Major Economic Resources and Initiatives
Portsmouth has many unique assets, including its role as New Hampshire's only deep-water port, and its central role as a high-tech, culinary, and cultural destination hub for northern New England. The City's economic resources include:
Portsmouth has a diverse and technologically adept workforce. Many educational institutions, including the University of New Hampshire, Great Bay Community College as well as a career and technical center located within Portsmouth High School produce workers who thrive in the technologically and biologically oriented business climate that has characterized much of Portsmouth's new economic growth. According to the 2020 Census, showed over more than 61% of Portsmouth's residents had advanced degrees. Many of those and others are specially trained for careers in technological fields.
Pease International Airport
The airport at Pease is a tremendous asset to the region as well as the businesses located at the Port. The airport is growing and passenger service is expanding. Currently, passenger service is provided by Allegiant Airlines and ground support, maintenance, and repair is provided by Port City Air. PlaneSense provides fractional aircraft ownership.
Portsmouth Naval Shipyard
Located in Kittery, Maine just across the Piscataqua River from Portsmouth, the Shipyard is a major overhaul and refueling facility for all classes of submarines and has recently been strengthened by its position as one of only four U.S. Navy bases capable of housing nuclear submarines. The Shipyard has a military and civilian payroll of $414 million, and accounts for $38 million in purchases in the New England area and contracts for $128 million in facility services.
The Port of New Hampshire
The Port of New Hampshire, located on the Piscataqua River on the Portsmouth side, is a source of great pride for the City of Portsmouth. The Port has a 66' wharf (33'-35' water depth), 310' long barge pier (22' water depth), two warehouse structures ( approx. 50,270 s.f.), and container port operations. The overwhelming desire to maintain a working port in the tradition of the City's past, and the Port's strategic location on a deep natural harbor, guarantee the future viability of the Port for international shipping. The marine terminal users co-exist with boating and commercial fishing.
Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ)
New Hampshire has one Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ No. 81, awarded by the federal government in 1982) consisting of five distinct sites, three of which are located in Portsmouth. Pease International Tradeport has 1,095 acres (including the airport), 10 acres are at the Port of New Hampshire, and 50 acres are at the Portsmouth Industrial Park on Lafayette Road. A Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) is a site within the United States where items may be imported, stored and processed with deferral or elimination of customs duties and excise taxes. Firms operating in an FTZ are thus able to operate more competitively in the international market.
New Hampshire Tax Advantages
New Hampshire's tax structure is very business friendly. There is no sales tax, no use tax, no income tax, no capital gains tax, no inventory tax and no higher assessment for commercial or industrial real estate. There are loan guarantees and tax exempt financing for manufacturers.
Quality of Life
Portsmouth's quality of life is hard to beat. Professionals of all ages and backgrounds, entrepreneurial and highly skilled technical workers have been particularly attracted to all that Portsmouth offers. Portsmouth's working port combined with its natural landscapes, parks, and proximity to New Hampshire's lakes and mountains region means there is something for everyone here. Educational resources at all levels are of outstanding quality. Portsmouth's civic life, and arts and cultural resources are highly regarded throughout the state, New England and the Northeast.
Economic Revitalization Zones (ERZ)
The City of Portsmouth has three economic revitalization zones (ERZ). The ERZ designation is an economic development tool allowed by state statute that creates incentive for companies to expand or relocate to an eligible area. Projects in an approved zone must create new jobs and expand the economic base and can range from the creation of new facilities to the rehabilitation of existing structures. State approval of ER Zones qualifies businesses expanding or relocating in these ER zones for tax credits outlined in RSA 162-N:8. Under the provisions of this statute, businesses in an approved ER Zone may be eligible for tax credits to be used against Business Profit Tax and Business Enterprise Tax up to a maximum of $40,000 annually for a five year period. Below is a summary of the current ERZ areas in Portsmouth. Click here for more information.