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Archive for February, 2010

NHSBDC Launches Free Online Course on Starting a Business in NH

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

If you’re thinking of starting your own business in New Hampshire, the New Hampshire Small Business Development Center has the online course for you.

An outreach program of the University of New Hampshire Whittemore School of Business and Economics, the NH SBDC has launched the online course “Starting a Business in New Hampshire.” (http://nhsbdc.org/eLearning/Index.html). It is one of more than 20 free online courses that are part of the center’s e-Learning for Entrepreneurs courses.

sbdc“SBDC’s new course empowers New Hampshire entrepreneurs by providing critical facts and details needed to get their businesses up and running,” said Mary Collins, NH SBDC state director. “We know that we will save New Hampshire entrepreneurs many hours of research, and hope that this helps create stronger businesses and jobs here in the Granite State.”

The NH SBDC received a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration to develop the online course for distressed areas of the state.
The course provides the aspiring New Hampshire small business owner with information and resources for starting a business in New Hampshire. Find out about registering a business name, the different types of business organization, taxes and licensing, insurance, business plans, and more. Many important website links and other resources are provided within the course. The course includes 65 animated slides and will last about 75 minutes. Like all of the e-Learning for Entrepreneurs courses, courses are designed to be taken during one or multiple sittings. Students can pause a course at any point and restart it later.

The NH SBDC’s e-Learning for Entrepreneurs classes are free and available online, any time. More than 20 classes are offered in finance, marketing and business management. Each 2-3.5 hour course is comprised of animated slides accompanied by voice-over narration, PowerPoint presentations, worksheets, toolsets, and access to a comprehensive knowledgebase.
More than 1,500 e-Learning for Entrepreneurs classes have been taken. The addition of “Starting a Business in New Hampshire” provides the first of several courses directed specifically to New Hampshire entrepreneurs.

E-Learning for Entrepreneurs is sponsored by Public Service of New Hampshire, NH Division of Economic Development, and the University of New Hampshire.

Smiles Lead to Business Development

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

To start off your day on a high note, I thought I’d share this excellent article written by Tom West that appeared in today’s Nashua Telegraph. It details NH Division of Economic Development Business Development Manager Michael Bergeron’s remarks to the Hudson Board of Selectmen on how to make their community more attractive to site selectors and businesses looking for a new home.

Development Official Advises Smiles Matter

Selectmen received some common sense tips on economic development from a state official who said a simple smile from a Town Hall employee could make the difference for a company contemplating a move to Hudson.

Michael Bergeron of the state Department of Resources and Economic Development gave the board a 30-minute tutorial on the best ways to woo business in a stagnant economy.

bergeron1Bergeron said some companies will send an employee into the Town Hall of a community they’re thinking of moving to just to see what kind of impression the staff makes.

“A smile can make all the difference,’’ he said, recounting how he visited one town and couldn’t get a worker behind a plate of bullet-proof glass to even look at him.

According to Assistant Town Administrator Mark Person, officials have made economic development No. 1 on their to-do list for 2010.

In an effort to fill Sagamore Industrial Park on Route 3A and the Clement Road Industrial Park along Route 111, the parks have been designated as Economic Revitalization Zones. The program allows for businesses within the parks to receive tax credits when expanding, Pearson said.

The program stopped taking applications Jan. 29, but two local companies have applied for credits or loans available through the state, he said.

What Hudson needs to remember, Bergeron said, is companies aren’t interested in towns where municipal boards are constantly bickering and building regulations so onerous that its seems to take forever to get anything done.

“That’s not going to fly today,’’ he said.

Networking is essential between the town, the local Chamber of Commerce and neighboring communities, he said, adding that a good Web site is an integral part of marketing any municipality.

The Hudson Web site, which the town recently upgraded with a new focus on economic development, is effective, he said, but “it needs refreshment in terms of town images,’’ that reflect the local quality of life.

The town has a beautiful new library and good schools, he said, that are assets the town needs to project via the Internet and social media, such as Facebook.

“Quality of life is a great asset for the town of Hudson,’’ Bergeron said, “and you need to keep a positive attitude and not apologize for the things that are not your strength.’’

As an example, he used the small town of Colebrook, 10 miles from the Canadian border, which he says is always coming up with ideas for growth, despite constant struggles.

“They’re always calling, saying, We’ve got a great idea, What you think?’ Bergeron said. “Instead of saying, ‘What can you do for me,’ they say, ‘look at what we can do for you.’ ’’

MA Businesses to be Struck by Cupid’s Arrow…Granite State Style

Monday, February 8th, 2010

A dozen lucky Massachusetts companies will be receiving gifts and love letters from a not so-secret admirer this Valentine’s Day – the NH Division of Economic Development’s business recruitment team which is trying to transform a long distance relationship into a long term marriage.

New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Business Recruiter Cindy Harrington (l.) and State Business Development Manager Michael Bergeron (r.) flank GoumetGiftBaskets.com Director of Corporate Sales Jason Bergeron as they prepare to ship Valentine's Day gift baskets to a dozen of the Granite State's hottest Massachusetts prospects.

New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Business Recruiter Cindy Harrington (l.) and State Business Development Manager Michael Bergeron (r.) flank GoumetGiftBaskets.com Director of Corporate Sales Jason Bergeron as they prepare to ship Valentine's Day gift baskets to a dozen of the Granite State's hottest Massachusetts prospects.

The Division of Economic Development today unveiled what is being affectionately termed the “XOXO Initiative,” a cooperative partnership with Manchester, NH-based GourmetGiftBaskets.com to encourage Massachusetts companies to expand or relocate to the Granite State. A dozen handpicked Massachusetts firms will be receiving gift baskets filled with specialty chocolate, maple syrup, dipped pretzels and a New Hampshire baseball cap. However, the centerpiece of arrangement is a love letter complete with a lipstick kiss and the “hope of starting something very beautiful together.”

“This is a creative way to let Massachusetts companies know that we have a lot to offer and are ready to help them learn how they can prosper in a state with no sales or income tax and an excellent quality of life,” said New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Interim Director Roy Duddy. “Business development is a courtship and we hope that this small gesture will demonstrate that we’re serious about establishing long lasting relationships with some great companies.”valentines-cap

Companies targeted through the “XOXO Initiative” range from a healthcare high tech firm to an electronics manufacturer. Each of the firms was carefully selected by the business recruitment team based on a number of criteria including firm size, proximity to the border and likelihood of relocation or expansion.

“We’re looking for companies that are both innovative and in the stage of their growth cycle where they might be receptive to our message,” Duddy said. “We recognize that this is a big decision, but are also convinced that New Hampshire offers so many great opportunities in terms of available real estate, a skilled workforce and access to state decision makers.”

GourmetGiftBaskets.com Director of Corporate Sales Jason Bergeron said that his company, which last year broke the Guinness Book of World Records record for the World’s Largest Cupcake to raise funds for Susan G. Komen’s Passionately Pink for the Cure, is happy to lend its assistance to a creative marketing campaign.

“As a New Hampshire-based company and winner of NBC’s Best Gift Basket Contest, we’re proud to use our talents to help our home state attract new companies and create jobs,” Bergeron said. “Valentine’s Day is one of our busiest holidays of the year and it’s nice to be able to help the State of New Hampshire share its warm feelings with some new friends.”

To learn more about the Division of Economic Development’s recruitment efforts, please visit www.nhopeninvitation.com. To learn more about GourmetGiftBaskets.com, visit www.GourmetGiftBaskets.com.

The Message in a Maze

Monday, February 8th, 2010

Sometimes inspiration comes from the strangest places…..but aisle nine of the supermarket?

shopping-cartsIf you’d like to know what sort of wild inspiration I derived for a blog posting from a maze of shopping carts, check out my latest piece for the NHBR Network at this address: http://www.nhbrnetwork.com/profiles/blogs/the-message-in-a-maze.

It’s a brief story about caring, about passion, about wanting to be the best you can be no matter what your profession or station in life. As we all enter the work week, I think that it’s perfect fodder for contemplation.

The NHBR Network is an online business-to-business networking site that is providing businesspeople around the state with valuable information, tips and assistance from a team of contributors that include NHBR Editor Jeff Feingold, Andy Volinsky, Chuck Sink, Heidi Page, Steven Feinberg, CPA, Bill Ryan, Jason Blais, Deb Titus, Deb LeClair, Cindy Kibbe, Bob Sanders, Dr. John Benson, Clyde Terry and yes,  yours truly. Sign up today!!

– Steve Boucher, Communications & Legislative Director

iCAD Named February “Innovation Rocks!” Award Winner

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

“Never stop looking”- that’s the philosophy of a local company that is consistently looking for answers that can lead to earlier detection of cancers. For its efforts in creating products that lead to increased patient survival rates, iCAD has been named the New Hampshire Business Resource Center’s “Innovation Rocks!” award winner for the month of February.

icad2The Nashua-based company, an industry-leading provider of advanced image analysis and workflow solutions for the early identification of cancer, is committed to helping physicians and patients in the fight against the most prevalent cancers – breast, colorectal and prostate. Its SecondLook® CAD systems are able to detect up to 72% of actionable missed breast cancers an average of 15 months earlier than screening mammography alone and its Virtual Colonoscopy (VC), also known as CT Colonography (CTC), offers patients a less-invasive alternative to conventional colonic polyp diagnostic techniques.

“With over 11 million Americans living with cancer, it’s important to recognize companies like iCAD who are leading the way in early detection and less costly treatment options,” said New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Interim Director Roy Duddy. “This is a company that is delivering clinical excellence and improving lives on a daily basis.” 

For more information about iCAD, visit www.icadmed.com

“Innovation Rocks!” is an initiative sponsored by the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development’s Business Resource Center in coordination with Rock 101 (WGIR-FM) and the The Pavilion at the Hilton Garden Inn Manchester Downtown to celebrate the creativity and ingenuity of New Hampshire innovators.

International Protocol to be Explored at Seminar

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Looking at someone directly in the eyes might result in a hostile situation in some countries while in other countries, avoiding direct eye contact might provoke the same response. To ensure that New Hampshire business owners are knowledgeable about business customs abroad, the International Trade Resource Center (ITRC) will be holding an International Protocol workshop on Thursday, February 11 from 9 a.m.-noon at the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, 172 Pembroke Rd. in Concord.

business_etiquette_training2ITRC Director Dawn Wivell will provide an overview of what cultural aspects are important to know as an American engaging in business and formalities with delegations, business clients and families from different countries and cultures.

For instance, did you know that:
• If you are interacting with the Japanese, it is important to understand that they make decisions by consensus, starting with the younger members of the group;
• The Germans give a firm handshake with one pump while Middle Eastern people will continue to shake your hand throughout a meeting;
• You should always use both hands to present your business card to visitors from Japan, China, Hong Kong and Singapore;
• In Turkey, if taken to a restaurant, it is customary for the person who extended the invitation to pay;
• In Japan, it is considered improper to point with your chopsticks during dinner.

The cost of the program is $40 per person. To register, please visit www.exportnh.org. For questions, 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

Innovative Exercise Helps Students Explore “The Road Ahead”

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Those who create and operate successful businesses understand the importance of budgeting and being fiscally responsible. But what do we do to prepare our future CEOs and entrepreneurs for the financial challenges they will face?

Yesterday, I received a press release from our friends over at the New Hampshire Banking Department regarding a great new personal finance exercise geared at high school students. Check this out:


Banking Commissioner Peter C. Hildreth today announced the release of a new personal finance exercise designed for high school students. The Road Ahead exercise was developed to raise student awareness about the costs of owning a car. The exercise discusses several elements of personal finance but is not intended to take the place of a full semester course. The Road Ahead exercise was designed by the Banking Department and Robert Nadeau, economics teacher at Hopkinton High School.

“Financial literacy is essential for economic success and security. Our goal was to give teachers and parents a short exercise to begin financial education. By using a topic of great interest to teenagers – owning a car – The Road Ahead certainly accomplishes that goal,” stated Commissioner Hildreth.

women-driver2The exercise was initially designed to fit into one class period but could be stretched over two or three periods. It can also be used independently by parents who want to discuss the financial side of car ownership and operations. In either case, it serves as a springboard to other types of financial education.

“I have used the program in my classes and I found that it was easy for some students and an eye opener for others,” commented Robert Nadeau, “It’s a good tool to start some broader discussions about opportunity costs and other concepts.”

The exercise will be taught during a breakout session at the upcoming Jumpstart Financial Fitness Fair on February 6, 2010 at Southern NH University. Information about the conference can be found at www.nhjumpstart.org.

The Road Ahead Exercise is free and available for download by teachers and parents at http://www.nh.gov/banking/education.html.

NH Business Community Invited to Get “Wild for Innovation”

Monday, February 1st, 2010

What is it that all successful teams have in common? Find out on March 5th, 2010 when the UNH Wildcats, the Whittemore School of Business, the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development and Public Service of New Hampshire host a unique afternoon workshop at UNH aimed at building teams, developing effective leaders and stimulating innovation.

innovations2The “Wild for Innovation” workshop has been developed specifically for New Hampshire business leaders and their teams. Participants will attend classes on innovation and leadership effectiveness from Whittemore professors, experience the innovations in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, and work directly with UNH athletics coaches on team building. There will be a special look at UNH’s Green LaunchPad as well as a discussion on leader effectiveness. The event will culminate with a BBQ tailgate party, a team picture and reserved seats to see the nationally ranked Wildcat hockey team in action against the Boston College Eagles.

“This is a unique opportunity for New Hampshire businesses to spend an afternoon focusing on techniques for building a winning team,” said New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Interim Director Roy Duddy. “Innovation is a team sport and we know that great teams don’t just happen. It takes practice, focus and commitment to be successful year after year.”

With an eye toward developing leaders for tomorrow, the workshop sessions will address opportunities for every type of New Hampshire business, from the service sector to the emerging areas of renewable energy and nanotechnology.

“Wild for Innovation day could be a seminal moment for the business leaders of the next decade,” according to Pat McDermott, the Economic and Community Development Manager at Public Service of NH, the lead sponsor of the event. “In the next ten years, start-up companies and corporate stalwarts will all face the same challenges, and those with the best leaders and strongest teams will be most likely to succeed.”

The Wild for Innovation workshop will be held at UNH in Durham on March 5, 2010. The event is limited to 100 participants. Companies are encouraged to register their teams online as early as possible by visiting http://wildforinnovation.eventbrite.com/