenagers sent a flurry of messages into cyberspace. Social networking is interactive, engaging and, on this occasion, worthy of a touchdown dance.

P.S. Best wishes to the Manchester Wolves as they take to the road for the first round of the af2 playoffs – go Wolves!

– Steve Boucher, Communications & Legislative Director

NH Recruitment Effort Lands Business Page Coverage in Boston Herald

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Check out the lead business section story by columnist Jay Fitzgerald in today’s Boston Herald:

Lassoing in Mass. jobs
N.H. telling cos. to be Big and Rich there
 By Jay Fitzgerald
Friday, July 24, 2009 – Updated 9h ago
Boston Herald General Economics Reporter

New Hampshire is at it again.

The Granite State, which has been poaching Bay State workers, customers and companies for decades, is now inviting 900 Massachusetts business owners to enter a contest with a grand prize of limousine service to a Big & Rich concert, complete with a VIP preconcert reception and backstage privileges.

Ten other lucky winners will get free tickets to the Aug. 30 show at the U.S. Cellular Pavilion in Gilford, N.H. – and New Hampshire economic-development recruiters will be right there with them touting their state as a place to do business.

Steve Boucher, legislative director of New Hampshire’s economic development division, said it’s “pure coincidence” the recruiting campaign is occurring as Massachusetts prepares to raise its sales tax to 6.25 percent from 5 percent next month.

“But I’d be lying to you if I said the timing isn’t perfect,” Boucher added, noting New Hampshire expects to benefit from its neighbor’s increase in the sales tax.

New Hampshire has no sales tax.

“We’re definitely going to see more traffic here because of your tax,” bragged Boucher.

big-rich1A spokeswoman for Gov. Deval Patrick shot back that Massachusetts is still the economic and innovative engine of New England.

“Competition among states is to be expected, especially in the current economic climate, but we remain confident that Massachusetts, which is a national and global hub of innovation with internationally recognized academic institutions and the most highly trained and educated work force in the world, will maintain its global competitiveness,” said Kofi Jones, a spokeswoman for housing and economic secretary Greg Bialecki.

“The commonwealth will compete aggressively, not only for new business, but to retain and grow the local businesses that are so vital to our future,” she said.

Andre Mayer, economic director for the Associated Industries of Massachusetts, bemoaned New Hampshire’s latest campaign to woo Bay State businesses north.

“Our member companies get (recruitment) calls all the time – and they get calls directly from the governors of Texas and North Carolina and other states,” he said. “They’re entitled to tout their states, though, frankly, it drives me crazy.”

Wow….nice coverage. But frankly, Mr. Meyer shouldn’t be driven crazy by an innovative Granite State promotion.  He should, however, be driven crazy by the undeniable truth about New Hampshire’s more favorable tax atmosphere. For those in need of a refresher course, let’s go through this once more:
*No sales tax
*No income tax
*No use tax
*No capital gains tax
*No inventory tax
*No higher assessment for commercial or industrial real estate

Each year, the Tax Foundation issues its Business Tax Climate Index. New Hampshire’s ranking? 8th in the nation. Massachusett’s ranking? 32nd. Do the math.
– Steve Boucher, Communications & Legislative Director

NH Companies Sought for Trade Mission to India

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

Responding to increasing interest from Indian aerospace agencies to create US partnerships, the State of New Hampshire’s International Trade Resource Center is inviting aerospace suppliers to join a special trade mission to India in November. This high-profile mission, led by the US Department of Commerce, will connect New Hampshire-based suppliers with the key Indian government agencies and industrial powerhouses who are driving one of the world’s most dynamic aerospace sectors. 

india_flagThe India trade mission comes at an ideal time for growth-oriented companies who are looking to establish or strengthen their position in the global marketplace. Recent deals between the US and India will further enhance opportunities in the defense and aerospace sectors. Several Indian aerospace agencies have already approached New Hampshire companies this year for their unique, high-quality products and the U.S. Department of Commerce estimates that over $50 billion in civil and defense procurements will be made by Indian firms and government agencies in the next five years. 

Trade mission participants will spend five days meeting with industry groups and Indian government agencies such as the Indian Ministry of Defense, the Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation, the Airport Authority of India, the Indian Space Research Organization and the Society of Indian Aerospace Technologies and Industries. Each New Hampshire company will also have the opportunity to engage in one-on-one meetings and site visits with potential partners in the cities of New Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderabad. In addition, the delegates will have detailed briefings in India by the U.S. Departments of Defense, State and Commerce.  

The trade mission will occur November 9-13, 2009, with the NHITRC organizing the New Hampshire delegation. Space is limited to 12 companies, so interested applicants are encouraged to contact the International Trade Resource Center as soon as possible.   

For more information on the Aerospace Supplier Trade Mission to India, please contact Karen Wyman, International Trade Officer, at 603-271-8444 ext. 148 or kwyman@dred.state.nh.us or Justin Oslowski, Director, U.S. Export Assistance Center, at 603-953-0210 or Justin.oslowski@mail.doc.gov.

MA Companies Invited to Get “Big & Rich” in NH

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

New Hampshire economic development officials today invited Massachusetts business owners to get “big and rich” in the Granite State through a special promotion involving a chauffeured limousine, a multi-platinum country music duo and a well honed business pitch.

Over 900 Massachusetts business owners will be receiving an individualized invitation to take part in the “Get Big and Rich in New Hampshire” promotion which will see one lucky winner receive a limousine ride from their home to the Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion in Gilford, New Hampshire where they will receive VIP passes to see Grammy Award nominees Big & Rich (“Save a Horse,” “8th of November,” “Coming to Your City,” “Lost in This Moment” and “Wild West Show”), backstage passes and access to a pre-concert reception at Meadowbrook’s Center Stage Buffet with New Hampshire Division of Economic Development business recruiters. Ten other winners will receive tickets to the show and access to the reception.

big-rich-21“At a time when companies are looking for the best possible state to expand or relocate their business, we feel that New Hampshire has a compelling story to tell,” said New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Communications & Legislative Director Steve Boucher. “With no sales tax, no income tax, no capital gains tax and a tremendous quality of life, New Hampshire is truly a state where companies can get ‘big and rich.’”

Back in November, the Division of Economic Development unveiled the “Open Invitation” initiative, a business recruitment program aimed at attracting Massachusetts firms to the state.

As part of the initiative, a chauffeured limo provided by Capital City Limousine drives Massachusetts business prospects from their company home to a special luncheon at a Common Man Restaurant location. After a discussion with a New Hampshire business recruiter, the prospect is given an overview of New Hampshire’s business atmosphere before being led on a guided tour of available properties. Later, the company owner has the opportunity to ski at Cannon Mountain, take in a Manchester Monarchs game or attend a concert at the Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion before spending a restful evening at the Radisson Hotel Nashua.

“The ‘Big and Rich’ recruitment idea and the Open Invitation initiative are innovative ways to draw attention to what New Hampshire has to offer,” said Pat McDermott, Economic & Community Development Manager at Public Service of New Hampshire, sponsor of the new promotion.  “In challenging economic times, the public and private sector have to join together to think creatively and not rely on old approaches. This promotion is a great step in that regard.”

Though 900 individualized letters are being sent to Massachusetts business owners, the promotion is actually open to any Bay State business interested in registering for the contest.

“As always, New Hampshire stands ready to speak with any companies interested in bringing new jobs and new opportunities to the state,” Boucher said. “We’re very excited about meeting new friends at the Big & Rich concert and showcasing a state where you can grow, thrive and turn great ideas into profitable businesses.”

Grammy nominated Big & Rich formed in Nashville around 1998, when ex-Lonestar vocalist John Rich began collaborating with songwriter Big Kenny. The duo established a performers’ roundtable at a local dive, and the event — dubbed the “Muzik Mafia” — soon gained a reputation for its casual nature and notable special guests including Gretchen Wilson and James Otto. Three releases and eight Top 40 hits later, Big & Rich are a chart topping, critically acclaimed musical force that incorporates country, rock and hip hop into their performances.

To learn more about the “Big & Rich” promotion and New Hampshire’s “Open Invitation,” visit www.nhopeninvitation.com.