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Archive for March, 2011

ITRC Plans Intro to Exporting Seminar

Friday, March 18th, 2011

In cooperation with the Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce, the New Hampshire International Trade Resource Center (ITRC) will hold a seminar, “Introduction to Exporting,” on Tuesday, March 22 from 3-5pm at the Roundabout Diner, 580 US Highway RT 1 Bypass in Portsmouth.

export-classic“Since 95% of the world’s consumers live outside of the United States, developing an international business plan can be key to a company’s success,” New Hampshire International Trade Resource Center Director Dawn Wivell said. “Currently more than 2,200 New Hampshire companies export and the majority of them are small or medium-sized businesses. In 2010 alone, the Granite State exported $4.4 billion in goods and services, surpassing its previous all-time record. New Hampshire is number one among the states in rate of export growth, and we’re well above the national rate of 21.31%. That’s why this is an excellent time for businesses in New Hampshire to make exporting a part of their business plan.”

The seminar will cover researching international markets, developing an international business plan, international pricing, taxes and tariffs, logistics, financing and much more.

The event, which is sponsored by ITRC, the Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce, People’s United Bank and the U.S. Commercial Service, is free to Chamber members and $10 for non-members. For more information or to register, please email info@portsmouthchamber.org.

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

Small Businesses Are Key to New Hampshire’s Well-Being

Monday, March 14th, 2011

New Hampshire’s small businesses are key to the state’s well-being and account for a significant share of the state’s economic production and hiring, according to the Office of Advocacy’s Small Business Profile for the state, released today. The profile uses the most recent data available to provide details about small business employment, business starts and closings, bank lending, business ownership by minorities, women, and veterans, and firm and employment change by major industry and firm size. 

entrepreneurship2“Small business is a catalyst for economic growth in New Hampshire and in our nation,” said Winslow Sargeant, Chief Counsel for Advocacy. “In today’s economic climate, we need to continue to support entrepreneurship and promote policies that help small businesses grow and prosper.”

Small businesses totaled 135,716 in New Hampshire in 2008. Of these, 31,146 were employers and they accounted for 54.0% of private sector jobs in the state. Small firms made up 96.3% of the state’s employers.

New Hampshire’s real gross state product increased by 1.8% and private-sector employment decreased by 4.4% in 2009. By comparison, real GDP in the United States grew 0.7% and private sector employment declined by 5.5%.

Business ownership is becoming more inclusive in the state. The number of both women and minority business owners has grown. In particular, minority-owned businesses numbered 4,855 in 2007, an increase of 42.8% over 2002.

The state’s businesses also showed signs of stability and improvement in the fourth quarter of 2009 compared to the first quarter. 

For more information and a complete copy of the state and territory small business profiles, visit the Office of Advocacy website at www.sba.gov/advocacy/848.

“Begin With Yes Careerfest” to be Streamed Online for Free

Friday, March 11th, 2011

Through a special arrangement with Manchester-based EZStream, the “Begin With Yes” CareerFest being held in Berlin from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, March 15th will be streamed live at http://bit.ly/NoBullStream.

begin-with-yesThe event, which is being sponsored by New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, White Mountains Community College, Public Service of New Hampshire, Logo Loc and media sponsor, New Hampshire Business Review, will include four informative workshops: “Job Search – Applications, Resumes and Cover Letters” (John Paine, Adjunct Professor at White Mountains Community College), “Effective Communication Skills in the Job Search” (Dr. Russ Ouellette, Sojourn Partners), “Networking – It’s Not Who You Know, But Who Knows You” (Kevin Shyne, North Country Tech Prep Director and Leadership North Country Executive Director) and “Social Media Basics for Job Seekers” (Allen Voivod, Epiphanies, Inc.). In addition, there will be a keynote speech Moore Center CEO Paul Boynton, author of “Begin With Yes: A Short Conversation That Will Change Your Life Forever.”

Roy Duddy, Interim Director of the NH Division of Economic Development, says, “EZStream is a valued partner and we truly appreciate their participation in this important event. The live stream will enable people all over the state to be a part of the CareerFest. It makes what would have been a regional, North Country event one that will have an impact statewide.”

Admission to the “Begin With Yes Career Fest” is also free but is limited to the first 200 people. To register for the Begin With Yes Career Fest, contact Leslie Sherman at lsherman@dred.state.nh.us or call 603-271-2591. The live stream will be available at http://bit.ly/NoBullStream. Unemployed residents of New Hampshire can download copies of “Begin With Yes” free of charge at http://www.beginwithyes.com/purchase.html. Click the “ebook” option and enter YESNH in the discount code box.

Small Steps Trigger the Momentum You Need for Job Search Success

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

This is the third in a series of guest commentaries from the presenters at our Begin With Yes Careerfest to be held on March 15th from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at White Mountains Community College in Berlin. It’s a free event, with a free lunch, but limited space – to register, please email Leslie Sherman at lsherman@dred.state.nh.us or call her at 603-271-2591.

In this piece, keynote speaker Paul Boynton uses the Q&A format found in his book “Begin With Yes” and in his popular NHBR column to address the negative feelings associated with job loss, and how the principles of “Begin With Yes” can help.

I am unemployed and have been struggling for months to find a job. I have always worked hard and never expected to find myself in this situation. People are saying that the job outlook is improving but I am not feeling it yet! I am discouraged, angry and anxious, and some days I am so discouraged that I don’t know what to do. To be honest, “Begin with Yes” sounds naive and overly simple. That said, I am open and wonder, what suggestions do you have for me and others like me?

Begin With Yes Careerfest Keynote Speaker Paul BoyntonLife does throw some unbelievable curveballs and sometimes just about everyone I know – at least those who have been around for a while – knows what it feels like to be hit in the gut by one situation or another. Sometimes life can feel overwhelming and most of us have been there; I know I have.

Unemployment, especially in this environment, is surely one of those experiences because it not only impacts us individually on so many levels including financial and emotional, but it also can create incredible stress and tension for those around us, especially those who are depending on us to keep things flowing smoothly.

Most people out of work today are there through no fault of their own and this unexpected, undeserved reality evokes all kinds of feelings including anger, resentment, fear, and a sense of powerlessness. All of those feelings are legitimate and make perfect sense. They can also slow us down and make the job search even more difficult than it already is.

This is no time for slogans or platitudes and no time for naive, head-in-the-sand optimism coming from people who aren’t or haven’t faced the challenges you are facing.  “Begin with Yes” principles are grounded in reality and they don’t try to sugarcoat or minimize the practical realities, the pain or the feelings that go along with facing those “hit in the gut” situations.

“Begin with Yes” is not a book specifically written about finding a job, and it doesn’t offer easy answers or quick solutions to complex problems.

It is, however, a book that understands being or feeling stuck or immobilized. And it does have some suggestions and strategies to get you unstuck and to help you keep moving even when you don’t have the energy.

It stresses action over attitude and encourages small – sometimes extremely small – steps that keep you moving forward, no matter how you’re feeling.  Here’s something you could try: Ask yourself, “What’s one small thing I can do today to move closer to being employed again?”

Steps might include: Getting exercise, sending a note to a friend asking them to help you network, signing up for a seminar at a local college, or brainstorming job interests that are different than your last job. It’s important to keep the steps so small you can do them in an afternoon and as you finish a step, the next step becomes clearer and easier to manage.

These small steps are so important because with each step, you’re moving forward. And when you’re moving you’re no longer stuck. Not being stuck tends to create more energy to keep moving and often your attitude and feelings will begin to shift too.  One day, hopefully sooner rather than later, the seemingly smallest of steps may be remembered as that “turning point” step that changed it all!

In addition to these action steps, remember to reach out to family and friends, consider using social media to stay engaged, don’t be afraid to ask people to help, and most importantly, surround yourself with others who will help keep you focused and hopeful.

I surely don’t have all the answers but do believe this approach will help. If you’d like a free eBook download of “Begin with Yes,” just go to my website store at www.beginwithyes.com, choose the eBook download, enter the code YESNH and update your shopping cart and complete the transaction. You will get a link that will let you download the book at no charge.

Also, you may have read about the “Begin With Yes Career Fest” at White Mountains Community College in Berlin on Tuesday, March 15th from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. It’s a free event, complimentary lunch provided. In addition to my keynote, you can also attend workshops on “Job Search – Applications, Resumes and Cover Letters,” “Effective Communication Skills in the Job Search,” “Networking – It’s Not Who You Know, But Who Knows You,” and “Social Media Basics for Job Seekers.”

To register for this event, please email Leslie Sherman at lsherman@dred.state.nh.us or call 603-271-2591. Space is limited, and pre-registration is required. Through a special arrangement with Manchester-based EZStream and Portsmouth-based Kinney Hill Media Partners, the entire event will also be streamed live and archived for later viewing at http://bit.ly/NoBullStream .

It’s truly a collaborative project made possible with the help of NHBR, Public Service of NH, The Department of Economic Development and Logo-Loc. I hope you can be there, in person or via the web.

“Green Scene” to Debut Today

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

The New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, Public Service of New Hampshire and the “New Hampshire Today Show With Jack Heath” on WTPL 107.7 FM are making a scene and companies throughout the Granite State couldn’t be happier.

green-recycle-img1Today, the aforementioned partners will be debuting a new radio segment called the “Green Scene.” To be aired at 3:30 p.m. the second Wednesday of every month, the “Green Scene” will be dedicated to New Hampshire companies and initiatives geared toward energy efficiency, sustainability and responsible energy practices.

On today’s inaugural segment, “New Hampshire Today Show” host Jack Heath will be joined by Dennis Randall, owner and CEO of Portsmouth-based EARTHTEC, an apparel manufacturer that utilizes recycables to create outerwear. EARTHTEC has created jackets for the NH Fisher Cats staff, winter hats for a UNH men’s hockey giveaway and soft shell jackets for the Portsmouth Police Department among many other customers. For more details about their great work, visit www.earth-tec.com.

Special thanks to Public Service of New Hampshire for their sponsorship of the segment and to Jack Heath and the WTPL staff for the opportunity to share some great stories via the airwaves. Please be sure to listen to today’s segment and all that follow!

– Steve Boucher, Communications & Legislative Director

Next Step Orthotics & Prosthetics Named U.S. Chamber Award Winner

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

It’s always nice to see one of our “Innovation Rocks!” winners get recognized on a national scale. In addition to being named a Blue Ribbon Small Business Award winner by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Manchester-based Next Step Orthotics & Prosthetics is also in the running for a Community Excellence Award which will be determined by public online voting. We at the No Bull Business Blog urge all of our followers to vote for Next Step prior to the March 11th deadline date at www.uschambersummit.com.  Congrats on making New Hampshire proud Next Step!!


Citing the company’s critical role in job creation and economic growth, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce today named Manchester, NH-based Next Step Orthotics & Prosthetics a Blue Ribbon Small Business Award winner.

The "Luke Arm" is just one of Next Step Orthotics & Prosthetics' many accomplishments.

The "Luke Arm" is just one of Next Step Orthotics & Prosthetics' many accomplishments.

“The recipients of this year’s Blue Ribbon Small Business Award are on the forefront of our economic recovery,” U.S. Chamber President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue said. “Next Step Orthotics & Prosthetics represents our nation’s job creators, and this award recognizes their significant contributions to our economy.”

The Blue Ribbon Small Business Award, sponsored by Sam’s Club, honors businesses that demonstrate excellent business practices in several areas including strategy, employee development, community involvement and customer service.

“We are truly honored to be recognized with such a prestigious award,” said Next Step President and CPO Matt Albuquerque. “This award is testament to the hard work of our dedicated staff and the importance of our mission – to consistently innovate so that our clients may lead happier, active and more fulfilled lives.”

Next Step President & CPO Matt Albuquerque

Next Step President & CPO Matt Albuquerque

A privately held company headquartered in Manchester, NH with offices in Newton, MA and Warwick, RI, Next Step Orthotics & Prosthetics provides orthotic and prosthetic devices to clients of all ages – from pediatric to geriatric. The company is practitioner owned and operated, and some staff members are amputees themselves. Known for their innovation, Next Step prosthetists and clinicians work with research facilities and prosthetic manufacturers in developing new prosthetic technologies and components.

This year’s 75 Blue Ribbon winners were selected from a record number of nationwide applicants and will be honored at America’s Small Business Summit 2011 from May 23-25 in Washington, D.C. On March 14, seven of the Blue Ribbon businesses will be announced as award finalists and one will be named the DREAM BIG Small Business of the Year during America’s Small Business Summit. The winner will be presented with a $10,000 cash prize courtesy of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Blue Ribbon businesses are also eligible for the Community Excellence Award decided by online public voting at www.uschambersummit.com.  The deadline for the online vote is March 11th.

“We welcome the support of the citizens of New Hampshire as we seek the community excellence designation,” Albuquerque said. “We value our role in being a community partner in the Granite State and would love to ensure that New Hampshire is recognized on a national level for our community engagement.”  

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors and regions as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

Call for Nominations for the Annual Profile Awards

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

The Old Man of the Mountain Legacy Fund is accepting nominations for its prestigious Profile Awards, which will be presented in a celebration of New Hampshire’s icon on June 12.

old-man1Established in 2004, the year that followed the collapse of the Old Man, the three Profile Awards presented annually honor an individual, an organization and a municipality in the state that characterize the spirit and values generations of Granite Staters saw in the visage that overlooked Franconia Notch for centuries.

“Although this great emblem is gone, the Old Man left behind an indelible mark on our state,” said Dick Hamilton of Littleton, president of the Old Man of the Mountain Legacy Fund. “The profile has been an inspiration for many and the Profile Awards recognize the people who display the values the Old Man embodied for so long.”

The selection committee is looking for the person, the organization and the town or city that have a distinguished record of working on behalf of the conservation or preservation of New Hampshire’s natural resources, historic structures and scenic beauty, or  its culture, traditions, social or political history.  Last year’s winners were North Country writer John Harrigan of Colebrook; Copper Cannon Camp in Franconia, and the towns around Lake Sunapee – Newbury, New London and Sunapee. Each year, winners are presented with a handsome birch, glass, and granite sculpture, crafted by Berlin artist Andre Belanger.  

Presentation of this year’s Profile Awards, the eighth anniversary of the fall of the Old Man, will coincide with the dedication of the first phase of the Old Man of the Mountain monument, on the shore of Profile Lake. The project is funded entirely by private donations; to date, more than 150 engraved granite pavers have been sold. Orders continue to be accepted through April 30; forms are available at the legacy fund’s website, www.OldManNH.org.

Nominations for the Profile Awards should be submitted, in writing, not to exceed 500 words, citing specific contributions and accomplishments. They may be mailed, or e-mailed, by April 15, to the Old Man of the Mountain Legacy Fund, P.O. Box 375, Concord, NH 03302 or to NHOldManLegacy@gmail.com  Active members of the New Hampshire Legislature are deemed ineligible.   For more information about the Old Man of the Mountain Legacy Fund and previous winners of the Profile Awards, visit www.OldManNH.org.

Nomination Deadline Nears for Self Made in NH Award

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

The deadline for submitting nominations for the first annual Self Made in New Hampshire award is Friday, March 25, 2011. The application is available on the Self Made in New Hampshire website at www.SelfMadeinNH.com.

selfmadelogoThe Self Made in New Hampshire award showcases the untold stories of those who have persevered and made their own way in life. This event is a platform to give others the opportunity to share stories and inspire the community.

Nominees for Self Made in New Hampshire could be people who have started their career from scratch, beginning at the bottom and tirelessly working their way up. They may have spent extra years earning a degree, working full time while taking classes and looking after their family. Or they might just be incredibly hard workers, driven to excel by making their lives and the lives of others a little bit better.

 A judging panel will narrow the field down to three finalists, and the winner will be announced at a celebration gala. The Self Made in New Hampshire dinner and gala will be held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, June 16, 2011, at Brookstone Park, 14 Route 111, Derry. Tickets for the gala are available at SelfMadeInNH.com.

 Self Made in New Hampshire is presented by Brooks Properties and produced by LTD Company. For more information, visit SelfMadeInNH.com.

Five NH Companies to Receive Grants to Train 230 Workers

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Governor John Lynch has announced that five New Hampshire companies were awarded Job Training grants in February, which will help to train 230 New Hampshire workers in the new skills that workers and businesses need to compete. The grants, which are matched by the companies, total more than $130,000.

nh-job-training-fundJob Training grants are aimed at keeping good jobs in New Hampshire by helping companies train their workers with new skills to compete in a changing economy. Governor Lynch made it a priority to reinstate the Job Training Fund, which distributes up to $2 million annually in matching grants to allow companies to train new workers or retrain longtime employees.

Since the Job Training Fund was reinstated in late 2007, more than 8,900 workers from across New Hampshire have received training and enhanced skills through the matching grant program.

“With New Hampshire positioned as a national leader in economic recovery, it’s clear our economic strategy is making a difference. That strategy includes ensuring we continue to have a highly skilled, educated workforce in New Hampshire,” Governor Lynch said. “By making wise investments in our workers, companies have the workforce needed to compete, to grow and to locate here in New Hampshire.”

The February 2011 recipients of the Job Training grants are General Electric in Hooksett; Rapid Sheet Metal of Nashua; Sky-Scan, Inc., in Nashua; Altronics Manufacturing of Hudson; and Wiggins Airways in Manchester.

Since the Job Training Fund was re-established, companies from across New Hampshire have received state grants totaling more than $3 million. Companies receiving grants have contributed more than $5.4 million, bringing the total amount invested in new training for workers to over $8.6 million.

For more information about the Job Training Fund, go to www.nhjobtrainingfund.org.