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Archive for April, 2010

NHBSR Announces Cornerstone Award Finalists

Friday, April 30th, 2010

New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility (NHBSR) is proud to announce the finalists for this year’s Cornerstone Award:  Antioch University New England, C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc. and Alison Huber Jewett of Jewett Construction.

Molly Hodgson Smith

Molly Hodgson Smith

“NHBSR is pleased to honor one of our members each year with this award.  It serves as a great example of exceptional work in the social responsibility field and allows NHBSR to highlight the high level of commitment to sustainability and social responsibility here in New Hampshire.” said Molly Hodgson Smith, Executive Director of NHBSR.

The NHBSR Cornerstone Award is presented every year at the NHBSR Spring Conference to a company or individual that exemplifies the principles of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and promotes the concepts of CSR to the greater business community within the state of New Hampshire. The recipient of this year’s award will be announced at NHBSR’s 7th Annual Spring Conference on Monday, May 24, 2010, at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord, NH.

Hypertherm, Inc. was the proud recipient of the 2009 NHBSR Cornerstone Award.   Hypertherm’s Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility, Barbara Couch said, “We attended last year’s event as learners, drawing inspiration from other leading corporate citizens. We continue on our journey of learning today, inspiring to be a model for corporate social responsibility. This is not simply a nice thing to do, it is a must do for business today.”

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

C&S Wholesale Grocers Inc.
C&S is a privately owned company with annual sales of $19 billion. The company is the 12th largest privately held company in the nation, as ranked by Forbes magazine. Founded in 1918, C&S provides distribution services to grocery chains and independent stores, delivering to approximately 4,600 locations from its distribution centers in Alabama, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Vermont.  C&S’s corporate social responsibility strategic plan focuses on four core initiatives:  Eliminating Hunger, Strengthening Communities, Protecting the Environment, and Encouraging Volunteerism.

Alison Huber-Jewett, Jewett Construction

Alison Huber-Jewett

Alison Huber-Jewett

Alison encourages CSR and community involvement amongst her coworkers by researching and presenting opportunities that prove rewarding to both the participant and the community.  She is always open to new ways to give back to the community and encourages others to do the same.  Alison’s efforts toward corporate social responsibility have been recognized by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES), as her policies have helped Jewett Construction to be selected to participate in the NHDES Aspiring Leaders Program.

NHBSR fosters socially and environmentally responsible business in New Hampshire, recognizing that people, principles and profits must be linked.  NHBSR prides itself on offering education, networking and promotion in an environmentally sustainable way.  This conference will incorporate a variety of ‘green’ elements including carbon offset, recycling, minimizing waste and sustainable menu choices.  For more info about the Cornerstone Award and NHBSR visit www.nhbsr.org or call 603-391-8471 or email molly@nhbsr.org.

Hypertherm Announces Additional Hiring Plans

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Some great news from our friends at Hypertherm:

Hypertherm has announced plans to hire and train up to 11 CNC Machinists for the second time this year. Hypertherm made the announcement just 12 weeks after they hired 12 machinists in February.  The CNC machinist positions are for second and third shift operations. Workers will earn a starting wage of $12 hour with full benefits. Wages may increase incrementally over two years to $14-16 per hour, based on each individual’s performance.

hypertherm“We are fortunate to have the challenge of expanding our workforce needs to meet growing demand for our products. How well we meet this challenge will be determined by how well we can hire and educate a trained workforce,” said Jim Miller, Hypertherm’s Vice President of Manufacturing.

The hiring will be conducted through their partnership with the River Valley Community College’s STAR program. The STAR program launched in December of 2008 offers workers an accelerated, two-year advanced manufacturing apprenticeship while being employed with Hypertherm. At the same time, these workers will earn college credits which can be applied towards an associate’s degree at the college.

“River Valley Community College is committed to the creation of education and training that serve the needs of employers, the New Hampshire workforce, and the economic development needs of the state and our region. This partnership represents a strategy that builds upon the strengths of the college, our state economic development agencies, and the private sector in delivering a truly comprehensive program leading to job placement,” stated Steve Budd, President, River Valley Community College.

Program participants will be selected through a rigorous recruitment process beginning with a mandatory job fair to be held on Saturday, May 8th at the Hypertherm Technical Training Institute in Lebanon, NH starting at 8:00am. The job fair will include presentations from Hypertherm staff as well as assessments and interviews with Hypertherm recruiters.
Participants will also have the opportunity to receive a nationally recognized industry certification through the USDOL Apprenticeship Division.

“The New Hampshire State Apprenticeship Council is proud to be a part of this program,” says Charles Vaughan, of the New Hampshire US/DOL apprenticeship office. “The STAR education model is unique and will give us an opportunity to evaluate a different way of thinking about training apprentices throughout the state.”

The STAR program is funded by two grants from the US Department of Labor, one secured through the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development and one secured through the office of U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont.

“New Hampshire’s and Vermont’s desire and commitment to recruit and educate CNC machine operators meets a critical need of the Upper Valley business community.” said Jim Miller. “We very much appreciate the support we are receiving on both sides of the river.  Although we are located in New Hampshire, many of our associates live in Vermont.

Applications are encouraged as soon as possible. Individuals interested in applying to the program must visit the college website at www.rivervalley.edu to fill out an online application. Questions and inquiries can be directed to Jim Britton, River Valley Community College, at (603) 542-7744 x346, or email at jbritton@ccsnh.edu. Up-to-date program information will be posted regularly on the website.

SBA Announces Grant Funding Available for States to Support R&D, Small Business Innovation

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

The U.S. Small Business Administration is accepting grant funding requests from the governors of U.S. states and territories to support programs for innovative, technology-driven small businesses under SBA’s Federal and State Technology (FAST) partnership program through May 10, 2010.   

sba-logoFAST provides $2 million in funding (up to $100,000 per applicant) for outreach and technical assistance to science and technology-driven small businesses.  The program places particular emphasis on helping socially and economically disadvantaged firms compete in the SBA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.  Eligible applicants for FAST grants include state and local economic development agencies, Small Business Development Centers, and colleges and universities.  Each state, through its governor, may submit one proposal.

“The FAST program is an important catalyst for helping America’s cutting-edge entrepreneurs continue to drive innovation and create good jobs,” said Karen G. Mills, SBA Administrator. “The partnerships developed through these programs will play a critical role in helping high-growth potential small firms lay a stronger foundation for economic prosperity.”

FAST funding applicants are encouraged to show how they will help support areas such as:

  • small business research and development assistance,
    technology transfer from universities to small businesses,
    technological diffusion of innovation benefiting small businesses,
    proposal development and mentoring for small businesses applying for SBIR grants; and,
    commercialization of technology developed through SBIR grants.

Companies supported by the SBIR and STTR programs often generate some of the most important breakthroughs each year in the U.S.   For example, about 25 percent of R&D Magazine’s Top 100 Innovations come from SBIR-funded small businesses.

More details about FAST grants can be found here: http://www.sba.gov/idc/groups/public/documents/sba_homepage/sba_fast_program_annc.pdf

Proposals will be evaluated by a committee consisting of small business owners, state level representatives, federal SBIR program managers and representatives of the business and academic communities. The SBA, the Department of Defense and the National Science Foundation will jointly review the recommendations from the evaluation panel and make awards based on proposal merit. Varying levels of matching funds are required from each participating state and territory.

The SBIR program—administered by the SBA—requires 11 federal agencies with more than $100 million in R&D spending to set aside 2.5 percent of those funds for competitively-awarded SBIR grants.  In Fiscal Year 2007, these agencies provided about 5,500 SBIR federal grants and contracts for small businesses, a $2 billion investment.

STTR requires federal agencies with over $1 billion in extramural R&D funding to set aside 0.3 percent.  STTR totaled about 870 awards for $218 million in Fiscal Year 2007. 

For more information about the SBIR and STTR programs, visit SBA’s Web site at: www.sba.gov/sbir.

So You Want to Sell to the Government?

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Over 600 New Hampshire companies this year have learned that there are millions of dollars in state and federal contracts available through the New Hampshire Procurement Technical Assistance Program.  In an effort to spread the good news about this revenue generating program, the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development has scheduled a free webinar titled “Selling to the Government – a Sound Business Decision” as part of the free NH BizCast series slated for Wednesday, April 28th  from noon-1 p.m.

“Learning how to navigate through the government procurement process is a true art,” said New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Interim Director Roy Duddy. “There are millions of dollars and thousands of opportunities available for local companies to sell their products and services to the government, but it’s a process that requires a lot of education and effort. We’re pleased to have this opportunity to share this valuable information to businesses through this interactive webinar.”

David N. Pease, PTAP Manager

David N. Pease, PTAP Manager

The third offering in the Division of Economic Development’s BizCast series, the April 28th webinar will feature David Pease, manager of the New Hampshire Procurement Technical Assistance Program. Prior to entering state government service, Pease was a contract Business Advisor throughout south-central New Hampshire. He began his career as an environmental scientist, and became an entrepreneur in 1983 with the founding of Resource Analysts, Inc. (RAI). Pease presided over the growth, success and 1988 acquisition of RAI by Millipore Corporation. He ran RAI as a Millipore subsidiary until 1992, when he arranged its resale to PACE, Incorporated. He later managed several businesses for PACE until 1996, when he left the environmental field to work full-time with small businesses in a private consulting practice. He worked with NH Small Business Development Center clients on a contract basis from 2002-2008.

In this presentation, Pease will discuss contracting and subcontracting opportunities with Department of Defense (DOD), other federal agencies, or state and local governments. He will provide information about online resources for companies to get registered with various federal entities and give an overview of other free services offered by the State’s Procurement team.
As is the case with all NH BizCasts, the free Webcast will be hosted live at the Comfort Inn (71 Hall Street) in Concord and will feature a live audience.

For more information and to attend the NH BizCast, visit http://www.nheconomy.com/bizcast/. Those planning on participating in the live audience at the Comfort Inn are asked to pre-register by contacting Leslie Sherman at (603) 271-2591 or leslie.sherman@dred.state.nh.us.

Greenerpalooza III Something to Crow About

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Nine Grammy Awards, six top ten studio albums on the Billboard 200 charts, three American Music Awards and an ASCAP Pop Music Award….this year’s Greenerpalooza artist is nothing if not prolific.

Yes, Sheryl Crow is a true American icon who has played to sold out audiences across the world and now she will be headlining this year’s Greenerpalooza III show at the Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion in Gilford on August 12th with special guest Colbie Caillat.

sheryl-crow1For those of you who are unaware of what exactly Greenerpalooza is, it’s a celebration of energy efficiency and environmental consciousness in the Granite State. Each year, thousands of concert goers descend upon the Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion to visit an eco village showcasing the latest green products while also enjoying some great music.

This year’s Greenerpalooza artist certainly embraces green causes as evidenced by her hit song with Ben Harper titled “Gasoline.” She has also actively supported organizations such as Stop Global Warming and the Nature Conservancy as well as joining Dave Matthews, Guster and other music superstars to form the Green Music Group, a coalition of musicians and fans dedicated to environmental action. And in terms of her musical chops, just check out these pieces of Sheryl Crow history from her online bio at www.sherylcrow.com:

Each of her previous studio albums has charted Top 10 and earned at least platinum certification. The seven times platinum Tuesday Night Music Club hit #3 and earned three Grammys–Best New Artist, Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for the classic “All I Wanna Do.” The album also featured “Strong Enough,” “Can’t Cry Anymore,” and “Leaving Las Vegas.”

1996’s triple platinum Sheryl Crow (#6) earned the Grammy for Best Rock Album and, for “If It Makes You Happy,” Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. 1998’s platinum The Globe Sessions (#5) also garnered the Best Rock Album Grammy, as its “Everyday Is A Winding Road” and “My Favorite Mistake” both reached the Pop Top 20.

The new millennium brought 2002’s platinum C’mon C’mon (#2), whose gold “Soak Up The Sun” peaked in the Top 20 and “Steve McQueen” again nabbed her a Best Female Rock Vocal Performance Grammy. The 2003 greatest hits compilation, the four times platinum The Very Best Of Sheryl Crow, was also a #2 charter, featuring a new recording, a cover of Cat Stevens’ “The First Cut Is The Deepest.” 2005’s platinum Wildflower (#2) featured the duet with Sting, “Always On Your Side.”

Crow will be joined by opener Colbie Caillat whose “CoCo” debuted at No. 5 on Billboard’s Top 200 albums chart and remained in the top 20 of the chart more than half a year after the CD’s release. The single “Bubbly” spent a staggering 14 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Adult Top 40 chart and four weeks atop the Adult Contemporary chart. “Bubbly” has also been certified platinum; signaling sales of more than 2.6 million downloads. The CD’s second single “Realize,” about a friend, who was secretly in love with Caillat, was also a huge hit. And the third is proving to be the charm as “Little Things” is following the path of its predecessors.

The New Hampshire Division of Economic Development and Public Service of New Hampshire have joined together to sponsor Greenerpalooza III in partnership with the Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion with New Hampshire Business Review serving as media sponsor. Tickets are currently on sale and can be purchased at:  http://www.meadowbrook.net/?page=event_info&show_code=081210.

– Steve Boucher, Communications & Legislative Director

NH Business Recruitment Team Spreading Green Jobs Message to MA

Friday, April 16th, 2010

On Earth Day, New Hampshire’s business recruitment team will be sharing a simple message with their friends to the south – the grass is always greener on the Granite State side of the fence.

They Might Be Giants

They Might Be Giants

Next Thursday, two New Hampshire Division of Economic Development business recruiters will take part in 92.5 The River’s Earth Day concert on the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway in Boston. Featuring “green” vendors, family activities and a concert by national recording stars They Might Be Giants and Citizen Cope, the event offers the economic development team an opportunity to discuss the advantages associated with doing business in New Hampshire.

“With the recent announcement of the University of New Hampshire Green Launching Pad, an innovative green energy technology commercialization program, there has never been a better time to establish an environmentally conscious business in New Hampshire,” New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Interim Director Roy Duddy said. “The development of good paying green jobs is an emerging reality in today’s business world and the Granite State is fertile ground for companies interested in promoting environmentally sustainable practices.”

Accompanying the Division of Economic Development’s team will be Randy Bryan of ConVerdant Vehicles, a two-year-old Concord, NH-based company that converts pickup trucks and Toyota Priuses to plug-in hybrids. In an effort to draw more visitors to the New Hampshire booth, Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion has donated a pair of tickets to this year’s Greenerpalooza III concert.

“We’re blessed to have such great partners who share our vision for a state that embraces both business growth and energy conservation,” Duddy said. “We look forward to meeting with Massachusetts companies looking to expand or relocate and to spreading the word about New Hampshire as a premier destination to do business.”

To learn more about the New Hampshire business advantage, visit www.nhopeninvitation.com. For more details about 92.5 The River’s Earth Day Concert, visit www.wxrv.com.

Greenerpalooza Artists to be Named on Monday

Friday, April 16th, 2010

In 2008, it was Crosby, Stills and Nash and in 2009, it was Jackson Browne…who will be the headline artist for Greenerpalooza III at the Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion this summer?

meadowbrookGreenerpalooza is designed to showcase New Hampshire products, services and programs that can help individuals and businesses save energy and dollars. Set against the backdrop of a great concert, the evening’s festivities include a special “eco village” on the Meadowbrook midway where New Hampshire businesses and members of the general public are able to learn how to “go greener.”

Want to find out who this year’s featured artists are before anyone else? If so, simply become a Greenerpalooza Facebook fan at http://www.facebook.com/GreenNH?ref=ts. Monday morning at 9 a.m., we’ll be making our announcement, and trust me, you won’t be disappointed – this year’s event will be incredible!!!

– 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!!

Statewide Collaborative Seeks Broadband Expansion

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

Network New Hampshire Now (NNHN), a collaboration of public and private partners from across the state, submitted a $66 million proposal to the National Telecommunications & Information Administration’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (NTIA BTOP) to fund critically needed broadband expansion in New Hampshire. The proposal, submitted on behalf of NNHN by the University of New Hampshire March 26, calls for building a middle-mile fiber optic network that will connect homes, businesses and community organizations to help advance economic development, education, health care and public safety across the state. NTIA will decide by late summer whether to accept the proposal.

broadband1“The middle-mile fiber network is seen as a major opportunity for economic development. In particular, the network designed for New Hampshire has openness as its core purpose – it will enable affordable choices for all providers to reach areas of the state that have been difficult to service,” said George Bald, commissioner of the state Department of Resources & Economic Development (DRED), one of the collaborating partners involved in the grant application. “The Network New Hampshire Now proposal puts the state on par with international fiber optic broadband capacity and capability.”

The NNHN project will expand broadband in all 10 counties in New Hampshire in three ways. First, existing middle-mile fiber from the Seacoast, across to the southwest, up to the northwest, on to the North Country, and through the Lakes Region will be expanded and new fiber will be put in place. Second, an innovative model called FastRoads will be implemented to provide fiber optic connectivity in communities, starting with Rindge, in the southwest near the Massachusetts border and Enfield in western New Hampshire. Finally, the project includes the construction of a middle-mile microwave network for public safety, public television and mobile broadband communications on mountaintops across New Hampshire.

In addition to UNH and DRED, NNHN partners include the Community Development Finance Authority, all University System of New Hampshire institutions, the Community College System of New Hampshire, the Keene Municipal Broadband Committee, Southwest Regional Planning Commission, North Country Investment Corporation, town managers in Hanover and Keene, state legislators, and telecommunications vendors.

“UNH is proud to submit this proposal on behalf of the citizens of New Hampshire,” said Joanna Young, chief information officer at UNH. “A key strength of this proposal is the public and private partnership it represents, as well as its scope and reach.”

The NNHN initiative is endorsed and supported by numerous entities that understand its potential to expand broadband in the state and provide high speed access to areas where such access will have an instant impact on economic development efforts. Numerous letters of support have been received from hospitals, libraries, business associations, state legislators, and university presidents.

“The growth engine of education, health services, and economic development requires this technology to help New Hampshire be competitive today and in the future,” said Scott Valcourt, the principal investigator at UNH for the grant proposal. “With NTIA funding, the dream of an open access, high speed broadband network will be realized.”

Energy-Efficiency Loans Available for Businesses

Thursday, April 1st, 2010





A new revolving loan fund is making low-interest loans available to small businesses for energy-efficiency improvements and renewable-energy projects in their New Hampshire buildings.

Enterprise Energy Fund.  

The Enterprise Energy Fund is a low-interest loan and grant program to help finance energy improvements in buildings owned or leased by businesses and nonprofits of all sizes. The

energySmall businesses, microenterprises, nonprofits, child care providers, and owners of two- to four-unit apartment buildings are eligible to apply to the

The Enterprise Energy Fund is a low-interest loan and grant program to help finance energy improvements in buildings owned or leased by businesses and nonprofits of all sizes. The

NH Community Loan Fund will lend $1 million to small commercial businesses and nonprofits. The NH Community Development Finance Authority (CDFA) will lend $2.5 million for larger projects.

The $3.5-million fund was created by an award by the Office of Energy and Planning’s State Energy Program, from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The majority of the funds will be loaned to businesses and nonprofits to help them reduce their energy costs and consumption.  The Community Loan Fund will administer the loans for projects under $100,000.

Loans to commercial businesses will range from $10,000 to $500,000, with terms from three to 10 years, and interest rates from 2.75% to 4%.

A small portion of the fund will pay for energy audits, provide down payments to businesses and to nonprofits that provide essential services and have been hardest hit by the recession, leverage significant private sector funds, and encourage investments in renewable energy.

All enterprises, regardless of size, are required to submit an

Initial Inquiry form on CDFA’s online grants management system. Preliminary applications submitted through April 30, 2010 will be the first group to be reviewed. Subsequent applications will be grouped and reviewed monthly thereafter until all funds are committed. Prior to accessing the Webgrants system, you will need a User ID and Password. If you have not yet registered to receive a User ID and Password, please register here For more information, please see the Enterprise Energy Fund


Information workshops on the new fund are scheduled for April 20 in Concord, April 28 in Littleton and May 4 in Claremont. Please register in advance.

fact sheet and Q and A on the Community Loan Fund’s Web site.

Small businesses:

Rick Minard, Vice President for Policy and Program. Nonprofits and child care:

Julie McConnell, Director, Child Care and Community Facilities Lending.

Nonprofit housing:

Mike LaFontaine, Director, Community Housing.


Questions? Call your contact at the Community Loan Fund, (800) 432-4110.