PLYMOUTH — New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan and members of the Live Free and Start business advisory group met Aug. 5 at the Enterprise Center at Plymouth (ECP) to learn about the ECP’s activities and to talk with local business leaders about how the state can partner with them on job creation strategies.
The Live Free and Start initiative was formed last month to help make it easier for high-tech companies to start up. The advisory council’s goal is to spur economic growth.
The ECP is a business incubator and accelerator, a partnership between the Grafton County Economic Development Council and Plymouth State University; it is home to start-up companies that will have created 18 jobs by September. Gov. Hassan said that he ECP is a great example of job creation, and creating high-tech startups is a goal everyone can support.
“I want to make sure we’re an attractive place to start businesses. I also want to make sure we’re an attractive place to stay and grow a business,” Hassan said. “Everybody knows the future of our state is with the entrepreneurial spirit of our people.”
Plymouth State University President Sara Jayne Steen said the success of the ECP partnership dovetails with the Live Free and Start objectives–to create good jobs in the region.
“Live Free and Start ties well with what we’re doing here,” said Steen. “We too want to make central and northern New Hampshire home for high-tech businesses. And if we want those businesses to locate here, we need to talk about innovation, and bringing government, education and private businesses together.”
Those attending the meeting suggested New Hampshire needs to improve its internet connectivity and cell phone service, particularly in rural areas, and create business-ready infrastructure, such as building space, to attract entrepreneurs. Leaders discussed the importance of education, bridge funding for businesses, and health care in rural communities.
The Live Free and Start Advisory Council is comprised of high-tech business leaders and entrepreneurs and includes representation from each of the state’s geographic regions.