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August 18. 2014 8:03PM

Ayotte kicks off her tour of NH businesses with Fidelity visit


Sen. Kelly Ayotte speaks Monday at Fidelity Investments in Merrimack before the New England Council. Kimberly Houghton (Kimberly Houghton)

MERRIMACK — Sen. Kelly Ayotte on Monday kicked off her statewide tour of New Hampshire businesses, starting with a visit to one of the largest employers in the state — Fidelity Investments.

Ayotte launched her “Conversations with Kelly: Growing New Hampshire Businesses, Not Bureaucracy” last summer, and is continuing the initiative in the coming weeks.

“As I continue my efforts to advance policies that make it easier to create jobs, I look forward to hearing from our state’s business community about ways to help New Hampshire businesses grow and succeed,” Ayotte said. “These conversations are also a valuable opportunity to receive input about major issues affecting New Hampshire businesses.”

Ayotte touched on several of those issues while addressing about 130 members of the New England Council during a luncheon Monday at Fidelity Investments, specifically mentioning ways to strengthen transportation infrastructure, fix burdensome federal regulations and address a proposed online sales tax legislation.

“There are a number of ways that we can do better,” Ayotte told those in attendance, stressing the need for a long-term plan to help meet the needs of New Hampshire’s highways and bridges.

Ayotte has introduced legislation that if approved she believes will enable New Hampshire to establish a state infrastructure bank that could leverage state and federal transportation dollars to attract private investments to help fund local transportation initiatives.

One of the most pressing issues often raised by employers in the Granite State is concerns with federal regulations, according to Ayotte.

“We need more accountability,” she said, explaining there are regulations in place that negatively impact the ability for businesses to thrive. There must be a transparent and accountable way for people’s voices to be heard when dealing with regulation concerns, Ayotte added.

Ayotte also mentioned the medical device tax, which she would like to repeal.

“It is a tax that will hurt innovation in an area where we want to innovate,” she said. “It will hurt American jobs.”

Startup companies are being forced to pay a 2.3 percent tax on revenue, according to Ayotte, who said it just doesn’t make sense to punish companies that are having success.

Prior to the luncheon, Ayotte sat down with leaders at Fidelity Investments to discuss specific concerns impacting the company.

Joe Murray, vice-president of public affairs at Fidelity, said there are 5,400 employees at the Merrimack Fidelity campus, which he described as a “town within a town.” As the company continues to make financial services available to New Hampshire residents, Murray said its employees are deeply concerned about many issues impacting customer savings.

Also on Monday, Ayotte toured UPS, Axenics and Monument Construction in Nashua. Today, she will continue with her business tours at Bosch Thermotechnology in Londonderry.

khoughton@newstote.com



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