New Business Retention & Expansion Program

The Souhegan Valley Chamber of Commerce has received a $1000 grant from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation/Monadnock Community Fund to participate in a Business Retention and Expansion initiative with UNH Cooperative Extension. The Chamber is partnering with the Milford Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC) and the Amherst Community Development department on this project.

Created by the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, the Business Retention & Expansion program is designed to help communities move their economic agenda forward by learning how to support existing businesses and give them a platform for growth in the community. Extension staff will train a team of volunteers representing the Chamber, EDAC and Town of Amherst in surveying and visiting businesses located in Milford and Amherst. The survey process will identify issues facing businesses within the two communities and prioritize goals necessary to supporting and retaining those businesses for the future. The long-term goal of the program is job retention, business expansion and to create a regional economic development strategy that will benefit both communities and make the Souhegan Valley region more attractive to new and relocating businesses.

“The Chamber is very excited to participate in the BR&E program and work closely with the economic development groups of both Amherst and Milford. We are hoping that information we gather from this project can then be transferred to the other 9 towns within the Chamber’s region, and that the program will serve to boost the economic development opportunities in the Souhegan Valley as a whole,” says Trent Blalock, Chair of the Souhegan Valley Chamber of Commerce. “As a region comprised of small towns, it is difficult for each town to compete with our larger neighbors in attracting new businesses, especially those that provide jobs. It makes sense for the towns to join forces and resources to both retain our larger employers and attract new businesses – it would benefit us all in the Souhegan Valley.”

The BR&E program is currently underway and the team will be contacting local businesses soon to set up interviews. Local business owners interested in participating or being surveyed should contact Tracy Hutchins, Executive Director of the Souhegan Valley Chamber at 673-4360 or at tracy@souhegan.net.

The mission of the Souhegan Valley Chamber of Commerce is to promote successful relationships for the business and civic community in the eleven towns of the Souhegan Valley. The Chamber supports economic development and growth, as well as valuable local information and referrals to businesses and the general public.

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