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Fox Business anchor Trish Regan backs New Hampshire's Amazon bid

New Hampshire Union Leader

September 20. 2017 7:24PM
Fox Business Network anchor Trish Regan plans to devote a segment of her show at 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, to New Hampshire's bid to attract Amazon. (Courtesy)

The Granite State will get a promotional boost Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, before a national audience when Fox Business anchor Trish Regan makes the case for Amazon to choose New Hampshire for its second global headquarters.

The 2 p.m. segment will feature Regan’s cousin, Deaglan McEachern, one of the organizers of an online petition calling for New Hampshire lawmakers to pursue luring Amazon here.

Gov. Chris Sununu and Taylor Caswell, commissioner of the state’s Department of Business and Economic Affairs, have been working on a bid. On Friday, the state’s Democratic Party Leadership also called on the Republican governor to pursue the project.

New Hampshire’s proximity to Boston would allow the state to become a magnet for the workforce Amazon needs — one that would be attracted by the state’s lack of income and sales taxes, Sununu said Wednesday. He said he has been talking with business leaders as well as elected officials as his office puts a team together.

“That’s how you go after these types of companies,” Sununu said. “You bring these peer support systems in.” New Hampshire doesn’t need to prove it has the best government but that it offers the best state, the best quality of life, for the company’s long-term vision, he said.

McEachern, who recently moved back to his native Portsmouth with his family, is a veteran of the tech industry in San Francisco. While he realizes the state’s chances of winning the national contest are slim, McEachern has said that the goal is “to raise awareness around the types of jobs that are coming to the economy and what is required of communities, cities and states in terms of attracting that talent.”

Regan, a former Miss New Hampshire who grew up in Hampton, touted her home state when news broke that the Seattle tech giant was seeking a spot for a new campus that will employ 50,000 workers during the next two decades and include more than $5 billion in capital expenditures. “I think #NewHampshire would be a pretty good spot!” Regan tweeted Sept. 7.

Regan says New Hampshire could attract investment via a lower corporate tax rate, which would make the state the ideal place for a business to set up shop.
“You can’t beat the people and the quality of life,” she said via email Tuesday night. “The jobs would be great for the state — and we definitely have a lot to offer.”

Amazon’s list of preferences for the new headquarters includes financial incentives, such as tax credits and exemptions. The executive director of the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, a free-market think tank in Concord, says that’s reason enough for New Hampshire to sit out the competition.

“Rather than join other states in a contest to see who can give the most taxpayer money to the world’s third-largest retailer, run by one of the three richest men on the planet, state officials should continue focusing on making New Hampshire a better place to live, work and do business for all,” said Andrew Cline, interim president, in a statement.

Matt Pierson, a Bedford-based investment banker and venture capitalist who serves on the board of the New Hampshire High Tech Council, says New Hampshire doesn’t have enough skilled workers to meet Amazon’s needs. “I would prefer to see ... workforce development occur at an incremental, scaled-up level to support New Hampshire’s existing businesses before we try to attack an Amazon or a similar company that is going to suck all the best people out of all these little startups,” he said.

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