On Monday, May 26, Governor Chris Sununu met with approximately 25 local business owners at a business breakfast roundtable hosted at the Enterprise Center in Plymouth, NH.
Sununu and business leaders discussed challenges impacting our local businesses and possible solutions. Many people who are instrumental in the Plymouth region’s positive growth were there to brainstorm together.
The breakfast meeting was organized by Frank Cocchiarella, executive director of the Central NH Chamber of Commerce located in Campton. “It’s not a political gathering, it’s a business meeting to discuss opportunities and challenges,” Cocchiarella explained.
Since his election in January, Governor Sununu has been very involved in the area’s economic success. He has visited many out-of-state companies to persuade them to move business into New Hampshire, and he stated he is the first New Hampshire governor in eight years to travel up to Quebec, which is the state’s biggest trade partner.
“We have great fundamentals here…no sales tax, and no income tax,” Sununu said. “There is still a lot of untapped business potential in New Hampshire.”
Thanks to community input, Sununu is also attempting to wipe out nearly a thousand rules and regulations that interfere with or impact statewide business opportunities and procedures.
Patti Biederman, co-owner of Biederman’s Deli in Plymouth, brought up a major concern shared by business owners around the state: business is booming, but it’s difficult to find “workers who will work.” Biederman said, “They’ll leave if you look at them cross-eyed.” This problem resulted in shorter hours for Biederman’s Deli. Other business owners shared her concerns, but no one had a solution for this very real problem.
A few backs stiffened when Governor Sununu mentioned the Northern Pass, the divisive proposal to run 192 miles of new direct current transmission lines from Canada through New Hampshire. Governor Sununu is in favor of the project because of New Hampshire’s need for renewable energy. “We need every drop in the bucket,” he said. He stated he will pursue the Northern Pass, but he is open to other equally efficient options.
Mike Ahern, owner of Glove Hollow Tree Farm in Plymouth, said that he supports bringing energy into New Hampshire, but he is concerned that the line will disrupt all the communities along Route 3 for years to come, creating communal losses greater than any statewide profit.
Even though not everyone at the round table shared the same opinions, they enjoyed networking and talking to new people after the meeting was over. Biederman’s Deli provided delicious breakfast sandwiches and beverages for the attendees.