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Archive for September, 2011

There But for the Grace of God…..

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

I heard a story today that broke my heart but also reaffirmed my faith in mankind. I was at New Horizons for New Hampshire in Manchester and Executive Director Charlie Sherman was sharing with me all of the blessings associated with working at a homeless shelter.

(L. to R.) NH Division of Economic Development Communications & Legislative Director Steve Boucher, joins New Horizons for New Hampshire Executive Director Charlie Sherman, EARTHTEC Founder Dennis Randall, NH Fisher Cats Mascot Fungo and NH Fisher Cats Vice President of Sales Mike Ramshaw celebrate the presentation of 75 blankets to the New Horizons shelter.

He told me the story of a man who walked into the shelter a few months ago wearing a polo shirt and dress slacks. The man shared that he had been unemployed for six months and had come to the shelter after debating whether or not to sleep in his car or swallow his pride and seek assistance. The man’s wife and children were staying with relatives in Massachusetts while he continued to look for work after being laid off from a well paying job. He was in the final stages of interviews with a company but still with no place to lay his head after losing his home.

Fast forward a few months later. Charlie was sitting at his desk when he received a letter from the man thanking him for his humanity and sharing his new reality – he was now employed, his family had rejoined him and he had a home to return to every evening. Tucked neatly into that envelope was a $50 check for New Horizons – a gift from a man who had experienced life on the other side and wanted to help others who were struggling. Charlie said that he had a difficult time maintaining his composure when he received that letter and by the welling up in my eyes, I could certainly understand why he felt so moved and gratified.

This story was a meaningful reminder of not only how fortunate many of us are to have jobs but also how important it is to have organizations like New Horizons for New Hampshire in our great state. Each day, New Horizons serves 200 meals, provides access to case management services, prepares pre-packed food packages for impoverished families and assists those struggling with addictions.

That’s why the Division of Economic Development was so happy to partner with New Horizons, EARTHTEC, WTPL, Public Service of New Hampshire, the Student Conservation Association and the New Hampshire Fisher Cats to develop an initiative that would provide warm blankets to those staying at the shelter. On August 11th, we held “Green Scene Night” at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium in Manchester where we collected bottles during a New Hampshire Fisher Cats game and EARTHTEC later turned them into beautiful blankets that will now adorn each of the 75 beds at the shelter.

Dennis Randall, founder of EARTHTEC, is a business executive who “gets it.” Not only did he assist with this particular project, he also dedicated his staff time and resources to collect recyclables at concerts throughout the Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion season including our successful Greenerpalooza event.

Similarly, all of our other private sector partners “get it.” They understand that our economy, our community and the fabric of our state relies on partnership, on service to others and sharing resources with the expectation that a more vibrant, charitable state improves life for all.  

New Hampshire is a wonderful place with caring neighbors, a charitable and responsible business community and a collection of some of the finest social service agencies imaginable. I hope that in the days and weeks ahead, everyone has a chance to learn more about New Horizons (www.newhorizonsfornh.org) and the incredible work they’re performing each and every day. I’m thrilled that we were able to do our small part for the organization, but there’s so much more work to be done.

Perhaps English historian and novelist Charles Kingsley said it best when he said, “Make it a rule…never to lie down at night without being able to say, “I have made one human being at least a little wiser, a little happier or a little better this day.” There can be no doubt that we owe that to ourselves and we owe it to others.

– Steve Boucher, Communications & Legislative Director

Five New Hampshire Companies Receive Job Training Fund Grants

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Governor John Lynch has announced that five New Hampshire companies received Job Training Fund Grants in September. Totaling nearly $80,000, the state grants will be used to train nearly 200 New Hampshire workers.

Governor Lynch made it a priority to reinstate the Job Training Fund four years ago. Since then, nearly 11,000 workers from across New Hampshire have received training and enhanced skills through this successful and popular program.

“Investing in our workers, ensuring they have the skills companies need to compete globally, continues to be a key part of our state’s successful economic strategy. The Job Training Fund is ensuring that we have a skilled, educated workforce, which is keeping good jobs right here in New Hampshire,” Governor Lynch said.

The five companies that received grants in September are: WorldCom Exchange in Salem; Ferrite Microwave Technologies of Nashua; Tybrin Corporation of Nashua; RecordsForce of Portsmouth; and PixelMedia in Portsmouth. Each company will match the grant received from the state.

Since the Job Training Fund was re-established, companies from across New Hampshire have received state grants totaling more than $3.8 million. Companies receiving grants have contributed more than $6 million, bringing the total amount invested in new training for workers to over $10 million.

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

“Manufacturing Matters” Inaugural Radio Segment Scheduled for Today

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Manufacturing matters, and if you aren’t willing to take my word for it, just check out the numbers – Economic impact models suggest that the creation of 100 new manufacturing jobs in New Hampshire will create as many as 138 additional jobs in the rest of the state economy, add $11 million in earnings, $18 million in Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and generate $1.2 million in state and local tax revenue.

Further, while Smart Manufacturing/High Technology (SMHT) companies represent eight percent of the companies paying the state’s Business Profits and Business Enterprise taxes, those same companies accounted for 23 percent of the total business tax revenue in FY2008, the highest of any industrial sector.

 There’s no doubt that manufacturing is the number one industry in the state and the creator of well paying, sustainable jobs with an upward career trajectory. In order to shine a positive light on the sector, the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, USDA Rural Development and WTPL 107.7 FM (102.3 FM and 94.3 FM as well – if you’re chained to your desk, you can also access the live stream at www.wtplfm.com) are partnering to present “Manufacturing Matters,” a new monthly radio segment that will debut today at 3:05 p.m.

“New Hampshire Today” show host Jack Heath will be joined by New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Interim Director Chris Way and a guest representing the best and brightest of the manufacturing sector. Today’s guest will be Dennis Delay, economist with the New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies. In addition to being an economist at the Center, Dennis is also New Hampshire State Forecast Manager for the New England Economic Partnership, a non-profit association of economists that have monitored and forecast regional economic trends for more than three decades.

Dennis is the author of a report sponsored by the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire (BIA), in collaboration with the New Hampshire High Technology Council (NHHTC) and several BIA members that highlighted the importance of manufacturing to the state. Among the findings:

*The SMHT sector, which includes 3,700 companies in New Hampshire employing almost 80,000 people, paid out $6.4 billion in wages and benefits, making it the largest single sector of New Hampshire’s economy (19 percent). The next largest sector is government and government enterprises (15 percent), followed by healthcare and social assistance (14 percent).

*Paying an average wage of $1,200 per week, which is 40 percent higher than the average weekly wage for all private sector employees working in New Hampshire, SMHT companies account for 9 percent of New Hampshire’s private sector employers, but they employ more than 15 percent of New Hampshire’s private sector workers.

*SMHT has been one of the hardest hit sectors in the most recent recession. But while the sector is changing in character, wages and benefits continue to grow. Wages and benefits paid by SMHT companies in the state increased from $3.7 billion in 1990 to $6.4 billion in 2009, even as the number of manufacturing jobs in New Hampshire declined. Manufacturers in the state now produce more industrial output, but with fewer employees, than they did twenty years ago.

To learn more about the state’s number one industry, be sure to listen to “Manufacturing Matters” today at 3:05 p.m.!!!

– Steve Boucher, Communications & Legislative Director 

Ask CJ – Mining for Gold in Government Contracts

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Q: “I have started to expand my business and go after government contracts.  Do you know how I can grow that quicker?  I have been focusing on contracts with the State.”

A: When I first started to learn about government contracting, it totally overwhelmed me.  I was especially intimidated about the idea of doing business with the federal government.  It seemed so elusive and convoluted.  What type of business gets government contracts?  Where do you even start? 

NH Division of Economic Development Seacoast Business Services Specialist Christine J. Davis

I attended a two day conference in Washington, DC a couple of summers ago all about federal contracting and realized that it isn’t all that mysterious or difficult after all.  It does, however, take time and a concerted effort.  Doing business with the government is just like doing business in the private sector; you have to work for it, create and maintain relationships and provide a quality product or service at the right price.  If you abuse the relationship by slacking off on quality or jacking up the price, you will lose that business.  The good news is that the government needs just about every good or service that you might provide.

If you are already doing business with the State of New Hampshire, you should be familiar with the basics but for those that may not be you can visit our website, www.nheconomy.com/ptap to learn about the services our government contracting group offers.  The services listed below highlight the offerings with the NH Procurement Technical Assistance Program:
• Identifying Business Codes (NAICS, SICS, FSC & PSC)
• Registering on all appropriate web sites (CCR, SBA & ORCA)
• Matching a firm’s product or service with that being purchased by the federal government
• Interpretation of solicitations
• Obtaining specifications
• Locating Federal Acquisition Regulations (FARS, DFARS & CFRS)
• Process Management Skills
• GSA – General Services Administration schedules

The first step is to get your business registered and identify the codes that are related to your business.  The PTAP group can help you with this process and the services are free.  They also will help you navigate the system and get through the infamous “red tape” that can be daunting in the beginning.  It is great that you are soliciting the State for business but there are plenty of other government contracting opportunities on the federal level right here in the State of NH.  The Air National Guard, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are just a few federal agencies with a NH presence.
I spoke with the director, Dave Pease, to see what’s new and exciting in government procurement.  Dave and his group work with every type of business at every stage of government contracting.  Since his arrival four years ago the agency has grown in their access to and knowledge of the resources available to the business community.  He strongly suggests that if you worked with them in the past but think you may have outgrown their services that you give them a call and see how they can continue to help your business.  He also mentioned an upcoming “matchmaker” that will take place in Burlington VT http://www.dodneregional.org from October 26th-28th.  It is a great opportunity to get in front of a lot of agencies in a short amount of time.

I spoke with several businesses that sell to the government; American Toners who sells almost exclusively to the government, SmartATI an emerging government contractor and Envirosystems.  I asked all of these women-owned businesses what suggestions or insight they could offer.  Lori Smart of Smart ATI listed her six “P’s” of doing business with the government; Planning, persistence, paperwork, working with prime contractors (to start), past performance and payoff.  Lori said it takes more time and effort than she had envisioned but after several years they are beginning to reap the benefits.  She also said that getting on the General Services Administration (GSA) schedules was a good way for them to advertise their products and services to the government.  The GSA is a tool that can help open doors as it is a list of pre-approved vendors that allows government agencies to do business from $100-$150,000 without going out for open bids.  Of course getting on the schedule requires an intense investment of time.  No free lunches that’s for sure. 

Janice Cobb of American Toners shared that it takes work, time and a willingness to change if you want to go down this avenue.  “You have to be willing to change with the times or you will be dead in the water.”  Petra Karbe of Envirosystems also stated that success comes from offering high quality products or services, excellent service and a competitive price.  Being woman-owned may open doors but you still need to prove you can do the job and do it well.  Apparently doing business with the government isn’t that different than doing business with the private sector after all.

Whether you have been in business for 20 years or just getting started, we have the resources and the expertise to answer your questions. You can e-mail me at Christine.Davis@dred.state.nh.us. I look forward to hearing from you.

Christine J. Davis works for the NH Division of Economic Development as a resource specialist serving businesses in Rockingham and Strafford counties. Her role is to provide the support needed for businesses so that they may remain viable and growing entities in the community. Ms. Davis lives in Exeter with her two daughters.  When not performing her work or parenting duties she can be found on her bike, in her garden or headed down Water Street in Exeter with her girls to get an ice cream.

Shaheen Announces Grant to Help Small Businesses Increase Exports

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) announced today that New Hampshire will receive $299,493 to help more small businesses increase their exports by reaching new foreign markets. The funding comes from the Small Business Administration’s State Trade Export Promotion (STEP) grant program, which was created by the Small Business Jobs Act, legislation Shaheen helped craft as a member of the Senate Small Business Committee. 
“Exports represent a tremendous potential for growth for small businesses in the United States, and we need to do more to help them reach foreign markets, so that they can grow and create jobs,” Shaheen said. “This grant is well-tailored to New Hampshire’s economy because it will help more businesses reach two fast-growing markets, China and India, while also encouraging more export growth in aerospace and defense.”

The STEP grant will enhance the state’s International Trade Resource Center (ITRC) efforts to help small businesses in New Hampshire prepare for new markets, comply with trade regulations, access export financing, and attend trade missions. With this grant, the ITRC will create specialized programs to focus on foreign markets that have the highest growth potential and industries that have the greatest and most immediate ability to compete successfully in the world marketplace. 
“We are thrilled that the New Hampshire business community will be able to benefit from this grant which is dedicated to helping local companies maximize their opportunities abroad,” said New Hampshire Department of Resources & Economic Development Commissioner George Bald. “At a time when demands for exports are at an all-time high for our small and medium-sized entrepreneurs, this grant will allow us to provide assistance in key areas of need. We commend Senator Shaheen, Governor Lynch and all of our partners including the New Hampshire offices of the Small Business Administration, the U.S. Department of Commerce for their commitment to helping New Hampshire businesses gain access to the international marketplace.”
“The SBA is thrilled to support the State of New Hampshire’s already successful export efforts,” said Jeanne A. Hulit, regional administrator of the SBA.  “The President has set a goal of doubling U.S. exports over the next five years.  New Hampshire is already leading the country with the highest percentage growth in exports in 2010.  This grant will further help New Hampshire’s small businesses export their products and services, creating new jobs.  We commend Senator Shaheen for her support for including the STEP grants as a key part of the Jobs Act.”

The STEP program was designed to support the efforts of state and local export assistance programs. These programs help small businesses overcome obstacles that stand in the way of accessing foreign markets, such as a lack of expertise or resources. At a recent Small Business Committee field hearing on small business exporting, Shaheen heard from several small businesses that have relied on the expertise and assistance of the ITRC to grow their businesses through exporting. The program was originally conceived of in the Small Business Export Enhancement and International Trade Act of 2009 (S.2862), which Shaheen supported and which was later folded into the Small Business Jobs Act.

A member of the Senate Committee on Small Business, Shaheen has consistently worked to aid small companies in reaching foreign customers.   In August, she hosted a Small Business Committee field hearing in Manchester with U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) to examine ways to help small businesses export.  In January, Shaheen held a pair of roundtable discussions with New Hampshire small business owners on the federal resources available to help small businesses export with Export-Import Bank Chairman and President Fred Hochberg.
In New Hampshire, exporting has become an increasingly important part of the state’s economy.  Last year, New Hampshire companies set a state record for international sales and ranked first among all states in export growth, increasing their exports by $1 billion.  In a difficult economic climate, this new revenue has provided a critical boost to many New Hampshire businesses.

Manufacturing Industry in NH to Get $19.9 Million Shot-in-the-Arm

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

The Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH) has been awarded $19.9 million, the largest grant in the System’s history, to develop training programs that will support NH’s advanced manufacturing industry.

The funds will enable the state’s seven community colleges, located in every region of New Hampshire, to develop programs that prepare individuals for skilled employment to meet current and emerging workforce needs in advanced manufacturing in New Hampshire. The programs will focus on displaced workers and other job-seekers by providing training opportunities at multiple professional levels in skills linked to regional employment. 

The CCSNH grant proposal was titled the Regional Advanced Manufacturing Partnership:  Elevating NH’s Workforce to Meet the High-Tech Skill Demands Of NH’s Rapidly Advancing Manufacturing Sector, or “Ramp-Up.”   “This program is all about bringing high-quality jobs to New Hampshire, ensuring that we have the workforce to fill those jobs, enable business located here to grow, attract new companies, and increase economic activity,” said J. Bonnie Newman, Chancellor of the Community College System.

“Manufacturing is a critical driver of economic growth and employment in our state,” said U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen.  “However, as businesses replace traditional manufacturing methods with advanced technology, many job-seekers have been unable to keep up because they lack the specialized skills required.  By arming workers with the tools needed to excel in advanced manufacturing, this award will help New Hampshire workers secure high-paying jobs and help New Hampshire companies hire high-quality employees.”

“With manufacturing as such an important part of New Hampshire’s economy, a key part of our successful economic strategy has been training our workers in advanced skills so they can keep up with changing technology, and our businesses can continue to compete globally. This grant is exciting news for our state, our workers and our businesses. This is a tremendous amount of funding that will allow us to expand our worker training efforts, which will help more companies grow and compete,” Gov. Lynch said. “This is great news for New Hampshire’s economy.”

CCSNH’s efforts will target advanced manufacturing sub-sectors inculding automation and robotics, precision manufacturing, advanced machine tool technology, mechatronics, advanced materials technologies and composites, precision welding, automation and process control, and energy systems for precision manufacturing. 

“This funding comes at a very important time, since students and the college population in New Hampshire have been disadvantaged by state budget cuts and decreased access to education and training opportunities,” said Newman.  “While this grant will not replace state funds that were cut, it will make possible focused efforts in partnership with NH businesses to create educational and career ladders for advanced manufacturing jobs, a key industry here in New Hampshire and in the nation.”

“New Hampshire’s community colleges are uniquely situated to provide these opportunities and work in partnership with employers,” Newman said.  “We have campuses in every region of the state. NH companies already look to the community colleges to train a local workforce in high-need skills like health care and technology.  The community colleges are adept at providing access to students of all ages, backgrounds, and aspirations, and we have already developed strong partnerships that enable students to continue their education to the baccalaureate level and beyond.”  

The CCSNH proposal was developed in close collaboration with over a dozen NH manufacturing companies from across the state. The industry partners provided data on current and future workforce needs, skills gaps of the current workforce and job applicant pool, industry trends, and specific equipment and types of training key to their ability to thrive and compete globally.   Other partners in the application included the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire, the NH High Tech Council, the Advanced Manufacturing Education Advisory Council, the NH Department of Resources and Economic Development, the NH Department of Labor, NH Employment Security, and the NH Department of Education.

Jim Roche, president of the Business and Industry Association of NH, said, “If we expect to retain and grow companies in New Hampshire’s leading economic sector – advanced manufacturing – we need to ensure alignment between training provided through our educational institutions and the needs of manufacturers and high technology employers. This grant represents a great opportunity to further that goal.”

George Bald, Commissioner of the NH Department of Resources and Economic Development, said,  “This grant will have a tremendous impact on the NH workforce, on the quality of jobs that come to the state, and on the strength of the manufacturing industry in New Hampshire.  The close collaboration between the community colleges and our NH employers to identify skill areas and training needs reflects the excellent working relationship that exists in New Hampshire to strengthen our workforce.”

CCSNH applied for the grant through the U.S. Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Act-Community College Career and Training Grant program.

Expand, Engage, and Lead at the 3rd Annual “A-Ha!” NH Social Media Business Summit

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

The word is in and the pace of change in social media has now eclipsed the speed of light. With Google+ on the scene, Facebook has responded to the pressure by rolling out powerful new features to stay competitive. What’s more, Facebook is announcing even more changes to their platform at the huge annual “f8” conference.

To help New Hampshire-based professionals get focused, spark conversations, tune into the energy of the almighty “A-Ha!”, and ignite positive, purpose-fueled action on the Social Web, Epiphanies, Inc., in coordination with the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, will host the 3rd Annual “A-Ha!” NH Social Media Business Summit on Thursday, October 27th, 2011 at Gunstock Mountain Resort in Gilford, NH.

“Social media is no longer an option for businesses and organizations,” said New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Interim Director Chris Way. “The business case has been made that these tools are just as necessary as traditional marketing methods – and in most cases even more effective. Our own “No Bull” Business Blog, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and SlideShare channels have been terrific for our visibility, and we’re proud to partner with Epiphanies on this signature event for the third year in a row.”

Lani and Allen Voivod, co-owners of Epiphanies Inc. and co-founders of the “A-Ha!” NH Social Media Business Summit, will again design and deliver the Summit, and serve as featured speakers for the day-long event. Other speakers at the Summit include:

–Abby Fichtner (Keynote), Evangelist for Startups at Microsoft and a highly regarding blogger in the Agile development field. “I have the most excellent job of getting to help startups build out the next generation of software,” she says. “I’m extremely passionate about how we can develop better software and am always seeking new ways to share knowledge with the community.”

–Lou Bortone, online visibility expert and YouTube video pro with more than 20 years under his belt as a marketing and branding executive with national media including Fox, E! Entertainment Television, The Family Channel and NBC.

–Steve Boucher, Communications and Legislative Director for the NH Division of Economic Development, whose “No Bull Business Blog” was rated “Best in Show” and “Excellent” over the last two years by the nine-state Northeast Economic Developers Association.

–Nancy Clark, Chief Strategist and President of Glen Group, a “fearlessly creative” and award-winning NH ad agency based in North Conway. Nancy is often nicknamed the “Owner Girl” at “New Hampshire’s Best Agency with Big Ideas.”

–Ric Pratte, Director of the Meltwater Buzz Social CRM platform for The Meltwater Group, a global reputation management firm with 800+ employees in 55 offices on six continents (including one in Bedford, NH).

–Corissa St. Laurent, Regional Development Director for Constant Contact, the undisputed leader of Engagement Marketing™ for hundreds of thousands of small businesses around the world.

–Kevin Skarritt, serial entrepreneur, founder of Flock Marketing, and Communications Director for Michigan CHI, the Michigan Chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction.

“This is NOT a ‘101’ training-type event, though it’s definitely suitable for both newbies and experienced users, too,” adds Lani Voivod. “While there will be countless and specific tactics and strategies shared throughout the day by our featured speakers and many other New Hampshire business leaders and new media trailblazers, the Summit will showcase what’s happening and what’s possible in the social space throughout the Granite State and the world at large.”

Continental breakfast, lunch, and refreshments are included for all attendees. In addition, popular NH singer/songwriter Jim Tyrrell will make an encore appearance at this year’s Summit, playing great music throughout the day. A networking reception, door prizes, Segway demonstrations, and (conditions pending) a demonstration of the longest zip line in the continental U.S. are also in store. Space is limited, and the previous two Summits sold out weeks in advance. To learn more, and get 50% off tickets by the early-bird deadline, go to http://www.AhaNH.com.

A Healthy Business Community is a Happy Business Community

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Stress is said to be responsible for more than half of the 550,000,000 workdays lost every year, just from absenteeism, not even stress related illness. A million workers a day are estimated to miss work due to stress problems.

Friend Your Body Founder and Owner Melissa Koerner, author of the "Get Fit On the Go" feature, is transforming lives with her positive message. She's pictured here at our recent Greenerpalooza event at the Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion.

Recognizing the vital link between healthy habits and success at work, the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development has joined together with Merrimack, NH-based Friend Your Body to unveil a new monthly web feature called “Get Fit on the Go.” This feature will not only discuss the ways that busy business professionals can decrease stress and develop healthier workout and eating habits, it will also demonstrate how simple, daily improvements can result in a healthy body for life.

These blog posts will be authored by Friend Your Body Owner Melissa Koerner, a fitness and nutrition coach whose business educates, inspires, and empowers women to take charge of their lives by transforming their health. 

Melissa’s first post “Get Fit On Your Firm’s Time” gives you a number of ways that you can improve your core, balance and posture without ever leaving your desk. Thanks to Melissa for this great new partnership and be sure to check out the inaugural post of “Get Fit on the Go” at http://friendyourbody.com/profiles/blogs/get-fit-on-your-firm-s-time-improve-your-core-balance-and-posture. Get fit and have a happier, healthier and more successful business career!!

– Steve Boucher, Communications & Legislative Director

CustomScoop Named September “Innovation Rocks!” Winner

Monday, September 19th, 2011

Sometimes finding all the news that’s fit to print isn’t as easy as it seems, especially in an age of information overload. For its ongoing efforts in helping companies monitor their message and analyze how that information is being received, the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development has named CustomScoop its “Innovation Rocks!” award winner for the month of September.

In the past, when a company wanted to know what was being said about it in the traditional press, the company’s management hired a clipping service, which clipped stories and press releases and provided them to the client—often weeks after the stories ran. In today’s world of social/user-generated media, online and traditional media, companies are often at a loss as to how to monitor their reputation and media coverage, and that of their competitors—or how, once that coverage is gathered, to analyze it so that the intelligence can be used to create a strategic action plan.
That’s where Concord-based CustomScoop, comes in. In the 11 years since CustomScoop was founded, it has been a pioneer in media monitoring. By combining powerful search technology that searches both social media and traditional news media with media measurement and analysis tools, CustomScoop is able to provide comprehensive reporting of the topics and issues important to their client businesses.

While initially developed for public relations professionals, CustomScoop’s clients include those in sales, marketing, investor relations and competitive intelligence. Its services allow companies to know how they’re doing compared to their competition, how effective their messaging is, and what trends are evolving within their industry.

“Most businesses simply don’t have the personnel or the expertise in-house to monitor what’s being said about them in all the different media,” said New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Interim Director Chris Way. “CustomScoop is set up to be an extension of a company’s communication team. It’s a truly innovative service that can really make a difference for New Hampshire businesses.”

For more information about CustomScoop, visit www.customscoop.com.

Division of Economic Development Helps SustainX to Grow in NH

Monday, September 19th, 2011

SustainX, a clean-tech company that is changing the way that air energy is stored, has relocated from its Lebanon, New Hampshire facility to a larger, 42,000 square foot building on 72 Stard Road in Seabrook, New Hampshire.

SustainX was founded in 2007 by engineers from the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College. The company currently employs 24 people and plans to continue hiring over the next six months.  Its patented technology stores utility-scale electrical energy in the form of compressed gas air allowing it to be regenerated on demand. 

“This company is another example of New Hampshire producing some of the best advanced design and manufacturing companies in the world,” said Michael Bergeron, Business Development Manager for the NH Division of Economic Development.  Bergeron assisted the company in its statewide search for new space and ERZ tax credits.  “SustainX had also considered moving to Massachusetts but found New Hampshire to be a much better option both short term and long term,” he said.

“The Seabrook building is a perfect fit and location and New Hampshire is a good place to grow our company,” said Dax Kepshire, co-founder and Vice President of SustainX.

Thomas Zarrella, SustainX President, CEO and Director added, “Seabrook also allows us to attract labor from Boston as well as southern New Hampshire.”  Zarrella, the former president of GT Solar, was hired last spring to lead the company as it continues to grow in New Hampshire.

The three-year-old company is on track to demonstrate its first one-megawatt, grid-connected system in collaboration with AES Energy Storage, LLC under an award from the Energy Storage Program at the U.S. Department of Energy.