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NH Division of Economic Development

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NH Division of Economic Development Highlights Benefits of Partnership with Regional Economic Development Councils

Economic development agencies are often deeply involved in the process of helping a business relocate, reincorporate, or redomesticate from one state to another. While state-level NH Division of Economic Development tends to be more prominent, the Division often partners with regional-level agencies, which serve as key collaborators in the business assistance process. With this news release, the Division intends to raise the level of awareness of these regional groups.

Concord, NH, May 15, 2011 --( Wherever your business relocation desires take you in New Hampshire, there’s a regional economic development council to help shovel a path to success.

Supplemental to the wealth of services provided through the NH Division of Economic Development, 10 regional economic development councils across the state provide an array of business services – and localized expertise – within each respective region.

The NH Division of Economic Development's business recruiting team, calls these agencies "vital connectors," and is taking steps to highlight the ways in which they assist the state with attracting businesses from insurance, financial services, and other industries.

“The councils add a local dimension to what the state’s trying to do,” said Michael Bergeron, business development manager with the Division of Economic Development.

The 10 regional economic development organizations form the NH Alliance of Regional Development Corporations, a consortium established to “support, enhance and promote economic development efforts specific to the individual needs of the various regions throughout New Hampshire,” according to the Alliance.

Alliance members provide access to state and federal loan funding sources such as the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for Economic Development, and the NH Business Finance Authority Indirect Loan Program. Councils themselves offer an independent Revolving Loan Fund and programs that provide business expertise and guidance. Whether the business is a start up or an established leader looking to add jobs, these funds can help with costs, relocation, job retention, facility expansion and renovation projects.

Often, the councils work closely with the state’s Business Development office to lure businesses to New Hampshire, and vice versa.

“They understand the influences in their regional marketplaces and help us connect with the right people. They serve as ambassadors to their regions,” said Bergeron, noting that regional council members often participate jointly with the state-level office in presentations.

“First impressions are really important,” he said. Businesses can tap into the regional councils’ diverse network for connections to local banks and funding programs and other businesses.

Laurel Bistany, the President of the NH Alliance of Regional Development Corporations, also heads up the Regional Economic Development Center in New Hampshire’s Seacoast. Formerly named the Rockingham Economic Development Corp., the Exeter-based office now serves some towns in Strafford County as well.

Bistany points to the symbiotic relationship with the Division of Economic Development. “We have a good relationship with them. They participate in our meetings, and they in turn reach out directly to the alliances and regional councils when there is a particular company looking to come into that area,” she said. “They’re good at bringing us to the table,” she added, “and we’ll do the same thing.”

Bergeron noted some of the most successful business leads have originated from the leaders of the economic councils. Bistany noted the Alliance offers strength in numbers – and flexible financing options, too.

“I believe the fact that the Alliance covers every city and town in the state is powerful. If you’re a business, there’s always somewhere to turn to, and there are alternatives to lending to turn to. The councils can always do something practical whether you’re a struggling or growing business,” she said. “Our group allows us to communicate with each other and partner if necessary.”

Another unique feature of these regional councils is that some own real estate available for commercial business development. In fact, the Wentworth Economic Development Corp., (WEDCO) based in Wolfeboro, recently sold land in Commerce Park in Farmington to a business in the energy industry.

For relocating businesses, the regional councils can provide flexible funding for a smooth transition, Bistany added.

“The key is helping businesses here. Just because a bank says ‘no’ doesn’t mean it’s the end of the story. There are resources – we can turn a bank’s ‘no’ into a ‘yes.’” Bistany said.

About the NH Alliance of Regional Development Corporations
The Alliance’s members include the Coös Economic Development Co., Grafton County Economic Development Council, Mt. Washington Valley Economic Council, Wentworth Economic Development Corp., Belknap County Economic Development Council, Capital Regional Development Council, Southeast Economic Development Council, Monadnock Economic Development Corp., Regional Economic Development Center, and the Coastal Economic Development Co. For more information, contact the Alliance in Concord at 226-2170.

About Redomesticate NH
A multi-year partnership between the NH Insurance Department and the Division of Economic Development, the Redomesticate NH initiative educates decision makers for life, property, and casualty insurance companies about the benefits of domiciling their companies in New Hampshire. Centered around a reduction of the premium tax to 1.25%, the state also offers insurance companies a highly-educated workforce, move-in-ready commercial real estate, responsive regulators, a high quality of life, and an overall business-friendly environment. Learn more at, on Facebook at, and on Twitter at

Contact Information
NH Division of Economic Development
Steve Boucher
Michael Bergeron
Business Development Manager
NH Division of Economic Development
(603) 271-2591

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