Andy Raynor NH
1. What is your role at the Mt. Washington Valley Economic Development Council and what does the organization do for the Valley?
I’m the executive director of MWVEC, and I also serve as the president of Technology Village Realty Management, a subsidiary group created by the MWVEC Board of Directors to oversee the design, construction and management of the 80-acre Technology Village land parcel.
The MWVEC is the economic development resource for the Mt. Washington Valley and two towns in western Maine – Fryeburg and Brownfield. The council’s loan fund has been used to help create 83 business loans with a revolving balance of over $5 million to date. The council also built the Technology Village, which houses 12 businesses and was able to provide an affordable facility for Granite State College to purchase. Inn partnership with the college, we have been able to provide boot camp classes to the business community, with over 2,700 employees participating over the last five years.
2. You’ve been with MWVEC since 2001. In your experience, what is it about the Mt. Washington Valley region that makes it particularly attractive for businesses?
Residents in the Mount Washington Valley have an incredible work ethic, which translates into a productive workforce. The Valley has an incredible environment, rich in natural resources for people to enjoy. Business owners also have a lower overhead in operating costs, due to a lower wage scale compared to the southern part of the state.
3. Can you tell us about a recent big win or successful project launch in which the MWVEC was involved and what it will do for the region?
Our biggest windfalls recently have been both a Northern Borders Regional Commission grant, and a Community Development Enterprise grant. The Northern Borders grant provided the council the ability to extend Technology Lane another 500 feet, providing four shovel-ready lots with infrastructure and are shovel ready. The Enterprise Grant is allowing the Council to provide technical assistance to more small businesses in the Valley.
4. Putting yourself in the shoes of a business considering moving or expanding to the Mt. Washington Valley from out of state, what are 2-3 things they should be planning for to make the transition easy, and how does the MWVEC help with them?
The council is willing and able to help a business that would like to relocate to the area. An ombudsmen will help to get through all the permitting process both locally and on a state level.
5. What’s new, exciting, coming up soon for MWVEC?
As a result of the success of the Northern Borders Grant, we’re already moving to put the four newly available lots into use. We’re currently working with a business that is looking to build on one of the lots in late 2016.
Andy Raynor nh