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NH Actively Recruits New Business

New Hampshire courts Albany company

Telecommunications firm is offered incentives to move to Granite State

Times Union
Published 07:49 p.m., Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Could Tech Valley Communications be moving out of Tech Valley?

That’s a possibility after economic development officials in New Hampshire offered the telecommunications firm an incentive package to move there.

The Times Union has obtained a letter written in June to Tech Valley Chief Executive Officer Kevin O’Connor by the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development thanking O’Connor for “considering our state for your business expansion opportunities” and offering “business relocation” assistance. Tech Valley is based on State Street in downtown Albany.

The letter was written by Cynthia Harrington, New Hampshire’s state business recruiter who reportedly helped convince Albany International Corp. of Menands in 2010 to move its headquarters to Rochester, N.H.

O’Connor confirmed Tuesday that New Hampshire is indeed trying to entice the company to move to New Hampshire, where it recently acquired another telecommunications firm called segTEL.

“They put some things on the table that I’d rather not disclose,” O’Connor said. “Telecommunications is a target industry for the state of New Hampshire.”

But O’Connor says even though his board has a fiduciary obligation to consider the offer from the Granite State, he is more inclined to remain in New York, where he is encouraged by the business-friendly agenda of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. O’Connor says he has been in discussions with New York officials about how to keep the business here.

“Our new governor is pretty sophisticated in his approach to economic development,” O’Connor said. “I’d prefer to keep the company in New York, but that decision has not been made.”

Tech Valley has been building a fiber optic communications network across the Capital Region that serves businesses and institutions such as hospitals and colleges. It has also built a wireless Internet system for the city of Albany. The company has 75 local employees and expects to have 100 by the end of the year as it spends between $10 million and $20 million on infrastructure for its customers. The company’s major financial backer is Riverside Partners, a Boston private equity firm.

Christopher Way, the interim director of New Hampshire’s Division of Economic Development, said he cannot discuss Harrington’s interactions with Tech Valley and that all talks with prospects are kept confidential.

“New Hampshire is an attractive place for business expansion opportunities,” Way said. “Cynthia, our business recruiter, does a terrific job assisting companies with their decision-making process.”

 Michael Yevoli, commissioner of development and planning for the city of Albany, said he is working with Tech Valley to keep it downtown. He said in addition to moving out of New York, the company could also move to the suburbs.

“I’m sure that they’re checking their options out,” Yevoli said. “But we want to keep them.”


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