Business

 

Brookstone, the ubiquitous seller of cool but largely unneeded things, is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection again and closing the 100 stores that remain in malls.

Malls have suffered for years due to far-reaching shifts in the way that Americans shop for just about everything, which has diminished foot traffic at Brookstone. On Thursday, CEO Piau Phang Foo called the situation in malls "extremely challenging," and thanked employees who had staffed stores in those locations.

Brookstone will focus solely on its airport locations and online sales.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

State lawmakers failed to pass a bill Wednesday that backers say would have protected New Hampshire businesses from having to collect sales taxes on behalf of other states.

The outcome, during a special session of the Legislature, was a surprising turn given that leadership in both parties and Governor Chris Sununu backed the broader bill.

Via Wikimedia Commons

A Plaistow-based construction company has won a $13-million contract for work at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

Methuen Construction is the winner of a competitive bidding process to upgrade and repair pumping facilities at the Shipyard. The federal contract was announced by the U.S. Navy and hailed by Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan as a win for Granite State business.

Tamworth Distillery

 

Beaver-flavored whiskey, anyone?

A New Hampshire distillery has a new bourbon, Eau De Musc, flavored partly by the secretion from a beaver's castor sacs.

Tamworth Distilling says the secretion, called castoreum, has a history of being used as a flavoring and is on a small list of FDA ingredients called "generally recognized as safe."

The distillery says on its website castoreum "exhibits bright and fruit qualities (raspberry) and rich leathery notes along with creamy vanilla aroma," common among barrel-aged spirits.

 

A New Hampshire candle company is hiring 400 people over the next two months in preparation for a busier holiday season this year.

Alene Candles, located in Milford, is one of the state's largest seasonal employers. It is looking to triple its capacity and production during the summer months, to prepare for an influx of holiday orders.

The candle manufacturer, founded in 1995, produced more than 40 million candles between the months of July and December of last year. It also has facilities in Ohio.

Robert Garrova for NHPR

The non-profit Regional Economic Development Center is launching a program that will provide business loans to first-generation immigrants in New Hampshire. Called the New Hampshire New Americans Loan Fund, it will offer micro-loans capped at $50,000, with interest rates starting at seven percent.

The Fund has its roots in a program developed for new residents in the City of Concord, says REDC President Laurel Adams.

C-SPAN Screenshot

Many seasonal businesses in New Hampshire take advantage of temporary worker visas to fill open jobs. But as the summer tourism season approaches, employers say they're still understaffed.

Russ Hart owns Hart’s Turkey Farm restaurant in Meredith. He's requested 18 temporary H-2B visas for the busy season but so far only has eight.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

The United States Supreme Court will hear arguments Tuesday in a case with huge potential impact on New Hampshire businesses, as well as anyone who shops online.

The case essentially pits the 45 states that impose a sales tax against the handful that don’t, including the Granite State.

Ian Lamont

We look at two economic forces that directly impact each other: international trade and the stock market. What do trade announcements from Washington mean for New Hampshire, and how does a fluctuating stock market impact our economy? We'll also look at a big employer for Granite Staters: foreign companies.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

For the latest in our series Only in New Hampshire, in which we answer listener questions about the Granite State, we looked into this question, submitted by Amanda:

What percentage of New Hampshire businesses are cooperatives?

But before we dig into the numbers, we needed a clear answer on what exactly a cooperative is.

Courtesy Smuttynose Brewing Company

Smuttynose Brewing Company will be sold at auction Friday afternoon in Hampton.

The iconic New Hampshire craft brewer announced in January that it could no longer pay its bills and needed new ownership to survive.

Some malls are struggling to survive, along with their "anchor" department stores. But Americans still want to shop: they're just doing it differently: on-line, downtown, certain big-box stores, outlet centers, and mixed-use developments.  We examine these retails trends here in New Hampshire.

Julian- / Flickr Creative Commons

Some New Hampshire business owners say the Trump administration's new tax on imported solar panels will slow the growth of residential solar use in the Granite State.

The tariff starts at 30 percent and drops 5 percent in each of the next three years. It's not as severe as Trump could have imposed, and it’s meant to boost the American solar manufacturing industry.

Kandy Jaxx / Flickr

The state’s unemployment rate dipped to 2.6% in December, down a tenth of a point from the previous month.

New numbers from New Hampshire Employment Security show that the state shed nearly 2,000 jobs during December, but that was offset by a larger decline in the overall labor force.

The largest private sector  job losses were in retail trade, construction, as well as leisure and hospitality. Public sector employment decreased by 900 jobs during the month.

N.H. Businesses Step Up to Help Tackle State's Drug Crisis

Nov 16, 2017
Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Addressing the state’s drug crisis has been an all hands on deck approach from the medical community, law enforcement to social workers.

But advocates are saying one missing player in all this – has been employers. And how they can be a part of the solution. Whether that’s offering jobs to those in recovery or simply changing how addiction is addressed and talked about at work.

Gov. Chris Sununu is continuing to beat the drum for Amazon’s attention — in media interviews, at least — as the online shopping giant scouts out a second location for its headquarters.

 

The University of New Hampshire has been awarded a grant to support low-income students who pursue degrees in so-called STEM fields.

The school is receiving $300,000 from the National Science Foundation. The money will pay for mentoring programs, as well as on-the-job training for students majoring in science, technology, and math.

  

Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter announced the funding, saying it will help address the state’s growing need for advanced manufacturing workers. 

  

Casey McDermott, NHPR

A medical device company setting up shop on the Seacoast is the latest business Gov. Chris Sununu is pointing to as a success story from his effort to promote the state to “100 Businesses in 100 Days” earlier this year.

Word of Mouth Presents: Masters of Scale

Aug 15, 2017

Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman explores theories about scale that are bold, new and sometimes contrarian. It’s a series that easily jumps fields, connecting the dots between seemingly disparate stories, all with the aim of illuminating big concepts and simple hacks that can change everything. Much more than an interview program, Masters of Scale is a genre-defining series on how to think boldly and differently about the world.

Source: BIA Report on Consumer Confidence

New Hampshire residents continue to forecast good times ahead for the state's economy. 

DTLAexplorer

The New Hampshire job market is expected to keep growing at a modest clip, according to projections released by the New Hampshire Employment Security agency. 

In the next two years, the agency predicts the service industry, healthcare, and administrative jobs will account for much of the growth.

Liz West/Creative Commons

BAO Inc., a twenty-year old sales and marketing company that works with firms in the tech industry, announced plans this week to open a new office in the Manchester Millyard.

Cori Princell / NHPR

A company in Quebec announced Friday it’s opening up new operations in Berlin. Deflex produces fiberglass parts for Volvo buses and waterslides. The family-owned company says they’ve been looking for a way to make their products in America for American clients, and that they’ve been talking with New Hampshire officials about the move for over a year. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu says he’s more than made good on a key campaign promise: That he’d personally meet with 100 out-of-state businesses in 100 days.

“We spoke to businesses all over the world, I believe the number is 127, businesses in the first 100 days, so we met our goal quite exceedingly, and we still have quite a backlog.”

Lewis Hine, via Wikimedia Commons

A century ago, Manchester, New Hampshire was known for just one thing: the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company.

“Amoskeag at one time, at its peak, around World War I, was more than 17,000 employees,” says John Clayton, executive director of the Manchester Historic Association and a longtime New Hampshire journalist.

  “So if you consider the scale of the city, at least half of the people who lived in this community worked for Amoskeag.”

UNH Survey Center

Republicans pleased with the 2016 election results are pushing consumer confidence in New Hampshire to a 15-year high.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

The New Hampshire Senate has narrowly approved a bill to limit the power of unions to charge non-members for representation.

Related: Click here to see a New Hampshire Right-to-Work explainer 

 

The debate of right-to-work was a essentials a formality in the GOP-controlled senate, but lawmakers still took two hours to air long-familiar arguments about what the law would mean for NH.

 

Current Population Survey, © 2016 by Barry T. Hirsch and David A. Macpherson

New Hampshire lawmakers are again debating Right-to-Work laws, with bills currently moving through both the House and Senate. With Republican majorities in both chambers, and a newly-elected governor who favors Right-to-Work, the policy stands its best chance of passing in more than a decade.

But Right-to-Work isn’t exactly a kitchen-table kind of issue. If you aren’t in a union, or a large business owner, you may not know much about its history, what Right-to-Work does, or why it matters.

Fairpoint Communications To Be Sold

Dec 5, 2016
Ibew Fairpoint via Flickr CC

Fairpoint Communications, the largest telephone provider in Northern New England, is being sold. Illinois-based Consolidated Communications says it is buying Fairpoint for 1.5 billion dollars, marking a new chapter in the Fairpoint story, which has been marked by consumer complaints, union unrest and bankruptcy.

Last year, Fairpoint workers ended a year-long strike with a new contract that included worker concessions on health care and retirement benefits.

Websites Restored After Cyber-attack On Dyn

Oct 21, 2016
Emily Corwin / NHPR

The New Hampshire internet company, Dyn, has restored services after a cyber-attack Friday morning.

The Manchester-based company provides internet infrastructure services to major internet companies including Twitter, Etsy, and CNBC.

Dyn says it began investigating the attack early Friday morning as it began to affect websites on the East coast.  Reportedly, Dyn customers including Twitter, Spotify, and Reddit were shut down or performing poorly.

By 10:30 this morning, Dyn said its services had been restored. 

Pages