By Nathaniel Gurien
Kearsarge, NH 03847
My wife and I run a home-based small business in North Conway that is poised for substantial growth. To help fuel that growth, and to hire more staff, we are seeking a round of investment and/or financing.
Local banks were not helpful in providing any practical advice or direction other than to just say no.
I thought perhaps there might be local, state or federal programs that could help us, as well as private organizations, and I remembered from meetings and events I attended during this election cycle that Jeb Bradley claimed to provide attentive constituency service when he was our Congressman, plus I found him personable and approachable. I also noted that since she was elected in 2006, I'd never asked Carol Shea-Porter for help with anything, and that this was perhaps an appropriate time to do so.
So I emailed Jeb directly and Carol's District office in Manchester on the same day last July with the same message: "My North Conway based business has recently completed its development and test-marketing stages, and is preparing for full-scale launch. We are seeking investment, grantsand/or financing...to support our projected growth. If we are successful in raisingthis money, we'll add between 25 - 50 well-paying NH jobs over the next couple years. Can you help with this project? Perhaps the SBA, one or more SBIC's, or other sources of investment and support? Let me know. Thanks for any assistance you can offer."
The next day, I was contacted by Carol Shea-Porter's office and explained to the caller in more detail what I needed help with. Later that day, another person from Carol's office called me to invite me to attend an upcoming Small Business Resources Seminar that Carol was sponsoring the following week in Laconia, as well as to refer me to a richly-detailed business resource website. Plus she directed me to local and state finance & development agencies who I never knew existed. Her office then followed up with me again before and after the Small Business Seminar to be sure I got what I needed and was well on my way.
They introduced me to literally a whole world of private investors, venture capital firms, investment banks, economic development councils, assistance with energy-efficient capital investment, and more. As a direct result of their help, our Company was invited to make presentations to interested investors last Tuesday in Manchester at the NH Small Business Development Center's Speed Venture Summit.
And what help did I receive from Jeb Bradley who professes to be a great support of small business in New Hampshire? Absolutely nothing! Even though I made several contributions to his primary campaign this year, he never answered either my initial or follow-up emails, nor telephone calls to his cell phone.
This is just my individual, comparative experience with constituency service between Carol Shea-Porter and Jeb Bradley. I don't know how either of these folks have treated anyone else. But in this instance, Carol and her office really stepped up and helped us and our small company, and Jeb did not even reply.
Another benefit of this experience is that I now am aware of a wide range of small business financing and assistance that is available both in New Hampshire as well as throughout Northern New England. If any small business owners would like access to any of this information, it will be my pleasure to help out. Contact me anytime: firstname.lastname@example.org