N.H. taxes hurt small business

To the editor:Just two years ago we had opened our sixth and seventh restaurants in Laconia, where we created some 75 new jobs in the area. Three years prior to that, we created another 75 new jobs when we opened our Derry T-BONES. We were committed to continued growth here in New Hampshire as a result of these three successful ventures.But then the Legislature started making decisions against business. In 2008, the tip wage increase effectively raised tipped employees wages by 50 percent, which is the equivalent of an added $200,000 expense to our businesses. Then this past year, the rooms and meals tax rose to 9 percent, taking away our ability to raise prices by that 1 percent increase.Add to that unemployment tax increases, the mounting annual escalation we are all seeing in health insurance, coupled with added expenses to discount and advertise to draw in customers during this Great Recession, and you have a recipe for disaster with any restaurant or hotel.Did you know the hospitality industry contributes the most taxes to the state of New Hampshire of any industry? When adding up business enterprise tax, business profits tax, rooms and meals tax, beer tax, communications tax and a myriad of other taxes, the hospitality industry contributes 20 percent of all taxes the state Hampshire collects from its citizens and business.Most in the hospitality industry have returns of less than 5 percent. Most are small businesses such as ours.Adding this new “LLC tax” will likely stop growth for thousands of LLCs and will put many others out of business.What a shame that our company, Great NH Restaurants Inc., who just celebrated 25 years doing business here in New Hampshire, that has created some 150 jobs in the past five years and now employs over 400, is forced to reconsider plans for expansion.Small business is getting smaller by the minute.

Tom Boucher
Great New Hampshire Restaurants

Categories: Cook on Concord