Business advocacy groups merge

After several months of negotiations, the New Hampshire Business Council has agreed to merge with the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire.

Founded in 2001, the Business Council was launched in part out of frustration over BIA’s perceived under-representation of small businesses.

According to the BIA, smaller firms today account for more than half of BIA membership and small-business members are an active and influential part of BIA policy committees.

“This merger between the BIA and Business Council will result in stronger business advocacy for all businesses, large, medium and small,” said Bill Carr, board chair and president of the New Hampshire Business Council. “BIA is moving in the right direction and its influence in the New Hampshire Legislature is growing.”

In the past, the New Hampshire Business Council has been engaged in such issues as low business taxes and affordable health care. In its 2006 legislative and regulatory agenda, the BIA advocated for a more affordable and transparent health-care system, as well as workforce housing, an R&D tax credit, lower energy and fuel costs, and business-friendly environmental regulations.

“During the last year and a half, BIA has taken a number of important steps to strengthen the voice of business in New Hampshire, including instituting a comprehensive public policy development process, publishing a Legislative Voting Guide and launching a political action committee,” said Mike Donahue, president of Aries Engineering and BIA board chair. “This merger with the Business Council reaffirms our position as New Hampshire’s leading business advocate and adds strength in membership to our important public policy work.” – JEFF FEINGOLD

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