NH Gets A+ In Small Business Friendliness Survey

Alabama, Utah, and Idaho also got top marks. See how the other New England states stack up!

Survey findings and summary Thumbtack.com, in partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, has released the results from the second annual Thumbtack.com Small Business Survey. The study, drawing upon data from over 7,000 small business owners, provides new insights into state and local business environments across the nation.

Read more at: www.thumbtack.com

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

Correction: A calculation error in the text on the fourth slide has been corrected.
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.

Suchecki and her husband are among the more than 80,000 Granite Staters who commute down to Massachusetts each day for work. In fact, only people traveling between Maryland and the District of Columbia commute across state lines more than Granite Staters.

Together, New Hampshire residents earned more than $6 billion in income in Massachusetts in 2011. They pay around $250 million in taxes to the state of Massachusetts each year. Continue Reading

In N.H., Minimum Wage Earners Need 2.8 Jobs To Afford 2-Bedroom Apartment

In order to afford a two-bedroom apartment in New Hampshire, a renter would need to work 2.8 minimum-wage jobs. The math breaks down like this:

According to HUD’s Fair Market Rent documentation, a two-bedroom apartment will cost about $1,065 in New Hampshire. In order to spend only 30 percent of one’s income on rent, a renter would need to earn $3,548 each month, or $42,580 each year.

New Hampshire has a minimum wage of $7.25. Working 40 hours a week, all year round, a minimum wage earner will make only $15,080. That’s according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s Out of Reach 2013 report.

New Hampshire housing came in at 12th most expensive in the nation, with Hawaii coming in 1st, followed by Washington DC, California, and New York. Massachusetts came in 7th, Vermont 16th, and Maine 23rd.

New Hampshire Infrastructure Outperforms Other States With C+ Grade

The American Society of Civil Engineers gives the United States a D+ grade for infrastructure quality in a four-year report card released today. ASCE also estimates the nation needs $3.6 trillion in investment by 2020 to repair our infrastructure. The country’s solid waste infrastructure did best with a B- grade; inland waterways and levees came in last, receiving a D- grade.

Check out the ASCE’s extensive interactive report.

The ASCE released a report on New Hampshire in 2011. Based on that report, New Hampshire is performing below the rest of the nation when it comes to our bridges; railroads; and solid waste management. The good news is that we’re slightly above the national average on all other metrics.

The state’s overall grade from the American Society of Civil Engineers is C+.

Want details on the state of New Hampshire’s infrastructure? Check out our recent roads series.


“Drop-Off In Road And Bridge Projects Dampens N.H.’s Future Construction Picture”

Even with residential and non-residential construction on the rise, the decline in transportation projects seems to be a drag on the sector.

Friday, March 15, 2013 The total value of future construction contracts in New Hampshire fell 2 percent in January 2013 from the same month the previous year, but activity continued to climb in two construction sectors over that period.

Read more at: www.nhbr.com

From Black Gold To Green Economy: Long-Time Entrepreneur Talks New Markets

Amanda Loder / StateImpact New Hampshire

Steve Owens is making his third foray into energy-related entrepreneurship.

It’s been three years since the Green Launching Pad initiative was started at the University of New Hampshire with $1.5 million in federal stimulus money.  The goal of the project was to fund and support the state’s most promising, eco-friendly start-ups, and enhance New Hampshire’s green economy in the long term.  Under federal rules, the GLP was required to use all of the money by last spring.  While the program is raising money to privatize, it’s been a year since it has handed out any grants.  Last week, we checked-in with the Green Launching Pad itself, and one of its biggest success stories, Portsmouth-based Revolution Energy.

Revolution Energy has the feel of a new start-up–young environmentalists-turned-businessmen wearing the jeans, t-shirts, and hoodies that have become visual short-hand for 21st century innovation culture.  But an hour’s drive southwest takes you to a very different, but no less successful, Green Launching Pad company.  EnerTrac in Hudson has seen dramatic growth since winning a $20,000 GLP grant in the first round of funding.  With more than 20 years of experience with start-ups, and wearing a dark sport coat, EnerTrac founder and CEO Steve Owens fits more into the classic mold of of an entrepreneur.  A few months ago, he moved his company into permanent office space at a nondescript business park.  Inside, the business looks ready to expand, with its white walls, open floor space, and rack of promotional t-shirts hanging up behind the reception desk. Continue Reading

How Bumpy Roads Affect Your Pocketbook, Your Safety, And Nearby Businesses

Part III of our Roads series.

This week on StateImpact NH: a three-part series on roads. Transportation funding is a big issue in the legislature this session. A fifteen-cent gas tax has gotten initial support in the House, and advocates of high stakes gambling in New Hampshire say a portion of the revenue from a casino would go directly into the state’s Highway Fund. But getting either proposal through both chambers will be a doozy. So, we’re digging into roads.

First, we looked at just how bad our roads are. Next, the 5 reasons our roads are so beat up. And finally, what that means for your car, your pocketbook, and your safety.

Got a bumpy road that makes you grumpy? Share it here.

Your car and pocketbook
Americans pay for bad roads twice. First, on car repairs– Granite Staters spend an average of $323 and as much as $500 annually on car costs due to driving on deteriorated roads, according to TRIP, a transportation trade organization.

Jeff White at Garry’s Service Center in Concord will tell you many of his customers end up with repairs totaling $1,000 in a given year. White says “when you go over a really big pothole, you can damage suspension parts and steering parts.” Frost heaves and potholes also cause a car’s wheels to go out of alignment. Then, White says, “the car will either drift right or left, and what that causes, besides a lot of annoyance, is it quickly wears tires.” Folks driving sports cars will likely have the most road-related damage, White says, including bent and broken rims.

But after those repairs are made, taxpayers pay for bad roads a second time – when they are finally rebuilt with gas tax and vehicle registration dollars. As NHDOT’s Bill Boynton says, a mile of a decently maintained road costs $50,000 to repave; but a mile of deteriorated road costs $1 million to reconstruct. While this may be a boon for auto mechanics and private paving companies with government contracts, poor roads are costly for businesses, governments and drivers.

When it comes to his business, Chuck Crawford, who owns high-tech manufacturer Kimball Physics in Wilton, “roads are critical.” Crawford says since Wilton and nearby Greenville often don’t have the money, his company repairs roads on the company budget. “We’ve done that a number of times,” he adds. Continue Reading

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