economic development

  New Hampshire is set to receive about $3 million in federal funding to jumpstart economic development and infrastructure projects.

 

This week the state's congressional delegation announced that the Northern Border Regional Commission grants have been awarded for 2018.

The money will go toward—among other projects—the expansion of an industrial park in Littleton, a food store that supports local farms in Lancaster, and to help bring a 3-mile fiber optic network to the town of Bristol.

Alan L. MacRae

Last week, The Exchange went to the historic Belknap Mill in Laconia to talk to a live audience about what it takes to make New Hampshire's old buildings relevant and useful for today.   

Robert Garrova for NHPR

Just off busy Main street in Conway Village, George Wiese gives a tour of the inside what’s known as the Bolduc Block in the center of town.

Constructed in 1931 by local businessman Leon Bolduc, this batch of brick buildings has housed a department and grocery store, the post office and many other businesses over the years. And at the heart of the block, a theater: The Majestic.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Lakes Region residents got their first look Wednesday night at possible future plans for the former Laconia State School.

The scenic, state-owned property was a state prison, and before that, a residential facility for people with developmental disabilities. 

NH Department of Transportation

Lakes Region residents can hear more Wednesday night about plans to redevelop the site of a former state prison in Laconia.

The Lakes Region facility was a minimum-security prison from 1991 to 2009.

For nearly 100 years before that, it was the Laconia State School – a residential facility for people with developmental disabilities. It had a documented history of abuse, neglect and overcrowding.

Now, state and local officials have to decide what to do with the scenic, 200-acre property long-term.

A New Hampshire nonprofit is going to announce a new economic program for first-generation immigrants to encourage business development and job creation.

The Regional Economic Development Center is talking about the program Friday in Manchester. The center serves communities in Rockingham and Hillsborough counties. It offers technical assistance, funding, and business and development training.

State Division of Economic Development Director Will Arvelo, Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig and a program participant will be among the speakers at the event.

via woodmontcommonsnh.com

Nearly 300 years since its founding, the town of Londonderry is about the get something it’s never had before.

Private developers are looking to reshape a pocket of town with new shops, housing and the promise of walkability: in short, a classic New England Main Street conjured up from scratch.


Northern Border Regional Commission

New Hampshire’s northern counties have been awarded $2.2 million for local economic development projects by the Northern Border Regional Commission

Governor Chris Sununu is nominating Taylor Caswell to be New Hampshire's first Commissioner of Business and Economic Affairs. The position was created in the new state budget.

Governor Sununu proposed the new commissioner-level job, to oversee what he says will be a revamp of state economic development efforts, and lawmakers bought into it from the start.In Taylor Caswell, Sununu is nominating someone with background in business development and as a bureaucrat.

Michael Brindley

The state’s outgoing Director of Economic Development Carmen Lorentz sat down with NHPR's Morning Edition to reflect on her time on the job, and what needs to happen to improve the state's economy.

Lorentz isn't going far: she's the new Executive Director of the Laconia Area Community Land Trust.

Flickr/Wistech Colleges

A $340,000 program opens Friday in the North Country to introduce high school students and adults to a job they probably never knew existed: computer-controlled machining.

“There’s a dire need of CNC operators above the notch,” says Mike Currier, the manager of the Rotobec plant in Littleton. Its products include machinery for the forestry industry.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

Town meetings are being held throughout the state and this year the most important – and unusual - in the North Country is in Groveton.

Saturday, Groveton taxpayers will decide whether to spend money to help provide sewage and water for a privately owned industrial development in the hope of bringing jobs to the hard-luck town.

“This is probably the best chance the town’s got to get something going,” says Selectman Jim Tierney, Jr.

Another Look at Commuter Rail in N.H.

Mar 8, 2016
lzcdome / Flickr/CC

For years, advocates of commuter rail have pushed the idea of a passenger train connecting Boston with at Nashua and Manchester, and even possibly Concord. But commuter rail has always bumped up against one huge, seemingly immovable object:  money.  It's not cheap to build such a system,  roughly two-hundred-million dollars - and so the argument has long been that it's just not worth it, given all the other priorities New Hampshire has, including roads and bridges that need repair.  However, this year, supporters are continuing their efforts, bolstered by rising business backing in the Southern Tier.  And just recently,  they urged a House Committee to keep four million dollars in the state's transportation plan to fund rail study and planning. 

Sheryl Rich-Kern for NHPR

In Nashua, construction workers are completing the nearly two-mile Broad Street Parkway, which connects the F.E. Everett Turnpike at exit 6 to Nashua’s Millyard district.

City officials are touting its potential to develop riverfront property, and breathe new life to Nashua’s downtown. All of this comes at a time when vacant storefronts dot Nashua’s Main Street and a coveted anchor store announced it was leaving by next year.


$750,000 In Grants: Help For Micro Businesses

May 14, 2015
Chris Jensen for NHPR

  Grants totaling about $750,000 to help small businesses in most of the state have been approved by the New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority.

The money will go to seven economic development organizations.

It will be used to help micro-businesses get the technical assistance they need to either start or grow.

Typically a micro business has no more than five employees.

The businesses must have low or moderate-income owners.

Garnet Hill, the nationally known clothing and bedding retailer in Franconia, is moving about one fifth of its 200 jobs to Exeter. That distresses some in the North Country, but Garnet Hill’s president said it is part of a long-term strategy to increase business.

“We are a business that is very different from what we were five, six, seven years ago in the sense that over half of our business is done in women’s fashion apparel and 84 percent of our business is done online,” said Claire Spofford, who took over as president about a year ago.

The New Hampshire town of Littleton is getting $250,000 to support a revitalization project on Main Street.

Littleton is planning to construct a multi-use bridge over the Ammonoosuc River pedestrians, bicycles and off-road vehicles.

The grant is from the Northern Border Regional Commission, which helps economic development in the North Country.

Gov. Maggie Hassan is touring the project after addressing the Littleton Economic Development Summit on Monday.

Amid Criticism, Hassan Defends Overseas Trade Mission

Jun 3, 2014

Gov. Maggie Hassan's office said canceling a planned trade mission to Turkey would cost taxpayers $10,000 and the private businesses that will accompany the governor would lose thousands more.

In a written response to a public-records request by the conservative nonprofit Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire, Hassan's chief of staff Pamela Walsh said "non-refundable travel arrangements" had already been paid for when the governor announced a freeze on hiring and out-of-state travel.

If Maine entrepreneur Les Otten can expand the ski area of the closed Balsams resort he says it would create about 1,000 full or part-time jobs.

That’s something the region desperately needs. But it isn’t clear whether Otten has the money or can work through a regulatory tangle including safety issues.

The issue is being raised after Otten said he would like to work with Dan Hebert and Dan Dagesse, the owners of the closed resort.

One issue is a safety concern. Can the huge blades on the 410-foot tall turbines throw chunks of ice far enough to endanger skiers?

Codet Incorporated, a Canadian firm, is expanding its Colebrook plant including hiring 25 new employees.

“They plan to almost double the size of their operation,” said Michael Bergeron, an official with the state’s Department of Resources and Economic Development.

Currently the firm has 28 employees.

Codet also plans to roughly double the size of its building, which is almost 12,000 square feet.

The amount of the investment wasn’t available.

The expansion is expected to be complete by the end of the year.

North Country economic development officials are crossing their fingers and waiting to hear later this summer whether the federal government will provide money to upgrade a section of rail line through Coos County.

NHPR’s Chris Jensen reports.

For years one of the problems with economic development in the North Country has been getting stuff in and getting stuff out.

Concord Approves Downtown Overhaul

Jun 7, 2013

The Concord City Council has approved a dramatic Main Street overhaul.  Under the plan, Main Street will be converted from four lanes to a modified three-lane set-up.  New lighting, wider sidewalks, more benches, and bike racks are also part of the plan.  

A big concern for merchants is the loss of downtown parking.  Developer and advisory committee member Steve Duprey says in the end, the city is only losing five parking spaces.  And the benefits outweigh the risks. 

Courtesy of Neal Laurenza

New Hampshire is producing young programmers and designers looking to start their own video game business. And the trick is getting them to stay in the state…


We sit down with George Bald, outgoing Commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development.  Bald announced he’ll retire in November after serving nearly thirteen years as chief advocate for the state’s economy, promoting business development and overseeing travel and tourism, including the state park system. We’ll talk with him about his tenure.