MANCHESTER (August 22, 2007) – Sandy Baruah, the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development and head of the Economic Development Administration, visited Manchester on Wednesday, the first time an EDA director has visited New Hampshire in an official capacity in the agency’s history. Baruah visited with Sen. John E. Sununu, Mayor Frank C. Guinta and Jay Minkarah, the head of the Manchester Economic Development Office.
“The meeting with the Assistant Secretary was a very productive one,” Mayor Guinta said, “We discussed economic development priorities in Manchester that are particularly related to the EDA. We emphasized our efforts in neighborhood revitalization and this administration’s commitment to rejuvenating or reinvesting in them.”
Mayor Guinta also emphasized the importance of developing Hackett Hill. “This is the last real opportunity for us to expand our business and industrial capacity, so it is important that we use all the resources available to make sustained, high-end growth possible,” Mayor Guinta said.
According to Minkarah, the EDA has recently given the city $70,000 to develop feasibility studies for expanded convention center and performing arts studies. “One of my goals as MEDO director is to capture more EDA grant money for the city and help leverage that into economic development and redevelopment projects that move Manchester forward,” Minkarah said.
The EDA provides grants to communities to generate new employment, help retain existing jobs and stimulate industrial and commercial growth. The EDA investments leverage approximately $37 in private sector investment for every EDA dollar – among the highest of all federal economic development programs.
“I want to thank Sen. Sununu for facilitating this meeting,” Guinta said. “His advocacy is helping put Manchester and New Hampshire on EDA’s radar and, as we progress, we are confident that the needs of the city and the state will be addressed.”