Get help dealing with the recession

The Telegraph is launching a series of online seminars this week featuring local experts who have come together to offer free advice on dealing with the recession.

The series of nine “Webinars” is part of The Telegraph’s yearlong economy project, Hard Times: Reasons and Remedies, an effort to keep readers informed and help them weather the recession.

“We were talking about how to do something in the newsroom to help people deal with these economic times,” Publisher Terry Williams said. “We’ve got a lot of solid local experts in this community who have an opinion on how to get through this.”

The Webinars will take place every Wednesday at noon, beginning this week. Each will last about an hour, with at least the last 15 minutes reserved for questions from the Web audience.

The first topic, “Weathering Market Volatility,” features investment expert Mike Cerato, managing director of The Cerato Group LLC in Nashua. Registration is free, but required. To register, visit

Other topics include managing 401(k) and retirement plans, bankruptcy protection, debt consolidation and getting local financing. For the small business owner, topics include improving customer service and how to sell in a down economy. A full list of topics and dates is available on the Web site,

All of the experts are part of the Greater Nashua community and will provide a local perspective on economic conditions. They will sort out what’s real and what’s not among all the dire national predictions.

“They will provide a local perspective on how to deal with things locally,” Williams said. “If you’re wedded to the national picture, this may not be the case locally.”

Hampshire First Bank, a state chartered community bank that has branches in Manchester and Nashua, is sponsoring the series and has invited some customers and associates to watch the first Webinar Wednesday over lunch at the Nashua branch.

Jay Dinkel, director of community banking for Hampshire First, said the bank got involved because it is intrigued by the idea of finding different, efficient ways to deliver important information to the community.

“We feel one of our roles in the community is to be a resource,” Dinkel said. “We think this might be a good tool for that.”

Hampshire First has previously sponsored in-person seminars on business issues or topics, but not an online series, he said.

The final presenter in the series, on July 1, will be Hampshire First President and CEO James Dunphy, who will speak on the availability of local financing despite the perceived tight loan market.