economic development

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.

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.