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Posts Tagged ‘Green Launching Pad’

Ask CJ: Laying Out the NH Advantage

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

“I have heard that there are grants available to business owners in NH.  Is that true?  What other economic incentives are available to a NH business owner?”

I get this question pretty frequently from businesses of all sizes and industries.  What is that “NH Advantage” that we keep hearing about? 

NH Division of Economic Development Seacoast Business Services Specialist Christine Davis

Unlike some other states, New Hampshire isn’t known to dangle hefty incentive packages to lure new business into the state.  We don’t offer short term special deals to a prospective company from out of state that isn’t available to our current business owners.  What NH does offer, the NH Advantage, includes such things as our lack of an income tax and sales tax.  Also part of the Advantage is our high standard of living, quality of education, and geographic location.  We also have government agencies such as ours, the Division of Economic Development, that are reachable and responsive. 

Besides the above-mentioned incentives for locating your business in the Granite State, there are a number of other potential NH-based financial incentives.  Large energy consumers may be eligible for a grant that covers the cost of an energy audit.  Our division, www.nheconomy.com, offers free technical assistance, which could include an energy audit (valued at $10,000) to businesses that are spending $100,000 or more on their combined utilities.  The business can take this audit and work with a number of financial institutions, including the NH Community Development Finance Authority (which also has some grant funds for energy audits) to assist them with a cost effective plan to implement these recommended efficiencies.  These funds are limited so you will need to check first on availability. 

The Business Finance Authority (BFA) offers the Business Energy Conservation Loan Fund: http://www.nhbfa.com/BFA_LoanPlans_BizEnergy.html which is financing assistance for energy efficiency improvements.  The USDA Rural Development program, www.rurdev.usda.gov/vt, offers both grant and loan programs for a variety of projects and programs.  You will need to visit their website to see if your business falls within the geographic and industry parameters for the projects they support.  The NH Community Development Finance Authority, www.nhcdfa.org, also offers a tax credit program that provides, “New Hampshire businesses the unique opportunity to invest and target their tax dollars to community development projects throughout the state in exchange for a 75% State Tax Credit through the Tax Credit Program. This program enables businesses to invest cash, securities, or property to fund economic or community development projects in exchange for this 75% tax credit which can be applied against any or all three of the business profits, business enterprise, or insurance premium taxes. The donation also may be eligible for treatment as a state and federal charitable contribution.”

Businesses that are located within an Economic Revitalization Zone may qualify for a tax credit if they are making improvements to the facility and creating new jobs.  You will first need to check with your town or our office, www.nheconomy.com, to see if you are located in an ER Zone.  If so, you may be eligible to receive up to $40,000 in tax credits per year for up to 5 years to be used against your business profits tax and or your business enterprise tax.  It is a complicated formula but our staff will help with the heavy lifting.  This program also has limited credits available but that ceiling was not reached last year.

Non-profits are quite familiar with grants, as many of them need this support in order to function.  Grants are almost always restricted to non-profit entities and when I hear someone tell me they received a call about grant opportunities for businesses (of course in exchange for a fee) I cringe.  There is one grant in NH for businesses and it is the real deal.  The NH Job Training Fund is a matching grant program available to both for-profit and non-profit entities.  Companies can be awarded a cash match that ranges from $750 up to $100,000 for skills enhancement training.  What does that include?  Just about any training that increases the skill set of your employees including computer training, technical training, leadership and management skills training and lean manufacturing to name a few.  Details on this fantastic program can be found at www.nhjobtrainingfund.org

Through the University of NH the Green Launching Pad, www.greenlaunchingpad.org, “is a public and private sector initiative that enables local start-ups to bring green solutions to market.  We discover New Hampshire’s best and brightest, and then support them with the financial resources, business infrastructure, and academic expertise to succeed.”  Companies apply and compete to be selected as a GLP recipient.  Winners not only receive some funding and technical assistance but they also get some great press which has a lot of value. 

Also through UNH is the New Hampshire Innovation Research Center.  Created by the Legislature in 1991, these grant funds are meant, “To increase collaboration, technology development and innovation between New Hampshire businesses and universities.  New Hampshire businesses propose projects in collaboration with researchers, typically at Dartmouth Medical or the University of New Hampshire. Companies then match their project awards to fund the research which often leads to new production methods, new products and sometimes new companies.”  You can visit their website, www.nhirc.unh.edu, to learn more about this program.

Each city, town or county may have its own incentive program for business development.  You would want to reach out to your town manager, mayor or economic development director to see what is available.  You never know until you ask.

Christine J. Davis works for the N.H. Division of Economic Development as a resource specialist serving businesses in Rockingham and Strafford counties. Her role is to provide the support needed for businesses so that they may remain viable and growing entities in the community. Ms. Davis lives in Exeter with her two daughters.  When not performing her work or parenting duties she likes to spend time at the beach and discovering news places and activities in the community with her girls.  She can be reached at Christine.davis@dred.state.nh.us.

Six Businesses Selected for Round Two of Green Launching Pad

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Last week, Governor John Lynch  joined U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and University of New Hampshire President Mark W. Huddleston in announcing the six businesses selected to participate in the second round of the Green Launching Pad.

green-launching-padGovernor Lynch spearheaded an effort to create the Green Launching Pad, a partnership between the state and the university established last year that is working to help innovative companies bring new products to market and create jobs. Last year, UNH faculty staff and students provided intensive support to five New Hampshire companies working to bring new, clean energy products to market.

The announcement was made at EnerTrac in Hudson, one of the five companies to participate in the first round of the Green Launching Pad.

“The first round of the Green Launching Pad has been a tremendous success, benefiting not only those companies that participated, but working to strengthen our state’s economy,” Governor Lynch said. “I am focused on making sure that we are growing the jobs and companies of the future right here in New Hampshire and the Green Launching Pad is just one way we are doing that. The ideas and the products that have been nurtured by the Green Launching Pad are helping create good jobs, and I am pleased that we are working together to help six more New Hampshire businesses.”

The Green Launching Pad is funded with $1.5 million of federal economic stimulus funds from the U.S. Department of Energy.

“The Department of Energy is proud to be a partner in the Green Launching Pad program,” said Secretary Chu. “By helping New Hampshire’s clean energy businesses grow, we can strengthen our competitiveness and create the good jobs of the 21st century.”

About 50 businesses and entrepreneurs submitted applications seeking to take part in the Green Launching Pad. An advisory board selected six business teams that will be supported during an intensive summer business accelerator program based in the Seacoast and aligned with UNH.

“Our support of the Green Launching Pad demonstrates UNH working at its best with its local and national partners. One result, of course, is new jobs at innovative and growing companies. This work is also helping thousands of New Hampshire residents and businesses save money on their fuel bills,” President Huddleston said.

“And EnerTrac’s smart meters are helping fuel oil and propane companies to be more profitable while they also reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions. Creating and encouraging ventures like this is at the heart of our mission at UNH, and it is critical to helping our nation compete in an emerging green and global economy,” said President Huddleston.

Selected companies will be connected to business, science and engineering faculty to develop finance and marketing plans. The Green Launching Pad will also connect businesses with angel investors and private sector business mentors.

“Today’s Green Launching Pad announcement is yet another example of how the Recovery Act is making smart investments in New Hampshire businesses to create jobs, transition to clean energy, and keep America competitive in the global economy. I commend the University of New Hampshire for its ongoing efforts to help these innovative New Hampshire businesses and entrepreneurs turn their ideas into reality,” said U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, who supported funding for the Green Launching Pad.

EnerTrac has been successful in developing a remote monitoring system to help fuel dealers improve both operational efficiency and reduce harmful emissions by more than 30 percent. The success of the company illustrates the mission behind the Green Launching Pad program, and serves as an example to other New Hampshire companies looking to enter the emerging green economy.

“We are delighted to have the Governor Lynch and Secretary Chu at this event to announce the GLP 2.0 winning companies. In the Green launching Pad, we continue to work hard towards providing an opportunity for students, faculty and others on college campuses across the state of New Hampshire to work with private industry to help strengthen the region’s economy and also help address environmental concerns,” said Ross Gittell, UNH professor and co-project director of the Green Launching Pad.

“The drivers of Green Launching Pad are the five ‘Es’ – Energy, Economy, Environment, Entrepreneurship and Education. In the Green Launching pad, we make sure that while we create and grow successful green ventures, we focus on each of these five ‘Es’ by developing and supporting inter-disciplinary teams of students, faculty researchers and entrepreneurs and connecting them with industry experts and state-level resources,” said Venky Venkatachalam, UNH professor and co-project director of the Green Launching Pad.

For more information about the Green Launching Pad, visit http://www.greenlaunchingpad.org/.

A brief description of the winning teams and their projects is attached:

SustainX Inc., Lebanon, NH

SustainX provides a new non-toxic technology for low-cost scalable energy storage. The company’s new technology enables efficient storage of renewable energy – such as wind and. The energy storage technology is modular and allows for siting anywhere, from low-scale to grid-scale storage. www.sustainx.com

Blue2Green LLC, Ashland, NH

Blue2green will promote hydroelectric power production by restoring dams to produce renewable energy and attracting investors to suitable dams and mill-restoration projects. The revitalization of hydroelectric power in small- to medium-sized former industrial mill towns can help produce renewable energy, create jobs and preserve community history. www.blue2greenllc.com.

Holase, Inc., Portsmouth, NH

Holase has developed self-contained, solar-powered LED traffic signal lights that are low-cost and easy to set up and operate. www.holase.com

New England Footwear LLC, Newmarket, NH

New England Footwear has developed a sustainable solution to footwear manufacturing and a way to revive shoe manufacturing in the region through new technologies that use organic materials, molds – instead of stitch and sew – and modular design to allow for easy replacement and re-use. www.newenglandfootwear.com

Therma-HEXX LLC, Exeter, NH

Therma-HEXX invented an invisible low-cost solar collector and heat exchanger with a diversity of potential applications. Applications include winter time melting of snow and ice off of roofs and summer time cooling pool side pavements while heating pools. www.therma-hexx.com

Walker-Wellington, LLC, Portsmouth, NH

Walker-Wellington of Portsmouth has developed a hydrokinetic turbine power generation system, which will capture and produce off-grid renewable energy for on-site use. Primary users will be municipal wastewater treatment facilities and drinking water delivery systems. www.walkerwellington.com.

Wild for Innovation Info Now Available

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

Fridays can get pretty wild in the Granite State and last Friday, a group of approximately 50 business leaders got wild at the University of New Hampshire…..wild for innovation that is.

UNH Facilities Design and Construction Executive Director Larry Van Dessel (r.) leads a tour of James Hall as NH Division of Economic Development Interim Director Roy Duddy (l.) looks on.

UNH Facilities Design and Construction Executive Director Larry Van Dessel (r.) leads a tour of James Hall as NH Division of Economic Development Interim Director Roy Duddy (l.) looks on.

Sponsored by the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development and Public Service of New Hampshire in partnership with the University of New Hampshire, Wild for Innovation was a perfect opportunity for local businesses to learn more about the exciting efforts underway at UNH to support creativity and economic development.  At the event, we heard about the changing demographics of the state from Carsey Institute Senior Demographer Ken Johnson, gained insight into the Green Launching Pad which is dedicated to successfully launching green businesses and learned about EcoLine, a landfill gas-to-energy project that uses purified methane gas from a nearby landfill to power the campus.

We also were very fortunate to gain leadership skills from Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior and Management Vanessa Druskat, Ph.D. and to receive some excellent teamwork tips from UNH Women’s Lacrosse Coach Michael Daly and Women’s Swimming & Diving Coach Jarrod Zwirko. 

To cap off the evening, we even watched the UNH Wildcats men’s hockey team clinch first place in Hockey East by storming back from three goals down in the third period to tie the BC Eagles.

Special thanks to UNH Sports Properties’ Jenna Kubesch for helping to organize the day’s events and to the entire UNH campus for being so welcoming and hospitable!

To view the presentations from the event, please visit: http://www.nheconomy.com/WildforInnovation.aspx.

– Steve Boucher, Communications & Legislative Director