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Archive for May, 2012

Of a Mind to Manufacture

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Great minds — about 150 of them — came together Thursday to talk about the state of manufacturing in New Hampshire these days.

The good news is that our top industry is flourishing. But it is challenged by a gap in the number of skilled workers there are to take advanced manufacturing jobs and that’s why educators and manufacturers met at Nashua Community College today to talk about ways to fill the gap and keep the industry strong.

The featured speaker was Bill Symonds, director of Harvard University’s Pathways to Prosperity program.

The biggest message he delivered: Manufacturing is not your grandfather’s factory anymore.

The pay is above average. The jobs are demanding. The industry is far from dead.

What needs to happen is to get around the image there is about manufacturing days of old. To direct students of a mind not necessarily for academics to these jobs — New Hampshire has some world-class companies that make parts and components used around the world and even the universe.

There were some great conversations and ideas. Lots of business cards were exchanged. People on both sides left charged up and ready to meet the challenge.


Big Week for Small Business

Friday, May 18th, 2012

Stop and think for a moment about the small businesses in your life.

            The corner store where you can count on picking up the morning paper and catching up on conversation and where it is especially busy at lunchtime when the crew from the machine shop, the auto body place and the landscaping project show up to grab a sandwich.

            The coffee shop where the waitress knows your eggs are over easy and you need extra cream for the coffee.

            The dry cleaner, the jeweler, the gift shop … the list goes on. These are the places that give our communities character (and characters) and keep our economies robust.

            But behind the cheerful faces we associate with these places we turn to make our lives easier are the challenges of keeping a small business in business.

            According to the Small Business Administration, there are about 131,000 small businesses across New Hampshire, representing over 96 percent of all employers and 51 percent of the private sector workforce.

            They are the lifeblood of the New Hampshire economy and all throughout next week, they are being celebrated.

            Beginning Monday, the Manchester Economic Development Office is hosting the second annual Manchester Small Business Week, which is packed full of programs of interest to those who tend small businesses.

            Several of them address one of the biggest concerns of  not only of those who turn the sign in the window to ‘open’ every morning, but those men and women looking for just that chance and entrepreneurs, who have the sign but need some help to find the right door to hang it – financing.

            The week-long event kicks off at 11:30 a.m. Monday at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center downtown. U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, New York Times reporter Amy Cortese, who wrote Locavesting: The Revolution in Local Investing and How to Profit From It and a panel of small business owners – Jeff Baker, president – Image 4; Nick Soggu, founder and CEO of Silvertech; Deb Desrosiers, owner of Visiting Angels and Jim Doyle, president and CEO of XMA Corp. will all provide a lively start to the week.

            If you are a small business owner – or would like to become one – check out the comprehensive schedule of events going on throughout the week.

Coffee Klatch

Saturday, May 12th, 2012

Coffee and a really good blog

We’re continuing to up our game in the social media world with our brand new page on the business networking site, LinkedIn.

Through it, we are looking forward to making new connections with businesses, including those here in New Hampshire and those outside of the Granite State who would like to see how we do business, what the climate is like, where the success stories are – information like that.

So we hope you will click on the link, follow us and recommend us to your friends and colleagues. We’d like to be the kind of site(s) you can enjoy with a cup of coffee.

We’re of an age where if you had said a few years ago words like ‘blog,’ ‘social media,’ or ‘twitter’ (outside the context of enthusiastic chickadees) and how important they would be for business, we would have politely nodded and wondered what was in your coffee.

The Division of Economic Development is at home on the web and you have found one of them here at the No Bull Business Blog, which marked its third anniversary on May 5.

We’re on Facebook and feel the love there, with more than 3,200 fans ‘liking’ us. Among economic development agencies, we’re pretty much out front, with the exception of some place called New York City.

Nearly 3,900 followers catch our Tweets and we also have a YouTube channel.

The mission of the Division of Economic Development is to help maintain and expand business in New Hampshire and to both encourage and promote new industries and businesses.

By using social media, we can act fast to spread a message, to send expertise, knowledge and assistance to those who need it and to those who have it to share.

Along the way, you’ll learn about what makes the New Hampshire economy tick and uptick. In return, we’d like to learn about your business and your success.

So please find us on your favorite forum and follow us – comment on our links, contribute your own, tell us your news and your stories.

In one click, we bring it to you, straight from the Granite State.

And we go well with coffee.