Resources & Incentives

New Hampshire is one of the few places that does not have a sales and income tax, a draw for both businesses and residents. Granite State businesses also do not pay an inventory, capital gains or use-tax. In New Hampshire the emphasis is less about what we give you to come here but more about what we don’t take from you once you are here.

The Somersworth Economic Development office is your one-stop location to find out about these and other resources that can help you start or grow a business. Contact Robin Comstock at (603) 692-9516 to see how we can help you.

Somersworth Incentives

The City of Somersworth has two Economic Revitalization Zones (ERZ’s) that offer potential tax savings to employers who invest in their facilities and create jobs. ERZ Tax Credits are a short-term, tax credit against the State’s business profits and enterprise taxes. The total maximum amount of the credit is $200,000 which is spread out over five years. The total credit is based on the amount invested in the facility and the number of jobs created. The two zones can be seen on the ER Zone City Map by clicking here.  The application can be found by clicking here.

To see a complete description of this State tax incentive visit the NH Division of Economic Development’s website by clicking here.

The City of Somersworth passed RSA 79-E which is a tax incentive for those interested in investing in and improving buildings in the downtown area. The program offers short term (typically 5 years) property assessment tax relief to property owners planning significant rehabilitation projects located within the downtown revitalization zone. The application must be submitted prior to any work on the building. To learn more about this program or discuss potential projects please contact Robin Comstock at 603-692-9516. A description of RSA 79-E can be found in Chapter 31 of the City’s Ordinances by clicking here.. For an RSA 79-E application click here. For a map of the RSA 79-E zone click here.

State Incentives & Resources

  • State Department of Revenue offers a Research and Development tax credit for companies making qualified manufacturing research and development expenditures.
  • NH Job Training Fund is a matching grant program designed to encourage businesses to invest in their employees skills. Grants range from $750 up to $100,000 and are awarded monthly.  Visit their website to learn more.
  • Government Contracting - The NH Government Contracting and Assistance Center is a State and Federally funded program that helps businesses looking to do work with the government. The staff works with businesses that are new to government contracting as well as those that are looking to expand their contracting opportunities. Visit their website if you are interested in learning more about local, State and Federal contracting opportunities.
  • New Hampshire Works - NH Works offers hiring assistance and incentives for local businesses. 
  • NH Vocational Rehabilitation (N.H.V.R.) The primary resource for businesses seeking solutions to their disability-related issues and for information about employing individuals with disabilities.
  • Aerospace NH is a seacoast effort to promote the aerospace industry in our region. The cities of Somersworth, Portsmouth, Dover, Rochester and the PEASE Development Authority are joining forces to welcome and support businesses in this fast growing industry.

Federal Assistance Programs

  • Department of Commerce offers export assistance at a deeper level than the State for a reasonable fee. Their Gold Key program will arrange for meetings with potential business partners in the country of choice.
  • Small Business Administration offers technical assistance through three SBA supported organizations: Small Business Development Center, SCORE and the Women’s Business and Enterprise Center. 
  • Small Business Healthcare Options Program (S.H.O.P.) offers healthcare coverage options for business with fewer than 50 full-time employees. Online enrollment begins November, 15th, 2014. Businesses can sign up using a broker or agent at any time. Businesses with fewer than 25 full-time employees may be eligible for a tax credit.

Local & Regional Funding Resources

  • Strafford Economic Development Corporation (SEDC), “is an independent non-profit corporation specializing in providing and locating financial assistance for businesses in areas of southeastern and south central New Hampshire.”
  • Capital Regional Development Council (CRDC), offers creative financing for small businesses, real estate development, and more. They will work with your financial institution to make your deal happen.  From SBA 504 commercial real estate loans to Brownfield funds and more, they have the expertise and experience to get a deal done! CRDC is a mission driven non-profit focused on providing tools that result in private sector job creation and local property tax base enhancement.
  • Community Loan Fund, offers a variety of loan products for small businesses ranging from $1,000 microloans up to $500,000 business builder loans. The nonprofit also includes royalty or mezzanine financing through Vested for Growth.
  • Business Finance Authority (BFA), works in cooperation with NH banks to provide loan guarantees for small businesses that may not otherwise qualify for conventional loans.

Trade Groups And Industry Associations

  • The NH Business and Industry Association (BIA), is the Statewide Chamber of Commerce serving the needs of businesses of all sizes and industries. “Through advocacy with state legislators and regulators, we shape business-friendly public policy and provide counterbalance to legislation and regulations that threaten the growth and prosperity of New Hampshire businesses.”
  • Somersworth Chamber of Commerce supports local businesses through networking, marketing, events and advocacy.
  • New Hampshire High Tech Council (NHHTC) “is a member-driven organization with a focus on advancing innovation throughout the State of New Hampshire.”
  • NH Made is a statewide nonprofit, offers marketing and promotional activities for their members.
  • Businesses for Social Responsibility (BSR) “Mission is to build and support a network of businesses committed to adopting socially responsible business practices and recognizing that people, principles and profits are inseparably linked.”
  • Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) is a nonprofit providing business and technical assistance to manufacturing companies.

Educational Services

  • Small Business Development Center (SBDC) offers free business counseling and a host of online workshops.
  • SCORE, offers low cost workshops and free one on one business counseling through a network of experienced volunteers.
  • Center for Women and Enterprise (CWE) offers online and in person education and business counseling.
  • Center for Women’s Business Advancement (CWBA) is a membership organization focused on supporting women entrepreneurs through education and networking.
  • University of New Hampshire (UNH) is a land, sea, and space grant university offering both undergraduate and graduate programs as well as community education programs.
  • Great Bay Community College (GBCC) is a part of the NH community college system located in Portsmouth. The college offers a two year degree program as well as “certification programs, courses and workshops designed to upgrade employee skills, advance leadership and management capabilities and support ever-changing job initiatives.”
  • Great Bay Advanced Technology & Academic Center (ATAC) is a new advanced manufacturing and core academics center is located just 10 minutes from Somersworth. The ATAC offers a convenient location for students to pursue a career in Advanced Composites Manufacturing, an Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts, or take general education courses transferrable to any GBCC. Customized programs can be created for local employers and grant funding may be available through the NH Job Training Fund.
  • Somersworth Career Technical Center (CTC) offers 10 training programs including engineering, biotech, business & finance, ICAM and engineering to high school students in the greater Somersworth region. The CTC actively works with local businesses on internships and program development. 
  • BUZGate is a free online resource for NH Businesses. The site will link you to every resource, both free and fee based, imaginable.