Stand up. Speak up. It’s Your Turn
The Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce recently joined together to advocate for the NH Senate to restore funding in the Governor’s budget that would allow the State to continue pursuing passenger rail in southern NH along the Capitol Corridor. Our joint letter of support that was recently sent to the NH Senate Finance Committee was cosigned by 30 companies based in Manchester and Nashua.
Nineteen of those companies that signed onto this letter are from the Nashua area and include companies like Integra Biosciences, C&M Machining Products, Parallel Wireless, J. Lawrence Hall, and W.H. Bagshaw.
Together with the Nashua Chamber, our two organizations represent more than 1,500 businesses across Southern New Hampshire that employ tens of thousands of our state’s residents and generate millions in economic activity. The Nashua-Manchester corridor also serves as the economic backbone of our entire state; as goes the economic output of our region, so goes the rest of New Hampshire. Therefore, economic growth along the Nashua-Manchester corridor is important to the overall growth of our entire state’s economy.
The NH Capitol Corridor rail project could have a transformative impact on New Hampshire’s economy by positively impacting the Nashua-Manchester corridor. We urge the NH Senate to restore the $4 million in capital funding previously earmarked for the NH Capitol Corridor’s project development phase. This next phase would allow the state to appropriately vet the feasibility of rail expansion by completing the necessary engineering and environmental analysis of the Capitol Corridor project. If full funding is unavailable, we ask the Senate to consider a phased-funding approach for the project development process.
According to the NH Capitol Corridor study released this past January, establishing four commuter rail stops between Lowell, MA, and downtown Manchester would draw a minimum of 668,000 riders a year, leading to the creation of 5,600 permanent jobs supporting 3,600 new residential units along the corridor. Approximately 230 jobs would be created for the construction of the rail line and an additional 3,400 construction jobs would be created to build the real estate development generated by rail. Beginning in 2030, 1,700 new jobs would be created every year due to the expansion of passenger rail.
The NH Capitol Corridor study revealed a host of additional economic and societal benefits stemming from rail expansion, including improving access to the entire region, playing a major role in retaining young people, serving as a catalyst for smart development and creating a multi-modal transportation infrastructure in the state.
At the top of this piece, I specifically referenced companies like Integra Biosciences, Parallel Wireless and C&M Machining Products – just a few of the many companies who cosigned this letter to the Senate, and just a few of the many other companies across our region that understand they need those benefits described above – the ability to attract more young workers in the coming years, along with housing and other mixed-use developments that would sprout around the rail stops and therefore provide appealing places for those workers to live, work and play. Companies like Integra Biosciences and Parallel Wireless do business across the entire world, and their work itself is cutting-edge within their respective industries.
The 30 companies that signed onto this letter are real-world examples of business entities currently based in southern and who understand our state’s future economic livelihood relies upon connecting NH’s infrastructure into the rest of New England.
Our Manchester-Nashua-Lowell corridor represents the single densest area of population in the entire country that is not currently served by rail. This is not a fact of which our state should be proud, nor is it a fact that speaks well for the ability of our area to attract in the future more companies like those referenced in this editorial and which signed onto our letter of support.
We implore our state senators to consider restoring the $4 million in funding to allow the project development phase of the NH Capitol Corridor rail expansion project to move forward. Completing this phase will allow for a complete understanding of the costs and benefits of rail expansion and allow policymakers and the public to have the facts needed to consider this important economic opportunity for New Hampshire.
Businesses that have signed on:
Anagnost Companies, Dick Anagnost (Owner)
C&M Machining Products, Dan Villemaire (President)
Caro Properties, Rob Caro (President)
Citizens Bank, Joseph Carelli (President NH & VT)
Elm Grove Companies, Newton Kershaw (CEO)
Eckman Construction, Preston Hunter (Vice President)
Fairpoint Communications, Ellen Scarponi (Director of Government Relations)
FLIR Systems, Tom Scanlon (Vice President Worldwide Sales)
Friel Company, Ryan Friel (Vice President)
Harvey Construction, Rob Prunier (EVP)
Hoyle Tanner Associates, Frank Wells (Senior Vice President)
Integra Biosciences, Gary Nelson (COO)
Lawrence Hall, Charlie Hall (President)
Lovering Volvo, Linda Lovering (President)
Melanson Heath & Co., David Heath (Partner)
The Mclane Law Firm, Dick Samuels (Managing Director)
The Monahan Companies, Jeff Monahan (Vice President)
Montagne Communications, Scott Tranchemontange (President)
Oracle, Eric Carlson (Site Manager)
Parallel Wireless, Steve Kropper (Vice President)
People’s United Bank, Dianne Mercier (President)
Silvertech, Gray Chynoweth (Chief Operating Officer and EVP)
St. Joseph Hospital, Dr. Rich Boehler (CEO)
St. Mary’s Bank, Ron Covey (CEO)
The Stabile Companies, John Stabile (President)
Stanley Elevator, Cory Hussey (Vice President)
The Tamposi Company, Sam Tamposi (President)
Velocity Performance, Brendan Keegan (Principal)
W.H. Bagshaw, Adria & Aaron Bagshaw (Owners)
Michael Skelton is President and CEO of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce. J. Christopher Williams is President and CEO of the Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce.