December 15, 2009

(Washington, D.C.)-U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen today announced that her requests to reconstruct part of Hutchins Street in Berlin and to support the Northern Community Investment Corporation's (NCIC) revolving loan fund have been approved by the Senate and are expected to be signed into law by President Obama later this week. Shaheen secured $799,200 and $487,000, respectively, for the projects as part of the Fiscal Year 2010 Omnibus Appropriations bill.

"New Hampshire's North Country is in need of an economic boost, and this funding will provide area businesses some of the resources they need to grow and thrive," said Shaheen.  "Repairing the primary trucking corridor in the North Country is essential to creating jobs and drawing industry to the region, and access to credit is essential for local businesses to grow and hire new employees. Both of these projects are important steps toward economic growth in the region."

A key section of Hutchins Street, the primary trucking corridor through Berlin and to the rest of the North Country, was built over pulp mill bark and is extremely difficult to maintain. This funding will put the road on a proper and realigned base, while also adding sidewalks and a bike lane. The project will greatly improve pedestrian and traffic flow through Berlin and be of significant benefit to the restoration of this community.

"This is great news since the road is literally falling apart. We have already started engineering, and with these funds, hopefully we will be able to complete the whole project," said Pat MacQueen, City Manager of Berlin.

The Northern Community Investment Corporation (NCIC) is a nonprofit established to boost economic development in Northern New Hampshire and Vermont by providing capital and professional assistance for a wide range of business and community development investments. This project will create a unique revolving loan fund that will offer flexible funding solutions designed to serve innovative North Country businesses that will create well paying new jobs. This loan fund will provide new opportunities, including loans with low to no repayments for six to 18 months, allowing businesses time to establish themselves on solid ground and recognize the return on investment before being impacted by the cost of the loan.

"I'd like to thank Senator Shaheen for helping us with this opportunity to help the most innovative companies create new and higher paying jobs," said Jon Freeman, President of the Northern Community Investment Corporation. "With the recent closing of paper mills and Ethan Allen in Beecher Falls this is truly good news for the North Country."

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