NH Division of Economic Development
YouTube Facebook Twitter Twitter
Why New Hampshire Move Start Grow About Us

Posts Tagged ‘New Hampshire Business Resource Center’

Countdown to the Paris Air Show

Monday, June 10th, 2013


It’s not often we can invoke Tom Cruise in the No Bull Business Blog, so when we can, we do.

It’s the same as if five New Hampshire companies were getting ready to attend the world’s oldest and largest aerospace and defense trade show … when we can, we do.

The Paris Air Show begins one week from today and five companies – Corfin Industries of Salem; New England Wire Technologies of Lisbon; RdF Corp. of Hudson; Tech Resources Inc. of Milford and Transupport of Merrimack – will be part of the Best of New England booth at the US Pavilion, joining seven companies from Maine and Vermont. Together, they will bring visibility to the region that has the capability and capacity to serve these fast growing sectors.

The Best of New England booth is made possible through the State Trade Export Promotion program, funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

We’d like to introduce you to them, beginning with Tech Resources Inc.

Tom Cruise has a cameo.

Watch throughout the week for the Paris Air Show Minute.

Lorna Colquhoun

Communications Director

Division of Economic Development


Find Me a Find, Catch Me a Catch

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

It’s nice to be all dressed up and ready for the prom, but what if you haven’t been introduced to the person of your dreams?

This universal analogy is, of course, familiar to anyone who’s ever been 14, but it’s also familiar to small business owners who would like to connect with government contractors and large corporate buyers.

The Small Business Matchmaker gives small businesses that connection. This year’s matchmaker is from 8:30 a.m to 4 p.m., April 12 at the Nashua Technology Park. Registration is required. More information is available here.

(By the way, the headline? We know. Here it is so you can hum along with it.)

Plastic Reuse Company Comes to Colebrook – 25 New Jobs Expected

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

COLEBROOK – At least 25 jobs are expected to be created within the next year thanks to a new company opening in Colebrook.


Plastimo Inc., a New Hampshire Corporation created in June, has come to an agreement with Rex Jacobsma to purchase a 14-acre site with a 110,000 square foot industrial building located at 23 Gould Street in Colebrook. The new enterprise is owned by Montreal entrepreneur Mohammed El Fehdi, plastics recycling entrepreneur, Julie Baumier and local businessman, Rick Tillotson.  Mr. El Fehdi has business interests in Quebec, Vietnam, and Dubai.  Ms. Baumier has a plastics recycling business in Granby, Quebec.


“I decided to locate the expansion of my business in Colebrook in large part because of the outstanding treatment and follow up from the state’s economic development team as well as the facility’s close proximity to our Granby facility and my home in Montréal” said Mohammed. “But for the critical assistance from Beno Lamontagne, Michael Bergeron and even George Bald from the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, I would  not have considered making this move to New Hampshire.”


Another important factor in El Fehdi’s decision is the partnership with Rick Tillotson who owns former balloon manufacturer, Tillotson Dipped Products Co., Inc., and with his brother Tom, a former glove and auto parts manufacturer, Healthco, LLC.  Both companies formerly operated in the Dixville, NH factory building which belongs to Tillotson Corporation.  The Tillotson’s lease for the Dixville facility was canceled by Tillotson Corporation in 2008, in preparation for selling the hotel.  Because Ocean Properties planned to demolish the factory, in order to accommodate the prospective buyer, Tillotson Corporation contracted with Healthco to remove all the equipment and materials from the building.  Much of the equipment has already been moved to the former Manchester Manufacturing building for storage.  A large glove machine and an eyedropper making machine are scheduled to be moved at the end of the month, with a hoped for closing date on the purchase in September. 


With some initial orders already in hand from Ms. Baumier’s plastics recycling plant in Granby, the Colebrook factory will start processing plastic material for them with some special equipment due to arrive after the closing.  El Fehdi, Baumier and Tillotson will be combining their assets, knowledge and creativity to start and expand this new company in Colebrook.


“I hope this gives our region some optimism for the future, perhaps even a new beginning for this region of the State” said Tillotson. “I can’t say enough about the important help we have received from the NH Economic Development team and how that assistance is allowing us to move ahead and start this exciting new venture.”  Mr. Tillotson has not been connected with Tillotson Corporation management or operations since he publicly spoke against the sale of the Balsams to Ocean Properties.  He was removed as a director of the company in June.  “I feel bad about many of the decisions that have been made in the last year” he said, “but, in my continuing role as a Trustee of the Neil Tillotson Trust, I remain committed to fulfilling his wishes that the assets of his Trust go to benefit the people and communities of this North Country region.”


The company intends to apply for a community development block grant to assist in the purchase of capital equipment and hopes to begin production this Fall.

Ask CJ – Hiring Seasonal Employees

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Q: “I bought a seasonal business and I have hired employees for the first time.  What are the rules on summer/seasonal employees in regards to paying for overtime hours?”

A: When I was growing up, my dad worked in the sheet metal construction industry.  I became quite familiar with the labor laws as my dad would take advantage of any opportunities to work overtime as it meant he would be earning 1 ½ times his normal hourly wage for any time worked past his contracted 40 hour work week.  That meant a lot to a family with four kids and one wage earner.  He was also eligible for increased pay for working on holidays and took advantage of those occasional requests.  It would not have been the case if he had been working for a seasonal business.

NH Business Resource Center Seacoast Business Specialist Christine Davis

Summer is in full swing and many businesses that sat dormant over those cold winter months are now alive and bustling with activity.  Seasonal businesses include everything from water parks to ice cream stands.  These businesses typically open up around Memorial Day and wrap up around Labor Day.  Seasonal businesses can, however, operate longer than that and abide by a different set of rules in regards to overtime pay.  Any business that fits the criteria of a “seasonal business” as defined by the Department of Labor does not have to pay overtime hours.  Those guidelines found in RSA 279:21 section VIII state:

VIII. Those employees covered by the introductory paragraph of this section, with the following exceptions, shall, in addition to their regular compensation, be paid at the rate of time and one-half for all time worked in excess of 40 hours in any one week:
(a) Any employee employed by an amusement, seasonal, or recreational establishment if:
(1) It does not operate for more than 7 months in any calendar year; or
(2) During the preceding calendar year, its average receipts for any 6 months of such year were not more than 33- 1/3 percent of its average receipts for the other 6 months of such year. In order to meet the requirements of this subparagraph, the establishment in the previous year shall have received at least 75 percent of its income within 6 months. The 6 months, however, need not be 6 consecutive months.

I spent some time digging around the NH Department of Labor’s website, www.labor.state.nh.us, and I was pretty impressed with how easy it was to navigate and find information about this and other labor-related questions.  I decided to refresh my memory about child labor laws as well since many businesses hire younger workers for seasonal businesses and many non-seasonal businesses need to hire additional help for the busy summer months.  I won’t go into the details about the laws that apply during the school year, but as far as summer goes, you can hire youth ages 16 and 17 with written parent or guardian permission.  Youth under age 16 will need a Youth Employment Certificate unless they are working for their parent, grandparents, or guardians or they are employed as farm labor.  I can’t help but laugh when I read that one.  I guess it is assumed that family and farmers won’t take advantage of the kids.  I know I wouldn’t . . .

A youth can also work without a certificate if they are performing “casual labor” which means no more than three calendar days for one employer.  Youth under the age of 16 can work up to 48 hours per week during the summer vacation time period which is defined as June 1st through Labor Day.  It should also be noted that, “No youth shall be employed or permitted to work in any hazardous occupation, except in an apprenticeship, vocational rehabilitation, or training program approved by the commissioner” (RSA 276-A;4).

Owning a seasonal business can be a great opportunity as it fills a need for the community and helps drive revenue.  Like any other business, there are guidelines and rules that need to be followed as a part of running your business.  Take the time to do it right and hopefully you will have a business that becomes an institution in your community.

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 outdoors and discovering news places and activities in the community with her girls.  She can be reached at Christine.davis@dred.state.nh.us.

Ask CJ: Becoming the Master of Disaster (Planning That Is…)

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

NH Business Resource Center Seacoast Business Service Specialist Christine Davis

I decided to shake things up a bit this week and instead of answering reader’s business questions, I have a question for businesses. 

Q: Do you have a plan in place in the event of a crisis or natural disaster?

I was home with my youngest daughter, Emma, a few days back as she had a sore throat.  Since I was going to be in Exeter all day, I decided to be proactive and see if we could get teeth cleaning / checks moved to that day too.  Lucky for me they had some cancellations and the girls and I headed over. 

I like to think I am the type of person who is prepared and stays ahead of the game.  Apparently, I’m not.  I had a strong suspicion that one or two of my fillings were cracked as I had been having some sensitivity for a while and sure enough I was right.  Not only were the fillings cracked, but the teeth they resided in were cracked as well.  My dentist had told me a long time ago that I needed a mouth guard as I grind my teeth at night (stress rears its ugly head in so many different ways).  I didn’t want to believe it was really that big of a deal and so I didn’t take a simple precaution that I now know would have saved me at least $2,000.00.  It was preventable.  

I am sharing this little story about my foolishness because as I was driving back from attending the “When Disaster Strikes-Business Continuity Workshop,” I started thinking about how easy it is to prevent a disaster in both our personal and business lives yet we often take foolish risks and hope for the best.  The session I attended is part of a series of free half-day workshops that go over the steps a business should take now to keep their business up and running in the event of a disaster. 

I admit that I did not have a plan in place when I was running the Women’s Business Center in Portsmouth.  When the water heater let loose one night, we weren’t prepared.  The only reason we didn’t end up in a really bad place was sheer luck.  If it had happened on a Saturday night, we would have had to shut down operations for much longer than I would like to admit.  Counting on luck in your business isn’t a great plan.

Fortunately there is a second workshop that is taking place on Thursday, June 30th in Rochester for anyone who is able to attend.  For those who cannot, I wanted to share some of the resources and tips that I learned today. 

First of all, I quickly learned that “disasters” aren’t limited to floods, ice and tornados.  Interruptions in your supply chain, cyber security breaches and workplace violence are all forms of man-made disasters that affect businesses.

The many different faces of disasters have pretty ugly results as well. It was noted the 40-60% of small businesses do not survive a disaster.  In the past five years, over 1,300 businesses reached out to the NH Division of Economic Development, www.nheconomy.com, in response to disaster related issues.  I wonder how much of that could have been prevented by better planning?

Jeannette McDonald of Cogent Solutions LLC. in Portsmouth, referenced a list of questions that she pulled from a great website, www.ready.gov.  The site is loaded with good simple information that covers business continuity issues.  The following questions and suggestions are a great start to getting your business prepared for any natural or man-made interruption:
1. What are your potential risks?
2. Assess your critical business functions
3. Can you depend on your supply chain?
4. Create an emergency management plan
5. Where is your back-up data stored? 
6. Create a crisis communication plan and include social media
7. Can my business survive for more than a few days?
8. What is my insurance coverage?  Do I have business interruption coverage?
9. Where else can I run my business?
10. Create, communicate, practice, reevaluate again and again

These topics were expanded upon in the discussions throughout the morning event and were touched upon by industry experts from Homeland Security, Fire and EMS, Social Media, Public and Media Relations and the Small Business Administration.  No matter what size your business happens to be, it is so important that you are prepared for any number of disasters.  Investing a few hours of your time to create an emergency management plan could not only save you thousands of dollars but could potentially save your business.

Other online resources include www.preparemybusiness.org, and www.sba.gov.  The next workshop for “When Disaster Strikes” is Thursday June 30, 8:00 am – 12:00 pm in Conference Room 1A at the Rochester Community Center, 150 Wakefield St, Rochester, NH.  There is no charge to attend.   For more information and to register, visit: http://strafford-disaster-eorg.eventbrite.com/  Registration isn’t required to attend.

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 outdoors and discovering news places and activities in the community with her girls.  She can be reached at Christine.davis@dred.state.nh.us.

goQ Named May “Innovation Rocks!” Winner

Friday, May 20th, 2011

In a world where written communication is a key skill in education and business, those who struggle with writing are at a huge disadvantage, whether their struggle is due to disability, attention disorder, or learning or language challenges. Now, thanks to a revolutionary new software from a Dover-based company, virtually anyone can write, edit and proofread with ease.

goqTo recognize this achievement, the New Hampshire Business Resource Center announced today that goQ Software has been named the May “Innovation Rocks!” award winner for their WordQ and SpeakQ software.

Together WordQ and SpeakQ are the first and only computer-based writing tools that integrate word prediction, speech recognition and spoken feedback. Word prediction helps the user find the correct word and its spelling. Speech recognition allows the user to dictate, while spoken feedback provides enables the user to hear and correct what they have written. In fact, WordQ will read virtually any passage of text the user selects, including text from a web page.

The user new to WordQ chooses a vocabulary from a selection intended for different writing and age levels. Then, over time, as he or she uses new words, the program adds them the vocabulary. Users can also create lists of specialized jargon or technical words and add them to the vocabulary.

The two programs are so intuitive that they are being used by a wide spectrum of people, from primary school and college students to CEOs of major corporations; these individuals may have learning disabilities, ADD or ADHD, autism, limited mobility, aphasia or trauma, or English may be their second language. WordQ is available for Windows XP/Vista/7 and Mac OS X, while the SpeakQ plug-in is available exclusively for Windows XP/Vista/7.

“For many people, having difficulty writing creates anxiety, reduces their ability to perform in school or business, and has a profound effect on their lives,” said New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Interim Director Roy Duddy. “This software opens up a whole world of possibilities. As exciting as it is for the parents of a child who can now write, thanks to this assistive technology, it is every bit as important for adults whose difficulties in writing mean they have few employment opportunities. It’s wonderful to see a product that has both a personal and economic impact.”

For more information about goQ Software, visit www.goqsoftware.com.

Ask CJ: Focus Your Marketing Plan on Your Customers

Monday, May 16th, 2011

Q: I am looking at increasing our marketing efforts and need some guidance on where I should invest our marketing dollars. Should I focus on social media?”

A: Marketing is such an important part of the success of a businesses, and it is a topic that is quite expansive. I will try to be brief, but at least touch upon the key elements of a marketing plan that you should be thinking about.

For in-depth free assistance, I would recommend that you spend some time visiting the NH Small Business Development Center at www.nhsbdc.org. It has some great online classes that cover this topic. Your local SCORE counselor, www.scorehelp.org, can also be of assistance.

NH Business Resource Center Seacoast Business Services Specialist Christine Davis

NH Business Resource Center Seacoast Business Services Specialist Christine Davis

There are many ways a business can market itself from traditional print media, to radio, to television, to the increasingly popular social media. There is no one formula that will work for everyone. Just as your business is unique, so should be your marketing plan.

There are a couple of questions you need to ask yourself to help guide your decisions: First, what is my budget? As much as it would be great to have a commercial during the Super Bowl or “American Idol,” you may not have the funds for it. Second, who is your target market? If you can pinpoint your customers and understand what they want, you can begin to create advertising that will resonate with them.

I recently attended an event with the Center for Family Business at the University of New Hampshire. The guest speaker runs a successful gardening center and spent some time talking about his marketing strategy. First he talked about knowing who they were, in other words, branding. What type of product does the company sell? High-quality garden products. Who is the target customer? Women. His next task was to figure out what women want. (Yes, I did laugh out loud when he said that. Good luck, my friend. We don’t even know what we want).

Once these questions were answered, there was another aspect of the company’s marketing plan that I want to share. Are you looking for new customers or are you trying to recapture customers that have drifted for one reason or another? That can affect where you place those well-crafted messages. They didn’t need to persuade gardeners to garden, so instead of placing ads in a gardening magazine, the company’s advertising materials are being placed in other print media that is predominantly read by women, the target market. Again, the answer for you will vary depending on your business, but the questions are pretty universal.

When it comes to content, invest the time to create something memorable. We are inundated with all sorts of media, so an advertisement with impact is critically important. I am amazed when I watch yet another TV commercial that lacks creativity or content. Who is getting paid to write this stuff? I have to admit that there is a TV commercial for toilet paper that I can’t forget as much as I try. One of the lines in the commercial is, “It’s time to get serious about what happens in the bathroom.” As much as that tactic initially horrified me, I must admit that I haven’t forgotten the ad, and I certainly can’t say that about the vast majority of commercials I see on television. You have a very short window of opportunity to make an impression, so don’t waste it.

Like every aspect of your business the marketing plan requires just that, a plan. Throwing out generic ads in every direction at every individual isn’t a good plan. Focusing all of your energy on social media just because the guy next to you is doing it isn’t a good plan, either. A good marketing plan revolves around your customers. Who are they, where are they and what do they want? Answer those questions first and craft a message that speaks to them. Deliver that message frequently via the media that they use. Everyone needs to market their business, and today we have so many options and price points that I just don’t believe someone can say that they can’t afford it. If you lack the big corporate budget, you just need to tap into your creativity. At the very least, get out in your community and get involved. Grassroots networking is still a great way to get your name out there.

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. She lives in Exeter with her two daughters. She likes to spend time outdoors to discover new places and activities in the community with her girls. She can be reached at Christine.davis@dred.state.nh.us.

PoKos Named April “Innovation Rocks!” Award Winner

Monday, April 11th, 2011

Landing that first date with the guy or gal of your dreams is now as simple as the point of a cell phone thanks to a creative New Hampshire innovation. Cheaper than a mixed drink and easier than a pick-up line, this is a social messaging function with the ability to change the way we meet, interact and, more importantly, conduct business.

pokosThe New Hampshire Business Resource Center announced today PoKos Communications Corp. has been named the April “Innovation Rocks!” award winner for their breakthrough “Point-and-Chat” software.

“Point-and-Chat” is the first and only software on the market that enables users to point their phone at any other user in sight and send them a message, without inputting any contact information, checking in, or having social network membership.

Once a recipient has been designated (using the phone’s camera), the “Point-and-Chat” app sends them a message saying that someone would like to speak with them. The person receiving the message can choose to respond, ignore it or even block future contact. 

“What’s even more impressive than some of the social applications are the ways that  businesses can transmit messages at events they’re sponsoring to potential consumers or even reach out to a presenter at a busy conference,” said New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Interim Director Roy Duddy. “Rather than simply using an app to push out a coupon, you can start a meaningful conversation or gauge someone’s interest on a particular topic. Point-and-Chat is an incredibly innovative product.”  

For more information about PoKos Communications Corp., visit www.pokos.biz.  

“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) and the The Pavilion at the Hilton Garden Inn Manchester Downtown to celebrate the creativity and ingenuity of New Hampshire innovators.

Ask CJ – Is “Factoring” Right for Your Business?

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Question: My small business is growing, and I may be seeing a dramatic rise in orders soon, which is great. However, I don’t have the cash available to purchase the materials for large orders. Is “factoring” something I should consider?

Factoring is a special type of financing that can be a good option for the right business in the right circumstances. So, what is that business and what are the circumstances?

NH Business Resource Center Seacoast Business Resource Specialist Christine Davis

NH Business Resource Center Seacoast Business Resource Specialist Christine Davis

First of all, I should give a brief explanation of factoring for those that may not be familiar. Having a master’s degree in French, I decided it would be best that I go to Wikipedia as opposed to relying on my interpretation of this financial tool. “Factoring is a financial transaction whereby a business job sells its accounts receivable (i.e. invoices) to a third party (called a factor) at a discount in exchange for immediate money with which to finance continued business. Factoring differs from a bank loan in three main ways. First, the emphasis is on the value of the receivables (essentially a financial asset), not the firm’s credit worthiness. Secondly, factoring is not a loan — it is the purchase of a financial asset (the receivable). Finally, a bank loan involves two parties whereas factoring involves three.”

Yup, much better explanation than I could have done.

I also reached out to Darlene Friedman, a certified public accountant and owner of The Interface Financial Group, which specializes in factoring (commonly referred to as invoice discounting but not exactly the same thing). Friedman typically works with companies that are growing but don’t meet the requirements for a traditional bank loan or line of credit. The rates vary depending on when the account debtor pays IFG. The invoices her company would buy are strictly commercial, and she recommends that a company looking to sell invoices to generate cash has around a 30 percent margin in order to still retain some profit after paying the fee associated with the factoring service.

Friedman’s clients often sell her their invoices when they need cash for supplies or overhead such as payroll. She doesn’t recommend this type of business financing for someone looking to buy equipment or real estate. A company that is struggling and simply looking for an infusion of cash to keep their doors open is also not a good candidate for this service.

Funding your business at its various stages can be challenging and even a bit scary. Whether you have tapped into your savings, credit cards, family, investors, bank or other business financing institution, you have taken a risk. Taking risks (and by that I mean educated, well-thought out risks) is all part of being an entrepreneur. It may mean you work a heck of a lot more than you thought you would, make less money in the short term and perhaps even lose a few dollars and a few hours of sleep along the way, but it really can be the best decision you ever made.

Whether you have been in business for 20 years or just getting started, we have the resources and the expertise to answer your questions. You can e-mail me at Christine.Davis@dred.state.nh.us. I look forward to hearing from you.

UltraSource Named March “Innovation Rocks!” Award Winner

Friday, March 18th, 2011

In technology-based markets, time isn’t just money; it’s the enemy. The speed with which a product gets to market can significantly impact its long-term profitability and viability, especially when you’re talking about next-gen commercial wireless, fiber optic telecommunications and military radio frequency/microwave products. The faster a company can develop the needed components—such as the microchips that are an integral part of these products—the sooner the product can reach the market.

ultrasourceRecognizing that fact, the New Hampshire Business Resource Center has recognized Hollis-based UltraSource with its “Innovation Rocks!” award for the month of March.
Thanks to UltraSource’s innovative new UltraFAST program, no longer will companies have to wait weeks for critical prototypes of ceramic microchips. With UltraFAST, companies can receive prototype microchips in as four to seven days. The process not only cuts a product’s time to market; since the client company can rapidly move from initial prototype to finished design, the long-term repeatability and integrity of the designs is ensured.

UltraSource has devoted an entire team to the creation to the task of creating and implementing this streamlined manufacturing approach. A merchant fabricator, UltraSource makes chips for use in high tech electronic and optical applications including military communications, fiber optic transmission, infrared detection, automotive radar, and specialty medical devices. The company has been so successful at creating prototypes that it is often awarded the contract to manufacture the finished design.

“UltraFAST shows how a 20-year-old company examined its process and came up with a whole new way of doing business that meets the needs of its market,” said New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Interim Director Roy Duddy. “As a result, UltraSource is aggressively seeking new employees so that it can expand to meet the needs of its clients. That’s good new for UltraSource and for New Hampshire.”

For more information about UltraSource, visit www.ultrasource.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) and the The Pavilion at the Hilton Garden Inn Manchester Downtown to celebrate the creativity and ingenuity of New Hampshire innovators.