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Posts Tagged ‘Coastal Economic Development Corporation’

Economic Development Group Offers Free Video Services to Companies Affected by Japan Crisis

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

The Coastal Economic Development Corporation (CEDC), in partnership with the NH Business Finance Authority; the NH Community Development Finance Authority and the NH Division of  Economic Development has announced that it will offer free use of the Coastal Video Conference Center, located in Hampton, NH, to any New Hampshire business affected by the crisis in Japan.

video-conferenceIn announcing this service, Daniel Gray, CEDC’s Managing Director noted that, “Japan is NH’s 10th most active export partner. In 2009, for example, New Hampshire businesses exported $179 million in goods and services to Japan.  That’s a fairly significant piece of our State’s economic puzzle”.

The US Government has issued a statement that strongly urges U.S. citizens to defer travel to Japan at this time and urges that those in Japan should consider departing.

The Coastal Video Conference Center is a state-of-the-art telepresence system that offers high definition, multi-point video conferencing capabilities.  The dual screen system offers a platform that can connect up to six (6) locations simultaneously, with the ability to share content and presentations.  CEDC opened the Center in 2010.

“Video conferencing is becoming a trend under normal business circumstances”, said Gray.  “It’s a very economical, time-effective, and environmentally friendly way to arrange long distance meetings.  But, with the crisis in Japan, and with the resulting travel restrictions, video conferencing could just be the only way some New Hampshire businesses can replace those face-to-face meetings that absolutely need to take place.  While the two participants might not be in the same room, with the technology we are offering, they may as well be”.

The NH Business Finance Authority, the NH Community Development Finance Authority and the NH Division of Economic Development, have teamed together to provide grant funding and support to allow CEDC to offer the Center to affected businesses for free.

“New Hampshire is fortunate to have these forward-thinking agencies.  They came together quickly to address an unforeseen economic development problem, and their support will give New Hampshire businesses a tool to overcome challenges associated with this terrible tragedy.”, said Gray.

Companies interested in learning more about this new program should contact Coastal Economic Development Corporation at 603-929-9244 or videoinfo@coastaledc.org

Business Financing Made Simple

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Congrats to our Seacoast Business Services Specialist Christine Davis who was recently asked to serve as a columnist for the Portsmouth Herald. Here’s her latest column that centers around the question of how to best secure business financing:

How to get business financing?
Starting with a bank you know is best choice
By Christine Davis

It wasn’t a big surprise to receive a number of questions related to financing your business. Businesses face multiple challenges every day, but one thing that seems to trump them all is money. How do I get it, how do I generate more and how can I hang onto more of it?

NH Business Resource Center Seacoast Business Services Specialist Christine Davis

NH Business Resource Center Seacoast Business Services Specialist Christine Davis

Let’s start with how do I get financing for my business? The person who sent this question has owned his business for a number of years, had a small dip in revenue but has regained profitability over the past two years. His first call to a large bank was unsuccessful and he wanted to know what would be the best next step.

I spoke with Rob Barry, our in-house NH Division of Economic Development finance expert, to see what he recommends without knowing the particulars. In general, we recommend that you first reach out to the institution where you currently bank. Just like in everything else, it often boils down to relationships. If you have got one, go there first. If they are unable to meet your needs, make sure you understand why and then consider what changes your business needs to make to become more bankable. Most loan requests that are rejected are done so because of weak financials or because a company does not have a long enough history of being profitable. In some cases, they may not have an appetite for the type of financing you are seeking. If you have a relationship with a large bank, you may want to consider looking at some of your local community banks. While banks all share some common requirements (good credit, positive cash flow and collateral) some may be more aggressive in certain lending areas than others.

Another source of financing may be your local community economic development corporation. For the Seacoast area, there is the Rockingham Economic Development Corporation in Exeter, the Coastal Economic Development Corporation in Hampton and the Seacoast Economic Development Corporation in Dover. Each one covers a specific area so you will need to check and see which one covers your location. The REDC provides loans to businesses for a variety of needs and may be able to work with a business that does not qualify for a traditional bank loan. If you have a weak spot on your financials, such as a low credit score, but good cash flow and collateral, you might be a good candidate for a REDC loan. Since it is taking on more risk, the rates are typically a bit higher than a traditional bank.

Another alternative source of funding is the NH Community Loan Fund in Concord. It offers both debt and equity financing to business owners. Micro loans start at $1,000 and business growth loans can go as high as $500,000. The Loan Fund is more risk-tolerant and may ask to provide some educational guidance and input.

I also wanted to respond to a question I received about getting grants for business development. In a nutshell, there aren’t any. If you get a call with someone offering to help you find grants in exchange for a fee, run. It’s a scam. While there are some federal grants available for some very specific industries and research projects, they are highly competitive and few and far between. You won’t find grants to buy new equipment or open up a shop on Main Street. There are grants available for training through the N.H. Job Training Fund, www.nhjobtrainingfund.org, but they are for training projects only. I will talk more about that gem of a fund another day.

To learn more about these and other financial resources you can visit our Web site, www.nheconomy.com.

Whether you have been in business for 20 years or just getting started, we have the resources and the expertise to answer your questions. All information is confidential, and I promise not to print your name, age, height, weight or marital status without your approval. You can write to me at: Christine.Davis@dred.state.nh.us. I look forward to hearing from you.