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Innovation is here: It does not need a subsidy

March 17. 2013 5:32PM

Last Thursday, Gov. Maggie Hassan came to a business incubator on Elm Street to promote her proposed state budget, which increases spending on the University System of New Hampshire and community colleges, and doubles the research and development tax credit, things she said would boost the state economy. Oh, and it also would subsidize business incubators like abi Innovation Hub, where she spoke.

So she had a friendly audience, and the abi Innovation Hub's official Twitter feed was filled with praise of the governor for focusing on economic development. Meanwhile, over in the Millyard, economic development was taking place without a state subsidy.

Developer Brady Sullivan unveiled The Lofts at Mill No. 1, a 110-unit Millyard apartment complex in what were low-rent office spaces. The idea is to attract young professionals to downtown Manchester, where many companies, including Millyard tech firms, are hiring.

But there cannot be companies hiring; Hassan in her budget address said would-be entrepreneurs were waiting for government help. Hmmm.

America is an entrepreneurial nation, and New Hampshire an entrepreneurial state. Subsidizing entrepreneurship is wholly unnecessary; it is in our DNA. There are obstacles to starting a business, but a lack of government funding and instruction are not among them. That should be obvious to anyone strolling around downtown Manchester. Perhaps the governor should have looked about a little more.

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