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Archive for March, 2012

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

Two months before the shopping begins at the Merrimack Premium Outlets, representatives of the more than 100 stores that will open there in June went shopping for employees Friday. About 800 positions need to be filled and answering the call were more than 2,000 people who came out to Nashua Community College on Friday.

Organized by the New Hampshire Department of Employment Security, and with collaboration from the City of Nashua, the college, the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, the Department of Safety and the Department of Transportation, the fair was an enormous success.

On hand were teenagers, many of whom were likely seeking their first summer job, moms looking for hours that will accommodate their family time and folks looking to change direction in their lives, for whatever the reason. In the gymnasium, there was energy, enthusiasm and optimism that will propel the employees, the stores, the region and New Hampshire further out of the economic malaise of the past few years.

Mark your calendars for the grand opening – June 14.

(Memo to Fossil: We’ll be back to admire that handbag you had on display …)

Jobs Comeback

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

In the early spring, on a Monday morning, when you start it off with a groundbreaking ceremony for a 30,000-square-foot addition that is going to bring back 100 manufacturing jobs from China, it’s a good way to start the week.

Congratulations to Watts Water Technologies and the city of Franklin.

Save the Date!

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

            For the past three years, there’s one day in June when hundreds of Granite Staters head to Washington, DC for events that are both informative and celebratory.

            This year, New Hampshire Day is June 6.

            Save the date, because US Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire are inviting you to attend.

            The 2nd annual New Hampshire Business Day Luncheon begins at noon that day and is a terrific chance for those in the business community here to go there and hear and discuss federal programs and issues that have an impact on it.

            Last year’s slate of speakers included Shaheen and Sen. Kelly Ayotte, along with several of their counterparts from around the country, as well as representatives from the Department of  Defense, the Corporation for Travel Promotion and the chief of staff for President Obama.

            At 5 p.m., the third annual Experience New Hampshire reception, hosted by the Congressional Delegation, showcases the Granite State’s hospitality, fine arts and crafts and its food and beverages.

            These two events fill up fast, so if you are interested in attending, send an RSVP to NHBusinessDay@Shaheen.Senate.Gov.



New Jobs in Fashion

Friday, March 16th, 2012

            Fashionistas are rejoicing today in Salem with the opening of the venerable department store, Lord & Taylor.

            Greeting them throughout the store are 136 people who are also rejoicing – they’re the newest employees of the chain, founded in 1826.

            (If you’re keeping count, we’ve now written about 211 new jobs since last week.)

            This is truly a coup for New Hampshire and especially Salem. This marks the first time in 10 years that Lord & Taylor has opened a full-line store and this is the first time it has opened one in northern New England. With this morning’s ribbon cutting, it returns an anchor store to the Mall at Rockingham Park, which will bring in shoppers who may traveled out of New Hampshire for some of their clothing needs.

            The Grand Opening weekend, which lasts through Monday, is going to feature styling sessions, makeovers, children’s activities, fashion presentations, entertainment, raffles and other celebratory events.

            If you want to be prepared before you get there: Cosmetics, contemporary, sportswear and shoes on the lower level and men’s, children’s and intimates on the second level.

We mentioned shoes are on the first level?

Hampton Beach ~ 3/15/12

            If those long walks on Hampton Beachhave led to pending nuptials and you’re shopping around for the perfect venue for a New Hampshire wedding, consider the Oceanfront Pavilion at Hampton Beach State Park. Opened last fall, this is a beautiful complex right on the beach. The seaside function room is lovely and, we were told yesterday when we visited, there are already 20 weddings booked this summer.

            If you haven’t visited Hampton Beach since last summer, put it on your list of To Dos to do this summer.

           Which is right around the corner.

            Meanwhile, have a great weekend and Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

The (Economic) Blooms of Spring

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

            It’s the time of year when we look for signs of spring, no matter that the winter was milder than usual. On this day, it’s not hard, what with temperatures spiking into the 70s,  Town Meeting week and the maple sugaring season in full swing.

            It’s kind of the same for the state’s economy. Take a look at the news over the past week or so and the signs indicate we are emerging from the grip of an economic winter.

            For the Granite State, it was milder than it was for some of our neighbors. According to the latest report from the Economic and Labor Market Information Bureau, New Hampshire’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.1 percent in December, the lowest in all of New England (to be fair, Vermont was also at 5.1 percent). Rhode Island had the highest, at 10.8 percent, but that was down from 11.5 percent in December 2011. Nationally, the rate is 8.5 percent.

            The Seacoast got a flurry of good job news. Between Sig Sauer’s expansion to Pease International Tradeport (opening up 30 jobs) and Foss Manufacturing’s plan to add up to 45 jobs in Hampton, 75 jobs are a promising indicator for an economic bloom.

            (In a total aside, the quirky grocery chain, Trader Joe’s, announced it would open a store at The Crossings at Fox Run in Newington. No word yet on when, or how many people will be employed there, but … well … Trader Joe’s is coming!)

            At the end of the month, Nashua Community College will host a job fair (8 am to 6 pm, March 30) for the 100 stores opening at the Merrimack Premium Outlets on June 14. That’s a lot of jobs, especially for younger workers, going into the summer season.

            If you are a beer lover, you may have noted that March 5 was Kate the Great Day at the Portsmouth Brewery. It’s the one and only day every year this particular stout is available and hundreds – like over 500 – of people lined up (the first securing their places eight hours ahead of the appointed hour).

            That’s 500 or more people in Portsmouth, who, after they waited for and then savored their stout, likely went out for lunch (or breakfast), did some shopping and sightseeing and had a great Kate day out on the town.

            And finally, on our drive into work this morning, we watched a formation of Canada geese flying north – right above I-93. Just a few days ago, it would have been downright mocking, but now that the $115 million widening project between exits 2 and 3 off the deferral list, traffic, people and commerce will be able to fly (almost) as freely as those geese.


NH Making Headlines … in NY?

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

 The New Hampshire Division of Economic Development continues to make headlines – in New York.

For the second time in two weeks, New York media has delved into a story that apparently has people in the Empire State talking.

The Time Union of Albany about New Hampshire’s business recruitment team “courting” one of its companies and suggesting it’s even gone so far as offering an incentive package to come to the land of Live Free or Die.

Business recruiter Cynthia Harrington (Cynthia.Harrington@dred.state.nh.us) is mentioned in this article. Click on the brief video  for the answer to ‘Why Not New Hampshire?’

Albany’s CBS affiliate, WRGB, followed up with a piece Monday that led its 5 p.m. newscast noting that “the recruiters aren’t exactly being shy about it.”

Like many states, New Hampshire has a business recruitment team, one that is active and enthusiastic and gets results. Sure, New Hampshire looks for businesses to come do business here, whether they are interested in expanding or relocating.

What is the message of the business recruitment team? Why New Hampshire is great place for businesses – low tax burden, affordable commercial real estate, an available and skilled labor force, proactive government – in short, the New Hampshire Advantage.

And that, as we’ve seen over the past two weeks, has people talking.

Veteran Journalist Joins Division of Economic Development

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

The New Hampshire Division of Economic Development announces the hiring of Lorna Colquhoun of Franconia as the Communications and Legislative Director.

“We are excited to have a high performance player like Lorna joining our team,” said Christopher S. Way, Interim Director. “She is well known in her field, and her experience will allow us to expand our outreach activities to the public regarding business assistance.”

Colquhoun spent 20 years as a freelance correspondent for the New Hampshire Union Leader, beginning in the Monadnock region before moving to the North Country, and at several other newspapers, including the Granite State News in Wolfeboro, the Coos County Democrat in Lancaster and The Telegraph of Nashua. Her work has also appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today and other national and regional publications and most recently was the editor of New Hampshire: First in the Nation, highlighting businesses and photographs of the Granite State.

“I’ve had the good fortune for many years to tell the stories of the Granite State, from many points of view,” Colquhoun said. “I’m looking forward to continuing that – telling the stories of the New Hampshire economy and the people and ideas that make it the envy of New England and beyond.”

The Communications and Legislative Director is responsible for developing, directing and managing the public relations, promotional, and marketing strategies and programs for the Division of Economic Development.

Farnborough International Airshow Opportunity, July 9-15, 2012

Monday, March 5th, 2012

Join the New Hampshire International Trade Resource Center and the Best of New England for a unique opportunity at Farnborough 2012! 

Farnborough International Airshow (FIA) is the largest global event of its kind. A platform for some 1,400 exhibitors from the aerospace, defense, space and security sectors to showcase and demonstrate aircraft, equipment and technologies, the show is specifically designed to facilitate tailor-made and unrivalled opportunities to meet customers and representatives, negotiate contracts, and announce business transactions. Held every other year, FIA 2010 was attended by over 120,000 trade visitors, including 70 delegations from 44 countries, with $47 billion of sales orders announced during the show.

Benefits of Best of New England:

  • Professional, Joint, Booth Display & Exhibit Space in the U.S. Pavilion
  • Signage, Booth Staffing
  • Pre-show Company Promotion & Trade Leads Program
  • One-on-One Meeting Space

 Costs and Deadlines:

$1,400 Small/Medium-sized Enterprise
 * As part of the SBA’s STEP grant, your company must qualify as a “small business” per SBA standards to take advantage of this special pricing and opportunity. Booth costs are heavily offset by the STEP grant making the show accessible to your SME company!  Contact the NHITRC for more details!

The price above does not include travel, airfare or hotel space. For more information or to register, please contact: Tina Kasim at 271-8444, Tina.Kasim@dred.state.nh.us or Justin Oslowski at 953-0210, Justin.Oslowski@trade.gov.  

Registration deadline is March 15, 2012  

Refunds will not be issued after registration.

Spaces available on a first come, first served basis