Starting a Business in New Hampshire
Hew Hampshire car wash market. Well we have visited every city in New Hampshire over the population of 10,000 at least twice, the larger ones four and five times talking to many people in various industries. Landscapers, brick layers, Heating and Air, Plumbers, Car Dealers, Professional People, Politicians, wood be politicians, chamber of Commerce Personal, Economic Development people and just nice folks on the street. Including skateboarders; Hockey and Soccer Moms; Canadian Tourists and this last visit mourners for the Old Man of the Mountain who died in vain after a Harsh winter of snow and rain. The ceremonies were good and respectful of our fallen gentleman. But the world marches on and with more places to go and people to meet including an in depth look into what makes Nashua tick. One of the major populated cities in NH and there are not many of them. Total Population is about 1,272,600 approximately.
Nashua is growing unlike other areas of the states that are more Northern which are losing population base; According to the Tiger Files associated with the last Census. We are seeing more Canadian Tourism as the Dollar has fallen against their currency somewhat. A little better than 2/3 as was the previous known standard that people assumed. Tourism is up a little now finally and mostly because it is an easy drive for NY, NJ to get out of the heat. The Winter was a bummer as most admit, but it is hopping now. Weather in Nashua is not as bad as one might think. Dec thru February are a little tough but Nov and March on the other side of the cold period are very doable, with the typical three day storms which come through, the issues of doubling up storms or six day bad weather cold snaps are common in Nov thru March and occasionally in Oct and also in April. It was a long winter this year and the worst in six years, but not horrific. Not extremely conducive to car washing and mobile detailing and in the rough economy not inviting but doable never the less and better than some industries as things have been tough. Luckily the increase in population has helped. Manufacturing has taken a little bit of a hit like all manufacturing jobs in the US, although NH likes to think of this as their secret strength, well we will give them that, it is true, but long term that could be dangerous after touring the closed mills across the border in Maine things were not that great and hopefully their past is no indication of the possible future of NH. We see the city of Nashua as a different type of town although surely Manufacturing
is a factor too. Since 1990 most of NH has had great growth in High Tech manufacturing whereas the other New England Sates all had net loses. But today that incredible advantage could prove a liability. In all of NH there was a 4-5% decline in manufacturing which hurt just like in Vermont, which competes for the same manufacturing jobs in low tech, but not so much in high tech. Burlington, VT has also seen a hard time, yet even with that retail and services have picked up in NH and VT and with both have Universities that do research and development, they have been able to find new placement for graduates willing to stay in state and work. Those have been good paying jobs. 17% of all jobs in NH up until even the beginning of the year have been manufacturing. Nashua is not as heavy in manufacturing as the neighboring large cities and will probably not face the same fate as cities like Bangor Maine, because it is close to other large cities including Boston, where things cost more due to higher costs of living and wages there. It is a good compromise for those who need to get out of the big city to compete on cost. The Toll Way running through the city is not to damaging to Nashua for trade with partnering city Manchester, NH because there is a short distance and the fees are small and two other routes, which are easy travel. No charge to drive to Boston and therefore trade with Boston is good.
Nashua and the governor of NH have been really working hard to attract companies in Tech to NH for many years now. It has worked well but now the lay offs have been hurting things a little more than anticipated. We have seen many top notch companies come to play in the area here. Such as EDS, Digital Equipment, Raytheon, all of which had lots of layoffs. What the city going was the move towards services and retail to cater to these young up and coming professionals. But the lay offs were not pretty; but Nashua has seen it before after the dying of all the mills, Back in the 1600s the colonial town made hay due to it’s closeness to Boston at which time our family in the Silversmith business often traded with the population of Nashua. The biggest growth of the city was from 1960-1980 before the tech bubble, lots of growth.
The retail sector and upgraded downtown project, they call it "Destination Downtown." has captured the essence of a point of destination, every weekend Boston Suburban Harley Riders drive to Nashua and hang out and spend money. This has been very successful with travelers, locals and tourists alike and it is the answer to fixing these small town areas where urban flight can destroy all hope. Check it out, it is cool;
Then there are the annual events bringing even more people. Also housing and construction are alive and well as Nashua keeps getting high rankings for good schools, friendly folks, lower taxes and a really great place to live. This means that it is a nice place to clean cars too. Just over the border in Mass, is Hudson and it too is seeing strong middle class growth. With Tech slowing what is NH next play for jobs and boom? Well it is attempting to re-invent itself again. And if any state can it would be the tenacious people of NH, is Biotech the next power play? It could be the jobs market is less costly for companies and the students are available in bulk and inexpensive and plentiful
There is a little of everything in NH, why not Bio-Tech after all next to Boston it makes a good fit. There are some car washes in the area too and they are well received and thriving proving that the market there is strong. Gentle Touch car wash has two locations, both are busy every time we have been by. We saw several other car washes but we really liked the Gentle Touch and so do customers. Lucky Duck Car Wash is also good. The is also a really good Detail Shop which were quite good.
They also own body shops and have a good customer base and dealership work and they are busy.
The local detailing and car wash establishments are doing well in New Hampshire, not all are breaking speed records but all are making money from what we saw. What type of business would you like to establish in NH, there is growth and room to grow for most any type of small business.
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