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Posts Tagged ‘Chris Way’

Catching Up on the New Department of Business and Economic Affairs

Thursday, July 6th, 2017

Acting Director Chris Way

With the start of the new fiscal year this week, New Hampshire’s newest agencies came to be – the New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs and Department of Natural and Cultural Resources – as a result of the reorganization of the Department of Resources and Economic Development.

The Division of Economic Development and the Division of Travel and Tourism Development comprise the Department of Business and Economic Affairs.

This week, Gov. Sununu brought forth the nomination of Taylor Caswell to lead this new agency.

The Divisions of Parks and Recreation, Forest and Lands and the Department of Cultural Resources make up the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, led by Commissioner Jeffrey Rose.

The motivation for the move is to place more emphasis on economic development and tourism and to create more of a “one stop shopping” environment for business by creating stronger synergies with all our various partners.

So, we begin a new and exciting chapter. The name may have changed, but our mission remains — to support and promote aggressively our businesses and their employees in this great state and to tackle the challenges that have the greatest impact on our economy.

Change is always a time for new vision, new strategies and new opportunities. We are excited to be a part of it.

Taking Off with New Hampshire Aerospace and Defense Export Consortium

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

Dawn Wivell, Chris Way ~ NH Business Matters ~ WTPL-FM

Since it’s inception four years ago, the New Hampshire Aerospace and Defense Export Consortium has, well, taken off.

Developed as a way to help the more than 300 Granite State companies and manufacturers involved in these industries diversify their customer base, NHADEC is growing its membership outside of New Hampshire.

With partnerships established with AeroMontreal and the Farnborough Aerospace Consortium, NHADEC is fast becoming an international resource for companies looking for partnerships and other relationships with those here in New Hampshire.

Join NHADEC for its annual networking event on June 15. Meet others in the industry and hear about industry trends. Register today!

Aero/defense is one of the fastest growing industries in the state and NHADEC is taking it to new heights. On our monthly radio show yesterday on WTPL-FM, acting Director Chris Way and NHADEC executive Director Dawn Wivell talked about what’s new and what’s happening.

Tune in here.

Lorna Colquhoun
Communications Director
Division of Economic Development


5 Questions with Chris Way, on Northern Border Regional Commission Grants

Friday, March 18th, 2016

The Northern Border Regional Commission is a federal-state partnership with a mission to encourage economic development across a four-state region, including New Hampshire. Each year, grants are awarded to projects that reflect that mission. Eligible counties include Carroll, Coos, designated areas in Grafton, and Sullivan Counties. Our deputy director, Chris Way, coordinates applications and today talks about what you need to know to apply.

Chris Way

Chris Way

1. The call is out now for the next round of grants offered annually by the Northern Border Regional Commission. For the past several years, you have coordinated the applications put forth by New Hampshire agencies and organizations. Can you tell us about the eligibility requirements to apply?

First, you do have to have a project that is eligible portions of the state, namely Sullivan, Coos, Grafton and Carroll. Grafton is a little more restrictive this year as only certain communities are eligible (called isolated areas of distress).

Next, you have to be a municipal, state or nonprofit entity. Private businesses are not eligible. That’s not to say there cannot be collaboration; it’s just that the grant can’t be a pass through to private companies.

Third, and not to state the obvious, you need to have a project that will actually work and can be done as proposed. Can you finish the project in the time allotted? Will you be able to secure the matching funds needed? Do you have the approvals necessary to make it work? We, and NBRC, focus on these issues, because with such limited funds, we need to make sure that projects can move as proposed and money spent wisely.

If you have questions about eligibility, particularly if you are in Grafton County, go to the website or call me.

2. What’s new this year about the process?  

The program has certainly evolved over time, and this year, several exciting things are happening.

The NBRC has listened to the states and have a new website with online applications, forms and information on past grants. I am really pleased to see that FAQs are available online, because it was clear from previous cycles that all applicants had many of the same questions and challenges. Not only does it mean that New Hampshire applicants work with the same information, it also means that all four states, including New York, Vermont and Maine, are talking from the same playbook. The application is not hard, but many applicants in the past have stated that more published information would certainly make the process easier. This is also going to be reinforced with county-wide information sessions; the first one will be from 2 to 4 pm, April 1, at the 5th Circuit Court Probate Court Room, third floor, at 14 Main St., Newport. Stay tuned for others.

Did I mention more money available this year? It looks like we will be able to fund more projects with $1.7 million for each state. The $250,000 limit remains, but it does provide the grant review team with more flexibility. In fact, we had more money last year than the previous, and we were able to fully or partially fund seven great projects.

Finally, it’s also reassuring for me to know that NBRC staff stands ready to assist and partner with us on projects. These folks are passionate about the program and it has truly shown this year. Christine Frost, formerly of the North Country Council, recently joined the agency, which has really upped the game for the NBRC grant administration and its awareness of the issues in our eligible counties. The NBRC team has also done a bang up job to encourage all of our states to communicate and supportive of projects that benefit the Northern borders region.

3. What makes a good project for a Northern Borders Regional Commission grant?  

Tell a good story! Tell us how your project will create jobs, improve tourism or have a regional impact. Why should your project be a priority for the state? Will it increase the workforce, create infrastructure, promote tourism or result in new businesses?

Let me offer a brief word on application size and letters of support. Sometimes we receive applications with huge packets of information. All well and good, but remember a concise packet that hits the high points and tells the story has as much an impact as stacks of information. Local support is certainly welcome, as are the key letters from all of the partners involved in the project, but strong thoughtful letters of support can be just as good as many letters saying the same thing. I guess what I am saying is that we tend to focus on the cake, and not just the frosting.

Everybody always wants to know how projects get decided. Once projects are deemed eligible, the packages are scored by a committee based on several criteria. Recommendations are made to the commissioner of the Department of Resources and Economic Development, who then makes recommendations to the governor.

Knowing that, what makes one project better than another? Often, we get really good projects, but they may be focused on a small group who will enjoy the results, or the results are hard to predict or assess. While they are definitely eligible, it can be difficult to rise to the top when there are other projects making a better case for regional and even statewide economic benefits. And no matter what, job creation is always a strong factor.

On the flip side, be realistic – don’t predict multitudes of jobs created if you can’t back it up with a convincing argument. Don’t offer matching funds proposals that cannot be realized come time to sign the contract. We’re going to be doing more work this year on assessing the past results and we all want great stories to tell.

4. Can you give one or two examples of projects that made a difference in their communities/regions?

Sure. We just visited one in Lebanon. Last year, River Valley Community College received a grant and one year later, the inside of the building looks fantastic. The applicants did exactly what they said they were going to do, and I have no doubt the project will be successful.
Another one is the Grafton County Enterprise Center in Plymouth. Business incubators are attractive contributors to the economy and can make great projects.

And while we’re talking about successes, I also have high hopes for the Groveton mill site and its water and sewer project. That’s just about completed and will be a key piece for this high priority development site.

5. For the person/agency in Coos, Carroll, Sullivan and selected communities in Grafton Counties with a project that could benefit from a Northern Borders Regional Commission grant, what should they do next?

Don’t keep your project a secret. Let us know about it so we can talk it out with you. We want to get all projects to a point of eligibility. We don’t want waste your time, but we don’t want potential great projects to be left on the table.

For more information, contact Way via email or call 271-2341.

NH Actively Recruits New Business

Friday, February 24th, 2012

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.”


Seventh Annual Small Business Day Slated for 1/31

Monday, January 9th, 2012

Strategies for securing business financing, tips for how to do business with the state, a look at this year’s top policy issues from the state’s top legislators and more will be the focus of the Business and Industry Association’s 7th Annual Small Business Day at the State House event to be held Jan. 31 at the Holiday Inn, Concord from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m.

The annual small business event, held in partnership with the New Hampshire Small Business Development Center (NH SBDC), New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, and local and regional chambers of commerce, is meant to engage small business owners and managers in public policy discussion and debate, as well as provide them with practical and relevant information to help manage and grow their business. Small Business Day is sponsored by Public Service of New Hampshire, Bank of America and media sponsor New Hampshire Business Review.

Small Business Day at the State House will begin with a panel discussion with some of the state’s top elected leaders: Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, Senate Democratic Leader Sylvia Larsen and House Minority Leader Terie Norelli (expected). The state leadership panel will focus specifically on top small business issues of 2012 and how state elected leaders will resolve them.

Two presentations will follow the legislative panel. First, New Hampshire Department of Administrative Services Commissioner Linda Hodgdon will explain the ins and outs of doing business with the state. Small business owners interested in supplying the state with everything it needs to function, from pencils and pens to computers and calculators, will learn how to engage in this process.

Next, New Hampshire Department of Employment Security Commissioner Tara Reardon will discuss the recently enacted NH Working programs and how they can help small businesses find the right job applicants. She will also provide an overview of the Economic and Labor Market Information Bureau (ELMI), the type of information available through ELMI and how small businesses might use it to their advantage.

Following a short break, New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Interim Director Chris Way will moderate a panel discussion called “Strategies for Financing Your Business.” Small business owners who feel like securing capital can sometimes be an uphill battle will hear from a panel of commercial lenders and representatives of alternative lending programs about financing options that may be open to them and help their business meet its growth objectives.

Gov. John Lynch has been invited to make closing remarks.

Participating chambers of commerce include the Exeter Area, Greater Peterborough, Hampton Area, Hanover Area, Lakes Region, Merrimack, Mount Washington Valley, Northern Gateway Regional, Plymouth Regional, Waterville Valley Region and Wolfeboro Area chambers of commerce.

The cost to attend Small Business Day at the State House is $15 per person and includes continental breakfast. To register, visit nhbia.org, Events or call 603-224-5388 x116.

NH Economy Featured on CBS News

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

As Karen Brown of CBS News notes, “New Hampshire has seen first in the nation pay off. The state’s unemployment rate is a low 5.2 percent, exports are at an all-time high, and the state is seeing a more modern manufacturing sector continue to grow — all factors that will be highlighted,” Brown said, “as the nation turns its attention to the first primary.”

The piece that ran on CBS’ Early Show today featured interviews with Governor Lynch and DED Interim Director Chris Way, both talking about the advantages to businesses setting up shop in New Hampshire. The piece also featured Bill Skelley, president and founder of Skelley Medical, who moved his business from Massachusetts to New Hampshire after a chance meeting with Governor Lynch started the ball rolling.

Check out the full piece below, which also talks about why NH being first in the nation for primaries is also good for business. If you’re reading this somewhere that doesn’t show the embedded video below, you can watch it or read an abridged transcript at the CBS News website.

M2S Named December “Innovation Rocks!” Winner

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

There was a time when a vascular surgeon only had flat, two-dimensional CT or MRI scans of a patient to refer to when considering what will be the best approach to surgery. Now, thanks to a West Lebanon-based biotech company, that surgeon can utilize three-dimensional models, created from patient scans, for pre-op planning.

In recognition of this and other innovative technology it has pioneered, M2S has won the Innovation Rocks! Award from the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development’s Business Resource Center and Rock 101 (WGIR-FM).

Founded in 1997, M2S specializes in HIPPA- compliant medical image and data management services for clinical data registries, advanced radiographic image analysis and aortic disease device clinical trials. The goal: to improve patient outcomes.

According M2S President and COO, Greg Lange, “We provide three-dimensional medical imaging to physicians and hospitals all over the U.S. Using digital scans they provide, we create 2D and 3D models, complete with measurement tools that can be used for optimal pre-op planning. For example, our advanced imaging software has been used widely in vascular surgery planning for abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) and thoracic aortic aneurysms (TAA).” By also using M2S’s web-based database system, the physician can track patients over time to determine and refine treatment strategies and achieve better outcomes.”

Customized registries that collect long-term data are another M2S product. One example is the Vascular Quality Initiative (VQI), established by the Society for Vascular Surgery® (SVS) in partnership with M2S. VQI provides a a common platform for participating institutions and physicians to analyze outcomes of nine procedures, reinforce best practices, and share quality improvement efforts. More than 85 institutions are taking part in VQI, entering data on an average of 300 procedures a week. Another aspect of the initiative is regional collaboration of program participants. Under the auspices of the SVS Patient Safety Organization, regional quality groups share and analyze data through anonymous, benchmarked reports to initiate quality-improvement projects. There are regional groups all over the U.S., including New England, that meet twice each year.

“M2S has been committed to improving vascular patient outcomes for over ten years with our advanced 3D modeling technology. We believe that the addition of the Vascular Quality Initiative to our scope of services, combined with our standardized pre- and post-operative imaging, will significantly improve patient care,” explains Lang.

“M2S is an example of a biotech start-up with roots in academia—in this case, Dartmouth—that has evolved to become an innovation leader in its industry,” said New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Interim Director Chris Way in making the announcement that M2S was chosen as the December 2011 Innovation Rocks! winner. “We anticipate they’ll grow their business in other specialty areas in the future while continuing to develop their technology in-house, right here in New Hampshire.”

For more information about M2S, visit www.m2s.com.

“Innovation Rocks!” is an initiative sponsored by the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development’s Business Resource Center in coordination with Rock 101 (WGIR-FM) to celebrate the creativity and ingenuity of New Hampshire innovators.

Liquid Health Named November “Innovation Rocks!” Award Winner

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Functional beverages—beverages that are designed to provide health benefits that go beyond general nutrition—are the fastest-growing category in the nutrition industry. Liquid Health, a Deerfield, New Hampshire-based company has brought a new twist to this market with the PowerCap, a two-piece bottlecap with a storage chamber that keeps nutritional supplements and additives stable and fresh. When the consumer twists or pushes the cap, these ingredients are infused into a consumable liquid, such as water. This allows beverages companies to work with ingredients they cannot work with in standard ready-to-drink functional beverages.

In recognition of this innovative technology, Liquid Health has won the Innovation Rocks! Award from the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development and Rock 101 (WGIR-FM) for the month of November.

With the PowerCap, there is no need to heat the bottles when filling during manufacturing. This results in a lower energy cost since each hot-fill bottle uses approximately half a kilowatt hour more than a PowerCap bottle—which is equal to running a small window unit air condition for an hour. With hundreds of millions of beverage bottles used each year, conversion to PowerCap by even some of the functional beverage industry would significantly reduce the industry’s carbon footprint. Cold-filled bottles also are lighter and use less plastic, and require less energy to make.

Storing the ingredients in the cap results in extended shelf life for the beverage, since ingredients are only released when the consumer opens the cap. This is especially important with ingredients like probiotics, which have a very short shelf life once they’ve been introduced into a liquid.
“It’s so exciting to see relatively young New Hampshire company develop a product line that is innovative and ‘green,’” said New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Interim Director Chris Way. “The PowerCap is already being used by Last Shot, Nutrelle, VitaHydrate and Fresh Healthy Stuff.”

Liquid Health, which was founded in 2002, is located in the abi Innovation HUB, home to many of Manchester’s most innovative start-up companies. For more information about Power Caps, visit www.mypowercap.com.

“Innovation Rocks!” is an initiative sponsored by the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development in coordination with Rock 101 (WGIR-FM) to celebrate the creativity and ingenuity of New Hampshire innovators.

Newforma Named October “Innovation Rocks!” Award Winner

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Today’s major construction projects often involve team members from around the world including building and infrastructure architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) firms, as well as project owners. One forward-thinking Manchester company is ensuring that the numerous teams and individuals working on AEC projects are connected seamlessly and securely to the work processes and project information they need—and in so doing, they’ve won the “Innovation Rocks!” presented by the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development for the month of October.

Newforma, a Manchester, New Hampshire-based company with offices in the UK and Netherlands, was founded in 2003 by a team of seven industry professionals who had decades of experience in software and the AEC field. Their goal: to develop software that architects, engineers, contractors and owners could use to manage project information that has been created by various best-in-class authoring applications and to streamline project process efficiency. The result is the Newforma® Project Information Management (PIM) solution which leverages a company’s existing IT infrastructure, streamlining work processes, improving responsiveness and supporting best practices.

In addition to the core solution, Newforma® Project Center, the firm has created a Newforma® Mobile for mobile web access to project information, as well as a contract and document change management module, a module for project financial and resource management for architectural and engineering project managers and executives, and a module to manage nongraphical information.

“Newforma shows how a relatively young New Hampshire company can have significant market impact,” said New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Interim Director Chris Way. “It’s only been a little over six years since the First Edition of their Project Center software was put out in limited release, and now Newforma’s software is being used by 49,000 licensed users in 620 companies across 10 countries to manage 650,000 projects. That’s innovation that works.”
For more information about Newforma, visit www.newforma.com.

“Innovation Rocks!” is an initiative sponsored by the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development in coordination with Rock 101 (WGIR-FM) to celebrate the creativity and ingenuity of New Hampshire innovators.

“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