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Posts Tagged ‘Nashua Telegraph’

Exploring the NH Business Advantage

Monday, November 14th, 2011

What goes into attracting a business to the Granite State? What are the state’s unique selling points? How does a business recruiter determine which community is the right fit for a prospect?

Michael Bergeron, left, business development manager with the state business resource center talks with Nora Systems Vice President Phil Macy during a tour of the new business in Salem Monday, August 15, 2011. Nashua Telegraph staff photo by Bob Hammerstrom.

In many ways, getting a company interested in expanding or relocating to New Hampshire is like a courtship. Make no mistake – it’s not speed dating. It’s a long process that begins with the initial inquiry or outreach followed by countless meetings, emails, phone calls and detailed analyses. Sometimes the recruiter is dealing strictly with a site selector and never actually even knows who the client is until the deal progresses to the serious stage. Other times, there is an immense amount of hand holding and introductions to partnering state agencies, town officials and real estate brokers.

The Nashua Telegraph has developed a six-part series examining various aspects of the “New Hampshire Advantage” and whether the Granite State has been able to maintain its competitiveness in these areas. Yesterday’s installment centered around New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Business Development Manager Michael Bergeron and the Division’s efforts to make the state an attractive business destination for businesses locally, regionally and globally.

The story is truly a fascinating look at business recruitment – be sure to check it out at: http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/news/939930-227/officials-try-to-make-state-attractive-as.html#

Science Cafe New Hampshire Set to Launch

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

In the interest of giving you the latest news about all of the things that make for a vibrant, growing and interesting New Hampshire, here’s a neat press release that I just ran across:

“Science Café New Hampshire” Launches with May 24 Forum in Concord on Climate Change

New Hampshire is joining a national grassroots movement aimed at bringing more science into public discussion of scientific topics, with the launch of Science Café New Hampshire. The first café is set for May 24 at 7:00 p.m. at The Barley House (downstairs) in Concord; the topic will be “Climate Change in New Hampshire?”

iconmicroscopeThe free monthly gatherings at The Barley House in Concord involve loosely organized discussions among several invited scientists and the general public, with snacks, drinks and plenty of back-and-forth available throughout the evening. It is modeled after dozens of similar gatherings run around the country and the world by universities, colleges and professional groups, but this one has even more of a grassroots beginning.

Science Café New Hampshire was created by Sarah Eck of Hopkinton, a Ph.D. in biochemistry, and Dan Marcek of Brookline, a veteran of the computer industry. They felt a shortage of opportunities for the general public to learn about, and talk about, the science and engineering of controversial topics that will affect life in New Hampshire, whether it be climate change or digital privacy or the future of food.

“Science comes in many forms today and New Hampshire needs exposure to all of them. Science Cafe New Hampshire will help bridge the gap, connecting science and scientists with the general public in a conversation about issues we are facing. Preparing New Hampshire for 21st century means we all must work a little harder to be informed by the facts, not the rhetoric.

“Public dialogue is a big part of the answer,” said Dan Marcek.

“The informal atmosphere of our science café will allow local experts to share their research and knowledge with non-scientists and provide a comfortable environment for comments and questions to be raised and considered by all present. Additionally, we hope that the issues raised at Science Café New Hampshire will spark an ongoing discussion that extends into homes and communities,” said Sarah Eck.

The first café, set for May 24 at 7:00 p.m. at The Barley House (downstairs) in Concord, will follow the general format. Its topic is “Climate Change in New Hampshire?” Three panelists will be present: state climatologist Mary Stampone of UNH, who’s particularly knowledgeable about computer modeling of climate; UNH Professor Lawrence Hamilton, whose research includes the Arctic, Human-environment interactions, and statistics and data analysis; and Rhett Lamb, planner for the City of Keene.

They will give short introductions about their expertise, and then the evening will be opened for comments and questions from anybody who shows up.

The format isn’t a “sage from a stage” lecture hall, but discussions among people who want to understand the realities of climate change so they can make more well informed decisions.

The café will be moderated by Dave Brooks, a science writer for the Nashua Telegraph, whose weekly Granite Geek column and daily Granite Geek blog have touched on many of these topics, with a lighter tone, for years.

“I’m there mainly to make sure nothing horrible happens, like somebody trying to discuss politics,” said Brooks. “And if things get too slow, I’ll tell my joke about the 3.14159 mathematicians who walk into a bar.”

A second Science Café New Hampshire is being planned for June, on the topic of the future of food, with more monthly Science Cafes taking place in the fall after a summer hiatus.

To learn more about the discussion, http://www.sciencecafenh.org/.

For more information, contact Dan Marcek at 603-801-6943, marcek@gmail.com or Sarah Eck 603-728-8243, sarahmeck@gmail.com.

NH MEP Survey Finds Job, Sales Payoff

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Here’s a great Nashua Telegraph story about the effect of the New Hampshire Manufacturing Extension Partnership on the state economy.

Survey finds job, sales payoff

A total of 885 jobs and $232.3 million in sales: That, says the New Hampshire Manufacturing Extension Partnership, is how it has benefited the state in the past five years.

mep-logoBetween April 2006 and February 2011, companies working with the MEP have created 425 jobs and retained 460 that “otherwise would not exist,” according to a survey of 204 companies.

Those companies also reported $232.3 million in increased sales, spent $81.8 million on new investment, and experienced $36.3 million in cost savings.

New Hampshire MEP is a federally funded nonprofit that provides assistance to small manufacturers. It is a network of technical, manufacturing and business specialists linked together by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the National Institute of Standards.

The five-year executive summary released last week estimates the total economic contribution to the New Hampshire economy from firms whose employment, sales or investment activity changed as a direct result of assistance provided by the New Hampshire MEP. It comes at a time when funding for MEP is on the chopping block amid federal budget negotiations.

light-manufacturingMEP’s job, executive director Zenagui Brahim said, is to “help New Hampshire manufacturers in productivity so they can compete globally.”

It does that, he said, by working directly with companies, but not just at the management level.

“We go in the field at the shops, on their floor and front office, and work with a team there, from senior management to technicians, the whole process of making the product,” Brahim said in a telephone interview Tuesday.

The idea is to keep companies competitive by helping them streamline their operations and cut down on costs, he said.

“Every time they see an opportunity to cut down on costs and render the services or product and ship it on time with very good quality, they have a competitive advantage,” Brahim said.

A year after MEP works with them, companies respond to a survey conducted by an independent, third-party survey company. Clients are asked a number of questions relating to changes in efficiency and output as well as the quality of the MEP services they received.

According to the MEP, it’s not only the clients who are benefitting from MEP services. Increased sales by New Hampshire MEP clients require that they increase their purchases of goods and services from other companies. The supplying companies, in turn, generate additional demands of their own, the MEP said.

“In this way, dollar expenditures for final demand can be traced to all of the affected industries in the regional economy,” a press release from MEP said. “In addition, the income from new jobs generated by New Hampshire MEP clients and the supplying firms results in increased demand for consumer goods. Each of these effects, in turn, generates subsequent ripples throughout the New Hampshire economy.”

According to the five-year summary, the sum of these direct, indirect and induced effects are responsible for:

*Creating or retaining 3,794 jobs that paid $187.5 million in employee wages and benefits.

*Increasing or retaining economic output worth $719.4 million.

*Contributing or retaining $297.8 million of gross state product.

*Generating or retaining $97.9 million in additional tax and non-tax revenues at the federal, state and local government levels, including $21.8 million at the state and local level.

Winners Celebrated at 8th Business Excellence Awards

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

It was a real pleasure for the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development to be a sponsor of last night’s New Hampshire Business Review “Business Excellence Awards” at Southern New Hampshire University. This was a great celebration of New Hampshire’s  best and brightest companies and the good folks at NHBR were rewarded for their hard work with a packed room.

Special congrats are in order for “No Bull Business Blog” guest blogger Dr. Russ Ouellette of Sojourn Partners who was recognized with an award in the “Business Services” category. Way to go Russ!!

Here’s a recap of last night’s festivities:

New Hampshire Business Review honored 14 individuals at the 2010 Business Excellence Awards, which recognize the efforts and achievements owners of businesses with 100 employees or fewer.

More than 50 nominations in 13 categories were received, making the job of the 14 judges that much more difficult.

More than 300 people attended the Oct. 20 event, which was held at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester.

Because of the extraordinary number of accomplished candidates, NHBR also named a tie in the Retail category and finalists in several other categories.

NHBR also announced two inductees into the Business Excellence Hall of Fame, which singles out people whose entire careers have been marked by a consistent and impressive record of accomplishments, both in their chosen fields, in their communities, and across the state and beyond. These honorees were selected by a separate panel of judges.

“Each of the businesspeople who receive these honors has a different story to tell,” said Sharron McCarthy, president of McLean Communications and publisher of NHBR. “But what they have in common is determination, industriousness and the ability to come up with innovative solutions that have allowed their businesses to survive and thrive, regardless of economic conditions, and a commitment to serving their communities.”

NHBR Editor Jeff Feingold

NHBR Editor Jeff Feingold

Jeff Feingold, editor of NHBR, said, “We would like to salute all of the nominees, the people who nominated them and the winners themselves for their contributions toward making New Hampshire a great place to do business.”

Emcee was Charlie Sherman, host of WGIR-AM’s morning news talk program.

A portion of the proceeds from the evening benefited Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA, which advocates for New Hampshire children in the state’s court system in cases of neglect and abuse.

The winners of the 2010 NHBR Business Excellences Awards were:

"Business Services" winner Dr. Russ Ouellette

"Business Services" winner Dr. Russ Ouellette

• Excellence in Business Services — Russ Ouellette, Sojourn Partners LLC, Bedford
• Excellence in Construction — G. Hayden McLaughlin, Belknap Landscape Co., Inc., Gilford
• Excellence in Financial Services — Frank Teas, The Nashua Bank
• Excellence in Health Care — Joshua Siegal, M.D., Access Sports Medicine & Orthopaedics, Exeter
• Excellence in Hospitality — Carol Sheehan, The Red Arrow 24 Hr. Franchising Inc., Manchester
• Excellence in Media & Marketing — Linda Fanaras, Millennium Integrated Marketing Inc., Manchester
• Excellence in Nonprofits — Peter Kelleher, Partnership for Successful Living, Nashua
• Excellence in Professional Services — Jonathan Halle, Warrenstreet Architects, Concord
• Excellence in Real Estate — Quentin Keefe, Regency Mortgage Corp., Manchester
• Excellence in Retail (tie) — Susan Lozier Robert, Frederick’s Pastries, Amherst; Curt Jacques, West Lebanon Feed & Supply
• Excellence in Technology — Jason Alexander, Alexander Technology Group, Bedford

The 2010 NHBR Business Excellence Hall of Fame Inductees were:

• Alex Ray, founder, Common Man Family of Restaurants
• Lew Feldstein, former chairman, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation

The judges for the 2010 NHBR Business Excellence Awards were:

• Jennifer Boulanger, loan officer at Capital Region Economic Development Corp. in Concord and former executive director of the Belknap County Economic Development Council based in Laconia
• Robin Comstock, president and CEO, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce
• Roy Duddy, interim director, New Hampshire Division of Economic Development
• Lou Guevin, former chairman, Junior Achievement of New Hampshire
• Julie Gustafson, president and CEO, Amoskeag Business Incubator, Manchester
• Richard Hanson, professor, accounting and taxation, Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester; executive director, Institute for Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination, SNHU
• Mahboubul Hassan, professor, economics and finance, SNHU
• Lise Howson, vice president and business banking relationship manager, Citizens Bank
• Witmer Jones, New Hampshire district director, U.S. Small Business Administration
• Dave Juvet, senior vice president, Business & Industry Association of New Hampshire
• Patrick F. McDermott, economic and community development manager, Public Service Company of New Hampshire
• Tim Sink, president, Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce
• Ashley Smith, business editor, The Nashua Telegraph
• Chip Underhill, senior marketing manager, FairPoint Communications, Manchester

Sponsors of the event were FairPoint Communications, Laconia Savings Bank, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care of New England, Public Service of New Hampshire, J Maze Design, New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, Merrimack Street Volvo, WGIR-AM 610, New Hampshire Public Television and Southern New Hampshire University. — NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

Smiles Lead to Business Development

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

To start off your day on a high note, I thought I’d share this excellent article written by Tom West that appeared in today’s Nashua Telegraph. It details NH Division of Economic Development Business Development Manager Michael Bergeron’s remarks to the Hudson Board of Selectmen on how to make their community more attractive to site selectors and businesses looking for a new home.

Development Official Advises Smiles Matter

Selectmen received some common sense tips on economic development from a state official who said a simple smile from a Town Hall employee could make the difference for a company contemplating a move to Hudson.

Michael Bergeron of the state Department of Resources and Economic Development gave the board a 30-minute tutorial on the best ways to woo business in a stagnant economy.

bergeron1Bergeron said some companies will send an employee into the Town Hall of a community they’re thinking of moving to just to see what kind of impression the staff makes.

“A smile can make all the difference,’’ he said, recounting how he visited one town and couldn’t get a worker behind a plate of bullet-proof glass to even look at him.

According to Assistant Town Administrator Mark Person, officials have made economic development No. 1 on their to-do list for 2010.

In an effort to fill Sagamore Industrial Park on Route 3A and the Clement Road Industrial Park along Route 111, the parks have been designated as Economic Revitalization Zones. The program allows for businesses within the parks to receive tax credits when expanding, Pearson said.

The program stopped taking applications Jan. 29, but two local companies have applied for credits or loans available through the state, he said.

What Hudson needs to remember, Bergeron said, is companies aren’t interested in towns where municipal boards are constantly bickering and building regulations so onerous that its seems to take forever to get anything done.

“That’s not going to fly today,’’ he said.

Networking is essential between the town, the local Chamber of Commerce and neighboring communities, he said, adding that a good Web site is an integral part of marketing any municipality.

The Hudson Web site, which the town recently upgraded with a new focus on economic development, is effective, he said, but “it needs refreshment in terms of town images,’’ that reflect the local quality of life.

The town has a beautiful new library and good schools, he said, that are assets the town needs to project via the Internet and social media, such as Facebook.

“Quality of life is a great asset for the town of Hudson,’’ Bergeron said, “and you need to keep a positive attitude and not apologize for the things that are not your strength.’’

As an example, he used the small town of Colebrook, 10 miles from the Canadian border, which he says is always coming up with ideas for growth, despite constant struggles.

“They’re always calling, saying, We’ve got a great idea, What you think?’ Bergeron said. “Instead of saying, ‘What can you do for me,’ they say, ‘look at what we can do for you.’ ’’

NH, Brazilian State in Accord on Sustainability

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Congratulations to our International Trade Resource Center for their masterful job in hosting the Brazilian trade contingent yesterday. Despite the inclement weather, the ITRC team was able to fashion a great day for our guests. Here’s a Nashua Telegraph story about the visit:

NH, Brazilian state in accord on sustainability

Gov. John Lynch signed an agreement Wednesday with a Brazilian governor to share new sustainable technologies.

Lynch welcomed Carlos Henrique Amorim, governor of Tocantins, Brazil, and a group of Brazilian officials to the Statehouse to collaborate on the “Sister States” deal.

“We plan to work together,” Lynch said. “They obviously have many assets and resources in their state that we have in our state. We can collaborate, which ultimately would mean job creation.”

According to New Hampshire’s International Trade Resource Center, Brazil is the state’s 16th strongest business partner, out of 215 nations. The 20-year-old state of Tocantins in central Brazil has a vast range of natural resources and a relatively relaxed set of business regulations. TV aficionados may recognize Tocantins as the shooting locale for the 18th edition of CBS’s “Survivor.”

Governor Carlos Henrique Gaguim, of Tocantins, with Gov. John Lynch. Photo by Eduardo de Oliveira

Governor Carlos Henrique Gaguim, of Tocantins, with Gov. John Lynch. Photo by Eduardo de Oliveira

The deal means Tocantins and New Hampshire will share work on sustainability and serve as a ground to put into practice several environmental projects envisioned by Milford resident Craig Cassarino.
“As everybody gets an understanding of what Tocantins is, we will figure out how we can take the hard work of New Hampshire people and transfer it as projects that can create jobs here, too,” said Cassarino, an environmental businessman who works at Leonardo Technologies Inc. in Bedford.

Cassarino said one of the projects is assisting the mayor of Pedro Afonso, Jose Julio Eduardo Chagas, with development of an integrated waste management plant in the city. Cassarino will provide Chagas with American technology to help Pedro Afonso, a city with about 10,000 habitants close to the Amazon jungle, grow in a self-sustainable fashion. For Chagas, improving waste management is a high priority.

“Transferring recycling technology is fundamental because trash collecting is a serious municipal problem not only in our city but all over the state,” Chagas said.

The mayor also highlighted the academic arm of the Sister States partnership, as his own city is introducing a new elementary school course on environmental education.

“The world is breathing the environmental debates. When we add an environmental course to the curricula, we’re helping to educate a more conscious citizen,” he said.

The Tocantins committee will meet with University of Massachusetts officials this morning to talk about an “EcoTourism” course UNH is creating, which will include visits to Tocantins by American students.

“Today, the ecotourism is a major source of job creation, and partnering it with academia will help us develop a more responsible resident, who will also watch for the self-sustainable growth of their state,” said Julio Cesar Rezende, owner of Origene, a 100,000-acre farm in Brazil that, under his leadership, developed a self-sustainable model.

For Rezende, New Hampshire and Tocantins are complimentary states. For instance, Origene already utilizes solar panels and local biomass to power the farm’s machinery, which are some of the reasons why Cassarino picked the farm to be the breathing ground for many of his projects.

“We can minimize men’s impact on nature, while stimulating the use of new technologies. On the biotechnology field, Tocantins has a lot to offer New Hampshire, and the economic gains will be plenty for both sides,” Rezende said.

The Tocantins committee also toured the Statehouse, and first lady Roseane Rodrigues Pereira Amorim was surprised to learn New Hampshire has 400 state representatives and each makes $100 a year.

“Just that!” Amorim exclaimed.

In an exclusive interview with The Telegraph, Carlos Henrique Amorim said it was “in New Hampshire that everything started in the United States.”

“We can feel that the New Hampshire people love their own soil, and their slogan ‘Live free or Die’ would fit to our state. Because all we want is to offer the chance of prosperity to all the people who picked Tocantins as their home,” he said.

So You Want to be a Business Recruiter?

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

Convincing businesses to expand or relocate is an art form. Requiring a set of skills that include sales, public relations, real estate and business development, business recruitment isn’t for the faint of heart.

Thankfully, New Hampshire has two of the best business recruiters in the nation, Michael Bergeron and Cindy Harrington. Yesterday, the Nashua Telegraph published a great story about the life of a business recruiter and the “art of the deal.” Check out this link to learn more: http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090615/NEWS01/306159955.

 – Steve Boucher, Communications & Legislative Director