N.H. reportedly courts another N.Y. company

Barely a year after the state of New Hampshire lured Albany International Corp. — a major manufacturing employer in the Albany, N.Y., area — to move its headquarters and most of its jobs to Rochester, N.H., Granite State economic development officials reportedly have their eye on another firm in that region.According to a report in the Albany Times Union, New Hampshire economic development officials have offered Tech Valley Communications an incentive package to move here.The Times Union said it obtained a letter written in June to Tech Valley Chief Executive Officer Kevin O’Connor by Cynthia Harrington of the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development thanking O’Connor for “considering our state for your business expansion opportunities” and offering “business relocation” assistance.Tech Valley is based in downtown Albany.According to the Times Union, Harrington, a business recruiter for the state, reportedly helped convince Albany International Corp. of Menands, N.Y., to move its headquarters to Rochester at the end of 2010.O’Connor confirmed to the Times Union that New Hampshire is trying to lure the company to move to New Hampshire, where it Tech Valley recently acquired segTEL, a telecommunications firm based in Lebanon, N.H.”They put some things on the table that I’d rather not disclose,” O’Connor told the newspaper, adding that “telecommunications is a target industry for the state of New Hampshire.”Chris Way, interim director of New Hampshire’s Division of Economic Development, told the Times Union he wasn’t able to discuss that all talks with prospects are kept confidential.”New Hampshire is an attractive place for business expansion opportunities,” Way said. “Cynthia, our business recruiter, does a terrific job assisting companies with their decision-making process.”Meanwhile, O’Connor of Tech Valley said his board has a fiduciary obligation to consider the offer from the Granite State, but he is more inclined to remain in New York where he has been in discussions with New York officials about how to keep the business here.”Our new governor is pretty sophisticated in his approach to economic development,” O’Connor told the Tmes Union. “I’d prefer to keep the company in New York, but that decision has not been made.”Tech Valley has been building a fiberoptic communications network across the Capital Region that serves businesses and institutions such as hospitals and colleges. It has also built a wireless Internet system for the city of Albany. The company has 75 local employees and expects to have 100 by the end of the year as it spends between $10 million and $20 million on infrastructure for its customers. — JEFF FEINGOLD/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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