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Entries in Small Business (252)


FreeKeeneNews - DEA Arrests Owners of Keene Headshop - Each Facing 23 Years in Prison 

DEA Arrests Owners of Keene Headshop - Each Facing 23 Years in Prison

In a terrible update to an already awful story, the DEA has arrested the owners of Phat Stuff, the popular local head shop on Main Street that was raided in May of 2014. Panos and Katie Eliopoulos were arrested (allegedly in front of their kids) in February and have been charged with one count of "Conspiracy to Offer Drug Paraphernalia for Sale" and one count of "Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering". You can read the short, three page indictment here.

The paraphernalia sales charge carries up to three years in prison and an unspecified fine and the  money laundering charge carries up to twenty years in prison, an up to $500,000 fine, and an additional fine relating to the value of the property involved.

Longtime readers of Free Keene may recall that the raid nearly destroyed their business and left them penniless as the federal gangsters cleaned out their bank account and even stole their truck. Oh, and don't forget the DEA's theft of an entire box-truckload of store merchandise - probably $100,000 in inventory, which they'll likely never get back, even if they're found not guilty. The raid was done with the assistance of Keene police, who were protecting and serving their federal masters, not the people of this community.  In an ideal world, the Keene police would have arrested the DEA agents and charged them with armed robbery.  You can watch the 17-minute video of the raid, cut down from over four hours of raw footage here.

The indictment was issued on February 11th and the arrests appear to have occurred a week later on February 18th, according to the bail paperwork. Bail conditions for Panos (and presumably Katie, though I haven't seen her bail paperwork) include him submitting to search anytime police want, submit to urine testing, and give up any weapons, among other conditions.

Trial is currently slated for two weeks in federal court in Concord beginning on April 21st, 2015 at 9:30am. The Eliopouloses are represented by attorney Charles Keefe. Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest.

Ian Freeman

SNHU - Come Meet 11 of New Hampshire's Awesome Women Leaders 

Women in Action Forum


Interact with these amazing NH business leaders from the non-profit and  private sectors to learn about their leadership path including their triumphs and challenges along the way.  


Come meet our Wonderful Women :

Maureen Beauregard – President and Founder, Families in Transition

JerriAnne Boggis – Director, Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail

Tiffany Eddy – Principal, FocusFirst Communications

Linda Fanaras – President, Millennium Integrated Marketing

Margaret Franckhauser – CEO, Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice

Betsy Gardella – President and CEO, NHPR

Lisa Guertin – President, Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield NH

Amy LaBelle – Founder and Winemaker, LaBelle Winery

Sharron McCarthy—President and Publisher, McLean Communications

Dianne Mercier – President, NH People's United Bank

Cathy Schmidt – Executive Director and CEO, McLane Law Firm



Linda Johnson - Esquire, McLane Law Firm

MaryAnn Manoogian - Executive Director, Center for Women’s Business Advancement


Date: Thursday, March 26, 2015

Time: 5- 5:30 reception; 5:30 - 7:00 program

Location: Southern NH University, Robert Frost Hall, Walker Auditorium

Cost:  Free but please register at



NH Senate strikes down minimum wage increases 

New Hampshire Senate

News Release

Concord, NH – Today, the Senate struck down yet another attempt to increase the minimum wage in the state of New Hampshire.  Currently, the State of New Hampshire follows the federal minimum wage and is set to accept federally approved increases. The state does not have its own minimum wage.

Senator Jeb Bradley, (R-Wolfeboro) released the following statement on SB 261 following today’s floor vote.

“Wages are increasing nationally and we are seeing the consumer marketplace taking care of itself without the need for mandated wage increases.  Companies like Wal-Mart, TJ Maxx, Starbucks, Gap, Costco, Ben & Jerry’s, and Whole Foods have already taken the steps to pay their employees an increased wage – which is being driven by market pressure and is the right thing to do,” said Senator Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro).

“It is reasonable to believe that employers compensate workers to the best of their businesses’ ability. We know that mandating pay increases in New Hampshire would have a dangerous impact on the number of jobs many employers are able to create,” Bradley added.

“At a time when we are making significant strides to lower business taxes to strengthen our state’s low tax advantage, stimulate job growth and attract new businesses to New Hampshire. Implementing a minimum wage increase is the wrong solution.  Let’s focus our energy on what we can do help employers, not burden them with additional mandates.”


NH House Republican Statement on House Action on Anti-Business Legislation 

CONCORD – House Republican Whip Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) offered the following statement on the defeat of several anti-business bills before the House.  

HB365 - prohibiting an employer from using credit history in employment decisions. (Failed by a vote of 200-142)

HB496 - prohibiting public employers from using criminal history in employment decisions. (Laid on the Table)


House Republican Whip Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack)


“Employers in New Hampshire should be able to use these criteria when reviewing qualifications of employees, if they see fit. A prohibition on using these important measures in reviewing the qualifications of job applicants would take a valuable tool away from employers and open the door for costly litigation.”


HB392 - relative to the minimum hourly wage. (Failed by a voice vote)

HB600 - relative to paid sick leave for employees. (Failed by a vote of 219-122)

HB684 – establishing a state minimum hourly rate. (Failed by a vote of 198-145)


House Republican Whip Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack)


“These proposals have the potential to negatively affect our job climate in New Hampshire and could threaten the viability of many small and medium sized businesses especially in the hospitality industry, which many workers in our state depend on. The New Hampshire business community is compassionate and more than capable of making reasonable decisions that best suits the needs of their employees and the viability of their businesses. They know what it takes to attract and retain employees.”


NH House Majority Leader Reacts to Reduction in Unemployment Tax 

CONCORD – New Hampshire House Majority Leader Jack Flanagan (R-Brookline) offered the following comments relative to the announcement that the unemployment tax rate for employers will be lowered by 1%, saving New Hampshire businesses millions.


House Republican Leader Jack Flanagan (R-Brookline)


“This is great news for New Hampshire’s job creators. As we know, New Hampshire has some of the highest corporate tax rates in the nation. Any reduction to the cost of doing business and creating jobs will help our business community.”


”As part of our legislative agenda, House Republicans will continue to search for reasonable ways to reduce our business taxes and burdensome regulations to help retain existing businesses and help them grow, attract new businesses, and help our private sector create new and better paying jobs.”