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May 24. 2014 1:26AM

For REDC, move to Raymond is a matter of growth


Laurel Bistany, Executive Director of the REDC, said she's excited to unveil the organizations new Main Street location in Raymond. (RYAN O'CONNOR/Union Leader Correspondent)

RAYMOND - The Regional Economic Development Center of Southern New Hampshire (REDC) has moved to a locale better suited to its growing reach.

With additional territory to cover, the REDC's 2,500-square-foot headquarters in an Exeter industrial park was no longer big enough or conveniently located, said Executive Director Laurel Bistany. So the nonprofit agency has set up shop in a 7,500-square-foot building at 57 Main St. in Raymond.

"We serve territory from Portsmouth to Nashua, so this relocation for our offices allows us to be more centrally located and provides us an opportunity to offer some services the region is lacking," Bistany said. "Plus, a business like us doesn't belong in an industrial park. We really need a downtown location with high visibility, and Raymond had one vacant lot in its downtown area, which turned out to be a great fit for us."

Among the many amenities the training center offers are office and classroom space for small and startup businesses including desks, computers, WiFi, a reference desk and meeting rooms at no additional cost for REDC members.

The REDC also serves as an alternative lender for businesses that fail to get some or all of their funding from banks, and provides educational resources for the University System of New Hampshire. Bistany said the facility offers Southern New Hampshire's first one-stop shop for entrepreneurs, existing businesses, lenders, and community leaders seeking financial and technical assistance to help stimulate economic activities and community development.

The training center, which is expected to be certified for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design due to its energy efficient setup - including solar power, room-by-room light sensors and a highly efficient HVAC system - currently utilizes 5,000 square feet of the new building. Bistany said the additional 2,500 square feet provides room for future growth.

REDC was established in 1994 as a nonprofit economic development organization and serves 42 communities by providing jobs for low- to moderate income Granite State residents. It accesses alternative financing for business and industrial expansion or relocation, the results of which often provide municipal tax relief. REDC also helps clean up contaminated sites in its communities, Bistany said.Both of New Hampshire's U.S. senators are expected to be in attendance when the REDC cuts the ribbon on the training center Tuesday.

A ceremony, which also marks REDC's 20th anniversary, is scheduled for 11 a.m. Matt Erskine, deputy assistant secretary of commerce for economic development, and REDC Chairman Warren Henderson join Sen. Kelly Ayotte and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen as scheduled speakers at the event.

For more information contact REDC at 772.2655 or visit redc.com.



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