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Archive for September, 2010

City of Claremont Receives Excellence in Economic Development Award

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

The City of Claremont received an Excellence in Economic Development Award for their Monadnock Mills Revitalization Project in the category of Real Estate Redevelopment & Reuse for communities with populations less than 25,000 from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).

 The honor was presented at an awards ceremony on Tuesday, September 28 during the IEDC Annual Conference, September 26-29 in Columbus, Ohio.

“We recognize the City of Claremont for providing successful strategies to promote new paradigms in economic development in this period of global recovery,” said William Best, IEDC chair.  “Our awards honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in communities. The City of Claremont is showing that they are at the forefront of the economic development profession and are using innovative and effective practices that can be replicated in other communities.”

The Common Man Family of Restaurants is a key component of the Monadnock Mills renovation project.

The Common Man Family of Restaurants is a key component of the Monadnock Mills renovation project.

The Monadnock Mills Revitalization Project is an adaptive reuse project undertaken by the City of Claremont, New Hampshire encompassing four former mill buildings in a National Historic District.  Claremont had acquired ownership of the vacant and deteriorating buildings over the years through tax deeds and property transfer.  The redevelopment created a mixed-use development in the City Center with goals for job creation, tax base growth, infrastructure improvement and environmental remediation.  The City used a public Request for Developers process which led to Purchase, Sale and Development Agreements with Sugar River Mills Redevelopment LLC, Woven Label LLC and Wainshal Partners LLC.  This partnership between public and private entities was crucial to the project’s success. The developer’s included significant end users Red River Computer Co. and the Common Man Inn and Restaurant.  The project took on many aspects of environmental sustainability by redeveloping and saving existing mill buildings in an urban core, remediating Brownfield’s, and providing sewer/storm water separation.  Multiple financing sources were utilized including New Market and Historic tax credits within a City tax increment finance district. 

The Excellence in Economic Awards Program annually recognizes the world’s best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year’s most influential leaders.  The program honors organizations and individuals in 28 categories for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities.

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is the premier membership organization dedicated to helping economic development professionals create high-quality jobs, develop vibrant communities and improve the quality of life in their regions.  Serving more than 4,500 members, IEDC represents the largest network of economic development professionals in the world.  IEDC provides a diverse range of services, including conferences, certification, professional development, publications, research, advisory services and legislative tracking.

A Touch of Hollywood Comes to NH’s North Country

Friday, September 17th, 2010

Hollywood is coming to the North Country – check out the all of the stars making their way to the Granite State and the special touches planned for the Flickers North Country Film Festival taking place in a few weeks at The Balsams Grand Resort:

Flickers North Country Film Festival to Feature Screenwriter Chris Sparling

The Flickers North Country Film Festival (NCFF) is pleased to announce that Hollywood screenwriter Chris Sparling, whose credits include the suspense thriller BURIED starring Ryan Reynolds and who is working on a film with M. Night Shyamalan, will be a special guest at the festival. 

Screenwriter Chris Sparling

Screenwriter Chris Sparling

The non-profit festival aims to promote New Hampshire’s Great North Woods as a regional center for the arts, and is expected to bring celebrities, audiences and international filmmakers to the area.  This exciting event will be held September 30 – October 3, 2010 with screenings of a variety of films in multiple locations and gala events. 

NCFF is in partnership with the Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIF) one of the most respected in the country.  Sixty films are scheduled to be screened at NCFF, including 37 short films, 6 feature narrative films and 18 documentaries.  The films are truly international, with 21 countries being represented.  For a full listing of the films being screened, visit http://northcountryfilmfestival.org

Saturday, Chris Sparling will share details about BURIED, which was recently screened at the Sundance Film Festival and opens nationally this October.  Sparling, a Rhode Island native, will also talk about his other projects including an upcoming production entitled “ATM” and his current project with producer/director M. Night Shyamalan on a supernatural drama titled “Twelve Strangers”.   

Film star Marlyn Mason

Film star Marlyn Mason

Other special guests at NCFF will be actress Marlyn Mason, who has appeared in almost 100 films and television shows with stars like Elvis Presley and Bruce Lee, as well as well-known filmmaker Paul Sanderson of “Our Town Films” who created the PBS documentary “Augustus Saint-Gaudens: Master of American Sculpture” will premier his latest film, “I Can Dance.” 

There are also multiple special events planned during the festival, including rides in the famous “Cannibal Queen” biplane and screenings of the “best of” winners from the August 2010 RIIFF.  As many as three concurrent screenings will take place all weekend throughout The BALSAMS, including the Ballot Room and The Switzerland of America Ballroom.  Shorts, feature length films and animated films across several genres including comedy, drama, fantasy and romance, to North Country and Franco-American culture will be screened.   

Watch for updates and announcements at http://northcountryfilmfestival.org and follow the NCFF on Facebook at Flickers North Country Film Festival and on Twitter at @FlickFilmFestNH.  

Festival rates for film screenings are only $10 per 2 hour +/- block.  A full access pass for all three days of the festival is $45.00.  Featured event pricing including the Red Carpet Opening Night, NHPTV Reception and more can be found at http://northcountryfilmfestival.org/featured_events.htm.  

Room rates at The BALSAMS for Friday and Saturday nights (October 1 and 2) start at $229.00 per person, per night, double occupancy, taxes not included.  Guests staying Thursday night also will receive a free room upgrade.  This rate includes free admission to the festival, breakfast and dinner, including the famous BALSAMS Table d’hôte dinner, unlimited golf and full use of resort facilities.  Festival attendees interested in staying at The BALSAMS are invited to call (800) 255-0600, e-mail reservations@thebalsams.com or visit www.thebalsams.com for full rate information.   

The non-profit festival is sponsored by MVP Health Care, Delta Dental, AutoFair and Smutty Nose Brewery and is supported by The BALSAMS Grand Resort Hotel and NH Public Television. 

Individuals and organizations interested in becoming a sponsor can contact Gary Armitage at 603-255-2669 or garmitage@thebalsams.com for more details.   

An elegant soiree will also be held on Saturday, October 1 to benefit the Brattleboro Retreat, a mental health and addiction treatment center that provides a wide array of services for children and adults. Its newest program for uniformed service professionals is designed for police, firefighters, correctional officers, EMTs and military personnel who struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder as a consequence of their duty.  The Retreat works with patients from Hollywood, CA to Hallowell, ME.  (www.brattlebororetreat.org)  This soiree costs $200.00 per person.  BALSAMS guests who wish to attend the event will receive a $50.00 credit if staying on the resort’s American Plan.  Reservations for the soiree must be made in advance of arrival.

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.

PaladinID Named September “Innovation Rocks!” Award Winner

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Taking a page out of a Buddy Holly classic song, PaladinID has developed an outdoor color ink that truly defines the term “not fade away.” In the process, its new label solution has led to the company being named the “Innovation Rocks!” award winner by the New Hampshire Business Resource Center for the month of September.

paladinidWhile most outdoor label applications use blank white labels, the Laconia-based designer of cost-saving barcode/RFID systems, created an outdoor color ink that dramatically exceeds the fade-resistant life of other inks available on the market today. It was developed specifically for outdoor appliances requiring variable print at the time of manufacture.

“This innovation is perfect for the Smart Meter market and has worldwide impact,” said New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Interim Director Roy Duddy. “No matter how extreme the elements, Smart Meter manufacturers will now have the benefit of a New Hampshire made product that has an outdoor lifespan of more than 15 years.”

For more information about PaladinID, visit www.paladinid.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.

MA Company Seizes Window of Opportunity in NH

Friday, September 10th, 2010

A small, family-owned business opened the window to a new world of business opportunities by leaving Massachusetts and relocating to New Hampshire’s North Country recently.

Michael Bergeron, NH Division of Economic Development Business Development Manager stands with Window Imagination Owners Jayne and Thad Kallas in front of the new Lancaster site.

Michael Bergeron, NH Division of Economic Development Business Development Manager stands with Window Imagination Owners Jayne and Thad Kallas in front of the new Lancaster site.

Window Imagination, formerly located in Melrose, MA for over 25 years, recently purchased a 4,800 square foot commercial building in Lancaster. 

Owners Thad and Jayne Kallas said that they decided to relocate to New Hampshire to escape the cost of doing business in Massachusetts and to enjoy the quality of life northern New Hampshire has to offer.

“Even though we come from Massachusetts, we are fiscal conservatives and were fed up with the political environment in Massachusetts and the lack of any kind of support for small business,”  Jayne Kallas said.

Window Imagination manufactures custom designed and finished wood and metal drapery hardware which hangs in many homes throughout the country and has been featured in publications such as Architectural Digest, Traditional Home and New England Home magazines.  In addition to the three people they currently employ, they plan on hiring a shipper this fall and hope to re-introduce their upholstery division in the near future. 

“Michael Bergeron, Business Development Manager for the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, was invaluable in this move,” Jayne Kallas said. “His assistance with obtaining financing on our building and his knowledge and accessibility to small business owners like us, made all the difference.”

For more information on Window Imagination products, visit  www.windowimagination.com or call Jayne and Thad Kallas at 603-684-1091.

High Tech Council Soliciting Applications for Software Awards

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

The New Hampshire High Tech Council, through the Software Industry Xchange (SwIX), is very pleased to announce a call for applications for its two award programs recognizing New Hampshire’s “software educator of the year and “software company of the year.”  The winners will be announced at a special awards dinner during Techworld 2010, which is being held on October 14-15 at 72 Pease Blvd. at Pease International Tradeport in Portsmouth (dinner is on the evening of the 14th).  
techworld_logoThe NHHTC is encouraging organizations to apply for these awards as soon as possible, as the deadline for applicants is October 1. 
TechWorld 2010 is a high-tech summit for all and will showcase the power of NH’s regional “Tec”onomy. The event will connect NH’s technological innovators, leaders, investors and students during a two-day expo that showcases the state’s fertile high-tech environment and celebrates the region’s successful technology companies and individuals.
This unique collaboration between the Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce’s eCoast Technology Roundtable and the NH High Technology Council will showcase successful high-tech businesses, innovation and opportunity and provide a unique opportunity for recruiters and job seekers.
The award program has been in existence for several years and was previously managed by the Software Association of NH (SwANH).  In early 2010, SwANH merged with the NHHTC and SwIX became a software working group within the Council.  The awards were redesigned to compliment the current NHHTC awards (Product of the Year / Entrepreneur of the Year) with focus on the software industry with the software company of the year and software educator of the year.
To learn more about the awards, go to www.nhhtc.org.  To learn more about Techworld, go to http://techworld2010.com

SBA Encourages the Public to Plan for Disasters During National Preparedness Month

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

With Hurricane Earl on its way, I thought that this press release from the Small Business Administration was particularly timely and relevant:

SBA Encourages the Public to Plan for Disasters During National Preparedness Month

In conjunction with the five-year anniversary of the devastating Gulf Coast storms of 2005, the U.S. Small Business Administration is encouraging business owners, homeowners and others to create their own disaster preparedness plan during National Preparedness Month in September. 

hurricane“There is a tendency to think that a large-scale disaster is not going to happen ‘where I live,’” SBA Administrator Karen Mills said. “The reality is that storms, floods, earthquakes, fires and man-made disasters can strike anytime and anywhere. Planning ahead for your own post-disaster recovery is a good step toward protecting your family, your business and your community.”

SBA, along with many state, local government and private sector coalition partners are participating in this September’s National Preparedness Month. 

To prepare for disasters, SBA offers the following tips:

·Develop a solid emergency response plan.  Find evacuation routes from the home or business and establish meeting places.  Make sure everyone understands the plan beforehand.  Keep emergency phone numbers handy.  Business owners should designate a contact person to communicate with other employees, customers and vendors. Homeowners, renters and business owners should ask an out-of-state friend, colleague or family member to be a “post-disaster” point of contact, supporting the flow of information about short-term relocations, recovery, additional sources of assistance, etc.

·Make sure you have adequate insurance coverage.  Disaster preparedness begins with having adequate insurance coverage—at least enough to rebuild your home or business.  Homeowners and business owners should review their policies to see what is or isn’t covered.    Companies should consider business interruption insurance, which helps cover operating costs during the post-disaster shutdown period.  Flood insurance is essential. To find out more about the National Flood Insurance Program, visit the Web site at www.floodsmart.gov.

·Copy important records.   It’s a good idea to back up vital records and information saved on computer hard drives, and store that information at a distant offsite location in fireproof safe deposit boxes.  You should have copies/back ups of important documents ready to take with you if you have to evacuate.

·Create a “Disaster Survival Kit.”   The kit should include a flashlight, a portable radio, extra batteries, first-aid supplies, non-perishable food, bottled water, a basic tool kit, plastic sheeting and garbage bags, cash, and a digital camera to take pictures of the property damage after the storm.

More preparedness tips for businesses, homeowners and renters are available on the SBA’s website at www.sba.gov.

The Institute for Business and Home Safety (www.disastersafety.org ) also has information on protecting your home or business.  Additional information on developing an emergency plan is available at the federal government’s preparedness website www.ready.gov.

When disaster strikes, the SBA makes low-interest loans to homeowners, renters and non-farm businesses of all sizes.  Homeowners may borrow up to $200,000 to repair or replace damaged real estate.  Individuals may borrow up to $40,000 to cover losses to personal property.

Non-farm businesses and non-profit organizations of any size may apply for up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged business assets and real property. Small businesses that suffered economic losses as a direct result of the declared disaster may apply for a working capital loan up to $2 million, even if the property was not physically damaged.

To learn more about the SBA’s disaster assistance program, visit the website at www.sba.gov/disasterassistance.

New Hampshire to Receive $1.5 Million to Increase College Aspirations

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Governor John Lynch has designated the N.H. Postsecondary Education Commission as the lead organization of a coalition that will receive $1.5 million in federal funding to increase the enrollment in postsecondary education in New Hampshire for students who have graduated from high school within the previous 12 months. The funds are being allocated to the state through the U.S. Department of Education’s College Access Challenge Grant (CACG), a program that has been authorized to provide funds to states for the next five years beginning this summer. 

college-educationWhile the goal is to increase access for all students, CACG projects will target under-represented populations including foster children, potential first-generation college students, minorities and financially-needy students.  Specific programs receiving support will build upon existing infrastructure to deliver programming, resources and direct services and avoid duplication of effort by encouraging a collaborative partnership of state-wide non-profits and state entities that focus on education at all levels.  

“This federal award complements both the Governor’s P-16 Working Group and NH Postsecondary Education Commission efforts to increase the proportion of high school graduates who realize aspirations to continue their education,” said Kathryn Dodge, Executive Director of the NH Postsecondary Education Commission.  “This coalition approach, partnerships between the K-12 and higher education sector, public and independent institutions, as well as a variety of non-profit organizations, is designed to improve our capacity to work together for the good of NH students.”

The scope of the funded projects fall into three areas: 1) college aspiration – improving  access to and familiarity with college planning information for all students and parents, with emphasis on underserved populations; 2) capacity building – making  the application process smoother and more accurate for students, secondary, and postsecondary institutions through implementation of an electronic transcript and working with education professionals at both the secondary and postsecondary level to promote not only access to postsecondary education, but success once access is attained; and, 3) academic preparation – increasing the percentage of students who are prepared to complete college level material.  

It is anticipated that the following programs will be supported through the grant:

The NH Higher Education Assistance Foundation (NHHEAF) Network Organization’s Center for College Planning: Increase college aspirations through presenting programs for K-12 students and parents in early awareness, planning for college and careers and information on financial aid; standardized test prep and FAFSA completion for high schools with low college-going rate and a high proportion of low-income students by providing incentives for participation; special work with foster children.

NH College and University Council’s Diversity Initiative: Increase access to postsecondary education for minorities, refugees, immigrants, and students for which English is their second language through college access conventions, college fairs, and events that target minority populations, financial aid workshops at minority-serving community centers, refugee settlement organizations, and churches; and developing and maintaining a scholarship database for under-represented students.  The Diversity Initiative will also organize an annual access showcase conference to promote best practices to successfully integrate minority students into the state’s postsecondary system.

NH College and University Council’s NH Scholars Initiative: Increase the number of high schools participating in the NH Scholars Initiative and the number of students at those schools who complete a rigorous high school curriculum. The project encourages all high schools to strengthen school/business partnerships in an effort to motivate all students to engage in challenging coursework thus graduating with the skills and proficiency to succeed in college and a career.

Community College System of NH Mathematics Learning Communities: Increase the awareness, both of students and educators, of the competencies required to successfully complete entry-level college mathematics resulting in a decrease in placement in remedial math courses and an increase in college persistence and success at the community colleges.

Campus Compact of NH: Focus on both access and success in K-16 education through increased opportunities for professional development for K-12 guidance counselors, college financial aid and admissions professionals and other stakeholders; the creation of an after school curriculum encouraging college awareness and planning for K-12 students; and the promotion of K-16 partnerships for college access.

University System of NH (USNH), Community College System of NH (CCSNH), NH Department of Education: Enhance the existing NHTransfer.org database to allow students to send their transcripts electronically from participating high schools and postsecondary institutions to any participating USNH or CCSNH institution.  This will enable students and admissions officers to easily evaluate course equivalencies in the transcript.  It will also allow transcript information to automatically feed directly into the receiving institution’s student database, increasing efficiency and data accuracy. 

The NHHEAF Network Organization’s Center for College Planning: Create an integrated public awareness campaign that increases awareness of and appreciation for higher education.  In partnership with NH’s degree-granting postsecondary institutions, the Postsecondary Education Commission, the Division of Children, Youth and Families and local TRIO programs, the campaign would target high school juniors and seniors to promote the value of higher education by focusing on affordability, scholarships and financial aid.

The purpose of the CACG is to foster partnerships among federal, state, and local governments and philanthropic organizations through matching challenge grants that are aimed at increasing the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. The Postsecondary Education Commission will serve as the grant administrator for the CACG.