Business and Economy

Business and Economy
4:38 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

N.H. Unemployment Rates Decrease

Numbers from the state show that unemployment in New Hampshire have fallen to 5.3 percent.

In the past, rates dropped because people seeking work stopped applying for jobs.

But this time, economist Annette Nielsen of the NH Employment Security says there has been job growth.

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Business and Economy
5:31 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

PSNH Asks Regulators For Lower Rate

Public Service of New Hampshire is asking regulators if it can lower its rates by nearly 10 percent, or .92 (point-nine-two) cents per kilowatt hour. The rate reduction comes as the state’s largest utility is increasingly under scrutiny for its high rates.

If regulators approve the reduction, PSNH customers will pay 8.62 cents per kilowatt hour. That rate is still more than PSNH’s biggest competitors, two of which offer six month fixed contracts at under 8 cents a kilowatt hour. However, the more competitive price could take some pressure off the utility.

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Business and Economy
2:14 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Ski Industry Bounces Back In Big Way After Down Season

Credit Bretton Woods

New Hampshire’s ski industry rebounded in a big way this past winter.

There was a 21 percent increase in downhill skier and snowboarder visits compared to the previous season.

New Hampshire ski resorts logged 2.3 million visits from downhill skiers and snowboarders during this past season.

That was markedly better than last year, and a 5 percent increase over the ten-year average.

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Business and Economy
6:55 pm
Sat June 8, 2013

PUC Report: Current Electric Market Conditions "Unsustainable" for PSNH

PSNH's rates have trended above the market rate since mid 2009, with a notable spike this year. This has spurred exponential growth in the number of competitors entering the residential market to court rate-payers away from the last N.H. utility to own power plants.
Credit NH Public Utilities Commission

Staff for the agency that regulate electric utilities have released a strongly worded investigation into the effects of cheap natural gas on Public Service of New Hampshire’s electric rates. The report on market conditions suggests the current situation is unsustainable.

The Public Utilities Commission’s report offers several alternatives to the status quo, including PSNH selling all or some of its power plants, or retiring some of them.

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Business and Economy
5:01 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

New Hampshire Will Lag Neighbors In Job Growth And Housing Prices

New Hampshire likely won't recover all of the jobs it lost in the great recession until 2014. But Massachusetts has already made a full recovery. New Hampshire's Center for Public Policy Studies will present its biannual economic forecast Thursday at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.  

NHCCPS Economist Dennis Delay describes the New Hampshire forecast as landing somewhere between guardedly positive, and downright disappointing. 

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Business and Economy
1:16 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

House Passes 'Auto Dealers' Bill Of Rights'

In a floor vote Wednesday, the New Hampshire House passed a bill known around the state house as the “auto-dealers bill of rights.”

The bill puts limits on the demands vehicle manufacturers can make on dealers – ranging from compensation rates for parts to frequency of facility upgrades.

Democratic Representative Ed Butler of Carroll urged his colleagues to vote for the legislation.

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Business and Economy
7:04 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Gov. Hassan Kicks Off Manchester Small Business Week

Governor Maggie Hassan will be in Manchester this afternoon to kick off small business week in Manchester.

She will speak at an event at noon at the Derryfield Country Club.

The event also includes a panel discussion featuring local business leaders.

The third annual Manchester Small Business Week is sponsored by the city’s economic development office.

It features a series of programs and events meant to ensure small business owners have the resources and information they need.

Business and Economy
6:59 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Survey: Perception Of New Hampshire Economy Unchanged In 2013

After an improvement from 2011 to 2012, the perception of the New Hampshire economy has remained relatively unchanged over the past year.

That’s according to the latest Business and Industry Association Report on Consumer Confidence, conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center.

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Business and Economy
10:34 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Millennium Gaming Unveils New Plan For Rockingham Park

Millennium Gaming co-CEO Bill Wortman explains the company's updated plan for Rockingham Park.
Credit Amanda Loder

After first proposing a $450 million dollar casino at Rockingham Park, Millennium Gaming is now proposing a complex costing, in their words, “north of $600 million.”  The redesigned project was unveiled at a Town Hall meeting last night in Salem.

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Business and Economy
4:26 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Pennsylvanians Tout Casino Benefits To N.H. Lawmakers

Larry Maggi makes the case for a casino to lawmakers at a lunchtime presentation at the Holiday Inn in downtown Concord
Credit Amanda Loder / NHPR

Millennium Gaming brought leaders from Washington County, Pennsylvania to Concord to tout the benefits of a casino to lawmakers at a lunch meeting today.  Millennium runs The Meadows casino and racetrack in Washington.  If New Hampshire allows a casino at Rockingham Park, Millennium would develop it. 

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Business and Economy
6:04 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

Sturm, Ruger Announces Plans To Expand Out-Of-State

Credit Amanda Loder / NHPR

It’s been a busy few years for Sturm, Ruger…so much so, the company is looking to start another factory out-of-state. 

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Business and Economy
3:07 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Broadcast TV On Digital Devices Comes To N.H. Counties

Beginning next month, New Hampshire residents will be able to watch broadcast television on their digital devices, thanks to a controversial new service called Aereo, which is now expanding to Boston and beyond. 

A subscription costs a dollar a day, or 8 dollars per month, and will be available in Belknap, Cheshire, Hillsborough, Merrimack, Rockingham and Strafford counties beginning May 15th. Those who have not subscribed already can do so beginning May 30th.

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Business and Economy
2:31 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Three N.H. Tech Companies Receive Granite Fund Venture Capital

Funders and recipients gathered with Governor Hassan at the State House.
Credit Emily Corwin / NHPR

  Three New Hampshire companies are receiving capital from a New-Hampshire centered venture fund backed by the state and managed by Borealis Ventures.  Get the backstory on the Granite Fund at StateImpact New Hampshire.

 The funds are going to Mosaic Archives, a cloud-based photo storage startup in Manchester;  Dyn – the fast-growing internet infrastructure company; and Avitide, a Lebanon-based bio-pharmaceutical company.

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Business and Economy
5:26 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Sequestration Hits Long-Term Unemployed In NH

The automatic federal budget cuts known as “Sequestration” will soon hit the long-term unemployed in New Hampshire.  People who remain jobless for more than 26 weeks are eligible for federally-funded emergency unemployment benefits. 

And those benefits will soon be cut.

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Business and Economy
11:41 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Economic Tensions Fuel Disagreement Between Car Makers and Dealers

Scott and Paul Holloway at Holloway Buick and GMC dealership in Portsmouth
Emily Corwin NHPR

As competition in the auto industry heats up, car makers are tightening their image and branding campaigns. But car dealers -- who feel financially vulnerable despite soaring profits -- say manufacturers are expecting them to pay too much of the price.

In New Hampshire, dealer organizations are behind a bill that would protect them from what they see as exploitation by manufacturers. Manufacturers argue that government shouldn't interfere with their private business contracts. The bill won near-unanimous support in the Senate, and is now being considered by the House.  

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Business and Economy
4:27 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

State Unemployment Rate Decreases Slightly

The unemployment rate in New Hampshire went down slightly last month, according to a preliminary report from the state.

The state's unemployment rate for March decreased to 5.7 percent last month from February’s 5.8 percent, according to economist Annette Nielsen at NH Employment Security:

It’s been pretty stable over the last few months so just a little in the right direction – is good!

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Business and Economy
2:01 pm
Sun April 14, 2013

High Demand Drives Up Prices At Concord Gun Show

Emily Corwin NHPR

About 300 vendors are selling firearms at the Concord Gun Show this weekend. NHPR’s Emily Corwin was there.

The parking lot of the Everett Ice Arena is packed with cars, as a steady stream of gun enthusiasts line up for this weekend’s Concord Gun Show.   According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation pending legislation is fueling consumer demand for firearms and ammunition.

At the gun show, buyers say they see that reflected in high prices, especially for ammunition.  

And, attendees say turnout is high:

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Business and Economy
3:29 pm
Sun April 7, 2013

145 Businesses Pitch Their Products At Made In N.H. Expo

The Skinny Towel & Washcloth Company's owners, husband and wife team Michelle and Marty O'Donnell, dressed as their company mascot.
Emily Corwin NHPR

More than 10,000 people filed into the Manchester Radisson’s Expo Center this weekend to taste test, try on, and purchase products made by 145 New Hampshire companies. 

Stretch’s Pickles of Keene was one of those businesses.

Owners Glenna and Craig Hjelm say both Craig’s parents and their kids pitch in to make the business thrive:

It’s all in the family, our website was created by one of our sons, they all help out at the farmers markets, boxing pickles, picking cucumbers, everything.

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Business and Economy
7:30 am
Fri March 29, 2013

N.H. Entrepreneurs Launch Social Network For The Prayerful

Jamie Coughlin co-founded PlusGrace with his brother, Adam. He also runs the abi Innovation Hub in downtown Manchester.
Credit Amanda Loder / NHPR

Billions of Christians around the world are in the midst of Holy Week observances in the run-up to Easter.  Many of these rituals have been in place for centuries. 

But how does an ancient faith adapt to the age of the internet, social networks, and smartphones? 

So far, the answer is “slowly.” 

But a pair of New Hampshire entrepreneurs hope they can speed up the process. 

It’s fitting that the idea for a prayer-based social network came to Jamie Coughlin and his brother Adam while they were parked on a pew at Mass.

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Business and Economy
3:17 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Granite Staters Commute Longer Than Most, Paying Quarter Billion In Income Taxes To Massachusetts

Most common commutes to Boston from New Hampshire towns. Data from Census Bureau's American Community Survey.
Sara Plourde

At 6:15 every morning, Christine Suchecki leaves her house in Windham, NH, and spends the next hour and twenty minutes driving almost 40 miles to her job as a nurse in Boston. Her husband drives in a similar direction, to Waltham, MA. “We just look at it as either you’re going to pay financially in your proximity to the city, or with time in your commute,” Suchecki says.

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Eco Business
7:30 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Green Business Initiative Sees Rewards, But Faces Challenges

EnerTrac founder and CEO Steve Owens holds customer meters his GLP company will design special monitors for.
Credit Amanda Loder / NHPR

A taxpayer-funded eco-business program is paying off for New Hampshire.  The Green Launching Pad at the University of New Hampshire has given grants to more than a dozen start-ups in the state.  But it hasn’t awarded any new funds since last year.

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Business and Economy
5:00 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

The Power New England, Resident Power Situation Explained

Cheap natural gas prices have led to a boom in the construction of gas generating power plants. That combined with market deregulation in New England have set the stage for some tumultuous times in the New England electricity market for years to come.
Credit Duke Energy / Flickr Creative Commons

Many Granite State electric customers are scratching their heads after an electricity supplier, Power New England, was abruptly kicked out of the market two weeks ago. Customers of Power New England and its sister company, Resident Power, have had to try to sort out what's going on from media reports where utilities and power suppliers are slinging accusations back forth indiscriminately.

So here’s a breakdown of what has happened to date.

Who are Resident Power and Power New England?

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Business and Economy
5:19 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Casino Could Bring N.H. More Social Costs Than Revenue, New Report Finds

Low stakes charitable gaming is popular at Rockingham Park, in Salem.
Credit Emily Corwin / NHPR

  Our reporters at StateImpact NH have the latest on a study from the Center for Public Policy Studies that finds a casino in New Hampshire may be a wash -- when it comes to balancing tax revenue with social costs. 

For background information on all three casino bills proposed this session, read up here.

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Business and Economy
3:20 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

How New Hampshire Is Helping Nanobreweries Revolutionize Craft Beer

Throwback Brewery in North Hampton is a tap room at the front and a nanobrewery in back.
Credit Emily Corwin / NHPR

Read, listen and view a slideshow about New Hampshire's nanobrewery laws and Throwback Brewery at StateImpact New Hampshire

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Business and Economy
2:18 pm
Tue January 1, 2013

New "User Friendly" L.L.C. Act Goes Into Effect New Years Day

About 120,000 Granite Staters -- almost 10 percent of the state’s population -- are members of an LLC, or Limited Liability Corporation.  But too many LLCs fail because of internal disputes, says John Cunningham, a Concord lawyer and expert on LLCs.  On January 1, a revised LLC act that was signed by Governor Lynch in June will go into effect.  Cunningham -- who was the principle author of the original LLC law and chaired the committee that wrote the new act -- says the new law sets out to reduce disputes between LLC members by clarifying their responsibilities. He gives this example:

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Business and Economy
5:36 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

N.H. Business Leaders Talk Recruitment At Economic Development Summit

Jamie Coughlin and Patrick Clark discuss recruitment strategies.
Credit Emily Corwin / NHPR

Just as New Hampshire’s baby boomers are aging out of the workforce, the state’s used-to-be steady stream of educated newcomers just aren’t moving here at the same rates. This collision of factors strains state’s economy. That’s why – at the Division of Economic Development’s annual meeting – business and employee recruitment was a major topic of discussion.

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Business and Economy
4:54 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Should Farmers Tweet? Program Helps Farmers Market Their Business

Holly Gowdy
Credit Melanie Plenda

It used to be all farmers needed was some land, some seed, a little luck and a lot of hard work to be successful. Today's farmer needs all of that plus social media skills, marketing savvy and a business plan.

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Business and Economy
1:44 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Bipartisan Grassroots 'Fix The Debt' Campaign Launches In New Hampshire

Former Ambassador and Congressman Dick Swett, and New Hampshire Senator Lou D'Allesandro speak with CEO Dawn Wivell about the Fix The Debt campaign at the Legislative Office Building in Concord
Emily Corwin NHPR

If Congress cannot agree on a deficit reduction deal by January, a series of automatic tax increases and spending cuts known as the “fiscal cliff” will kick in. Today, a national bipartisan has launched in New Hampshire to make sure that doesn’t happen.

After a bipartisan debt-reduction plan commissioned by President Obama failed to gain support in Congress, its authors – Republican former Senator Alan Simpson and Democrat Erskine Bowles – went grassroots. They started the Fix The Debt Campaign -- a national group with state chapters.

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Business and Economy
5:49 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Starting A Business: The New Retirement?

Joyce Goodwin, Granite Start Early Education Center, Nashua

More aging adults are stepping out on a limb and starting their own businesses, says a report from the Kauffman Foundation. In New Hampshire, the Small Business Association and AARP are working together to make sure these so-called “encore entrepreneurs” have the tools they need.

The recession had hit by the time Joyce Goodwin finished her temporary position as director of a school in Hudson. She was 54, and couldn’t find another job.  

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StateImpact NH
12:02 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Living Above The Past: Museum Opens Up To Tenants

As a living history museum, Strawbery Banke allows visitors to tour historic buildings constructed between 1695 and 1954.
Amanda Loder for NPR

Originally published on Sun August 19, 2012 6:20 pm

All it takes to enter a time warp in New Hampshire is $15 and a summer afternoon. Spanning more than 250 years of American history, Strawbery Banke is the oldest neighborhood in the state's oldest city, Portsmouth.

It's kind of like Virginia's Colonial Williamsburg — lite. Stationed inside many of the 37 homes are re-enactors in different period garb. Inside a hulking white house, it's 1872.

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