Developing a strategic direction with goals and objectives.

Southwest NH’s regional economy is a complex system. It has many moving parts, many of which interact with one another in ways that are constantly evolving. In addition to being a complex system, the regional economy is an open system. It shares a wide and changing array of connections with national and global markets, people and communities in other places, and our planet’s ecological well-being.

Given this complexity, how can individuals, organizations, and communities steer change in positive direction at the regional level? Our Economy proposes that creating a clear framework of regional economic development goals and objectives is an important step in the process. Such a framework helps lay out the various issues that affect regional prosperity. It provides solid footing for identifying where economic development activity is already taking place and where further action may be needed. It also provides a map for collaborating across economic sectors and how individual projects fit into the bigger picture. Contextualizing economic development projects in this way helps inspire confidence in potential supporters and funders instrumental to implementation.

Below are draft for goals and objectives reviewed by the Our Economy Strategy Committee. (For more about the Strategy Committee, see the about page.) The draft goals and objects may evolve as the project progresses. If you have thoughts or comments regarding the goals and objectives, let us know via the online contact form.

Sustain our rural population by creating space and opportunity for new residents.

  1. Attract and retain young people.
  2. Develop tourism programs and initiatives to draw in visitors as well as prospective residents, workers, and students.
  3. Develop and promote Southwest NH as a welcoming and inclusive place for all, celebrating diversity in race, culture, gender identity, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, creed, physical ability, and neurodiversity.

Develop and maintain the high-quality physical infrastructure necessary to support economic prosperity.

  1. Continue to expand broadband access, with a focus on digital equity and closing the digital divide.
  2. Support energy efficiency measures and renewable energy production (especially production at the local level).
  3. Expand the housing supply to provide options for households of different types and income levels.
  4. Cultivate main streets and village centers that serve as hubs of economic activity, community life, and cultural history.
  5. Maintain and upgrade public water and sewer infrastructure, with an emphasis on existing systems and currently developed areas.
  6. Develop transportation infrastructure and services that expand mobility options for a wide variety of user groups, including those without access to a personal vehicle.

Build social infrastructure that empowers individuals, households, and local communities to reach their full potential.

  1. Expand the availability of quality, affordable childcare.
  2. Preserve and develop high-caliber educational institutions at the primary, secondar, post-secondary levels.
  3. Improve access to healthcare services.
  4. Recognize arts, culture, and recreation as key drivers of regional economic development and support related initiatives accordingly.
  5. Develop and promote programs that support upward economic mobility.
  6. Encourage civic participation and cultivate the next generation of local decisionmakers.

Provide the business infrastructure necessary to increase firm viability and growth.

  1. Increase access to business-related services and resources, including financial capital and technical assistance.
  2. Enhance career pathways for a variety of students and other workforce entrants.
  3. Ensure that businesses already in the region have the resources and support to grow while also welcoming firms interested in opening or relocating to the region.
  4. Further develop the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem, creating fertile ground for startups and small businesses.
  5. Identify and build on existing regional economic specializations, leveraging competitive advantages and growing productive economic clusters.

Lay the groundwork for a more sustainable future.

  1. Mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and improve regional resilience in face of a changing climate.
  2. Protect working landscapes and grow the local agricultural sector.
  3. Preserve natural resources critical to the region’s outdoor economy.

Enhance collective capacity & coordination.

  1. Improve systems for sharing resources (people, equipment, services, facilities) across municipal boundaries.
  2. Work together to communicate more effectively with state and federal decisionmakers about rural and regional issues.