In 2017, the City of Portsmouth undertook, with the help of almost a hundred volunteers and UNH experts, a huge business and economic development endeavor. A very large portion of local businesses were surveyed to get a pulse on their past, present, and future.
Currently, there is not a comprehensive way to gauge a business' status or the degree of satisfaction with the operating in the City. No way to know if that differs across business corridors, industries, sizes, or ages. We have guesses regarding business climate, growth forecasts, top difficulties, etc, but nothing data driven.
With the help of volunteers, many businesses of all scopes and sizes were surveyed. The data was then sent to experts at UNH, anonymized, and analyzed. The results of which will help many organizations better serve our residents and businesses, plan for the future of Portsmouth based on real data, and quickly identify red flags which may come up during the interview process.
A healthy local economy and an improved business climate are the goals of the Business Retention and Expansion (BR&E) Visitation program. The program promotes job growth by helping communities identify the concerns and barriers to survival and growth facing local businesses. This approach focuses on existing businesses. Studies show that 40% to 80% of all new jobs are created by existing firms rather than by new business attraction. Furthermore, business attraction efforts are less likely to be successful if existing businesses are unhappy with the local business climate. The resulting report includes an overall summary, notes from the UNH faculty review, and survey results.