Business leaders: ARP plan will help Manchester economy recover and grow


OPINION

Get up. Speak. It is your turn.


The $ 43 million US Rescue Plan (ARP) funding allocated to the city of Manchester represents a unique and rare opportunity for the city to accelerate its near-term recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic while positioning potentially the city in the long run. ultimately prosperity. Recently, the Council of the Mayor and Aldermen took a positive first step in this process by giving its initial approval to a comprehensive plan to allocate the first tranche of the city’s ARP funding.

The comprehensive plan, based in part on contributions from community members and key stakeholders, addresses several key priorities, including affordable housing, community health initiatives and homeless outreach, as well as support for the homeless. small businesses affected by the pandemic. As business leaders who wish to see Manchester bounce back stronger from the impacts of the pandemic, we are encouraged that the proposed plan allocates funds both strategically and in a targeted manner to key areas of opportunity and investment.

We are particularly encouraged that the plan targets funding in areas that will restore economic value in the short and long term. Examples include investments that will generate or support job growth, stimulate economic activity and expansion, and strengthen the City’s ability to attract and retain its workforce. Some of the priorities that we specifically highlighted to the mayor’s and aldermen’s council and that we are pleased to see included in the proposed plan include:

Re-establishment of a Manchester Economic Development Office – As the largest city in northern New England, investing in economic development people and resources sends an important and positive message about the city’s business climate and will support the recovery and growth of our economy in the get out of the pandemic.

Provide targeted grants to small businesses to support pandemic recovery and resilience – The small business resilience grant program offered by the city during the pandemic is a great success and the replication of this program with ARP funding will continue to support the recovery of small businesses throughout the city. These grants can be used for future business planning and capacity building or to recoup investments made in COVID-19 prevention and mitigation that would provide businesses with critical support during a significant period of recovery and reconstruction.

Modernization of branding / promotion and support at Manchester Boston Regional Airport – the airport is a key economic engine for the City and the State and a gateway for tens of thousands of visitors to support local businesses. Manchester can seize immediate opportunities in the post-pandemic air services development competition by making smart investments aimed at incentivizing carriers to expand or launch services in this market. Using ARP funds to support city and airport-wide marketing and promotional efforts to attract new or expanded air service options is a smart investment, as expanded air service brings in millions of dollars. economic activities to the local economy.

Support the attraction and retention of labor through incentives for the development of affordable and accessible housing companies, especially those in the hospitality industry, are struggling to hire workers. Strengthening the City’s workforce is a key opportunity to support both short-term business recovery and long-term economic vitality. More accessible and affordable housing options are a key strategy the city can pursue to increase its workforce.

Identify the main infrastructure, mobility and space creation projects over the long termplanning documents for routes eligible for ARP funding – ARP funds can offer a rare opportunity to advance projects that often take years to complete. As far as funding guidelines allow, spatial planning, mobility and improvements to infrastructure such as sidewalks, walkability to the sawmill / town center, modern signage and improvements to the street. riverside investments are worth considering and will bring economic value and quality of life. The City’s new master plan and other community planning documents include a variety of ideas and potential projects for consideration.

By taking a long-term investment-driven approach to deploying ARP funding, the City of Manchester can help ensure not only a rapid recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also strategic opportunities to enhance vitality long-term economic life of the community are realized and achieved.

Our thanks to the Manchester Mayor and Aldermen’s Council for advancing the proposed plan to allocate ARP funds and the House and business community encourage Council to give final approval to this plan as soon as possible so that these funds can start to be put into action and help our community recover and grow our economy.

Michael skelton

President and CEO

Greater Manchester Room


These business leaders signed a letter of support previously submitted to the College of Mayors and Aldermen to express their specific support for these recommendations:

  • Nathan Saller, Bellwether Community Credit Union
  • Arthur Sullivan, Brady Sullivan Properties
  • Dick Anagnost, Anagnost Companies
  • Chris Norwood, NAI Norwood Group
  • Mike Harrington, Harrington and Company
  • Paul Mailhot, ARMI
  • Mike Decelle, UNH Manchester
  • Josh Wright, Wells Fargo
  • Bill Brewster, Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare
  • Liz Hitchcock, Orbite Group
  • Cathy Schmidt, Mclane Middleton
  • Ron Covey, St. Mary’s Bank
  • Preston Hunter, Eckman Construction
  • Pete Lachance, Altair Group
  • Genella McDonald, Stibler Associates
  • Alex Horton, Café La Reine
  • Joe Raczka, York IE
  • Trinnie Houghton, travel partners
  • Kris McCracken, Amoskeag Health
  • Donna Gamache, Eversource Energy
  • Scott Spradling, The Spradling Group
  • Keri Laman, Tidewater Catering
  • Travis York, GYK Antler
  • John Kacavas, Dartmouth Hitchcock-Health
  • Matt Cookson, Cookson Communications
  • Nick Soggu, Silvertech
  • Jack Middleton, Mclane Middleton
  • EJ Powers, Montagne Communications
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