Concord: Economy

Major Industries and Commercial Activity

Concord, the capital of New Hampshire, is a major distribution, industrial, and transportation hub. As the state capital and county seat for Merrimack County, Concord is headquarters to numerous state, county, local and federal agencies. It is also the site of several major law firms and professional agencies.

While government forms a portion of its economic base, its proximity to highways and railways makes it an excellent site for distributing goods. Many of the products manufactured in Concord are known and used worldwide. The fastest growing segment of the economic base is the service industry, comprising education, finance, and medical services.

More than 5,000 people in are employed in the delivery of healthcare services in Concord, making it one of the largest concentration of healthcare providers in the state. Tourism is important to the city and the region; the New Hampshire International Speedway in nearby Loudon brings approximately $50 million in tourism dollars to Concord annually.

Items and goods produced: printed goods; mobile and modular structures; electric components; electrical instruments; non-ferrous foundry products; heat treatment equipment; architectural and structural granite; communication testing equipment; dictating supplies and equipment; belting, brass, and leather products

Incentive Programs—New and Existing Companies

Local programs

The State of New Hampshire, which levies no state sales or income tax, is considered one of the most favorable climates for doing business in the nation. Because so much is provided at the state level, few incentives are offered at the city-town level. In fact, by state law, New Hampshire cities are prohibited from offering tax breaks to private industry. However, cities such as Concord do aid businesses indirectly by helping to market industrial sites and by promoting available energy/utility savings programs.

State programs

The state's incentives include no general sales or use tax, no general personal income tax, no capital gains tax, no inventory tax, no property tax on machinery or equipment, one of the lowest unemployment insurance rates in the country, investment tax incentives, job tax credits, and research & development tax incentives. In 2004 the State of New Hampshire instituted the Community Reinvestment Opportunity Program (CROP), which offers tax credits that may be used against business profit taxes and business enterprise taxes. Qualifying CROP projects must create new jobs as well as expand the state economic base.

Job training programs

The Small Business Development Center, which is funded by the Small Business Association, the State of New Hampshire, and the University of New Hampshire, offers management counseling, training, and resource information to the state's small business community through six sub-centers. The New Hampshire Employment Program (NHEP) aids individuals in obtaining financial aid to prepare for and find employment. The NHEP On-The-Job Training Program offers employers incentives to hire and train eligible applicants.

Development Projects

The City, in conjunction with the Capital Regional Development Corporation (CRDC), the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce, and other state and federal agencies, recently completed construction of the Corporate Center at Horseshoe Pond. Through the creation of a $5 million Tax Increment Finance (TIF) District, the city was able to acquire and develop the land, which was then sold to the CRDC, who cleaned up the land and marketed parcels to developers. With $4.4 million in private donations, the city was able to construct the Grappone Conference Center.

The cities of Concord and Penacook have partnered as part of a Neighborhood Revitalization Project with a plan that focuses on enhancing quality of life within the two communities. The Revitalization Plan utilizes input from residents and builds partnerships between the city, residents, and civic minded organizations.

Economic Development Information: Concord Economic Development Department, City Hall, 41 Green Street, Concord, NH 03301; telephone (603)225-8595; Capital Region Development Council, 91 North State Street, Concord, NH 03301-0664; telephone (603)228-1872

Commercial Shipping

Concord, located at the hub of several major New England interstate highways, is a center for motor freight activity. Ten carriers service the area. The New England Southern Railroad provides freight service. Freight is also handled at the Concord Municipal Airport, about two miles from downtown.

Labor Force and Employment Outlook

Concord's labor force is described as competent, dedicated, plentiful, skilled, available, stable, and with excellent education and training. Unemployment insurance costs remain relatively low. Recently, Concord was ranked fourth in terms of per capita income in "The New England Rating Guide to Life in America's Small Cities."

The service industry, the fastest growing segment of Concord's economy, is anchored by education, finance, medical services, and insurance. Concord is the headquarters of six insurance companies and the site of several banks. It also is one of the few communities in the state with both industrial park space and construction sites available.

The following is a summary of data regarding the area labor force, 2004 annual averages (Nashua, NH-MA MSA).

Size of nonagricultural labor force: 129,100

Number of workers employed in . . .

construction and mining: 5,900

manufacturing: 26,000

trade, transportation and utilities: 30,500

information: 2,000

financial activities: 8,000

professional and business services: 12,700

educational and health services: 15,300

leisure and hospitality: 10,300

other services: 4,500

government: 14,000

Average hourly earnings of workers employed in manufacturing (Nashua, NH-MA MSA): $15.97

Unemployment rate (New Hampshire): 4.0% (March 2005)

Concord: Economy

Concord: Economy

Largest employers Number of employees
Concord Hospital 2,700
Steeplegate Regional Mall 1,100
Jefferson-Pilot Financial 618
Cigna Healthcare 400
Genesis Eldercare Network 375
St. Paul's School 315
Concord Litho 225
Riverside Millwork (RIVCO) 175
Beede Electrical Instrument Co. 107

Cost of Living

New Hampshire depends more upon real property taxes for revenue than most states as it does not have general income, sales, or use taxes. Substantial revenue is collected from taxes on gasoline, tobacco, alcohol, and parimutuel betting.

The following is a summary of data regarding several key cost of living factors in the Concord area.

2004 ACCRA Average House Price: Not reported

2004 ACCRA Cost of Living Index: Not reported

State income tax rate: none on salaries and wages of residents; limited tax upon interest and dividends received by individuals, trusts, estates and partners in excess of $2,400. There is a $10 "Resident Tax" on all persons between 18 and 60 years of age with some exceptions. Concord has passed an ordinance eliminating this tax for residents of the city.

State sales tax rate: None (business profits tax is 8.5%)

Local income tax rate: None

Local sales tax rate: None

Property tax rate: $28.07 (Union) or $31.53 (Merrimack Valley) per $1,000 (2003)

Economic Information: Concord Economic Development Department, City Hall, 41 Green Street, Concord, NH 03301; telephone (603)225-8595. New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development, 172 Pembroke Road, Concord, NH 03302; telephone (603)271-2411