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Archive for October, 2019

Plan Unveiled Tackling New Hampshire’s Housing Shortage

Wednesday, October 30th, 2019

Gov. Chris Sununu, along with state and local officials, a bipartisan group of young legislators, and housing activists, released a comprehensive plan to address New Hampshire’s housing shortage.

Gov. Chris Sununu

“This past summer I assembled a housing task force to develop recommendations to address our shortage, which has risen to crisis levels,” Sununu said. “Today, I am proud to say that as a result of the work of the task force, my office, and a bipartisan group of young legislators, we are releasing the most comprehensive plan on housing that this State has ever seen. I look forward to a productive conversation with the legislature and all interested stakeholders, and to working together to pass a plan that will be a win for our workforce, our communities, and our entire state.”

Earlier this summer, Sununu established a task force to develop recommendations to address New Hampshire’s housing crisis. The group consisted of state and local officials, and industry experts: Business and Economic Affairs Commissioner Taylor Caswell; Dean Christon, executive director of New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority; Ben Frost, policy and public affairs director of the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority; Noah Hodgetts, assistant planner at Office of Strategic Initiatives; Portsmouth City Councilor Rebecca Perkins; Matt Sullivan, director of Planning and Community Development in Wolfeboro, and Mike Claflin, workforce housing developer.

BEA Commissioner Taylor Caswell

“Housing and economic development must go hand in hand,” Caswell said. “If we are going to continue our success in attracting a younger workforce to New Hampshire, we must have a much broader spectrum of housing for people at all stages in life. Enactment of these proposals will put us light years ahead of where we are right now in addressing this crisis.”

There is a critical housing shortage in New Hampshire. As of the summer of 2019, the vacancy rate for two bedroom apartments fell below 1 percent in all but one New Hampshire county. The inventory of homes for sale is near record lows.

The housing plan can be viewed here and a set of FAQs for the plan can be viewed here.

The legislative piece of the plan includes two bills. The first one focuses on enhancing local control and improving predictability of the development process, and the second focuses on accelerating investment in housing.

The prime sponsor of the first bill is Rep. Willis Griffith (D-Manchester), chairman of the Young Democrats Caucus. The prime sponsor of the second bill is Rep. Joe Alexander (R-Goffstown). Griffith and Alexander, together with Rep. Tom Loughman (D-Hampton) and Rep. Gates Lucas (R-Sunapee), worked with the housing task force crafting legislation to implement the plan issued today (10/30/19) .

“This plan is a strong step forward in addressing the housing crisis in New Hampshire and is a result of bipartisan collaboration with housing experts,” Griffith said. “This package of bills will be the beginning of a thoughtful discussion in which I invite all stakeholders, community members, and legislators to participate. I am confident that, together, we will make meaningful progress on one of the most significant issues facing our state.”

Alexander said the bills represent months of research and discussion by stakeholders and policy leaders.

“We are in a position to pass legislation that will solve one of the greatest problems facing New Hampshire,” he said. “I look forward to a robust and comprehensive conversation around the crisis of affordable housing in New Hampshire and welcome any and all feedback from policy leaders, stakeholders, and the public.”

Final text of the bills will be available 11/1/19, after final sign off for House bills.

October is Manufacturing Month in New Hampshire

Thursday, October 17th, 2019

Earlier this month, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu proclaimed October as Manufacturing Month.

Tune into this month’s New Hampshire Business Matters with Will Arvelo, director of the Division of Economic Development, and Zenaugi Brahim of the NH MEP.

Manufacturing is the backbone of the state’s economy, employing more than 70,000 people – over 10 percent of the workforce – and accounting for 11.6 percent of the gross state product and it was the topic this week of our monthly radio show, New Hampshire Business Matters.

There are more than 2,000 manufacturers here and to keep this important sector thriving, it’s important to make sure these companies are able to hire the workers they need to grow and be competitive. During Manufacturing Month, hundreds of students across the state visit their local manufacturers to learn about the industry and the opportunities it offers.

Tune into New Hampshire Business Matters here.

Brothers David and Scott Metzemaekers/Scott Electronics

Scott Electronics in Salem hosted this year’s national Manufacturing Day celebration on Oct. 4.

Manufacturing Month culminates with the 17th annual Governor’s Advanced Manufacturing and High Technology Summit on Oct. 31 in Concord. (Click here to register today – it’s typically a sell-out event!).

Forum on Foreign Direct Investment Explores Opportunities Globalization Brings to NH Economy

Tuesday, October 15th, 2019

Foreign Direct Investment is a dynamic and active part of the New Hampshire economy, of which more than 186 foreign companies, representing more than 24 countries-of-origin, and more than 45 industries are a part.

PSU Professors PSU professors Chen Wu, left, Jonathan Dapra, and Roxana Wright at last month’s foreign direct investment summit.

Collectively, these businesses support more than 43,300 jobs, as outlined in the 2019 New Hampshire Foreign Direct Investment Report prepared by researchers at Plymouth State University. Highlights from the latest study were shared last month at a PSU forum hosted by the university and the New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs.

The forum was aimed at economic development professionals and others on the role of foreign direct investment in the state’s economy, and ways to attract FDI to their areas, touching on the state’s particular advantages, opportunities and challenges in attracting foreign companies to do business in the state.

A panel of experts, including Ryan Wallace, domestic portfolio investment specialist at SelectUSA; Leanne Spees, senior vice president of international finance at Provident Bank; Chuck Withee, president and chief lending officer of Provident Bank; Bruce Morrison, shareholder of Bernstein Shur; Marc Jacques, senior political and economic affairs officer and Consulate General of Canada, and Cynthia Harrington, business development manager at BEA, shared insights on attracting and growing FDI.

Ryan Wallace, SelectUSA, left; Cynthia Harrington, BEA; Marc Jacques, Consulate General of Canada at last month’s FDI Summit at Plymouth State University.

“(The day’s)conversation and sharing of information illuminated the incredible impact and potential FDI has in New Hampshire,” said Dr. Jonathan Dapra, assistant professor of management at PSU, who moderated the panel. “It will continue and deepen as professionals throughout the state explore the opportunities that our research is revealing.”

Introduced in 2018, the New Hampshire Foreign Direct Investment study is conducted annually by PSU professors Dapra, Dr. Roxana Wright, and Dr. Chen Wu. It provides an overview of foreign business presence in New Hampshire and analysis of the countries of origin of foreign subsidiaries represented across the state’s counties and industries.

Highlights of the 2019 New Hampshire Foreign Direct Investment Report include:
• Foreign businesses contribute to a varied economic landscape, with growing employment and easy integration among industry and supply chain partners;
• Most foreign subsidiaries in the state are local operations with fewer than 50 employees, and nearly half have fewer than 10;
• There has been a pattern of growth and expansion of foreign businesses in New Hampshire over the past two decades;
• While the majority of foreign businesses are concentrated within New Hampshire’s southern tier, potential exists for FDI to grow in the northern region of the state.

Click here for the complete 2018 and 2019 reports.