Grants to Help Spur Economic and Community Development in the North Country
CONCORD – Governor Maggie Hassan and U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen today announced that five New Hampshire projects will receive grant funding from the Northern Border Regional Commission to help spur economic and community development in the North Country.
Totaling $968,365, the five grants will be awarded to the Women’s Rural Entrepreneurial Network (WREN), the Town of Littleton, the Coos Economic Development Council, the Northern Community Investment Corporation (NCIC) and the University of New Hampshire Broadband Mapping and Planning Program.
“The Northern Border Regional Commission is an important regional collaboration and federal-state partnership that helps spur economic and community development in some of our most economically distressed areas,” Governor Hassan said. “These five projects will address infrastructure and transportation needs and promote business development across the North Country, creating jobs and strengthening our economy. I thank Senator Shaheen, the Northern Border Regional Commission and our regional partners in Maine, New York and Vermont for their efforts to help make this important investment in our people, businesses and communities a reality.”
“Today’s announcement is great news for jobs and the economy in northern New Hampshire,” Senator Shaheen said. “These five projects will support small business growth while addressing important infrastructure needs that are crucial for economic development in the North Country. I am hopeful that with the support of this grant, we will see a rejuvenation of North Country communities and businesses that have faced significant economic challenges.”
“This is great news for the North Country,” state Senator Jeff Woodburn said. “Each of these projects will in their own way contribute to revitalizing our economy, improving life for people and our business community. I’m grateful to the persistent leadership of these organizations who applied for these grants and work tirelessly to improve our communities, and our national, regional and state officials who advocated so strongly for us.”
WREN will receive a $161,670 grant to create an entrepreneurial training center and “maker space” to serve more than an estimated 75 emerging and existing entrepreneurs.
The Town of Littleton will receive $250,000 to support a Main Street revitalization project, with two businesses already saying they plan to expand once the project is completed. Littleton will construct a multi-use bridge over the Ammonoosuc River, which will connect pedestrians, bicycles and off-road vehicles with downtown and the riverfront.
The Coos Economic Development Council will receive a $250,000 grant to construct a new cell tower on Cummings Mountain in West Dummer, a strategic connection that will provide service in unserved areas of Coos County, encouraging business development and enhancing emergency communications.
The NCIC will receive a $200,000 grant to expand and improve the NH Grand website, an important visitor information portal for Coos County. NH Grand supports tourism marketing initiatives, and the funding will be used to incorporate new features on the website, including search engine optimization, multi-lingual accessibility, mapping and teletype, as well as a booking system and marketing opportunities via search engine sponsorships.
The University of New Hampshire Broadband Mapping and Planning Program will receive a $106,695 grant to extend and enhance its broadband availability and mapping activities to the rural addresses of Coos County. The project will provide data about service availability in unserved and underserved areas in the region, which will be used to prioritize where investment should be focused to expand broadband access and to provide information to people and businesses considering relocating to the region.
The NBRC was created as a federal-state partnership approved in the 2008 Farm Bill, with a mission to address the economic and community development needs in economically distressed communities in the Northern Forest region, which includes New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont and New York.