ECON's business is helping to create economic opportunities for Newport's citizens. It does this in a number of ways. When ECON plays a role in helping a local business or providing information, it is not always obvious to the community. That is not to say that the very functions that ECON performs are not important but to say that many of the activities it is involved with, it plays a facilitative role.
In recent past ECON has worked with Sullivan County Economic Development (SCEDC), Claremont Industrial Development Authority (IDA), Charlestown Economic Development Authority, and with the State of New Hampshire's Office of Business and Industrial Development in joint advertising projects.
ECON joined forces with Charlestown in urging Sullivan County EDC to initiate a greater effort in promoting tourism in the Upper Valley.
ECON has performed two business visitation programs, the first was done entirely by ECON Board members in which we visited approximately 30 Newport industries, compiling information to be submitted to the State. This original survey was done approximately four years ago and it was updated within the past year by Sullivan County Economic Development Council. ECON also updated all of Newport's property listings for commercial and industrial districts and it has relayed this information to SCEDC and the State for inclusion in their computer data bases.
ECON has worked with SCEDC in participating with the State of NH Business Resource Fair. The Business Resource Fair was held at Newport's Sugar River Valley Technical Center and we hosted 16 State agencies and numerous local businesses participated.
ECON acted as the fiscal agent for the Artists Trust Congress, passing through nearly $150,000 for this event.
ECON, working in conjunction with SCEDC, within the past year provided information to major firms from Syracuse, New York and Ontario, Canada that expressed interest in moving to our community. And we further worked with four other local companies providing assistance as it relates to job retention and available property.
ECON is currently in the process of drafting a strategic place marketing plan with consultant Gregory Franklin. The project should be completed in the Spring of 1998. Part of this plan includes the surveying of 2500 Newport citizens.
ECON also has retained the services of Saucier and Flynn to do a site analysis and make recommendations on future uses of the 60 acre industrial park parcel owned by ECON.
At various times over the past few years ECON has supplied letters to the Planning Board, the Board of Selectmen and the State of New Hampshire expressing the Board's opinion on various development projects.
ECON has also sponsored approximately half a dozen programs on NCTV over the past couple of years.
The New Hampshire Office of State Planning.has provided a capacity enhancement grant to SCEDC. The purpose of the grant is to provide administrative staff support for ECON. The grant has been in effect for approximately one year.
ECON has been awarded IRS 501(c) (3) status which means it is a non-profit charitable organization. It can receive funds which can be deducted from personal or corporate income tax.
ECON was formed in 1991 at the direction of the Annual Town Meeting. The Board of Selectmen at that time were the original incorporators of the organization. The current Board of Directors are self-appointing. The annual meeting is held in May.