N.H. firms offered free video link to Japan

Four economic development groups are joining together to offer free videoconferencing service to New Hampshire companies affected by infrastructure breakdowns in Japan in the wake of the massive earthquake and tsunami and the developing nuclear crisis.The Coastal Economic Development Corp., New Hampshire Business Finance Authority, New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority and New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development are partnering to offer free use of the Coastal Video Conference Center in Hampton to any Granite State business affected by the crisis in Japan.Opened in 2010, the Coastal Video Conference Center offers high-definition, multipoint videoconferencing capabilities. The dual-screen system offers a platform that can connect up to six locations simultaneously, with the ability to share content and presentations.According to Daniel Gray, managing director of the center, Japan is New Hampshire’s 10th most active trading partner.”In 2009, for example, New Hampshire businesses exported $179 million in goods and services to Japan,” said Gray. “That’s a fairly significant piece of our state’s economic puzzle.”With the State Department calling for limited travel into the hardest-hit areas in northern Japan, resources like videoconferencing enable companies to continue to conduct business in the region.Companies interested in learning more about the free video conferencing program can contact Coastal Economic Development Corp. at 603-929-9244 or videoinfo@coastaledc.org. – CINDY KIBBE/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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