Michael Bergeron is Business Development Manager for the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development (DRED). He’s been at DRED since 1997. A large part of Bergeron’s job involves enticing
businesses from other states and Canada to relocate to New Hampshire, which has led the Boston Globe to label him a business “thief.” Bergeron says that unlike many other states, New Hampshire doesn’t offer special deals to get companies to move. Instead, he says the state creates a consistently hospitable business climate with its low tax burden.
Overall, the state’s strategy appears to be working. In a recent study, the Massachusetts-based Pioneer Institute found nearly 1,500 of the state’s businesses left the Bay State for New Hampshire from 1990-2007. But that doesn’t mean businesses don’t leave New Hampshire, either. The same study found 679 Granite State businesses decamped to Massachusetts during the same period. Still, it’s a net gain of 758 firms for New Hampshire…just from Massachusetts.
Convincing businesses to make the move is a long-term proposition; Bergeron says it can take up to five years, from start to finish. At this point, he says he’s interested in bringing more businesses from Quebec into the North Country, to help jumpstart the region’s depressed economy.