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BUSINESS CENTER IN PLYMOUTH WINS $731,000 FEDERAL GRANT

March 26, 2012

(Washington, D.C.) –The Grafton County Economic Development Council has won a $731,000 grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) to create a new business resource center in Plymouth, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) announced today. Shaheen sent a letter to Commerce Secretary John Bryson in December in support of the grant, highlighting how the new Enterprise Center will provide important resources to New Hampshire businesses looking to grow and expand.

The Enterprise Center will build on the development council’s recent success partnering with Dartmouth College to run the Dartmouth Regional Technology Center, which has created more than 200 jobs since opening in 2006. The development council will partner with Plymouth State University on the new center.

“Located in downtown Plymouth, adjacent to Plymouth State University, this facility would be a one-stop shop for businesses in central New Hampshire seeking technical assistance, business counseling, or physical space,” Shaheen wrote in the letter. “By offering a comprehensive suite of business services, access to state and federal business assistance providers, and flexible space and leases, the Enterprise Center would foster new business developing in New Hampshire.”

"We are extremely pleased that the EDA has decided to fund this crucial economic development project,” said Mark Scarano, Executive Director of the Grafton County Economic Development Council. “This funding and the strong partnership we've developed with Plymouth State University will enable us to assist new and emerging businesses in central New Hampshire.  We're very appreciative of Senator Shaheen's efforts to promote the project to federal funders."

Once completed, the Enterprise Center will be a three-story, 10,250-square-foot building featuring dedicated space for focus groups, sales skill development and video production. The center will also offer on-site staff to provide business clients with financial, legal and web services designed to help grow businesses.

The full text of Shaheen’s letter is below.

The Honorable John Bryson

U.S. Department of Commerce

1401 Constitution Ave NW

Washington, DC 20230

Dear Secretary Bryson,

I am pleased to offer my enthusiastic support for the Grafton County Economic Development Council (GEDC) in its application for funding from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance Grant Program.

The GEDC, one of ten state-supported regional development corporations in New Hampshire, has a strong track record of fostering business and entrepreneurial development.  In 2006, GEDC spearheaded the launch of the Dartmouth Regional Technology Center, a business incubator in Lebanon, NH whose tenant companies have since created more than 200 jobs.

Building on this successful incubator model, GEDC has partnered with Plymouth State University (PSU) to propose a new Enterprise Center.  Located in downtown Plymouth, adjacent to PSU, this facility would be a one-stop shop for businesses in central New Hampshire seeking technical assistance, business counseling, or physical space.  On-site staff would provide support and coordinate programmatic access to an outside network of financial, legal, and web design consultants.  By offering a comprehensive suite of business services, access to state and federal business assistance providers, and flexible space and leases, the Enterprise Center would foster new business developing in New Hampshire by mitigating certain costs and reducing risks involved in such endeavors.

GEDC seeks grant funding from EDA to expand and renovate the Enterprise Center’s physical structure into a three story, 10,250 square foot building outfitted to host a number of unique and innovative services.  Building on programs already offered at PSU, the Center will have dedicated spaces for professional focus groups and a sales skill development video production room – highly popular resources that will give client businesses a competitive edge.

I strongly support the grant proposal submitted by the GEDC and urge your thorough consideration of this worthy project.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact my Grants Coordinator, Andrew Zabel, at (202) 224-2841. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

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