Tools for economic development planning and practice

An aim of Our Economy is to build shared knowledge about the wide array of resources available to economic development stakeholders. Whether you’re a business owner, municipal official, non-profit leader or simply an individual interested in helping your community thrive, it’s useful to know the resources available for economic development planning an practice. Resources can include information, technical assistance programs, funding opportunities and more. This resource library will expand as Our Economy continues to take shape as an initiative.

Information resources

  • Local Economy Indicators. A set of indicators developed by New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute and partners to help evaluate regional economic trends across the State of New Hampshire. This slide deck summarizes some of the top findings from the initiative.
  • NH CDFA Core Data Index. A set of metrics developed in order to assist the NH Community Development Finance Authority (CDFA) make strategic investment decisions through its suite of community development programs, most notably the Community Development Block Grant program.
  • Cheshire County Development Opportunity Profile. An assessment prepared by Entrepreneurial Ecosystems for the Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship aimed at better understanding the region’s potential to support entrepreneurship and small business development.
  • Regional Awareness Survey. A report documenting the findings of a survey conducted in 2020 to assess awareness of the Monadnock Region in potential advertising markets, including those in NH and MA.

Technical assistance

The Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship provides the space, tools and connections that innovative entrepreneurs need to build strong businesses, thriving local economies, and vibrant communities in the Monadnock Region. Hannah Grimes offers a wide array of programs that support the regional entrepreneurs and small businesses, including business coaching services, a co-working space, connections with potential investors, and more. Learn more at the organization’s website.

Monadnock Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) is one Southwest NH’s leading non-profit developers and business support organizations. MEDC helps businesses and other community stakeholders assemble creative financing packages in order to expand operations, create jobs, and effect long-term positive change within the region.

Monadnock Vital Economies is Southwest Region Planning Commission’s economic development planning assistance program. The aim of the program is to help communities develop plans, design policies, and implement strategies that advance locally determined economic goals. Those goals could relate directly to economic activity, such as improving local employment opportunities or attracting new businesses. Goals could also, however, speak to issues that more broadly relate to a community’s economic well-being, such as expanding housing options, increasing broadband access, or enhancing community amenities. For more information, visit the project webpage.

NH Small Business Development Center’s dedicated team of certified business advisors delivers highly individualized, confidential advising at no charge to enterprises across New Hampshire, from the towns along the Connecticut River to the Seacoast to the North Country and every point in between. The SBDC annually impacts 3,000 small businesses and 200 New Hampshire communities. For more information, visit NH SBDC’s website.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) helps Americans start, build, and grow businesses. SBA was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, preserve free competitive enterprise and maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. To learn more about the SBA and to get in touch with staff at the NH district office, visit the agency’s website here.

The Cheshire County Conservation District (CCCD) represents the conservation interests and priorities of the county. As such, the conservation district is fully vested in the preservation and enhancement of agriculture and its role in our community. CCCD promotes and works to support the viability of farms and other agricultural businesses in the county. For more information, visit CCCD’s website.

Funding opportunities

The Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) is a Federal-State partnership for economic and community development within the most distressed counties of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York. Cheshire and Sullivan Counties are currently included in NBRC’s service area and consequently projects serving areas within either jurisdiction are eligible for NBRC funding. NBRC offers several funding opportunities, including its Infrastructure and Economic Development Grant Program, which supports a wide variety of projects and programs. For more information, visit the NBRC website or contact SWRPC staff at (603) 357-0557.

As the only federal government agency focused exclusively on economic development, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) plays a critical role in facilitating regional economic development efforts in communities across the nation. US EDA offers a wide variety of funding opportunities, supporting projects ranging from infrastructure development, to workforce programming, to travel and tourism industry support. For more information, visit the US EDA website or contact SWRPC staff at (603) 357-0557.

The United States Department of Agriculture – Rural Development (USDA RD) offers loans, grants and loan guarantees to help create jobs and support economic development and essential services such as housing; health care; first responder services and equipment; and water, electric and communications infrastructure. The agency promotes economic development by supporting loans to businesses through banks, credit unions and community-managed lending pools. We offer technical assistance and information to help agricultural producers and cooperatives get started and improve the effectiveness of their operations. For more information, visit the website for the NH district office or call SWRPC staff at (603) 357-0557.